This is a rush transcript from "Life, Liberty & Levin," November 18, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARK LEVIN, HOST: Hello, America, I'm Mark Levin. This is "Life, Liberty & Levin." I have a great guest. Victor Davis Hanson. How are you?
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, SENIOR FELLOW, HOOVER INSTITUTION: Very good, Mark. Thanks for having me.
LEVIN: It's a great pleasure. As far as I am concerned, you're one of the leading intellectuals in this country. You write beautifully. You have a regular column. Your books are great. October of last year, you wrote this book, "The Second World Wars," it's a history World War II. You have a brand new book coming out in March, "The Case for Trump." That should be interesting by Basic Books in March. You're s senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. You're a professor at California State University. You're a distinguished fellow at Hillsdale College. You've taught at the US Naval Academy. You've taught at Pepperdine University Graduate School. What haven't you done? My Lord, that's interesting.
But you know what? What strikes me about you, you were one of the first intellectuals to support Donald Trump. In your writings, I mean, it was gradual, but then why was that?
HANSON: I think all of us felt that the national ticket was playing by the Marcus of Queensbury rules. We really hadn't seen a rigorous push back. Remember Lee Atwater in the '88 campaign? We kind of deplored his tactics post factum, but at the time he took apart the caucus, the contradiction.
And so we were losing with Bob Dole, and McCain and Romney 46, 47, 43, even that's what we were doing well on the conservative side of the local. Thousand offices lost in the Obama administration. So, Trump seemed to be only one that was unconcerned with what the establishment - and by that I don't want to be vague, what university professor said, "New York Times" said, PBS, NPR, Council on Foreign Relations. He just spoke to the people and he did in such a way that was refreshing and he sort of was psycho dramatic that this was an existential war and were losing it and we had to fight back and not be worried what people said.
And then the other thing was really - what's strange about was he didn't buy into the new demography. It may be true, but he said, "You know, you can win by losing California and New York and Illinois because there are six to eight million people, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania that either didn't vote Republican, or they didn't vote at all, and I can win them back with a nationalist strong jobs -- I like the deplorable message. People thought that was crazy.
And so I thought he was just eccentric and I was a little bit dangerous, I thought, but I thought that he was, at this point, we're at a point of no return and he was an anecdote.
LEVIN: We're at a point of no return. You said existential threat, what do you mean by that?
HANSON: Well, I mean if we're - say we're the typical of conservative America, you and I, the 44 - 65 million that voted for Trump. We look around, it's like a sun optic cone, we've got NFL, NBA, Silicon Valley, Apple, Google, Facebook. We've got Rockefeller. We've got Brookings Institution. We have cable TV, not just MSNBC and CNN, but the major networks as well. We have NPR, we have PBS, we have the progressive cultural movement.
HANSON: Academia is where I am and we're surrounded. And we think that these institutions don't have as much clout as they do have and then we get shocked every four years that the message surrounds us and nobody can - we don't have a mechanism for breaking through to the American people and getting a message. And the irony is the message of free market, capitalism, limited government, individual liberties what they thrive for.
In their daily lives, they sometimes vote against their interest because the circular octopus, sun optic cone, whatever you want to call it, we don't get any - we, you and I, conservatives, traditionals, we have safe spaces, if I could use their word where we retreat to, for them it is a 24/7 relentless entertainment, education, politics, media and it's just - it's overwhelming.
LEVIN: Do you think in to the progressives, you know, they wrote about this that they basically needed to devour society. All of these major institutions, do you think they have largely succeeded?
HANSON: I do. I think if you tomorrow, Mark Levin go to Stanford and you give a lecture on global warming, I don't think you're going to be able to finish that lecture without being interrupted. I think if go to Stanford or Harvard, Yale and give a lecture on the value of assimilation and integration and intermarriage with measured legal meritocratic diverse immigration, I won't be able to finish that lecture.
