No true American should accept a nation-wide hegemony that silences dissent, whether it’s a Christo-fascist theocracy or some secular New Left inversion. The former had a shot in the 1980s, but in the current year, the latter is a far more imminent threat.
Freedom of speech is our most basic right, because if you can’t name the problem, you can’t fix it. A diversity of perspectives—advancing from argumentation to tentative resolutions, and left open to dispute—is an essential feature of democratic government and the scientific pursuit of truth. It’s the basis of reason itself. In a pluralistic society, free inquiry has to make room for the goad and the gadfly. Otherwise, bad actors run wild.
Such arrangements are fragile, however, as we’ve seen with recent media cover-ups (what laptop?), social media lock-outs (misinformation!), and academic purges (kill the messenger). A flavorless monoculture, under the cover of “progress,” looms on the horizon.
Invoking the heterodox fringes of political thought, dissident writer Michael Anton issues an urgent call to arms in “The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return.” He exhorts Americans to confront and dismantle this lefty monolith before it’s too late.
Our New Normal Gets Weirder By the Day
Repeat after me: lockdowns save lives, riots are peaceful, racial preferences are justice, Chinese influence is progress, calling it out is Russian propaganda, borders are oppression, safe spaces are sacred, gender is fluid, pronouns are innate, children can choose but parents cannot, speech is violence, violence is speech, robots are superior, and God is dead—unless He flies the rainbow flag. By the way, where’s your mask?
Imagine having to affirm such inanities for the rest of your life, with your children chanting along. It’s not that far-fetched.
Drawing on insider experience as a White House national security official, Anton argues persuasively that Democrats’ endgame is to establish a permanent nationwide uni-party. This ironclad state would be ruled by the super-wealthy, loyal only to themselves and their global counterparts, and “legitimized” by an interchangeable electorate. If these left-signaling oligarchs achieve their goal, our ideal of an open society—a value that liberals once championed—will be destroyed.
More than any time in my life, it appears that our hard-won liberties could disappear in the blink of an eye. Americans cannot allow this to happen.
Can a Nation Take Flight With No Right Wing?
Anton’s work swayed me—a free-thinker who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 and Gary Johnson in 2016—to vote Donald Trump in 2020. The fact that stating this publicly might damage my career should be sufficient grounds to go MAGA, if only out of spite. But Anton presents more civic-minded reasons.
Over the years, I’ve tried to balance the left’s truths against the right’s—for instance, reading Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” alongside Paul Johnson’s “A History of the American People,” or regularly injecting Democracy Now! with some “Tucker Carlson Tonight” like a political speedball. My assumption is that different dispositions motivate diverse people to explore various facets of reality. The aim is to wander these fringes to the edge of crimethink, and arrive at some semblance of the Truth in between.
In “The Stakes,” Anton warns that, if present trends continue, the right side of that equation will be wiped off the chalkboard. It’s not that my mind was changed by Anton’s blistering critiques of perverse wealth inequality, oligarchic control, tech monopolies, wall-to-wall surveillance, media dishonesty, neocon warmongering, and mass immigration. I was already there. Rather, he convinced me that what I’ve learned from intelligent conservatives over the years is not only coherent and largely correct, their ideas and values are in imminent danger of federal suppression.
It’s an uneasy alliance, because the biggest issues for guys like me are labor empowerment, environmental protection, and avoiding unnecessary war. After Barack Obama’s presidency, it’s pretty clear that Democrats have other plans.
Neck Deep and Gasping for Air
Anton paints a compelling portrait of the current power structure and its enduring social consequences. His central argument is that during the “Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama imperium” the wealthy assembled “a high-low coalition against the middle in service of big tech, high finance, and woke capital.” The “mostly peaceful” Black Lives Matter protests incited and celebrated by the academic-mass media complex are a recent strategic maneuver.
According to Anton’s view, insular oligarchs—concentrated in Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and various corporate boardrooms—are manipulating moralistic intellectuals and impoverished discontents, channeling the proles’ fury away from themselves and toward America’s productive middle class. That’s why you see Google, Goldman Sachs, and Walmart celebrating Pride Month and supporting BLM, while Ivy League professors and CNN pundits decry Karen’s entitlement and Joe the Plumber’s unearned privilege.
This theory jives with my experience in Portland, Ore., where our labor union got woke on “microaggressions” while bending over backwards to serve Nike and other corporate masters. The same holds for my studies at Boston University, where hyper-privileged colleagues shielded themselves with a ring of (mostly privileged) diversity and lobbed accusations of “-ism!” and “-phobia!” at the local maintenance-man class.
