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November 19, 2008

Victor Davis Hanson (Clarity, Balance, Reason….Refreshing)

May I just say whether I am listening to this man on Hugh Hewitt or reading his work, I am always impressed with his wisdom and the depth of his remarks. I have posted a link here, so please read it while taking in the breadth of his comments. Very refreshing to me, because it offers stability to the dialogue. I need that about now.

There is now no journalism as we knew it. It died during the campaign. And so we have no mainstream media audit of politics other than the vestigial shrill warnings about the last three months of the dangerous Bush administration. From the New York Times, NPR, PBS, or Newsweek, we will hear little whether Obama is choosing a good or bad team, or said silly things or contradicts what he promised. They simply have lost all credibility and now the republic is left largely with bloggers, talk radio, and a few newspapers….

 I am still baffled about the exact role of race in the past election and the new Obama Presidency. Like everyone, I am pleased to see that race has been proven to be no bar to the highest office. But is the real triumph simply that the first African-American is a man of the Left? Few cared about the path-breaking career of Clarence Thomas other than to demonize him. Harry Belafonte called the first African-American Secretary of State “a house slave.” No one really praised Sec. Rice’s unprecedented career. She, unlike Obama, was an African-American with a long familial history of racial struggle; Obama in contrast is half-white, and the son of an African national and did not grow up with the vestigial racism in the South. His success is remarkable, but why did other landmark careers go unnoticed? The answer seems to be not race per se, or being African-American even (given that Obama is of half African ancestry)—but that apparently someone of mixed racial ancestry was elected President from the Left (accomplishing what no other northern liberal Senator had done since JFK). That is all I can come up with. Had Colin Powell run and won in 1996, defeating Clinton, Inc., I don’t think he would have enjoyed anything akin to the present worship.

Housing prices for young people in states like California are suddenly affordable for the first time in decades. The war in Iraq is less dangerous for Americans than are neighborhoods in our major cities. Not all is doom and gloom as we read. Capitalism is no more dead than it was supposedly in 1980, 1991 or 2001. The world is less dangerous now than in 1979. There was a reason we were not attacked in the seven years after 9/11—though it will take a decade from now for most to fathom why.

So the closing of Guantánamo, repeal of the Bush anti-terrorism legislation, rapid withdrawal from Iraq (though we are already past Obama’s original target date of March 2008 for withdrawal of all combat troops), cessation of pressure to democratize and the end of hectoring against Arab authoritarianism, soothing rhetoric from a new Chief Executive, renewed diplomatic reaching out to Teheran and Damascus, more even-handed approach to the Israeli-Palestinian problem, and rejection of the notion we are in some sort of war, much less one of a “global” nature, should ensure greater American popularity, win-over our critics, defuse tensions with Iran and Syria, and ensure another seven years of safety from a major terrorist attack at home.

So come late January and beyond we shall see, and we all should genuinely wish the Obama administration well in their promised radical departure from the past, since the stakes are high for us all.

http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/thoughts-on-past-and-future/

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