I think if I touch somebody on the shoulder and that person files a sexual harassment suit at me at a major corporation, I am not going to be given due process. And that's besides the social chaos that we live in. I live in an area that's ground zero with the immigration word and the Nortenos gang is fighting the MS-13 gang across the street. I am talking about refined society. So I don't think due process, free speech, redress of grievances exist in major areas of American life -- corporate, university, foundational life, media.
LEVIN: So you have already - you are saying, what you have already seen, and I agree with it. The fundamental transformation of America gradually? Is it picking up speed now?
HANSON: I think it is. I don't want to be pessimistic in a sense that I really admire you, and I admire people at Fox News. I admire people - some in the Republican Party, really brave voices there are in academia saying that are saying, "You know, I'm going to speak out regardless of the consequences."
But the Romans and Greeks believed that "lux" that's a word authors use, luxury affluence leads to non-seriousness. I don't want to use the word decadence, but we are such an affluent leisured society, so somebody from the inner city can have an iPhone with more computing power than six IBM mainframes.
A guy across the street can come from Mexico and he can be in a Kia and that can be a better ride than a Mercedes 30 years ago, and I think that is great. But what we don't get with it is some collective gratitude or some sense of accomplishment. Instead we get - that Kia is not as good as today's Lexus, and therefore, the equality result didn't work for me.
I don't like the lack of gratitude or the trashing of the system or our ancestors that gave us all the system. Maybe it's the universities that have created an arrogant and ignorant cadre of youth, but something has gone wrong.
LEVIN: Isn't this the issue about freedom generally? Freedom is a tremendous thing, but it also gives opportunity for very evil people to use freedom to destroy freedom and isn't that what the framers of the Constitution tried to prevent? They were worried about mob-ocracy, they were very worried about autocracy and so they create this republic.
And there is a constant attack at the foundational principles of the Republic. President wins the Electoral College. They want to get rid of the Electoral College. The progressives don't like the fact that the Senate is representative of the state, so they get rid of that and they have direct election of the senators. They want to get rid of other aspects, separation of powers, they keep building up this fourth branch, this administrative branch in government with two million people and growing. That is what they do. And isn't that an attack on our foundational principles? Liberty?
HANSON: Yes, I think it is. I think they understand what the framers were up to and their model is not a constitutional Rome that went through Europe through the Enlightenment with the Montesquieu - it's radical Athenian democracy. On any given day, 51% of the population decide what the law is. There is no constitutional protection. You want to kill Socrates on Monday or murder D' Emilio on Tuesday, you can do it if you have 51%.
So it's been steady. I mean, we went from property qualifications, moderate property to direct election of senators, and there were some arguments for this and then as you say now, it's abolishing the Electoral College, and imagine the Supreme Court now, packing it, turning it large in the House of Representatives, maybe a thousand members, why people in California say, "Why does Wyoming get 250,000 people and get one senator, and we 20 million get one? That's not fair. Let's turn the Senate into the House," but the long-term trajectory is government mandated are sanctioned, the quality of result.
Because they got what they wanted with the Civil Rights; finally, we had true equality of opportunity, and then they were expecting that everybody would be equal and human nature being what it is, it is never going to be that way.
So they said, the conservative position is, we're not going to be equal but the poorest person is going to have a pretty good life if he is in a free market economy and a constitutional system. But they say, "No, no. We don't really care what poverty or wealth is. We want everybody to be equal.
They would rather have everybody making $20,000.00 a year than the poor making 50 and somebody making a billion, so that's relentless. That's a psychological --
LEVIN: That is a very, very important point that you mentioned. Equality is thrown around all of the time. Now, we know what the founders meant by equality. Equality of justice. They didn't mean equality of economics. Of course, that would be absurd because it is an impossibility and human beings, we pride ourselves. I am unique. Human beings are unique individuals. Human beings are created by God. Human beings are one different from the other.
But in the civil society, we argue that the law is the law and everybody should be treated as best as we can equally in front of a court, in front of the law. But this notion of radical egalitarianism really is a European import -- Marx, Engels, Hagel, Rousseau -- which is completely alien to our founders, isn't it?
