Victor Davis Hanson may be one of the wisest commentators in America. A classicist, historian, and prolific writer, he tends to see things with amazing clarity. His comments on Tucker Carlson Tonight following the melee at the Capitol yesterday were no exception.
Hanson began by stating that you cannot have a republic or a civilization without the rule of law. He was adamant that the laws should be enforced, and the rioters who stormed the building be arrested and prosecuted. Without differentiating between political allegiance or laying blame, he said after 2020 that the American people are exhausted.
Then, with clarity, he argued that the January 6th rioting could not be excused in any way, shape, or form. To make a fine point, he added that if you were decrying the nightly left-wing violence in our streets over the summer, principle demands you condemn the rioters at the Capitol as well.
Of course, this has been a consistent view across the mainstream political Right since the Capitol attack happened. The frustration boiling among conservatives now is rooted in the fact that Democrats and their allies in the corporate media have not and never will heed Hanson’s next caution:
If you are a person on the left, and night after night, and you quoted Chris Cuomo, but night after night you said we can contextualize the violence. Because ideology trumps accountability. Then you better say the same thing today. Do you really want to say, “Well you know what? These people have ideological causes so they should be exempt. I don’t think you want to do that.
Of course, the problem is the Chris Cuomos of the world do want to do this. They have been waiting for a large gathering of people who claim to be right-wing to do something they could capitalize on since at least 2008. I am old enough to remember when Andrew Breitbart offered $10,000 for someone who could provide a video of a Tea Party member yelling a racial slur at a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. That had been reported across the media ecosystem as fact. No one could ever produce a video.
Now, make no mistake. The staffers and journalists who smeared the Tea Party would have loved nothing more than to own Breitbart publicly. It never happened. Tea Party rallies were large, peaceful, aimed at fiscal conservatism, and often left the area cleaner than they found it. The same way gun crime goes down during an NRA conference. Or that absolutely nothing happens during open-carry protests like the recent large one in Virginia.
As a historian, Hanson suggested President Trump take the Jacksonian approach and let his followers know it was over, but the movement could persist and take back the House in 2022. President Trump guaranteed a peaceful transition in the wee hours of the morning after the riots. However, as Hanson suggested, Trump said the movement to Make America Great Again was not over.
Hanson also cautioned:
By the same token everybody has to take a step back. You can’t have a civilization, a democracy, when the Speaker of the House tears up the State of the Union address on national television like Nancy Pelosi did. You can’t have a civilization when Joe Biden says he’s going to unite us, but when people show up that he disagrees with at his rally he calls them chumps, ugly folk, or earlier, the dregs of society. Earlier he said antifa was just an idea when it’s committing violence nightly. So, everybody on both sides has to take a step back”
Democrats have taken nothing but a step forward. Freshman Representative Cori Bush (D-Mo.) submitted legislation to have Republican Congress members removed for “incitement.” On Twitter, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez demanded Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) resign. It is as if these women forget the roles they played in the riots nationwide this summer.
Bush rose to fame as a Black Lives Matter activist and was involved in protests in St. Louis this summer that turned violent. Ocasio-Cortez, the Squad, and our vice-president-elect Kamala Harris raised bail for the rioters and arsonists in Minneapolis. Then Ocasio-Cortez lectured us all that marginalized people have a right to riot. Harris went so far as to say the “protests” were not going to stop and shouldn’t stop in a late-night appearance. Even host Stephen Colbert looked shocked.
Once again, Republicans and conservatives police their own and the mainstream of the GOP holds a consistent position condemning political violence across the board. Democrats condemn the Capitol riots and pretend history started yesterday. As if radical Left groups didn’t burn and loot cities all summer, causing dozens of deaths. Then they fail to recall a multi-day siege on the White House that included arson and dozens of injured officers, requiring President Trump to be taken to the bunker. They had no harsh words for their shock troops. Instead, they mocked the president for following the Secret Service’s instructions.
This has been the pattern for decades. However, now, the risks loom larger. With Democrats controlling all three branches of government for the next two years, the violence at the Capitol will be a pretext for limiting everyone’s civil liberties and painting every Republican with the same broad brush as the rioters. Their lapdogs in the corporate media will gleefully help them spin this narrative. We are already seeing dangerous words like “insurrection,” “sedition,” and “treason” being bandied about and applied to the president and other prominent Republicans.
Hanson is catastrophically correct. There is no path to unity under these circumstances. And Democrats and their media allies are not going to take a step back. They are emboldened.
WATCH the full segment with Victor Davis Hanson.