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The Second World Wars & Case for Trump with Dr Victor Hanson

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Gary Pinkerton hosts the author of The Case for Trump, Dr. Victor Hanson. Pinkerton asks about military history and why Dr. Hanson chose to write about this particular topic. They go into how Trump won the presidential election. The two also talk about why Middle America had been forgotten by the political elites until Trump became president.

Announcer 0:04
Welcome to the heroic investing show. As first responders we risk our lives every day our financial security is under attack. Our pensions are in a state of emergency. A single on duty incident can alter or erase our earning potential instantly and forever. We are the heroes of society. We are self reliant and we need to take care of our own financial future. The heroic investing show is our toolkit of business and investing tactics on our mission to financial freedom.

Gary Pinkerton 0:39
Welcome to the heroic investing show. My name is Gary Pinkerton and I co host this show with Jason Hartman. This is heroic investing Episode 193. Today, my guest is Dr. Victor Hansen. Dr. Hansen is an American classicist. He’s a military historian, columnist and a farmer of land that has been in his family in California for gender He has been a commentator on modern and ancient warfare and contemporary politics for national reviews, The Washington Times and other media outlets. I talk more about his background in the episode. And it runs a bit long. So if you don’t mind, let’s just get to this interview with Dr. Victor Hansen. And I’m extremely excited to welcome a pretty incredible and accomplished military historian, Professor, and many other things. Dr. Hansen. Thank you so much, Dr. Victor Hansen, for joining us.

Victor Hanson 1:33
Thank you for having me.

Gary Pinkerton 1:35
You know, as I mentioned, before we started the taping out, I will have proceeded this with a few more details about your background, but I love for the audience to be able to hear it from the guests themselves. Would you please just explain a little bit about your history, your past what got you into the love and vocation that you’ve carried for many years?

Victor Hanson 1:53
Well, I grew up in the house. I’m speaking from right now the fifth generation on a small farm and Central California. I went to local public high school. And then they had opened up recently the University of California campus at Santa Cruz. I was there and I majored in classical languages. So I did that for four years I went to Greece studied archaeology, and then I got a PhD from Stanford in classical languages. And then at 26, I came home to help my grandparents farm and I did that for five years, full time, trees and vines, and then I went to the nearby Cal State Fresno campus and start a classics program. I did that for 21 years. And then I went to Stanford’s Hoover Institution where I’ve worked the last 16 years. And I commute once a week at an apartment in the Stanford campus for my farm here in Salt Lake, California, and written or edited about 24 books and I write the tribune syndication and National Review and the new online magazine of our greatness.

Gary Pinkerton 2:57
Wow. Yes, you know, listeners, you must go to his website, and I’ll just put it out now just in case we forget later, but Victor Hansen, calm, just some tremendous, tremendous titles on here. Many of them are on military history wars, maybe perhaps your most well known the Second World Wars, a really extensive look at the subtitle, you know, the first global conflict and how it was fought. And one, what got you so interested in military history?

Victor Hanson 3:26
Well, you know, I was a classical scholar, and I was trained to be a critic, textual critic of Greek and Latin text. And I didn’t enjoy it all that much by the time I was finishing graduate school for so for my thesis, I wanted to write about something I knew growing up on a farm and then also, I was always interested in military history as a kid. So I wrote a thesis called warfare and agriculture and ancient Greeks, about the wartime tactic of destroying the agriculture of an enemy. It’s kind of an esoteric, it was published, but it wasn’t a bestseller, obviously. And so I out of bat classics, I started writing about Roman and Greek warfare and then medieval warfare, then Modern Warfare, and then world warfare. And so it was just a natural progression, although I still write about the ancient world, but not nearly as much as I used to.

Gary Pinkerton 4:18
Got it. What would you say? Knowing kind of the makeup of the audience before the your most recent release? And we’ll jump to that a second, but that one aside, all of the books on military history, which do you think the audience should read first, they should dive into first?

