The Corner

The King Is Dead; Long Live the King!

One dilemma for Obama is that his campaign was especially apocalyptic about America: Bush ruined everything. But not long after his tenure begins, he ’s going to have to suddenly assure Americans that things really aren’t all that bad: there really is progress and quiet in Iraq; until we get universal health care, there are really many ways we are currently providing it; Gitmo has a lot of complexities that mean its instant shut-down is difficult; the problem in Afghanistan is not necessarily that we took our eye off it and so can’t be remedied with simple infusions of troops, FISA and the Patriot Act had some utility; public campaign financing has some merit; we may have to hold off on the civilian security force as large as the Pentagon; coal and nuclear power, and drilling have some temporary advantages; our former lobbyists we appoint can’t be demonized simply because they were once lobbyists; greenhouse gas emissions may be curbed after the recession, not during it; anti-Americanism abroad has deep roots and involves envy and resentment at least at some level.

It all reminds me of the farmers’ market shopper in the 1980s who used to berate me at our stall for all the horrible things we farmers did–until one day she lamented that she and her husband had recently bought a small patch of ground of their own, and suddenly the government, the regulations, insurance, taxes, labor, even the weather were all out to get her.

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

World

On Trade, No One Is Waiting for Washington

President Donald Trump’s flips and flops on trade are now as ubiquitous as his 5:00 a.m. tweets. Many predicted that trade-expansion efforts would come to a standstill and world commerce would suffer amidst all the uncertainty. Instead, the precise opposite has happened. In the last few months, it’s become ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Trump’s Syria Quandary

President Trump raised eyebrows recently when he ended a tweet lauding the airstrikes he’d ordered against chemical-weapons facilities in Syria with the words “mission accomplished.” The phrase, of course, became infamous in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, when President Bush used it in a speech ... Read More
U.S.

Confirm Pompeo

What on earth are the Democrats doing? President Trump has nominated CIA director Mike Pompeo, eminently qualified by any reasonable standard, to be America’s 70th secretary of state. And yet the Senate Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer, have perverted the advice and consent clause of the Constitution into a ... Read More
PC Culture

People Are Losing Their Minds Over Starbucks

We can all easily imagine circumstances in which a manager of a coffee shop or restaurant might properly call the police to ask them to remove loiterers. These are places of business. There’s nothing wrong in principle with calling the cops on non-customers who are taking up space. And there’s nothing wrong ... Read More
PC Culture

The Dark Side of the Starbucks Stand-Down

By now the story is all over America. Earlier this month, two black men entered a Starbucks store in Philadelphia. They were apparently waiting for a friend before ordering — the kind of thing people do every day — and one of the men asked to use the restroom. A Starbucks employee refused, saying the restroom ... Read More