Leftwing Hysteria and the
Art of the Psychodrama.
Parts Seven & Eight
By: Victor Davis Hanson
December 14 & 16, 2022
Soon the affluent woke went even further in their hubris.
More statues were toppled, more names changed, and more dangerous laws passed. Somehow in the mass madness of iconoclasm, even the statues of Cervantes and Frederick Douglas were to be desecrated, along with monuments along Washington’s National Mall. The common denominator apparently was an ignorant but envious present warring against the greater minds and moralists of the past.
One day I walked to my office on Junipero Serra Mall, and the next week I discovered the name had been Trostkyized—apparently on the charge that Serra was a Spanish interloper who had used corporal punishment in his misguided effort of converting souls and teaching agriculture to indigenous Native Americans. Stanford students in BMWs and Audis had gained the moral authority to condemn a Franciscan priest who walked the length of California, creating the mission system, introducing arboriculture and viticulture, and trying to inculcate Christianly—“sins” of some 250 years ago.
When one cannot address why or how 10,000 African Americans were murdered in 2021, then one apparently erases Junipero Serra’s name (but, of course, not from an iconic Palo Alto boulevard and cherished addresses, but only from a minor cul de sac).
Even television commercials went hyper-woke—as if the presence of African Americans in 50 percent of all televised advertisements rather than the old 15-20 percent would result in racial ecumenicalism and less violence on the street.
Corporations went hyper-sanctimonious, each vying to out-virtue-signal the other. CEOs fought for market share of wokeness, as Disney, Delta, and United battled for the greatest virtuous headlines. Racial quotas for pilot training were announced (so much for the naivete that affirmative-action racialism would not extend to airline pilots and nuclear plant operators). The MLB All-Star Game was removed from Georgia, given the state had asked Americans to present an ID to vote in the manner they routinely cashed a check.
Previous race mongers like Ibram X. Kendi suddenly were re-enriched, charging $20,000 and up for a brief Zoom lecture to guilty white audiences. The Obamas on spec remerged more frequently from their various mansions, exhausted from their occasional multimillion-dollar Netflix consulting gigs, but not so tired as to miss out on lecturing Americans on their racism and shortcomings.
Oprah and Megan Markle reappeared, trading stories of oppression from their dueling Montecito mansions. Lebron James put on his Malcolm X glasses, photo-opping reading about oppression, and boldly and bravely stood for the National Anthem while getting rich from the Chinese. Colin Kaepernick became wealthy too by slandering public patriotism—and by hocking his trendy anti-American image to sneaker salesmen profiting off incarcerated slave-worker populations in China. One communist’s slave worker is another wokester’s profit-maker.
In the Floyd conundrum, Joy Reid went from an embittered racialist who had dabbled in homophobic rants, to an unrestrained racist spouting hate on her evening broadcast, as MSNBC tripled its doses of nightly racial inflammation.
Language itself changed as black was to be permanently capitalized as Black. Would that one-letter change increase inner-city test scores or reduce the crime rate? Or was it instead designed for the guilt-ridden white elite to add another virtue-signaling tool in their ample chest of ways to neglect addressing inner-city carnage?
What did emerge post-Floyd instead was a radical spike in the old knock-out game, the smash-and-grab game, the toss-him-into-the-subway game, the smack-the-Jew and stomp-the-Asian game, the carjacking game, and the follow-the-shopper-to-his-home-and-rob-him game.
Leftwing district attorneys in urban counties and big cities seized the never-let-a-crisis-go-to-waste moment. They began administratively ignoring the law.
ü Violent criminals were not arrested.
ü The few arrested were not charged.
ü The fewer charged were not tried.
ü The fewest tried were not convicted.
ü The rarely convicted were not incarcerated, and
ü those prior incarcerated were now released.
What followed were hawks preying on us, the turkeys.
Statistically, blacks disproportionally doubled their numbers in the general population as hate-crime perpetrators. And on and on it went, the Left manipulating the Floyd death as the long-awaited crisis that surely was never going to go to waste. The toll of violence on the inner city was ignored by the caring Left. Was it the necessary collateral damage for the greater good of transforming the nation’s laws and jurisprudence into something like the visions of George Soros?
Critical race theory was enshrined on the principle that laws were created by old, slave-owning white relics of the past who never were forced to steal a loaf of bread and so made laws against stealing a loaf of bread. But sneakers, iPhones, computers, and TVs were looted—never bread.
The third psychodramatic day that rendered great dividends was the buffoonish January 6th riot at the Capitol. Somehow the Left turned a few hundred out-of-control idiots, some replete with cow horns, painted faces, and sloganeering signs into a cabal of sophisticated revolutionaries seeking to storm the Capitol, hold it, and prompt a coup d’état. Or so the shrill narratives soon went. But unarmed, middle-aged angry voters with potbellies and sore joints did not a revolution make or even a two-bit pseudo-insurrection.