HANSON: It is and it has some precedence in the ancient world. Aristotle who was a critic of this said, "Once a man feels he is equal in one aspect - politics - he assumes he can be equal in every other aspect." Plato said, "The trajectory is that finally, the donkeys and dogs in Athens have to vote." Meaning, there will be a destruction of criteria.
But, you are right, it takes up speed in the Enlightenment in Europe and it bifurcates and we thought we were safe from it because the Anglo-Scottish tradition was more limited government and very deep skepticism of the cycles of the French Revolution and the European continental model is a model that progressives choose, and they have a view that human nature is by nature.
And then we so view that we are born into chains -- the church, the community, the family -- and it's a duty of government to take off those chains, and let everyone be liberated, and then they will naturally be happy, which is sort of our collective nightmare, but we're headed to a radical egalitarian society and aspects that transcend politics to almost every imaginable facet. I just mentioned sports, culture, entertainment, movies. That's the message.
LEVIN: And they advance this notion -- tell me if I am write or wrong -- of populism. When in fact it is authoritarianism. People believe they have democratized to some program, some issue, some aspect of society, when in fact, it is not democratized at all. In fact, it is decisions from on high. The intellectual elites, they are not really intellectual elites, but they like to think they are intellectual elites and who are these intellectual elites? Why are they elites? Because they are elected? Because they are members of unions? Because they are in the Civil Service? I've never understood who these intellectual elites are and why they are so elite?
HANSON: Well, they have a certain cache. They think they went to a particular - they are branded like cattle. I mean, they think that the Ivy League brand allows them certain entree or certain privileges.
But you look at Silicon Valley, you have gate keepers that decide what is hate speech, what is not. The control the expressions of seven billion people on the planet because they are morally better than we are. You turn on public TV and you get this - or cable TV and you get this anguish about, "Oh, these people are ..." you know, the deplorables and your redeemables; the clingers. I think they used the term East Germans. I've heard that said. I think that John McCain called them wacko birds and those people --
So there was a real contempt for people they don't feel that don't properly know how to use their freedom, and their economic clout, and they too stupid stuff. They buy jet skis. They go snow mobiling and they pollute the universe. And if you can just have this international global elite that have proper education, proper resumes, proper CVs, sober and judicious. They can all get around and they can say, "You know what, we're doing it for all you."
And of course, throughout history, we have seen these people and they all have one thing in common. That they are all excused or they are not subject to the ramifications of their own ideology.
LEVIN: When we come back, I want to ask you about the ramifications or your insight into this election that just occurred and what you think of the result, and why you think we got the result that we did.
Ladies and gentlemen, don't forget, almost every week night, you can watch me on Levin TV by going to crtv.com/mark, crtv.com/mark or call us 844- LEVIN-TV, 844-LEVIN-TV. We'll be right back.
Professor Victor Davis Hanson, we had this election. People say it's a great win. Democrats say it's a blue wave. What do you see in this election?
HANSON: I see it in a historical context and that's not - and I'm trying to be an optimist. Barack Obama lost 63 seats, six senators was reelected. Bill Clinton I think lost 52, eight senators reelected. So zealots and partisans relax on the midterm, and people who were defeated get reenergized. That is common. I think there were a couple of disturbing things and that is the aftermath of the election.
It just seems that every time there is a recount in Arizona and Florida or in Georgia or especially where I am in California, four seats that were won and then lost. And it's kind of the opposite of what Napoleon said at the Austerlitz. He said, "At 11:00, I lost Europe; at 3:00 I won it." I thought on Election Day we won more - we had only lost 26 or something.
LEVIN: Do we ever win seats that we were losing five days later? I can't think of many.
HANSON: No, I think maybe 20 years ago, when older people were the absentee ballots, but now it's the SCIU, the mobilized people, and that Democrats are much better at it than Republicans, and that we thought we would learn.