Victor Hanson 4:34
Well, the two that have sold about us or a book that I was a book I wrote in 2002, called carnation culture, landmark battles in western civilization. And by that it was just why did Western armies from Greece to the medieval period the crusades, are Cortez or the British Empire? Why were they able to project force so far away from their own homeland So effectively, I went through the values that made up a lot of the assumptions of Western military. And then I wrote a book two years ago called Second World Wars about how World War Two is thought in air on the ground beneath the sea, and on top of the sea, and then I wrote a book called The rip of the battle. That was my favorite book. How does a battle change history not politically, but affect the people that are in it? And I picked three battles on Ancient One Civil War battle and a modern one on Okinawa, and I tried to show that out of that fighting certain authors, musicians, politicians became famous or infamous, and that got killed or survived and a battle like Shiloh really changed American history but not necessarily in changing just altering the course of the Civil War, but creating people like William Tecumseh Sherman are the blue walls the author of Ben Which was sort of a paradigm or simile of what he had experienced a child. But that book for some reason didn’t sell as well, the other ones. So the ripples of battles the one that I liked the best.

Gary Pinkerton 6:12
Nice, I appreciate you taking me through it. I was looking at that title while you were describing the Second World Wars, wondering specifically what that was in the ripples of battle. That’s you talk, as you said about the impact it had on individuals, some specific individuals, famous individuals, and they were all physically in those battles. Is that is that what you mean?

Victor Hanson 6:30
Yeah, Ernie Pyle was killed the famous war correspondent on Okinawa that had a tremendous effect. The novelist and numerous Eb sled was on Okinawa and what he felt was very important, and there were certain people there whose descriptions of Okinawa so terrified or shocked the country what they had experienced, especially in May, June and July that it was pretty clear that after that battle, they were going to drop the atomic bomb. Yeah, because So in July, July they and they didn’t ever want to go through and Okinawa again. And so I talked about that and some of the commanders that were there and the effects that it had on their lives and then later on other people had an effect on my life because my father’s first cousin, whom they adopted as his brother was killed there. And I was named after so I grew up sort of, you’ve always got to be six, three us hero like he was, but it was very hard to you know, but it’s sort of what how battles ripple out and affect us in ways we’d have no idea that we don’t really appreciate.

Gary Pinkerton 7:36
There’s certainly that battle and the second world war certainly Shaped America forever forward. That’s amazing. Let’s change though to topic that seems that you’ve started a new a new focus. I’m sure it’s very much related. And this book is your most recent not

Victor Hanson 7:54
yet out. I think right now, it’s been out for a month actually. It’s been on the New York Times bestseller for five weeks, I’m

Gary Pinkerton 8:01
lucky. I’m so sorry. That’s awesome. And congratulations. I really don’t spend much time, unfortunately looking at those. But the title of this is the case for Trump. And I take it in reading the excerpt from it. Certainly, it’s a book that I’m about I’m going to go get, as soon as we’re finished here. It’s a topic that really interests me. It is a very polarizing, political environment we’ve been in for the last few years. I take from my reading of it that you are fairly pro on Mr. Trump and what he’s trying to do for America.

