The Venerable Victor Davis Hanson on Obama and What He Is Doing to America.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ADDRESSING THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION

Today, An Excellent Spirit read two articles by Victor Davis Hanson that must be read by every American who wants the trajectory of our nation reversed and the nation taken back. To God!

We start by apologizing to Professor Hanson for the “venerable” tag. We were not suggesting that he or his wisdom was old, rather that both have stood the tests to time and “progressive”, leftist opposition from academia, politics and polemics well. Thank you, Professor Hanson. Like your colleague Professor Thomas Sowell, America is in your eternal debt, whether Americans know your name or not. An Excellent Spirit, for our part, will continue to do what we can to bring your wisdom to the public.

STANFORD’S HOOVER INSTITUTE PROFESSOR VICTOR DAVIS HANSON

The first is a scathing article on President Barack Obama. Hanson begins by celebrating the obvious “strengths of Barack Hussein Obama, 38th President of the United States of America: “If only Barack Obama had something to say… After all, we have never had a president who descended the steps of Air Force One with such catlike agility, hands almost as paws lightly bouncing in synchronization with each elfish footstep. Never has a commander in chief so casually, so confidently approached the podium as if he were popping open his own laptop, his jaw almost in Mussolini style thrust out, with eyes fixed three feet above the heads of the audience — all with just the right mixture of self-assurance and canned humility. No wonder that after all that we expect a “four score and seven years ago” that will match the perfect choreography.”

That accomplished, Hanson gets to the meat of Obama: “In short, Obama is the most impressive sophist of his age. In classical rhetoric, when the speaker was about to equivocate, he added an emphatic adjective or parenthetical that he was never more candid and sincere. Sometimes he inserted “on the one hand / on the other hand” to show his awareness of every point of view other than his own. Rhetoricians often projected their own base motives onto others, using straw men like “some will say” or “there are those who…”, as if illiberal enemies were so ubiquitous that there was no mundane need to name them all.  Obama has mastered all that and more.”

THE SOPHIST BARACK OBAMA AND HIS SOPHISTRY

An Excellent Spirit needed to look up “Sophists” and sophistry, so we turned to a dictionary. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sophistry They define sophist and sophistry as follows: Sophist: Philosophy) (often capital) one of the pre-Socratic philosophers who were itinerant professional teachers of oratory and argument and who were prepared to enter into debate on any matter however specious; a person who uses clever or quibbling arguments that are fundamentally unsound Plausible but fallacious argumentation. A plausible but misleading or fallacious argument. An instance of this; sophism”. Sophistry is no less to be applauded: a method of argument that is seemingly plausible though actually invalid and misleading; the art of using such arguments; subtle but unsound or fallacious reasoning; an instance of this; sophism. With that in mind, we return to Professor Hanson’s brilliant analysis of the sophistry of Barack Obama: “Sophists tip their hand in jest — and none better than Barack Obama. Beware when he jokes that he will send the IRS after you, or that Predators will guard his daughters. And be even more vigilant of the preemptory denial. Barack Obama can brag ad nauseam about killing Osama bin Laden, because he first swore that he would never “spike the ball” by referencing the hit.”

To get things done, first-person pronouns breed to show both concern and control where there is often neither: I just appointed my new team that reports to me about my concerns that I share with advisors of mine. In the world of rhetoric, the more “I,” “me,” “my,” and “mine” appear in the abstract, the more we suspect that the over-referenced speaker has been usually absent in the concrete. There is no “us” or “we” or “our” in Washington these days — although lots of “they” and “them,” the existential enemies of “I” and “me.”

Finally, Victor Davis Hanson points out that in Obama language, “Teachable moments are everywhere: yes, it is regrettable about tapping phone records, but the slip at least offers occasion to revisit the shield laws. Yes, the IRS has gone rogue, but just maybe some of these right-wing organizations are not really organizations at all. Yes, Benghazi was full of miscommunications, but that is what happens when David Petraeus’s CIA and Hillary Clinton’s State Department work at cross-purposes.”

The second article is this Jewish World Review piece by the same Victor Davis Hanson today, aptly entitled “The Old Order is Dying”. In it, Professor Hanson reviews the affects and consequences of time and changes in culture, especially when sophistry is factored into the equation: “Ideas of the 1960s have now grown reactionary in our world that is vastly different from a half-century ago. Take well-meaning subsidies for those over age 62. Why are there still senior discounts, vast expansions in Social Security and Medicare, and generous public pensions? Five decades ago all that made sense. There was no such thing as double-dipping. Seniors often were physically worn out from blue-collar jobs. They were usually poorer and frequently sicker than society in general. The aged usually died not long after they retired.”

