The Corner

Everything in Flux

Amid the Republican doom and gloom, there are lots of factors on the near horizon that could make 2014—and 2016—very winnable years. For all the Obama talk of high taxes, we have not yet had higher taxes. Those that are proposed, along with an envisioned loss of deductions down the road, will fall inordinately on the upper-middle class, perhaps a majority of it blue-state. It is one thing to talk loudly about the “Bush tax cuts,” quite another to pay thousands of dollars more per year, without any real commensurate belt-tightening that might make such higher taxes bearable in the sense that they are part of a shared national effort to reduce the debt. So far Obama’s proposals seem like ways merely to service rather than reduce the expanding debt. Obama has tried to paint the fiscal-cliff battle as a war of the 1 percent against the 99 percent; more likely in the next few years it will be the 53 percent who pay federal income taxes and receive fewer entitlements versus the 47 percent who don’t and receive more—a question quite apart from taxing the very rich and helping the very poor.

Obamacare is finally almost here. Prices will go up, coverage ranges will be curtailed, and there will be a great leveling effect as those who budgeted or who carefully planned for their health care must give back some for the greater collective good—something they were told would not happen. People react to sudden changes in the conditions of their doctor visits as they do to spiked prices at the gas pump—ballistically.

Obama’s election did not heal divisions, but exacerbated them. The recent abjectly racist comments of Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Joseph Lowery, and Rob Parker are symbolic of a new racialism, in which we obsess over differences rather than transcend them.

Everyone is searching for answers to curb these horrific mass murders, but rather than take a holistic approach of reexamining high-capicity magazines, treatment of mental health, or gratuitous cruelty and barbarity in videos and movies, we hear crazy things like “executive orders,” “confiscations,” and “shaming the NRA,” as if there is not a Second Amendment at all and we are French Revolutionaries who expect yelling to result in instant law.

In short, lots of things are in flux — without even mentioning the anemic economy or the abject failure of reset foreign policy.

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More