Fellow Talks

Hanson: After Obama

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
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Hoover Institution fellow Victor Davis Hanson discusses the 2016 presidential race and believes it will be the most interesting, controversial contest of our lives. The key  will be to what degree Obama’s charisma is transferrable. In 2008, after his stunning victory, some people said that Obama was the new face of America. Hanson notes that the Republican candidates are more representative of the new face than the Democrats.

Each party has its burdens; for the Republicans it is Donald Trump. People are  frustrated with government debt, lack of enforcement of our immigration laws, the chaos in the Middle East, and the struggling middle class; Trump has given them a voice. Those voters apparently like the broken china shop and appreciate the raging bull’s running amok in it. Politicians and the media are seen as corrupt and hypocritical, and the nihilistic Trump is giving them  both a hard time.

Scorning or ridiculing Trump's hypocrisies, narcissism, and outlandishness won't silence him, much less win over his supporters. That will happen only when voters find a more savvy, more informed, more polite—but equally blunt and unafraid—version of Trump, perhaps Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or Scott Walker, all of whom are more likely to channel conservative anger than crudely amplify it.

Hanson ends on a hopeful note, stating that the United States will continue to grow as we have a far younger population than other countries, which will help us progress in many venues, regardless of who is  president.