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Hanson Worries About a ‘Descent Into Madness’

Victor Davis Hanson writes at American Greatness about disturbing recent developments on the American political scene.

Nations have often gone mad in a matter of months. The French abandoned their supposedly idealistic revolutionary project and turned it into a monstrous hell for a year between July 1793 and 1794. After the election of November 1860, in a matter of weeks, Americans went from thinking secession was taboo to visions of killing the greatest number of their fellow citizens on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. Mao’s China went from a failed communist state to the ninth circle of Dante’s Inferno, when he unleashed the Cultural Revolution in 1966.

In the last six months, we have seen absurdities never quite witnessed in modern America. Madness, not politics, defines it. There are three characteristics of all these upheavals. One, the events are unsustainable. They will either cease or they will destroy the nation, at least as we know it. Two, the law has largely been rendered meaningless. Three, left-wing political agendas justify any means necessary to achieve them. …

… How strange that the U.S. government is considering going door-to-door to bully the unvaccinated, even as it ignores the daily influx of thousands from Mexico and Latin America, without worrying whether they are carrying or vaccinated for COVID-19. Meanwhile, the progressive media shrilly warns that the new Delta Variant of the virus is exploding south of the border. Note how the administration applies standards to its own citizens that it does not apply to foreign nationals illegally entering the country. …

… Crime is another current absurdity. There exists a mini-industry of internet videos depicting young people, disproportionately African American males, stealing luxury goods from Nieman-Marcus in San Francisco, clearing a shelf from a Walgreens with impunity, or assaulting Asian Americans. These iconic moments may be unrepresentative of reality, but given the mass transfers and retirements of police, and the frightening statistics of large increases in violent crime in certain cities, the popular conception is now entrenched that it is dangerous to walk in our major metropolises, either by day or at night.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...