by WorldTribune Staff, October 28, 2020
In his new book, “The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return“, Michael Anton describes how the Left’s complex of public-private power has been transforming a free, decent, and prosperous United States into the opposite — and how Democrats will do to the rest of America what they have already largely accomplished in California.
Anton, now a lecturer and research fellow at Hillsdale College, asserts that, should the Democrats win in November, the Left’s “ruling class” is ready, willing, and eager to implement plans that would make it virtually impossible for conservatives ever to win national elections again.
These plans include the importation and counting of non-citizen voters and elections by mail shifting power from voters to those who count the votes (like in Venezuela).
Anton notes that, in 2020 California, productive middle-class families are fleeing en masse because state government — controlled by oligarchs in the entertainment and high-tech industries, as well as the state bureaucracy and public sector labor unions — raised taxes, imposed crippling regulations, let public services decay, stopped defending against criminals, and empowered left-wing social activists.
In a review for Claremont Review of Books, Angelo M. Codevilla notes: “The bulk of this well-written book juxtaposes accounts of life under what had been the American constitutional regime with the ruling-class politics that have gone a long way to destroy it. It opens with a bittersweet description of California, then and now. Anton, a young man, is old enough to remember it a near-paradise. Those of a certain age have even more idyllic memories of the Golden State’s unrivaled beauty and plenty, crowned by freedom, ease, and safety. Millions flocked to work and raise families here.”
Anton’s take on California: You want a career? If you don’t conform every word and action to the ruling orthodoxies, your work and talents will be wasted. You want your children to grow up intelligent and decent? The schools will teach them little reasoning and much depravity. Like you, they will also learn to compete by favor-seeking rather than by performance. You see crime rising, sense that you have to protect yourself, but know that, in most of the state, the police will arrest you for it. And you are sick of paying for it all. That is why you want to emigrate from California into the United States of America.
The new ruling class, Anton points out, now explicitly denies that “all men are created equal.” It asserts for itself the right to rule by decree by virtue of expertise, and the power to assign different rights and obligations to classes of people, “protected” and less so.
Codevilla writes of the Democrat ruling class: “They do not believe they have to worry about controlling their own violent troops because they are sure that they have nothing to fear from conservatives. That is because conservatives have continued to believe that the United States’s institutions and those who run them retain legitimacy. Conservative complaisance made possible a half-century of Progressive rule’s abuse. The War on Poverty ended up enriching its managers while expanding the underclass that voted for them. The civil rights movement ended up entitling a class of diversity managers to promote their friends and ruin their opponents. The environmental movement ended up empowering the very same wealthy, powerful folks while squeezing the rest of America into cookie-cutter living and paying inflated energy prices. The feminist movement delivered divorce and abortion—far from benefiting women, it has made millions dependent on ruling class favor.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had almost nothing to do with public health and almost everything to do with separating, impoverishing, and disconnecting people inclined to vote against the ruling class. As leftist judges rule, conservatives respond by appointing judges who pledge not to rule. As leftist governors establish their brand of effective sovereignty by decree, conservative ones obey court orders. So long as, and to the degree that, the illusion of legitimacy stands—so long as the Right obeys while the Left disobeys and commands—there is no end to what the Left can do because there is so little that conservatives do to fight back.”
Codevilla notes that Anton in the book urges Americans to re-elect President Donald Trump, “because they know even better than before how much this country’s ruling class would use control of the presidency to hurt us in our private and public lives for having dared to reject their mastery.”