Victor Davis Hanson on Reparations: Democrats ‘Afraid Trump Is Making Inroads’ with Blacks

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - OCTOBER 18: Mary Burney of Colorado Springs cheers during a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on October 18, 2016 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The final presidential debate between Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is tomorrow. (Photo by Theo Stroomer/Getty Images)
Theo Stroomer/Getty Images

Victor Davis Hanson, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, spoke with host Rebecca Mansour and Red Pilled America co-founder Patrick Courrielche on Monday’s edition of Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Tonight and described Democrats’ push for “reparations” as a racial political strategy born from fear that President Trump is “making inroads” with black voters.

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Reparations poll “about 25 percent support,” said Hanson. “It doesn’t even poll a majority of support among African Americans, so it’s not so much a serious issue as a campaign issue. It’s sort of like the Green New Deal or the 90 percent income tax or the wealth tax.”

Hanson continued, “These are all talking points, but I think the people who are serious in the Democratic Party must know that if any candidate emerges from their convention with those albatrosses around their neck, they’re going to lose. Everybody knows it’s unworkable. The contradictions just jump out at you.”

Hanson examined the arbitrary nature of defining parameters for who qualifies as “African American.”

“How do you define African American?” asked Hanson. “Is somebody 25 percent African American? Seventy percent? Ten percent? Do we prorate? Do we use the old Confederacy’s one-drop rule? Do you prorate reparations based on your DNA analysis?”

Hanson added, “What do you do with people like Barack Obama, who have no relatives directly in America [who were slaves]? Or what do you do with someone like Kamala Harris, whose own father said that as a Caribbean, his family owned slaves?”

“What do you do with other groups?” asked Hanson. “Do the Irish make claims? Do the Hispanics make claims? It would open up a tribal chaotic mess in the way that you see in the Balkans or Rwanda or Iraq.”

Al Sharpton’s role in Democrats’ promotion of “reparations” is a testament to his power within the Democrat Party, said Hanson.

“It’s being promoted by Al Sharpton — of all people — [who has a] record of racism, inciting a riot, antisemitism, [and] fraud,” stated Hanson. “It’s highly ironic. I never thought in my life I would live to see this faker — who in the eighties and nineties was directly responsible for violence, homophobic statements, racist statements, antisemitic statements, [and] inciting somebody in a riot situation which killed somebody — become the power-broker, maybe, of the Democratic Party. It’s very sad and pathetic.”

“If some white person, so-called, if we can even just adjudicate who’s white and who’s not, but if you could, if somebody who’s a welder over here in Fowler or Reedley, California, that makes $40,000 a year, you’re going to tax them to transfer money to Oprah or Beyonce?” asked Hanson. “It has no sensitivity to class.”

Hanson went on. “Class is really the more important adjudicator of privilege in this country, and as part of this strange progressive phenomenon where people who have privilege — mostly white, but not always white — virtue signal by damning people who don’t have white privilege as if they’re uncouth or racist or xenophobic.”

Hanson added, “So we have all these Malibu and TV stars always talking about white privilege, but as we saw with the college admissions scandal, they exercise white privilege, and yet, in the public domain, they’re always accusing other people.”

“Beto O’Rourke grew up with white privilege that got him off on a number of crimes that other people would have paid a much more severe price for,” remarked Hanson. “He talks about white privilege. Bernie Sanders has had a lot of white privilege. He owns three homes. He talks of white privilege. Joe Biden has talked of white privilege and white toxic masculinity. He’s got white privilege. Who are they addressing? Who does have the white privilege that they’re angry at?”

Democrats’ push for “reparations” is a political boon for President Donald Trump’s re-election hopes, estimated Hanson.

“It’s a prescription for the re-election of Donald Trump because somebody in Wisconsin or Michigan or rural Colorado listens to this, and he says, ‘I never had any white privilege. I’m a working person with average income, if that, and I have this very wealthy white liberal person who’s pointing his finger at me for some, I don’t know, careerist reason or psychological projection or guilt or virtue signaling for his careerist concerns.'” stated Hanson. “Whatever the motive is, it’s incoherent.”

Hanson assessed, “It’s creating an anger, as is all of these Democratic positions. They’re in this echo chamber where they think they can just pontificate and sermonize to one another.”