The other thing in these very close races where we lost some good people, we've got this missing four to five, the so-called deplorable, the Trump base, parole voters, whatever, they were there, but now there is going to be a great discussion. Where do you pick up the missing 5% that would have won you some of these good Senate seats? Does it appeal to the African- American community and say, "I think Trump might want to consider that." Go into the inner city and say, "You know what? I may have said things, you may have said things, we didn't get along. But I want you to have leverage over your employer. I want you to have a choice of jobs. I gave you an opportunity, and the economy, and I think you are going to take advantage of it."
And I think that's what I am worried. I want you to be powerful, and I think you could say the Latino community, when we close that border and make it legal and meritocratic. Guess what? Your community is going to have AP in the classes. They don't have to have bilingual education. Your kids are not going to be bullied by gang members from Central America and you're going to be in such demand that your wages are going to climb as they went 3% this year.
And then we have that that other missing - I don't know, maybe you know better than I do and that's the proverbial, I don't know who they are, but the cable liberals keep talking about the suburban women that are turned off and we've lost them.
Maybe so, I don't know, when he said Stormy Daniels was horse face; maybe that turns them off, I don't know, but there's 3% to 4% and you don't need it all in one place. You can get 1% here or two, he is very close, but he is going to need a little bit of boost if they have a credible candidate in 2020.
LEVIN: Is it part of the problem maybe in the suburbs, the way that media frame this debate. They don't even frame a debate.
HANSON: No, they don't frame a debate.
LEVIN: Now, the last six month, the President has been called - called Hitler. His administration has been compared to Third Reich. He has been accused of creating internment camps for immigrants, that would actually be FDR, but you know, who's counting? He has been accused of being a racist because he wants to secure the border. He has been accused of being anti- Semitic despite the fact he is the greatest President I would argue for the Jews and the Jewish people in Israel that we've ever had and he has a Jewish daughter and son-in-law and Jewish grandchildren.
He has been called things I've never heard a President called in my life and it gets worse and worse and worse on cable TV, out of the Democratic Party. Could it be that that has some impact on the 2% to 3%?
HANSON: I think it's a lot. When I was saying that he needs an extra 3% and 5%, that's working within a system in which 93% of the press coverage the first hundred days was negative in MSNBC and CNN. So when he gets at the rallies and Trump says, "Look up there, fake news." I don't say he is demagoguing, I say to myself, "Wow, these impressive bylines told us that Anthony Scaramucci was involved with a Russian hedge fund was a lie," or "Donald Trump, Jr. knew of the WikiLeaks throwing an event." Not true. Or that Donald Trump knew this meeting, not true. Or that James Comey was going to come into Congress and refute all of their private - not true.
Then I look at Anderson Cooper, and I think this Cathology that he mentioned or this - remember the religion editor for CNN, he said, "Trump is a piece of ...." We have not seen that before or Michael Hayden or James Clapper calling the President either - in the case of Clapper, a treasonous or Hayden invoking the Third Reich or that Julia Geoff saying that he has radicalized more people all without pushback, so this all came from CNN.
We are not talking about Kathy Griffith with the decapitated head or the jokes about Trump crashing. There's a whole corpus of examples that we don't hear about, but we have privilege if you want to take the effort to learn about it, so when he says, "Look at those people," he has grounds to do that.
LEVIN: And yet, this President has been relatively passive when it comes action on the media. John Adams, Sedition Act. Locked up journalists. Abraham Lincoln's Executive Order. When the New York newspaper prinked printed a fake Presidential proclamation, he ordered his generals to arrest the editors and the journalists and they shut down almost 300 papers. Whatever you think about, that's; what he did. Woodrow Wilson set up a whole intelligence operation against the media and a new Sedition Act of 1918.
You've got FDR going after publishers. You've got Obama going after reporters. Trump has not done any of that.
HANSON: No he has an effect psychologically on the journalists because he conveys the idea that he doesn't have respect for them. He has contempt because they have violated their journalistic ethos. And for them, that's psychology of being rejected by the President. It hurts them more than the actual deeds that we cited.
