Extreme Burdens on the Middle Class in America
Report by Betty Sakai
Welcoming Dr. Hanson’s return from May 2011, a Forum audience of over four hundred listened as this powerful advocate for the Conservative point of view detailed the current administration’s targeting of the American Middle Class.
Speaking with the authority of a long list of achievements, including the Martin and Lillie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution focusing on Classics and Military History, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, CA (1992-93), a visiting Professor of Classics at Stanford University (1991-92), the annual Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Visiting Fellow in History at Hillsdale College (2004-), the Visiting Shifron Professor of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy (2002-03), the William Simon Visiting Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University (2010), recipient of numerous teaching and journalism awards including the National Humanities Medal (2007) and the Bradley Prize (2008), author of some 250 articles, book reviews, and newspaper editorials on Greek, agrarian, and military history, essays on contemporary culture, writing or editing 23 books focusing on military history and Greek history, as well as 2 books on family farming, Dr. Hanson is a syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services, a weekly columnist for the National Review Online and PJ media, and his column appears periodically in the San Jose Mercury News.
Pointing out the failures of Modern Liberals – Obama’s unfulfilled promises after five (5) years in office, with only one (1) month when unemployment was less than 7%, an additional nine (9) trillion dollars added to the national debt, raising taxes, a unprecedented culture of class and racial division, one unresolved scandal after another -- Fast and Furious, IRS, NSA, Benghazi – Dr. Hanson jarred his audience when he added, even considering all these things, it is uncertain that Republicans will do as well as they think in 2016. Republicans are not appealing to the Middle Class.
Frequently punctuating his talking points with the question, “How illiberal is that?” Dr. Hanson questioned the ungenerous and mean ways Modern Liberal Elites and their extremely wealthy financial supporters cut off the Middle Class from power and their civil liberties. His presentation focused on what Republicans can do to avoid being type-cast, demagogued, drawn into allegations of class warfare by Modern Liberal Democrats making statements like “You didn’t build that business, ” “You’re a fat cat, ” “You don’t deserve what you have.”
Illegal immigration helps only the rich and the Democrat Party. To support this, Hanson pointed to the fact that the Middle Class cannot afford to hire nannies, gardeners, housecleaners, and cooks. And only 20% of illegals from Mexico work in agri-business. Middle Class job seekers seeking entry level positions have been sold out by Modern Liberal Democrats and wealthy elites (often the 2nd and 3rd generation upper class). The Democrat Party views illegals as a way to assure themselves of a collective voting-block.
Hanson said members of both parties must stop selling out the interests of the legal, documented worker as a matter of the rule of law. No state can exist long when the rule of law breaks down. Legal immigration needs to be fair to those waiting in line to come into the United States from all over the world. There needs to be diversity from all over the world, not just from Latin America. Immigration should be based upon what the applicant can do for the United States, a decision blind to race, religion, and culture. Any immigrant – legal or illegal-- should be sent back to their country of origin if they are dependent on welfare or commit a crime (including DUIs).
The single factor that has forced wages down in the American Southwest is the presence of 11 to 15 million undocumented illegals. Adding that there is an element of racism in the open borders concept, Dr. Hanson noted that La Raza is a word that was created in 1936 from a fascist concept of race. La Raza is a form of racism promoted by those who point to our historical ties to Mexico. Once when Dr. Hanson debated at the Mexican Consulate, the Mexican representative said he would object if other nationalities entered the United States. Asked if the U.S. southwest belongs to Mexico, the representative answered, “Yes”. Dr. Hanson thought it interesting that the people who leave Mexico because they don’t like what Mexico is doing to them would want to make the American Southwest into Mexico.
In the Age of Obama, Hanson said, what used to be surreal is now a matter of fact. One example: When Dr. Hanson was asked to speak on immigration in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi had one of her operatives in the room, a Latino man. The man got up and accused Dr. Hanson of being a Classicist and then asked why anyone would listen to anyone who is for ‘class warfare’….
Asked by someone in the Forum audience whether he trusts electronic voting machines, Dr. Hanson answered, “Just like everyone else, before Obama I did.”
Obama once stated that under his leadership the United States has produced high levels of natural gas and oil. Dr. Hanson said, “Shame on you”! American business has done it in spite of you, Obama. The Middle Class continues to suffer by paying more for gas at the pump. California has the highest gas and power bills in the nation despite production in Southern California. Middle Class families in Southern California cannot afford to pay $700 to $800 each month for power. During the six (6) to eight (8) weeks of 109 degree summer heat, entire families can be seen in Walmart trying to stay cool.
Obama Care jacks up premiums and deductibles and hits the poorest twenty-six (26) to thirty (30) year-olds hardest. The youth are not expected to use medical services very much but they are expected to pay for insurance, a form of transferring their money to those who will use the medical services more, and to cohorts who have more money than they have. Dr. Hanson said, our youth are absolutely being destroyed by the Obama administration.
