Victor Davis Hanson sees a war going on for America. In The Dying Citizen: How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America, he makes his case, and a well-documented, well-written, and disheartening case it is. The ultimate result of this war could be the death of the idea of American citizenship, he says, and it may already be on life support.
It is a paradox that the very people who have benefitted most from American culture and society are the ones waging this war – the elites of business, politics, academia, culture, and the media.
The Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence of Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Distinguished Fellow in History at Hillsdale College, Hanson is a writer, speaker, teacher, Hanson has written or edited 24 books. He’s received numerous award and recognitions, including the National Humanities Medal, the Bradley Prize, the Edmund Burke Award, William F. Buckley Prize, Claremont Institute’s Statesmanship Award, a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, and many others.
He’s an excellent lecturer, and I’m speaking from experience. I took his “Athens and Sparta” online course offered by Hillsdale College. He’s also taught on “The Second World Wars” and “American Citizenship and Its Decline.” The Dying Citizen is paired to this last course.
|Victor Davis Hanson
Hanson develops six key themes to make his case that the idea of citizenship is on life support: the squeezing of the middle class to create a rich-poor society; using undocumented and illegal immigration to diminish the value of citizenship; the push away from the melding of people into Americans and instead emphasizing tribes of origin; the growth of a federal bureaucracy immune from accountability; the ongoing attacks on the Constitution and the idea of a federal republic; and the embrace of globalism by America’s elites.
In an epilogue, Hanson discusses the elections of 2016 and 2020, the impact of Donald Trump, and the emergence of the COIVD-19 pandemic, and how all these events and people reflect and explain the war over the idea of America and citizenship.
Hanson is a conservative. He doesn’t dance around difficult or controversial topics. He states his hypothesis clearly and assembles considerable evidence to support it. And he clearly describes what’s at stake.