You remember Obama, he went after the AP reporters. He went after James Rosen at Fox. Remember, he actually said in the campaign trail, you should debate Sean Hannity. I think he said, "You will tear him up." If Trump said that you will tear somebody up, so it's for them, it's something about Trump - his speech, his mannerism, his appearance. It's not just journalists either. He is an affront to their cultural and social sensitivities of what is proper and improper.
LEVIN: Could it be his very existence because he fights back? He calls them out by name? He will go after the media outlet and he will say fake news and this particular organization is the enemy of the people?
HANSON: I think so. I mean, we are accustomed to sources say, an anonymous, an unnamed person said - we know in a lot of those cases that just did not happen. A person writes a creative story and calls it journalism, then they hide behind this facade that we are journalists and we are professionals and we are from a hallowed admirable tradition. It's true, but it is like a chain, the weakest link destroys it. They have not done anything in their generation to honor the people who gave them that tradition. And they are actually traitors to that tradition.
A guy like Jim Acosta, he goes to those press conference with Sarah Sanders and his point is, how can I virtue signal to the people in the room that I am morally superior? How can I find - to make her stutter or make her pause? Or how can I tell my bosses that I am part of the resistance of how can I get the CNN brand out there on the front? It's not to say to the American people, I have got to clarify, I have got to find out what the President of United States wants. That is not the purpose of why he is there.
LEVIN: I want to pursue this further when we return. We'll be right back.
LAUREN GREEN, CORRESPONDENT, FOX NEWS: Live from "America's News Headquarters," I'm Lauren Green. Former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg making a massive $1.8 billion donation to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University. The President of university called the gift transformative, saying it will allow the school to eliminate student loans so that they can commit to bringing in the highest achieving students regardless of their ability to play.
Incumbent Florida Senator Bill Nelson conceding his seat to GOP challenger, Governor Rick Scott. The announcement came just after today's deadline for the manual vote recount, which showed Governor Scott leading by some 10,000 votes. President Trump congratulated Scott on Twitter, saying that he was a great governor and will be an even greater senator.
I am Lauren Green, now back to "Life, Liberty & Levin."
LEVIN: CNN, Jim Acosta bring this lawsuit. They hire Ted Olson who was a former Reagan official. His partner, Ted Boutrous, these are Supreme Court litigators. I read the brief. I think it's preposterous. I mean, let's go through this a little bit.
CNN has multiple reporters at the White House who have these hard passes. Jim Acosta can make a request every day, to go in, he just does not have a hard pass where he can come in willy-nilly. Presidential press conferences started with Woodrow Wilson. Is there anything in the Constitution that compels a President to hold a Presidential press conference? To call on someone from CNN? To call on Jim Acosta? Is there anything that compels any of this?
HANSON: No, there is not. Jim Acosta can't take his shoes off and walk around barefooted either because there are protocols and norms of behavior in every endeavor. I can't get on an airliner and be a stewardess and wear a pro-Obama or pro-Trump hat. They have the right to say in this particular area, there is a protocol. I was a professor for 35 years and if I had hijacked a class the way he hijacks a press conference and just sermonized or pontificated, I would be called up to the dean, and he would say, "You know you have freedom of expression, but not to violate ..."
LEVIN: Do you think a lawyer in the Supreme Court and conducting himself the way Jim Acosta did would be able to just continue to go on and on and on. He'd be thrown out in hell in contempt.
HANSON: He would be held in contempt and thrown out especially if you argued, especially if he got in physical contact with the bailiff or somebody.
LEVIN: Well, what do you make of their argument? But it's vigorous, aggressive freedom of the press, and President doesn't just like him. Does Jim Acosta advance the cause of the press and freedom of the press and information to the American people?
HANSON: No, he does not. I mean, we all give lectures so we go through this. Everybody who gives a lecture -- a teacher, a public speaker knows it, there are eight or nine good questions, the purpose of the question is to elicit information and clarification of a point made and there is always one person or two people who pontificate.