Victor Hanson 8:32
Yeah, I think it is, but I didn’t want to make him into a saner center, and I looked at the genre of Trump books, and they were all pretty emotional. So what I wanted to do was just analyze how a guy without political or military experience, defeated 16 really skilled republican politicians, governors, Senators, corporate CEOs, in 2016. Then he went on to defeat the best funded candidate in the history of politics. Hillary Clinton had mostly supportive media. Culture behind it. And then contrary to expectations, in terms of the analytics of the first two and a quarter years of governance, whether we look at record low unemployment for minorities or near record employment for everybody, or analyze GDP growth or energy production, that he’s got a pretty good record deregulation, and that wasn’t supposed to happen. And so it’s an analysis of the United States and why he got elected, what would they How did he tweak a traditional republican agenda that had been? He followed pretty closely, you know, always lower taxes, less government, stronger military, strict construction strategies, but on that blueprint, he he tweaked it, and he said, you know, China’s not fated to run the world. And they’re cheating and that’s the basis of their success in trade and commerce and we’re going to stop it. The middle of the country is hollowed out, it doesn’t have to be we have good workers, cheap energy, we’re competitive. We have a good trade system that’s fairer rather than just free. We’ll do okay. And we can’t have a sovereign nation with an open border. And immigrations got to be, you know, measured America kradic and legal and diverse. And finally, if you’re going to go overseas and get into an optional military engagement, make sure that success in COBOL or Baghdad or Tripoli, or in Syria can translate to long term American strategic advantage and a cost benefit analysis. And nobody had really said that, but those issues were tailor made to where the elections are always decided these latest elections that is in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida. He won the electoral college that way, and then most people have no clue or no party could ever do that. They were completely shocked the day after the election, and then they thought he was so chaotic without first present without political and military experience. I said, they felt that it would be possible for him to govern and yet he did despite to chronic efforts, whatever which one politics, I think everybody would agree that almost immediately, Jill Stein sued or turned the election on, you know, wrongly charging or invalid voting machines. And then we had the Emoluments Clause, the Logan Act, the 25th amendment, the Mueller investigation, the collusion microcolumns, stormy Daniels the tax return, that they all had a common theme of let’s not wait till 2020 that Trump is so toxic that we have to award his presidency somehow. And yet they all failed, even though the media was very supportive of him and even the never Trump right was critical of their own party nominee and President. I was trying to analyze why all that how do you make sense of all that? And boy, Trump had a different message, but at this particular time, a lot of people in the country on the conservative side felt that for too long, they had played by the Marquess of Queensbury rule in campaigning and replying back to the progressives. And so Trump came along and at this particular Time people did not want another bush or McCain or Romney approach to politics. If Reverend Wright was a legitimate issue the john mccain should have gone after him. That was the feeling if candy crawly grabs up, Mike and the second debate then romney should have jumped up like Ronald Reagan and said, How dare you do that? But they didn’t write people were wanted some anecdote, and Trump for all of his uncouth pneus and crudity. That’s what people want. They wanted to fire they did not want to go out on a limb and support it candidate and then be sawed off by candidate making fun or disowning his own bakes. That’s what the book is tries to do, and also try to explain why people hate him so much. Whether it’s his appearance or his accent, or his bluntness, or the fact that he doesn’t have the usual resume doesn’t care about the Council on Foreign Relations or the World Bank or the Brookings Institution, or he doesn’t call past presidents, you know, Wiseman and say, you know, President Bush, President Obama got Carter, what should I say President Clinton’s give me some advice here is success so far is almost a referendum on this supposedly essential resume of the path that he didn’t have. And that bothers a lot of people. And

Gary Pinkerton 13:15
hopefully, it also inspires a lot of people that, you know, I remember in grade school people telling me that you can be president, everyone in America can be president, right? And I’m not saying I want to be rested him but here I am at 50 not having taken any of the steps that apparently, you know, before President Trump were necessary, you know, the kind of grooming as if it was part of the royal family of England writes, you know, and have in the past. He’s just demonstrated it all, you know, you just have to want it and have a plan that fits better. Yeah, I

Victor Hanson 13:44
think that’s right. And, again, the proof of the pudding is in the union and then abroad, I think is Jacksonian, or nationalist or principal realism. Whatever the term people use to calibrate it is, it’s more or less we’re going to help our friends and punish intimating that we’re not going to get involved in areas or theaters that are not central to us interest. Us interest is defined as trying to deal with Russia trying to deal with China being strong allies of Australia and Israel and Japan and South Korea, and being sort of adversarial to Cuba and Venezuela and Iran. But we’re not going to grow those distinctions. We’re not going to get into transnational agreements or treaties that are not in our interest, like the Iran deal or the Paris Climate accord, or we’re going to stay in NATO, we have to ensure that everybody lives up to the promises. That was quite radical for president at the same to do that.

Gary Pinkerton 14:39
It definitely was. You mentioned that he embraced or defended the working people and America’s interior. And then you said whom the coastal elite of both parties had come to scorn. Why did they come to score in the working Middle America?

