AT: Victor Davis Hanson is a well known conservative historian, academic, and author. He contributes commentaries prolifically on the current political scene to a variety of publications. He is a frequent guest commentator on the Fox News Channel. When Dr. Hanson speaks, I listen.
On Fox News’s The Ingraham Angle on Tuesday, April 16, Hanson appeared live from his home in California for a three-minute Q and A on the burning of Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral. When a transcript of the program appeared online on Wednesday, I read his comments, which were as impressive as when I first heard them.
His comments totaled 362 words. I can’t think of anyone who can fit more substance and meaning into so few words.
Victor Davis Hanson in conversation with Laura Ingraham, The Ingraham Angle, Fox News Channel, Tuesday April 16, 2019:
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Hundreds marched through the streets of Paris today to ask for the intercession of Notre Dame, Our Lady. The cathedral named in her honor was heavily damaged by fire yesterday, but it is structurally sound. French President Macron vows it will be rebuilt as donations pour in from around the world. And amid the tragedy at Notre Dame, there is a lesson to be learned.
Joining me now is Victor Davis Hanson, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Victor, you say there’s an irony in the history here in the aftermath of this architectural tragedy, tragedy in terms of what we’ve lost in church history. What is the irony?
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, HOOVER INSTITUTION: After 800 years, we were the steward of this iconic representation of western civilization, Catholicism, Christendom. And of all the years, 2019, at the height of our sophistication and technology, I’m not blaming the French or anybody, but we were found wanting and we didn’t protect this icon. And we don’t build them anymore.
There’s great churches and cathedrals that go up all over the world, but, Laura, they are in Poland. They are in Cairo. They are in the Ivory Coast, they’re in Brazil, they’re in India. It’s almost as if the places that are less affluent without the technology of western Europe and the United States are like we used to be. They still believe in transcendence. They still believe in something other than this world.
And so it’s going to be very hard in our society to ever build a cathedral again, much less to repair them, because we don’t believe in what they represented. And it’s ironic, because we don’t like the past. We are at war with the past. We tear down monuments. We don’t build cathedrals. We erase names. We say to Father Serra or Christopher Columbus, you don’t live up to our standards of race, class, and gender, moral superiority. Shame on you.
INGRAHAM: We’ll wipe you out.
HANSON: And when you have that attitude, you don’t have a reference. Yes, we are not good stewards of the inheritance that were bequeathed to us. MORE