And they say, "Before I ask," and we always say, "Please ask the question," and they will not ask the question. They want to hector you and then finally, you say, "Could somebody please get him off the stage," or "Will somebody make him ask a question." And that's all it is. And he has dressed this up in the First Amendment and that he is kind of a wounded fawn or a martyr to the cause of the resistance, and he is not. He is doing disservice to the colleagues around him who he is monopolizing their time. He is destroying the decorum of the press conference and the irony of course is, there has been no President that's been more transparent than Donald Trump, you yell at him, you scream at him, he'll turn around.
A really well-known journalist said to me once, "I don't think I can vote for him," I said "Why?" He said, "In front of a debate, I just walked up to him. There was no staff. There were no prep books, and I just walked and talked to him, and then he went ..." I thought that was great, but he was saying, there were no barriers, now substations between Trump and the public.
And so Acosta got what he wanted. He got a very transparent and accessible President and yet, he is not acting like a journalist, and he knows it. This is not, just Jim Acosta. Remember, Jim Rutenberg I think from "New York Times" said this an age in which we require partisanship and I think Christiane Amanpour said we can't be neutral. We can be truthful, but we cannot be neutral.
LEVIN: There's a fellow by the name of Matthew Preston and he is a professor and he has written a book that just came out and the subtitle of his book is "Liberal Values But Not Liberal Bias," and I read the book and I am convinced. I am convinced what he said about the '60s and '70s, the media decided then, it's not enough to just report objective fact, that you need to present it in an interpretive form with liberal values. That doesn't mean there isn't liberal - that doesn't mean there is liberal bias.
And yet, we see it all of the time, don't we? Every survey, you just mentioned one, 93% negative on Trump. That is not just Trump, they are negative on conservatives, they are negative on Republicans and they bring some of the most preposterous members of Congress on to their programs and they make those decisions, too, right?
HANSON: It gets down to a fundamental philosophical idea that they feel they are noble ends. I think we agree those ends are sort of a radical egalitarianism requiring any means necessary to achieve them in a way that Republicans and conservatives, their means are more selfish because liberty is not as an exalted virtue as equality.
So the French revolution versus the American Revolution and therefore, they feel we can violate cannons of behavior, we can scratch our nails on the Supreme Court door. What would they have done if they broke into the door? Would they have sworn the Kavanaugh family? We didn't think they can stand up and disrupt and this is all for a noble cause and therefore, justifies it. If the Republican did it, it would be for this - you didn't build that crowd or now is not the time to profit people.
And so, it's been age-old. It's throughout Western Civilization, but I am worried - I think that we now - these force multipliers, social media and the internet, great wealth and it's enrichment.
LEVIN: I'll give you another example of the left, when it comes to the Second Amendment, they will say things like, "Well, you know, the framers of the Second Amendment, didn't know about semiautomatic weapons. They didn't know about sniper rifles. They didn't know about this. They didn't know about that." It's muskets. Therefore, we can regulate whatever we want.
Okay, but let's talk about First Amendment. There was no TV, there was no radio, there was no cable, and there were no satellites. And yet, it's a preposterous argument, isn't it? And yet, when it comes to the Second Amendment, it's an argument that they make. When it comes to the First Amendment, anything goes except what they disagree with, like conservative talk radio and Fox News and they don't like necessarily bloggers on social media. They want to regulate the internet. They want to get rid of conservative talk radio. So they are really not for freedom of the press, are they?
HANSON: No, I think we're seeing something unique in the last, I think the Obama administration encouraged people to come out of the woodwork, and I think we're seeing not just the traditional left wing assault on the Second Amendment. I think they are going after the Fourth and Fifth Amendments and the First Amendment because they don't believe in free speech.
