Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Optimism and an American Renaissance with Victor Davis Hanson & Peter Robinson

 

Wednesday night, the Hoover Institution put on the best show in town with a preview of the new film The Price of Peace from Free to Choose Media and a discussion between our own Peter Robinson and Victor Davis Hanson. While I can’t do justice to the event here, hopefully, this report gives everyone some incentive to see the film, get to the next event in person, or even catch an empty U-haul truck on its return and move to Palo Alto where I will buy you a beer. I’ll also apologize to all involved for any mistakes in my recollection of the events.

The film discusses “the lesson of deterrence,” a point of critical interest to strategists in all fields:

The lesson of deterrence is one which is hard-learned time and time again. In this one-hour program, the insights of military historian and National Review columnist Victor Davis Hanson guide our investigation of the United States’ successful deterrence of enemy aggression in the past and the efforts to sustain it in an era of rogue nations and nuclear proliferation.

We’re told that the film is coming to PBS, and it features an all-star team of faculty from Hoover/Stanford and other fine institutions around the world. The preview was outstanding, so I look forward to the full movie. Peter followed with an “Uncommon Knowledge”-like interview of Victor on subjects ranging from foreign policy engagement with China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea to unruly neighbors in Selma, CA (similar to North Korean dictators).

When confronted with Peter’s question as to whether our American path parallels that of the Roman Republic and Empire as has been so often suggested, Victor noted that we may now be in an American Renaissance rather on a trajectory of decline. He told the audience that he is an optimist.

A question from the crowd inquired as to how to balance the nation’s interests and its principles in foreign affairs, pointing out that a recent lecture here by Secretary of State Tillerson mentioned that we must act at the intersection of the two.Victor pointed out that this question is the central issue in US foreign policy, and went on to suggest that we can sometimes act on values alone but if we do we must be committed to winning. He pointed out that supporting the Kurds today may be such a situation.

Victor also stated that our team of Pompeo, Mattis, McMaster, and Haley is “a great team.” The line drawing most applause, however, may have been Victor’s statement that he “doesn’t listen to the media.” Peter pointed out that “if we’ve learned nothing else, it’s to be nice to Victor’s dogs.”

There are 14 comments.

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  1. Blue Yeti Admin

    We’ll be putting out the audio from this event as an episode of Victor’s Classicist Podcast in the next 24 hours.

    • #1
    • March 7, 2018, at 10:32 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  2. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noDJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This is a great review of the event; thanks!

    From the front row… and an opportunity to chat with Victor and Peter.

    • #2
    • March 7, 2018, at 11:35 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  3. Columbo Inactive

    Don Tillman (View Comment):
    This is a great review of the event; thanks!

    From the front row… and an opportunity to chat with Victor and Peter.

    Now that’s Conservatism, Inc. Take note GLoP. You do not want to be “Chamberlain/Halifax” to “Peter/VDH”‘s Churchill.

    • #3
    • March 8, 2018, at 6:20 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. StephensJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):
    We’ll be putting out the audio from this event as an episode of Victor’s Classicist Podcast in the next 24 hours.

    Awesome, I cannot wait!

    • #4
    • March 8, 2018, at 6:52 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  5. Peter Robinson Founder

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Don Tillman (View Comment):
    This is a great review of the event; thanks!

    From the front row… and an opportunity to chat with Victor and Peter.

    Now that’s Conservatism, Inc. Take note GLoP. You do not want to be “Chamberlain/Halifax” to “Peter/VDH”‘s Churchill.

    Ah! Beautiful!

    • #5
    • March 8, 2018, at 9:11 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. Peter Robinson Founder

    Thanks for this, Unreasonable! And although I’m sorry we didn’t have more time to chat, it was wonderful to see you and Don Tillman. Riochet is everywhere!

    • #6
    • March 8, 2018, at 9:12 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  7. Peter Robinson Founder

    Don Tillman (View Comment):
    This is a great review of the event; thanks!

    From the front row… and an opportunity to chat with Victor and Peter.

    Jeepers. If I’d known my shoes would appear so prominent, I’d have applied a fresh coat of polish.

    Wonderful to see you, Don!

    • #7
    • March 8, 2018, at 9:14 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. Blue Yeti Admin

    Jeepers?

    • #8
    • March 8, 2018, at 1:39 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. Retail Lawyer Member

    Where or how was this event publicized? I live nearby and would have loved to attend.

    Still think I see a UHaul in my future, though.

    • #9
    • March 9, 2018, at 9:17 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. Larry Koler Inactive

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):
    We’ll be putting out the audio from this event as an episode of Victor’s Classicist Podcast in the next 24 hours.

    Awesome, I cannot wait!

    Me, too. Thanks, Yeti.

    • #10
    • March 9, 2018, at 9:23 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. BalticSnowTiger Inactive

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    Don Tillman (View Comment):
    This is a great review of the event; thanks!

    From the front row… and an opportunity to chat with Victor and Peter.

    Jeepers. If I’d known my shoes would appear so prominent, I’d have applied a fresh coat of polish.

    Wonderful to see you, Don!

    Brown shoes, during a public engagement! Dearly beloved, you cannot be serious. Ceteris paribus, delighted as to the event. Terrible to miss out on the opportunity. Will Victor have the pleasure to discuss options and role play with DJT and SecDef prior to meeting Kim, please?

    • #11
    • March 9, 2018, at 10:21 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. BalticSnowTiger Inactive

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Don Tillman (View Comment):
    This is a great review of the event; thanks!

    From the front row… and an opportunity to chat with Victor and Peter.

    Now that’s Conservatism, Inc. Take note GLoP. You do not want to be “Chamberlain/Halifax” to “Peter/VDH”‘s Churchill.

    Victor. Peter. In each case the name is the game.

    Chamberlain. Runciman. Henderson. CRH = today’s GLoP

    • #12
    • March 9, 2018, at 10:26 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Blue Yeti Admin

    The podcast is live here. Sorry about the not so great audio quality (I did not produce this one).

    • #13
    • March 9, 2018, at 1:14 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noDJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Retail Lawyer (View Comment):
    Where or how was this event publicized? I live nearby and would have loved to attend.

    Still think I see a UHaul in my future, though.

    I’ve been posting in the San Francisco Bay Area Ricochetti group. And I want to encourage anybody with an interest to join the group and post events.

    The Hoover Institution doesn’t seem to announce upcoming events on their web site, but instead in the events section of their Facebook page. (I don’t know why.)

    • #14
    • March 9, 2018, at 6:45 PM PST
    • 1 like

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