Some folks will hate this comparison, but I’ll go for it anyway. Victor Davis Hanson, the classicist, military historian, and political commentator reminds me a lot of the polemical theologian Stanley Hauerwas. They are both fairly angry, fairly old white dudes. Both are very intelligent and wide-ranging. And I enjoy both of them, though each occasionally veers off into ideological extremes which I don’t care to follow.
VDH (as his fans call him) has just written a very interesting new piece for National Review comparing Jimmy Carter circa 1979 to President Obama in the midst of the Egyptian crisis. In both instances, he argues, a so-called new-era idealist liberal has been roughed up by a nasty world that does not share his pretensions. Here’s a highlight:
Yes, our third year of Obama hope and change is beginning a lot like 1979 (I’ll skip the domestic parallels), as an unjust and imperfect world rejects the utopian visions of another liberal idealist, and sees magnanimity as weakness to be exploited rather than as kindness to be reciprocated.