They have this new term called "hate speech," and somebody can arbitrarily determine what you said is either homophobic racist, protectionist, nationalist, et cetera and therefore you can't say it, that is pretty much institutionalized on campus. We have seen with matters of sexual assault or accusations of such, you don't really have due process in a lot of places -- in corporations, the workplace or on campus.
And so I don't believe that - I think they feel that the Bill of Rights, unlike the old ACLU, the new ACLU believes that is an impediment to a progressive future.
LEVIN: Ladies and gentlemen, don't forget, every week, you can see me most week nights on Levin TV, just go to crtv.com/mark, crtv.com/mark or call 844-LEVIN-TV, 844-LEVIN-TV. We'd love to have you in our community over there. We'll be right back.
Professor Hanson, I want to get to this immigration issue, as it relates to this election we just had. You know, I can remember the second term of Reagan, he won massive popular votes. The same with his first term, massive Electoral College victory. In fact, George H.W. Bush won California by a significant amount. California is gone. Other states are gone. Arizona is now purple moving to blue. New Mexico is more blue than it is purple. Colorado is blue. Colorado used to be red. Nevada is blue, it used to be red.
And they are turning other states. You look at Texas. The vote out of Texas was not great. We lost three or four members of Congress, even Abbott who is enormously popular and $100 million wasn't spent against Abbott, he got 55% to 56% of the vote.
At the lower levels, the Republicans got blown out in some of these counties, too. Every major metropolitan area now is blue. You don't have enough rural voters to balance that. Are we in big trouble?
HANSON: I think in the short-term we are because the Democratic Party is a pyramidal, a mediaeval party of very wealthy. All the big fortunes are no longer in mining or farming or gas and oil, they are in high-tech, Silicon Valley, Warren Buffet, the Facebook people, the Google people, the Amazon people and that is the fuel of this and then a professional elite beneath them.
And then we have the impoverished and many of them are recent immigrants, and they work hand in glove and they flip these states that were red and purple into blue, and it is a coalition between I call them suburban elites and very poor people. And it's funny, though, Mark, where I live in California, very poor Fresno - southwest Fresno County, the people who drive the Democratic Party don't want to live with people they count on their votes because they feel that socially, culturally, educationally, whatever - they are not comfortable with them.
So that gives us hope because the Republican Party now is a worker's party, they are entrepreneurial middle class party, and one thing we know about people of that class, they feel familiar with and they like people of different races and different classes.
So it's - a Republican congressman from Ohio is probably going to be more accessible than a Bay Area congressman even though they are very different politics. You shut the border and let the engine of assimilation, integration, intermarriage work and I think in 20 years, this is where I am optimistic long term, very pessimistic like you, short term. We'd have a replication of Italian-American experience where if your name is Cuomo or Giuliani, we can't predict your political affinities.
But short term, we've got to shut the border and we've got to get back to the melting pot and jump this salad bowl.
LEVIN: This issue of assimilation, I find that is where it is different, and that's what worries me 20 or 30 years out. Private institutions don't put assimilation, press one for English, two for Spanish, that sort of thing. We have affirmative action plans in the government. They don't put assimilation. The EEOC, we have it at the state levels, too, but even more than that, we want a Democratic Party that is committed to balkanization. The way their leaders talk, they way they govern, they don't want assimilation because of the very reason you're saying. Because assimilation works against their ideology and throws them out of office.
HANSON: And their ideology I think what you are suggesting is their ideology on its own facts and merits can't get 51% of the electorate so they have to change the electorate. And that means bring in voters that have instant grievances. Pretty crazy when a person from Oaxaca crosses one inch into America and then plugs into the whole affirmative action grievance industry, even though he has never been in America. We've never done anything oppressive to somebody in Oaxaca. That's - and we saw the Elizabeth Warren fiasco or the Ward Churchill and stuff like that, so there are limits to identity politics just because it's getting to the level of DNA badges.
And it is contrary to the whole liberal idea of Martin Luther King, you know, it's all about the color of our skin, and our superficial appearances and the revolution always devours its own. We're in sort of a committee of public safety - ropes here, when you see that hearing, poor old Dianne Feinstein reminded me of a Bourbon King trying to deal with Spartacus.