Victor Hanson 14:54
Well, I think part of it was globalization had so enriched the coast and by that The government of Washington had just exploded in size and compensation. And the banking industry of the East Coast, especially Wall Street had become global. So they didn’t just have the hundred and 30 million customers, they had 70 billion. And here I am in California, Silicon Valley, Google, Facebook and apple. Along with you at Packard, I guess in Yahoo. We’re for Amazon, although it’s in water. It’s in Washington. They were now $4 trillion of market capitalization. And our universities like Stanford or Harvard, or Yale, or Caltech became global universities. The result was people on this coast here and on the East Coast became so wealthy, they’ve never seen levels of that wealth. But people in the interior that had muscular labor that could be outsourced or offshore to whatever term we use were impoverished. The idea was that if you could move a plant where labor was cheaper, or a farm where labor was cheaper, they did and At the diagnosis of that was backwards a reverse cause and effect. It was almost as if the elites on the coast said, well, you guys didn’t learn coding, you know, or you took opiates. So the jobs left rather than the jobs left. So you took opiates,

Gary Pinkerton 16:13
right or your point,

Victor Hanson 16:15
nobody quite said, I like my wood floors. I like my granite counters. I like my stainless steel appliances. I like my rubella, but I don’t care about the people who create that for me. Right, Trump came along of all people and said, our farmers, our vets, on workers, he went to West Virginia is that I love the beautiful coal away, went there and suddenly shut down this industry. So there was a perception of, I guess, what would be called the empathy in Trump that nobody had ever imagined he could display at least display for more than Hillary. It seemed more genuine. He didn’t change his accent toward the regional crowd or his appearance. He didn’t want flannel at stake bears. He wore that sort of ridiculous time. Shoes, hair tan queens accident wherever he was.

Gary Pinkerton 17:05
He has good points. Very good points. I interviewed a, an amazing military veteran, three limb amputee, who is he’s just an inspiring guy. But he’s leading you may have heard of him. But he’s leading a GoFundMe project. That’s more than GoFundMe nowadays. But they’re building the parts of the wall on private property in Texas, because, you know, they believe in what the President’s doing, and he’s having challenges. So they’re just pitching in. And I’m not saying that the wall is correct or not correct. What I’m saying is I haven’t seen that kind of things happening in previous presidencies that I can think of.

Victor Hanson 17:45
Yeah, I think the people who voted for Trump rightly or wrongly saw that they felt things that accelerated so much into a trajectory they weren’t comfortable with if something had to be done. And by that, I mean, just eight or nine years ago, people could debate game And then it was permissible then if you didn’t accept it wholeheartedly then you were a bigot are that people thought you know, abortion should be legal that rare maybe but then you didn’t sign on to partial birth abortion or even infanticide, then you were diabolical or people believe maybe an affirmative action, but they suddenly became with reparations, or maybe they wanted a little bit higher tax rate 39% on Obama for the wealthy within it became 70 or 90%, wealth tax argument or high income tax bracket. And same thing with a green there for, you know, solar panels and wind if it’s if it’s market or the market or Judi case in a positive way, but suddenly, it was the Green Deal. So they saw the country and the left spiraling out of control. And they thought to themselves, I don’t I can’t sign on to this. And this is a good country. Just because it’s not perfect doesn’t mean that you tear down a statue or change its names. I don’t want to go there anymore. And the Republican Party, whether it’s jeb bush or, or whoever, they’re not doing anything about it. And Mitt Romney is not going to do anything. But this guy, I’ll bring him out of the closet like a gunfighter like Shane, or maybe George Patton or Curtis LeMay. Or, and just turn him loose and confront this. And that’s what they did.

Gary Pinkerton 19:20
Yeah, amazing stuff. Dr. Hansen. I know you have to go and I appreciate the few minutes you’ve been able to spend with us. I already put out Victor Hansen, calm can find all the books and great, great little snippets about about the books. Of course, you can find them on Amazon. What else should should the audience know? And where should they go?

Victor Hanson 19:38
They can go to my website that has a link, Victor Hansen, ha nslm.com. And I have all my writing there, and it’s pretty accessible.

Gary Pinkerton 19:46
Wonderful. Again, thank you so much for what you’ve done to preserve American War history. I can’t wait to read this most recent book. And again, just thanks for joining our audience.

Victor Hanson 19:57
Thank you for having me. Appreciate it.

Gary Pinkerton 19:58
Yes, sir.

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