Hanson stated, “But what they don’t understand is that people are watching this circus, and they’re shocked at what they’re hearing, whether it’s infanticide as legal abortion or reparations or the New Green Deal and outlawing internal combustion engines in 12 years or a wealth tax on previously taxed income that’s now somebody’s private property or Medicare for everybody, breaking the old idea you pay in when you’re younger so you can receive it when you’re older, or cancellation of all student debt, as if somebody who’s driving a truck at 18 is supposed to pay for some social justice warrior who’s 26 and taking six years of classes and borrowing for his tuition.”

“It’s really an affront to people, ” declared Hanson, “and I think that’s why none of these issues are polling 51 percent.”

“I understand that Donald Trump is controversial and can be uncouth, but he does have a record this time, and that record is going to be fed against these issues,” noted Hanson, “and they’re going to get more and more aggressive, and more and more far-left. At least Barack Obama understood that. They’re going to demand more and more signs of purity and fealty to the progressive movement, and it’s like they’re hitting the gas pedal as they’re going over a cliff.”

Democrats’ push for “reparations” amounts to a get-out-the-vote campaign and strategy for black voters in 2020’s presidential election, determined Hanson.

“I’ve seen one poll. It’s about 20 to 25 percent of the American people support reparations. Through the federal government, take measures for the ancestors of people who were held in slavery. The majority of African Americans, not the great majority, but the majority of them don’t approve of it. So what’s the point of the issue, then? The point of the issue is to reclaim the formula or chemistry that Barack Obama used when he got about a 70 percent turnout of the African American vote, and of that turnout, he won 96 percent.”

Hanson added, “So in key states like Pennsylvania or Michigan or Wisconsin, the Milwaukee vote or the Detroit-Ann Arbor vote or the Philadelphia-Pittsburgh vote, just overwhelm the rural areas, and that didn’t happen in 2016. So the Democrats are thinking, ‘Wow, we’ve got to go back and double-down on these constituencies.’ But they’re not Barack Obama. They’re not the first African American presidential candidate. They’re not as charismatic, and we’ve been there before.”

Hanson said, “I don’t see how it’s a winning strategy. They’re bequeathing Obama’s unpopularity with the so-called clingers or deplorables, but they’re not getting the benefit of this popularity with minority communities.”

Democrats fear Trump’s improved appeal to black voters relative to Republican predecessors, deduced Hanson.

“The second motive is also fear because when Trump has achieved the lowest African American and Hispanic unemployment in history, and when he’s talking about an open border driving down wages of entry-level workers, and he’s attacked the Democratic Party for being too pro-abortion or approving infanticide, which has been epidemic among minority communities, or he’s attacking the Democrats as being anti-Catholic, which is really the majority religion of Hispanics, they’re afraid that he’s making inroads,” Hanson said.

Hanson added, “[Donald Trump] doesn’t have to make a lot of inroads. He can get 40 percent of the Hispanic vote, 20 percent of the African American vote, and they’re pretty much done if he does that because in these key swing states, they just don’t resonate anymore among the working white middle class voters.”

Mexican Americans are not supportive of an open border or the status quo of illegal immigration, said Hanson.

“When you talk to them — I have Mexican American people in my own family — they tell you that they don’t want open borders because gang members come up and they bully Mexican American kids that don’t speak Spanish or are not heavily tattooed, or they so flood the schools that they have to stop advanced placement tests for their kids and have English-as-a-second-language courses,” explained Hanson.

Hanson shared, “A woman I know very well — I’ve known her my whole life — she tells me that she can’t get her dialysis timely because people have flooded the border. They’re coming to our community … and the dialysis clinics are flooded.”

Hanson remarked, “This idea from all these social justice warriors … they all want to tell everybody how empathetic they are about the treatment of foreign nationals on the border. They don’t really care about their own fellow citizens.”

Hanson went on, “They have this racialist idea that brown is noble and ‘poor them,’ but it’s not. People are people. They make these decisions based on logic and self-interest.”

Trump has an opportunity to expand his political appeal among Hispanic voters, assessed Hanson.

“If Trump is adroit and careful, he’s going to win about 45 percent of that vote,” estimated Hanson. “Any Mexican American citizen that I know of who’s over the age of 40 and doesn’t speak Spanish very well, and that’s about half, they’re going to vote for Trump.”
“It won’t matter in California or Texas, but it will matter in places like Virginia and Nevada and Colorado, and maybe even places like New Mexico, and that’s why you’re seeing this fanatic elite — mostly elite liberal, a Biden, a Beto, a Bernie effort — to outdo each other in terms of identity politics. But I think most people look at them, and they think these people are just wealthy, silly white people,” concluded Hanson.

Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot channel 125 weeknights from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern or 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific.

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.

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