HANSON: Especially the bourbon part. We'll be right back.
LEVIN: One of the persistent problems is education, academia. It's really 90% to 95% in one direction from an ideological point of view. It seems to me with these colleges and universities, they have like an oligopoly. What do we do about them?
HANSON: Well, it used to be sort of esoteric and that was a problem within the university, but now it is permeated into the society because the entire demography, we are getting these late 20 something that are graduating six or eight years to the extent they do, a lot of them have anthropology or social science degrees. They are not employable. They have this staggering $70,000.00 to $80,000.00 debt. They can't buy a home. They don't get married. They don't have children. That affects the entire country.
And I think the universities are largely to blame. They need to be a truth of advertising. When somebody comes in there saying, "This is how much money you will borrow. This is how much interest you will pay and this is the chance, the likelihood this major will get you a job, and we are just going to be honest with you." They are not even subject to the laws that used car salesman are.
They've got to be very candid about that and then we can't ask the 70% or 65% that don't go to college to subsidize those who do, so we need more trade schools. We need the Federal government probably to get out of it because by guaranteeing those student loans, the university has been jacking up tuition, diversities jars, assistant provost for inclusion, so the rock climbing walls. So they are jacking up the rate of tuition and cost over the rate of inflation.
Get back to an idea that used to be, we teach you two things to be inductive in the way you think and a body of literature, science, math, philosophy so you can be informed, and what your politics were will be your own business. But now, we're turning now an arrogant, indoctrinated cohort and they are ignorant because I am not sure that a BA means that they are any more educated than somebody who is working on a farm in Fresno County.
LEVIN: I think this is one of the keys to the survival of the republic, really. The educational system both at the public school level and at the college and university level. And I think those are great ideas. I also think the states that primarily subsidize these state run colleges and universities, particularly those with Republican governors and legislators, really need to step up. And we hear about diversity all the time, except when it comes to more of a pro-American principles, pro-American founding arguments in these colleges and universities.
You have people who want to speak at these universities, who are shouted down, who are attacked, who have a different viewpoint, it's like the last place of the Soviet Union. These are supposed to be academic freedom and free speech, it's the opposite of that.
HANSON: Well, they believe that the family, the religion, the institution, the corporation, whatever is all bias, so they have you for four or six years, so they can be biased to counteract the larger bias, but the fact is, these institutions that are supposed to be biased, as you know are becoming progressive as well.
It's very hard. I was a Classics Professor. It is very hard to teach Latin and Greek grammar or the history of Western culture or Thucydides or Aristotle versus - let me just tell you about myself and what I had to put up with today and what George W. Bush did to me or what Donald Trump - and that's easy. A lot of the times, we kind of make it too difficult. A lot of these watering down the creek where people who are not educated, they are trained well and they just want to vent and rant and I am getting to the point where I think tenure is really a questionable institution.
LEVIN: When we come back, the big question.
Victor Davis Hanson, the big question. Next five to ten years, country going this way? Or the country going this way?
HANSON: well, I think we're in an 1861 and 1968 moment. So optimistically, you and I hope that America will be the first truly multiracial society in the history of the world that has worked. So we won't look anywhere like the ancestors, it won't matter because we'll be united by a shared ideology, commitment to constitutional government.
If that doesn't happen, and it very easily could not happen if we demagogue the identity politics and other issues, then we're going to go the route of 1861. What could have happened after 1968? But, something like the Balkans or Rwanda or something - and the Austria-Hungary or Ottoman empires were, we identify by our superficial parents first and our loyalty to the common collective investment of America and to keep - to make the right choice, we really have to remember where we came from and we have to claim Jefferson, Lincoln as our own. People that died in Shiloh really do belong to people who came from Oaxaca.
LEVIN: Great pleasure, thank you.
HANSON: Thank you.
LEVIN: You, too. See you next time on "Life, Liberty & Levin."
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