In defiance of pop convention, Anton’s thesis combines lefty class analysis with wry, right-wing cynicism: “[T]he ruling class wants to stay in power, maintain its status, preserve its wealth, and increase its share of all three. … Their solution is, first and fundamentally, to transform the United States into a deracinated economic-administrative zone with one-size-fits-all ‘rules,’ whose surface impartiality masks an unbending bias toward capital over wages, management over labor, words over actions, ideas over things, the new over the old, cosmopolitanism over the familiar, [and] foreigners over the native-born. Second, it is to persuade or bully as much of the developed world as possible into going along; and third, over time to amalgamate all such economic-administrative zones into one big zone.”
Skeptics wonder why The Power would ever sponsor a corporate slogan like “FIGHT THE POWER!” So far as I can tell, it’s the same reason predatory televangelists urge their viewers to resist Satan.
How Much Enrichment Is Enough?
An overriding theme in Anton’s book is the taboo that propelled Trump into office: the downsides of mass immigration. Anton presents a few simple statistics that Americans so rarely see, you’d think we weren’t supposed to know: “Since the United States ‘reformed’ its immigration laws in 1965, at least fifty-nine million newcomers—legal and illegal—have moved to the country.”
If you factor in their children, plus high-end estimates of illegal immigration, that number could be as large as 90 million. To get a sense of proportion, when the floodgates opened in 1965, America’s population was about 193 million.
If it’s ever mentioned, the resulting multicultural cyclone is typically portrayed as some blind force of Nature, rather than the result of impeachable human decisions. This ongoing process is facilitated by a compliant mass media, who extol the virtues of future Democrats pouring across the border. That is, if they acknowledge the impact at all.
California and Virginia are two obvious blue canaries in the coalmine, and a purple Texas is gasping for air. Yet if legacy Americans complain about this clever subversion of their citizenship, Anton notes, they’re gaslighted as conspiracy theorists and permanently tagged with career-ending epithets. The ultimate hypocrisy—which he hilariously dubs “the Celebration Parallax”—is that once this demographic shift is accomplished, and a new voter base is secured, the left openly celebrate their success as proof that diversity is our strength.
Who Represents the Worker’s Interests?
Opposition to this cynical inundation has traditionally come from the blue-collar left. The Americal Federation of Labor first president, Samuel Gompers, fought hard to keep immigration at bay, as did the agricultural labor leader Cesar Chavez. Until he was forced to go woke, Bernie Sanders argued that flooding the labor market with low-wage immigrants undercuts citizens’ ability to negotiate for higher wages.
Contrary to tropes that a “vibrant economy” requires mass immigration, Harvard University economist George Borjas details the costs to native workers: “[I]mmigration redistributes wealth from those who compete with immigrants to those who use immigrants—from the employee to the employer. … The total wealth redistribution from the native losers to the native winners is enormous, roughly a half-trillion dollars a year.”
In fact, the first strong arguments for open borders were published in the Wall Street Journal back in 2000. The Koch brothers have been fierce advocates for mass immigration, as have Silicon Valley oligarchs—a full three-quarters of their tech workforce are H-1B workers. Back in the ‘60s, Democrats shifted from exploiting white racial animus in the segregationist South to stoking black racial animus nationwide. More recently, the supposed “working class party” has betrayed its constituency to serve the interests of woke capital, with all the financial perks that entails.
Give Me Honesty, Or Give Me Death
It should come as no surprise, then, that Biden is the oligarchs’ favorite pet. Forbes reports that he’s wrangled donations from 151 billionaires (as opposed to Trump’s 99). According to Wired, Biden received 95 percent of employee contributions from Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Oracle, which explains the recent social media blackouts. With this cash flow, he’s managed to spend more on TV campaign ads than any presidential candidate in history.
Anyone who mentions this hypocrisy is subject to excommunication, ostracism, and unemployment as a deplorable “-ist!” or “-phobic!” monster. In a world where frank speech gets you labeled as a jerk, only a jerk can be trusted to speak his mind. Even worse, that jerk’s fans will call him a “truth-teller” for evoking the verboten—even if he lies about everything else.
At this point, I’ll take a hyperbolic barker who’ll tell a couple of big truths over a blank-faced dotard backed by sophisticated propaganda. At least the orange guy’s actions will be held up to scrutiny.
Trump may be a used car salesman trying to sell my own lemon back to me, but you know what? I’d like to have America back. And I’m willing to pay for it.