Hanson opines that the cultural and legal affects of “progressive”, leftists in academia, government, media and religion have swayed our nation to a dangerous precipice: “Even if the 21st-century state could define who is a minority, on what moral grounds does the targeted beneficiary deserve special consideration? Is his disadvantage defined by being poorer, by lingering trauma from his grandparents’ long-ago ordeals, or by yesterday’s experience with routine racial prejudice?

If Latinos are underrepresented at the University of California, Berkeley, is it because of the stubborn institutional prejudices that also somehow have been trumped by Asian-Americans enrolling at three times their numbers in the state’s general population? Are women so oppressed by men that they graduate from college in higher numbers than their chauvinist male counterparts?”

Next Hanson takes on the terrible lot of today’s students, loaded with student loan debt and finding no jobs upon graduation. “Consider also the calcified assumptions about college education. The expanding 1960s campus was touted as the future gateway to a smarter, fairer, richer and more ethical America. Is that dream still valid? Today, the college-educated owe a collective $1 trillion in unpaid student loans. Millions of recent graduates cannot find jobs that offer much chance of paying off their crushing student debts. College itself has become a sort of five- to six-year lifestyle choice. Debt, joblessness or occasional part-time employment and coursework eat up a youth’s 20s — in a way that military service or vocational training does not.”

So we have covered the seniors and the young. What is left? Why, thank you for asking! It is the government and the “progressive” mind-set that permeates our national discourse, if you pay attention to the media (lamestream, as we call it) and those who testify before Congress or go to the White House to be wined, dined and influenced. “Scan the government grandees caught up in the current administration’s ballooning IRS, Associated Press and Benghazi scandals. In each case, a blue-chip Ivy League degree was no guarantee that our best and brightest technocrats would prove transparent or act honorably. What difference did it make that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, President Barack Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice had degrees from prestigious universities when they misled the American people or Congress? The now-aging idealists of the 1960s long ago promised us that a uniformly degreed citizenry — shepherded by Ivy League-branded technocrats — would make America better by sorting us out by differences in age, gender, education and race. It is now past time to end that ossified dream before it becomes our collective nightmare.”

There you have it, America. What we have wrought by our inattention to elections and by leaving our decisions to a few media creations and “progressive” sophists is now threatening nightmarish futures for our children and grandchildren, if we can survive terror and nuclear Iran and the Arab Spring. What is to be done?  If you listen to Victor Davis Hanson and Thomas Sowell and others of their “ilk”, the truth would be requisite. Unfortunately for America, the man in the White House and those he has appointed to his administration do not hold the truth in high esteem.

What is desperately needed is for all Americans to pay close attention. After that is prayer, hearing God Almighty speak to us and then, obeying God! It is time to become informed; to pray and hear; to obey: Stand up! Speak out! Get involved and stay involved! Teach our children by showing our children that our values, like our freedoms, come from our God! If we do not defend what is right, there will be no one righteous in God’s eyes and our nation will cease to exist. That is what the sophists want! That is what the people who hate America, God and the people want! That is what we, the people of the United States must defend. Every day for the rest of our lives! Stay tuned. There will be more. For now, we are indebted to Victor Davis Hanson, once again. Pray for America! Pray God bless America!

Update on Youth Voters

In the last three general elections – 2004, 2006, and 2008 — young voters have given the Democratic Party a majority of their votes, and for all three cycles they have been the party’s most supportive age group. In 2008, 66% of those under age 30 voted for Barack Obama making the disparity between young voters and other age groups larger than in any presidential election since exit polling began in 1972, according to Pew.  The President received a whopping 66% of the youth vote and, in 2008, more youth turned out to vote than ever before. “(T)he exit polls indicate that mobilization efforts aimed at young people may have paid off. Voters ages 18-29 turned out at a higher rate in 2008 than in 2004 in several battleground states. Young voters increased their share of the total electorate by five points in Indiana, four points in North Carolina and Virginia — all of which experienced sizeable increases in overall voter turnout — and by lesser amounts in six other key states.”

