Are Progressives “Neo-Confederates”?

Victor Davis Hanson’s laughable piece at The New Criterion is the gift that keeps on giving, at least if you need a muse.

His conclusion is particularly noteworthy for its ahistorical tone:

“Or, to put it another way in an ironic fashion, the obdurate blue-state North is reminiscent of the mulish Old South, while the red-state new South is beginning to resemble the dynamic old North.”

This is right out of Charles Sumner’s playbook. Make American New England again. I cover this in Radical Republicans, a class you should not only want, it’s one you need.

I wouldn’t call the old North “dynamic”, unless you like black codes, Jim Crow laws, child labor, dirty air, filthy cities, moral self-righteousness, and hypocrisy.

Hanson could not be bothered to explain how Jim Crow laws and black codes were invented in the North prior to the War. Nope. Those things are Southern.

Hanson spends the previous several paragraphs explaining why the Old South and modern Silicon Valley are attached at birth.

I’ll summarize so you don’t have to read it: racism, oligarchy, treason, power.

Hanson suggests that modern progressives want to secede because they fear the current majority in America.

Then for the next several paragraphs he explains how conservatives are not the majority in America.

You read that right. Progressives want nullification and secession because they believe the popular will, i.e. majoritarian democracy, is being thwarted by a powerful minority which Hanson calls the majority.

He spends so little time discussing nullification that you would think he doesn’t really know much about it, though he does know he’s against it. Why? Slavery.

Same for secession, though he throws in some block quotes to show that these lunatic progressives want a peaceful separation of the United States if we can’t just get along. Of course, this is all about slavery, too. He is afraid of being enslaved by blue-haired wokies from his home State.

I guess Hanson prefers Biden’s bellicose rhetoric that Trump supporters should be carpet bombed.

It would fit. I’m sure Hanson would be the first to cheer-lead the resurrection of William T. Sherman. The only good secessionist is a dead secessionist, even if they wave the MAGA flag.

At one point, Hanson blasts the Old South for opposing protective tariffs and federally funded internal improvements. Why? Slavery.

It’s almost as if Hanson isn’t really that conservative. He exemplifies R.L. Dabney’s critique of American conservatives when he wrote that American conservatism is simply the crusade to preserve the discarded opinions of the left.

Hanson would have been a leftist in 1860, meaning the only thing he is trying to “conserve” is the washed up radicalism of Sumner, Thad Stevens, Winter Davis, and John Bingham.

As Davis repeatedly argued in 1863, his opponents–the Peace Democrats or Copperheads–were the “conservatives” while he was insisting on the preservation of the Constitution the way the Republicans decided to interpret it.

That sounds more like the modern progressive left than John C. Calhoun. Or maybe it just sounds more like Victor Davis Hanson.

Either way, neither are conservative.

I continue my discussion of Hanson’s piece on episode 696 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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