In this case, it is hard to write about any of that day’s ridiculous protests, given the January 6th House committee charged with finding out the truth was stocked with Trump haters, and exclusionary of any Republican member who had not voted for impeachment or who would not shortly be out of office. It could be deconstructed as a leftwing ploy to manipulate embittered and soon-to-be out-of-office Liz Cheney into a willing useful idiot to veneer an otherwise patently McCarthyesque effort to smear half the country as insurrectionists.
The New York Times resident January 6th expert and Trump-obsessed Matthew Rosenberg, in an Operation Veritas ambush interview, inadvertently revealed that he and other leftists on site privately found the protest more a carnival than an insurrection. Indeed, he giddily pointed out that he recognized scores of FBI informants amid the crowd. When later asked about leaks that substantiated these allegations, FBI Director Christopher Wray refused to say anything about their presence to his Senate overseers.
Yet the leftist on the scene Rosenberg put it a bit more candidly:
“It was like, me and two other colleagues who were there outside and we were just having fun! [Jan. 6] was not a big deal as they [the media] are making it, because they were making too big a deal. They were making this an organized thing that it wasn’t. I know I’m supposed to be traumatized, but like, all these colleagues who were in the [Capitol] building and are like ‘Oh my God it was so scary!’—I’m like, ‘f*** off! … dude come on, you were not in any danger’… There were a ton of FBI informants among the people who attacked the Capitol.”
Most of what the media told us was again a half-lie or absolutely untrue.
Capitol Police officer Sicknick was not killed by protestors. He tragically died of natural causes a day later. No one died violently at the hands of others—other than protestors. There were no firearms found on the intruders inside the Capitol.
Protestor Ashli Babbitt was unarmed when lethally shot for the crime of illegally entering the Capitol through a broken window. Her Capitol Police shooter’s identity was hidden for months, despite his previous record of firearm laxity.
Eventually, the media assured that the black officer’s reckless shooting of an unarmed, petite woman, without an arrest record, but with 14 years of meritorious military service, for a misdemeanor or minor felony (of “illegally parading” in the Capitol?) was not comparable with the repeated felon George Floyd’s death at the hands of a reckless white officer after committing a felony and resisting arrest.
Some 120 days of deadly rioting in 2020 were ignored by the Left, as one day of rioting at the Capitol resulted in the greatest militarization of Washington, D.C. since the Civil War.
Nancy Pelosi and the Pentagon called out thousands of federal troops and ringed the city with barricades and barbed wire—despite the reality that not a single follow-up riot, in 2020 fashion, ever ensued.
The idea was to make January 6th into a permanent threat to the leftwing government, requiring near-permanent aggrandizement of power against a fabricated threat from fellow Americans.
For the next two years, January 6th became the obsession of Never-Trump Republicans and the tool by which Joe Biden could indict half the nation as election deniers, semi-fascists, and un-Americans.
Civil libertarians gleefully ignored that hundreds of either innocents or those likely guilty of misdemeanors were detained without indictments, but subject to harsh treatment in pay-back Washington, D.C. jails.
In near blasphemous terms, the Left quickly enshrined January 6th as a greater threat to America than was 9/11, a day on which nearly 3,000 souls perished from the greatest attack on the American homeland in our history. Somehow, we were told to believe that fools thrashing about and some trashing the Capitol (but not torching a federal courthouse or police precinct or iconic church) was a greater danger than Osama Bin Laden’s legions of terrorist killers.
Pause for a second and consider. What do all these radical changes in American life of the last three years share in common other than they were triggered by single incidents:
ü an entire change in the very manner in which hundreds of millions of Americans vote,
ü landmark deliberate destruction of a booming U.S. economy,
ü the first entire lockdown of the U.S. population under veritable martial law in some jurisdictions,
ü a complete transformation of the criminal justice system in major American cities,
ü a radical alteration in college admissions,
ü a revolution in American advertising, sports, and entertainment,
ü a new tribalism that makes race essential to who we are,
ü the militarization of the nation’s capital,
ü a federal raid on an ex-president’s home,
ü the jailing of any who resisted a congressional subpoena to testify to Congress, and
ü FBI arrests of political enemies ambush-style?
The answer, three days:
ü a COVID-19 panic-driven decision to lock down the U.S.,
ü a national hysteria following the death of George Floyd, and
ü mass madness following January 6th.
And what do these three days in turn share? They were crisis fodder that the Left saw as gifts that ensured permanent changes in American life otherwise impossible without such pretexts.