An Excellent Spirit has closely followed the youth vote in this Election. We have numerous posts on their deficits in education, jobs, debt and more. Here. Our Chief Operating Officer and Editor, Blake Sanders has contributed his generation’s perspective. We expect more to come. Brietbart has this piece on President Obama’s failure to connect with huge numbers of young voters this time around. “According to the Harvard Institute of Politics, Americans aged 18-29 favor President Obama by a 31 point margin. The same study, however, suggests that young people who like Mitt Romney in the 2012 election will show up to the polls in far greater percentages than those who like Obama. Romney voters who will “definitely vote” in this election cycle outnumber such Obama voters by a ten percent margin. No wonder young people aren’t showing up to vote for President Obama. Their chances of finding employment under the Obama economy are extraordinarily low. Why bother showing up to back a candidate who wants to prolong that agony for another four years?” Read the whole thing. 

Youth voters are not only turned off and much less likely to vote at all in 2012, but this poll shows that a surprising number plan to vote for Mitt Romney. “Obama, now more than ever, can’t sit comfortably. Mitt Romney now holds 40% of the youth vote in America — a cause for alarm for the Democratic incumbent, and a milestone for his Republican opponent. What accounts for this sudden shift, and how can Obama recapture his former popularity? John Zogby of JZ Analytics reports that more citizens between the ages of 18-29 are favoring the conservative podium. He proclaims that these “CENGAS” (“college-educated, not going anywhere” folks) are noteworthy voters in the 2012 Election. The frustration of 1.5 million unemployed B.A. graduates is rising, pushing them away from Obama and towards Romney. Four years ago, the situation was reversed. Obama’s 2008 campaign will be remembered not just because of his skin color, but also because of his massive appeal to young adults. The Hope posters, the “Change We Can Believe In” slogan, the endorsements by Hollywood icons like will.i.am — all contributed to Obama’s tenacity. More than half of Americans under 29 (66%) picked Obama over John McCain. But it’s been four years. Obama’s historic campaign is becoming just that: history.”

As An Excellent Spirit’s youthful Mr. Sanders has told us, the problem is not the youth, it is the politicians. “Obama’s biggest problem is our generation’s disillusionment.” When Shepard Fairey designed the Obama posters, he, like thousands of young adults, thought that change would come. Come quickly, that is.” The change that came was change for the worse and the youth are responding to what they are experiencing, not rhetoric. Stay tuned. 

 

The War on America’s Youth

An Excellent Spirit has many reports on our youth and what they face. Michael Barone, writing in The Washington Examiner has this piece today on President Obama’s policies making “war on the young”.  “In 2008, voters under 30 preferred Barack Obama over John McCain by a 66 to 32 percent margin. Among older voters, Obama led McCain by 50 to 49 percent. How has Obama paid back the Millennial generation, which provided almost all his margin of victory? With what American Interest superblogger Walter Russell Mead calls “Obama’s war on the young.” Mead is not a Tea Party follower. He is a history professor at Bard College and an expert on American foreign policy. He voted for Obama in 2008, and he’s not wild about Mitt Romney this year. Nevertheless, Barone says, “Obama’s policies, from Obamacare to high-speed rail, treat people as identical cogs in a very large machine, part of a mindless mass who would not be able to get along without government guidance. In the information age, these industrial-age policies have prevented the vibrant economic growth, which gives young people the opportunity to find work and community service that maximizes their own special talents and interests — to shape their own world and choose their own future.”

An Excellent Spirit previously linked to this American Thinker article about the loss of faith by our youth. “Before our very eyes, a generation of Americans is losing faith in the American dream and adopting attitudes and behaviors that emphasize living for the day, not planning to take care of their own futures.  They clearly see the problems ahead and draw rational conclusions. Most of our problems have been caused by government.  The unintended consequences of poorly thought out legislation or legislation designed merely to garner votes for re-election is wreaking havoc on economic opportunity for our country. Read it all.

America must once again become a beacon of hope and pride to our youth and the youth of the world. To do that we must reclaim our educational standards and the American values of trust and belief in our youth. Our youth are our future! They are God’s gifts to a world seemingly ablaze with ideology and fanaticism. Those of “us” who are older destined to soon pass into history. Our youth will make history! Watch this wonderful video of Delirious? “History Maker” here. If you are young or the parent or grandparent of a youth you need to read all of these posts and articles before you vote!