On higher education, Dr. Hanson said one trillion dollars has been imposed on families by the university and college system that has for the last twenty-five (25) years increased tuition higher than the rate of inflation. The administrative class has increased 212% over the last thirty (30) years while forty-eight percent (48%) of the classes are taught by part-time teachers who receive no benefits. When he was teaching, most of Dr. Hanson’s students were Mexican-American and some were illegals.
After twenty-one (21) years in the university system, Dr. Hanson abruptly quit. His advisor told him he must stay for one or two years to give them a chance to spike his yearly retirement above $18,000. He declined stating that $18,000 is more than he ever received from farming. But not all SEIU employees have access to this formula. More ominously, California has a huge unfunded liability of increasing debt.
Many freshmen entering the 22 California UC campuses – the largest university system in the world – are not qualified because they cannot read or write at a college level. It one time, there were 30% in remedial classes. Today that number is 55%. But it is not legal to talk about this, about remediation. All the university talks about is needing more money.
College costs increase and parents get conned into borrowing money for tuition and paying seven (7) or eight (8) percent interest -- double the rate they pay on their home mortgage to send their child to a college or university. At these institutions of higher learning, they will be taught by very caring, Liberal and Progressive Professors who will graduate very Liberal and Progressive students who have not been taught to think, who may not even find a job. The youth unemployment rate today is high.
On the issue of diversity, Democrats insist there must be diversity, but this is superficial. Hanson asked, does anyone believe the people who run Google or Apple or Facebook who talk so much about immigration and open borders send their children to public schools? The rich remove themselves from the public sphere. Al Gore made a career out of damning fossil fuels. He owned a failed cable news station and sold this station to a Middle-Eastern monarch who wanted a stage to sell Islam. Gore got paid in petro dollars. When Hillary Clinton runs for President, we will be told that Bill Clinton is the greatest feminist of our times. We will also be told that John Kerry is part of the working class.
The Republican Party must realize who the Modern Liberals are. The Democrats of today are not the party of Harry Truman. They are Modern Liberals, very wealthy people who feel bad about being wealthy but not bad enough to stop being more wealthy, who feel the poor have the charm and romance the Middle Class lacks. They still want to live in Malibu. They champion causes like Medieval Rome and support them financially as long as they are exempted from the affects.
Anything is possible with Obama. He scans the political horizon and likes the very, very wealthy, the type of people who make two (2) or three (3) million dollars a year. He likes them because they have nice handbags. They have good taste. They go to Harvard. To gather funds, Obama hopscotched the west coast by Presidential jet. In California he stopped at one mega-rich home after another giving passionate talks about unfairness. The mega-rich responded by giving him bundles of money. Facts: There is not a public union (SEIU) in Malibu Gardens. And Acorn is not breaking down the doors at Apple. The truth is that Obama sees nothing good about the Middle Class. He will tax them in any way he can. He has nothing but contempt for those who work for a living. He feels they do really grubby things like buy mobile homes and campers. They buy jets. Their kids go to San Francisco State instead of Stanford. They don’t have the romance of the poor. They are not appealing in the abstract.
On the National Debt, Obama has increased our nation’s debt (9) trillion dollars. It will soon be seventeen (17) trillion dollars. We are paying today the same level of interest as we did in 1994 under Bill Clinton. When the amount of interest goes up in consideration of the total owed, interest payments will quadruple.
What the Federal Reserve is doing isn’t helping the Middle Class. Having banks pay only one percent (1%) passbook saving interest for those saving toward their retirement is very illiberal. A three (3) or four (4) percent interest on savings would help those not working for government grow their retirement accounts. Today, state employees fare much better as their retirement is managed collectively.
On gun control, Dr. Hanson said that he lives in a rather violent area in rural Fresno County. In his sixty (60) years, he has never been threatened by anyone who has a legal weapon. He has had problems with people who have illegal weapons. But Modern Liberal Democrats want only the politicians and the very rich to have access to protection. They believe that guns are not good for citizens who want to legally own guns, to hunt, to protect their family in an increasingly unsafe society. Along California’s Highway 1 there are many forty (40) million dollar estates that have security details that drive classy SUVs and Volvos. For Democrats, gun control is a populist belief. When Republicans fail to oppose gun control, they look like deer in headlights. Republicans have never put out that politicians and the very wealthy outsource their security – security that has very lethal weapons. In the convoluted mind of the Modern Liberal, the 2nd Amendment is the perfect example -- the epitome -- of the law-breaking citizen.
Republican leadership places much emphasis on the selection of “sober and judicious” candidates. Dr. Hanson recommended that whenever this is heard, one should “Run like Hell”. There is a seething anger in 55% of the people in this country. One should never worry about having a sober position. More than just educating yourself, one should have the courage to speak out.
Although the Tea party gets under the skin of the Republican establishment, if it were not for the Tea Party, the Republicans would not have the House of Representatives, and the national debt would be much larger because of the House’s audits of the Obama administration. About John McCain, Dr. Hanson said he liked Mc Cain but as soon as he was nominated, the media made him out to be a wealthy man. Mc Cain failed to put across the Conservative argument. About Mitt Romney, Hanson said he is an honest man and had he been elected, the United States would be on the road to solvency. There would not have been any IRS targeting of Democrats, no Fast and Furious, no Benghazi or at least not one left unaccounted for. Romney was simply not a good candidate. He failed to put across the Conservative argument. The media -- employing class warfare -- made Romney out to be a rich man who is out of touch with the working class. The people around him did not understand what he was up against. One example: Obama’s campaign had a garbage man complain that Romney never comes out to have coffee with him…but Obama does all the time. FACT: The elites are not interested in improving the working class. They believe in class warfare.
Considering the Middle Class Latinos who work at skilled jobs on farms in the California Delta – irrigators, land rippers, sophisticated equipment operators, towns-people – all are losing their jobs because of the decisions made by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer who backed the pipe dreams of the elite class who care less about the working people in the valley. Over 20 million acre feet of water has flowed out to the Pacific Ocean in the last five (5) years to save a three-inch bait fish dying from too much nitrogen in the water. Farming died. No research has been pursued about the effect of nitrogen from other sources such as from the sewage produced by the twenty (20) municipal sewage districts in the Bay Area.
The Middle Class is not being represented by Democrats. Middle Class people need cheap energy, the preservation of the right to bare arms, to not have to worry about the effect illegals have on our laws, crime, and on our tax-funded public schools.
Addressing the question of how we prevent twelve (12) million undocumented from gaining amnesty, Dr. Hanson clarified the fact that 40% of California are Latino. The Latinos he knows are not necessarily for illegal immigration because they are tax-payers. They complain about foreigners receiving free treatment. We need to close our southern border, he said. Send home those who have broken the law, who have never worked. Only then can we have a discussion about multicultural diversity and legal immigration.
Asked if it makes any difference at all when one contacts their Liberal legislator, Dr. Hanson answered they may not like it but they listen. Barbara Boxer talks about diversity, but California is not too diverse because 40% are Hispanic, 12% are Asian, 9% are African-American, and 39% are other and White.
The Republican nominee, Dr. Hanson emphasized, must enjoy going on the attack. As a candidate they must have fun going on the attack because the Modern Liberal is not a serious movement any more. It is more of a psychological disorder. They don’t believe in God or in science. They have substituted God for the religion of Liberalism. They believe only in what makes them feel good. They are told and fear Republicans will take away their right to free abortions. Because it’s always about them, they are very dangerous.
Asked if he would consider running for President, Dr. Victor Davis Hanson said, “I could not get elected as dog-catcher in Selma – literally!”
Asked what lessons in military history Republican candidates can apply to their respective campaigns, Dr. Hanson explained that after World War II the American people were tired of war. Barack Obama in a very cynically brilliant way figured out that the American People are docile. What he’s been doing is creating this post-war order of retreat and passivity. China is flexing its muscles like Japan in 1930, telling other nations that the United States will not risk for them, telling them to become nuclear or make concessions. Europe is befuddled, having always thought of itself as Athens and the United States as Rome. As the United States withdraws, there will be a much more dangerous world. The Saudis and many other nations will have nuclear weapons by the time Obama leaves office.
The problem with Democracies is that in the end, the people do less and less for themselves. They vote themselves entitlements. The debt increases and the Democracy dies. Because of the number receiving entitlements from government, the backing for Democrats will never go below 40%. Forty percent of the voters are a permanent Democrat constituency.
Our Republic is going down the trajectory of death. This will continue unless Conservatives can find someone who can lead us away from this end. Considering who in the Republican Party can lead Republicans to victory in 2016, Dr. Hanson said he’s not ready to endorse anyone, but if he did he would endorse someone who is a mixture of Ted Cruz (who is learned and uncompromising), Rand Paul (who embodies cynicism and wit), and Sarah Palin (who doesn’t care what people think).
On the question of the states calling a Constitutional Convention as provided for in Article V of the U.S. Constitution, Dr. Hanson said that Conservatives are generally not good community organizers. Although 55% to 60% of the people in the United States are concerned about the unconstitutional overreaches of the current administration, a Constitutional Convention convened to correct these faults would most likely be controlled by journalists who are under the influence of those who control the media – the extremely wealthy, and the Modern Liberals – and the results might be detrimental to the Republic.
It was a very informative evening. The Forum thanked Dr. Hanson with long standing applause.
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