Donald Trump deliberately trolls people

Trump philosopher Michael Anton: "The old Republican Party with its dogmas of free markets and low taxes is dead"

He referred to a Hillary Clinton presidency as Russian roulette. The publicist Michael Anton wrote a highly acclaimed essay in 2016. In it he made the election of Donald Trump intellectually socially acceptable. He believes there is no alternative to a second term of office.

Mr. Anton, in this interview I will try not to appear as a left-wing stroll like you do elsewhere. . .

I am not bothered by left trolls nearly as much as I detest affected by right trolls.

Tell me the difference.

Right trolls claim, "Look here, I'm the real conservative, and you're falling away from real conservative principles." I especially hate those who think they understand Hillsdale College and the Claremont Institute better than we, who teach and learn there. These people drive me crazy.

Four years ago you wrote in your essay "The Flight 93 Election" that a Hillary Clinton presidency is like Russian roulette with a semi-automatic. With Trump you can at least turn the revolver drum and let it come down to it. Was it worth the risk?

Even if the first term of office of the Trump administration did not deliver everything as desired, it certainly did more than a second Clinton administration. Certainly, for example, I would like a completely built wall. The office of president is a very difficult job, even for thoroughbred politicians, which becomes even more difficult when the political experience is missing and parts of your own party and all centers of power in the country rebel against the president. In this respect, we should not be surprised that the Trump administration has not fulfilled all of its voters' wishes. Nevertheless, I am happy to have elected Trump in 2016, which I will do again in 2020. Because I know what will happen to me when the other side wins.


More of what Trump is opposed to and what makes all the anti-Trump people so angry. Regarding immigration, for example, Democrats said in the debates during the primaries that they were not only against the wall, but also wanted to tear down existing sections. They called for amnesty and free health insurance for all illegal immigrants, which would bankrupt the health system and possibly the US Treasury. In trade, they wanted to go back to the status quo ante, with the accelerator depressed in the direction of their globalization agenda, to gear the US economy exclusively to technology, management and a financial sector with no manufacturing component of small businesses. They support attacks on freedom of speech in close association with the tech companies. And the worst of these days: The Democrats are fully behind rioting, destruction and chaos across the country. They do not want to condemn or lie when they say that the violence is justified or that the majority of the violence is peaceful. Kenosha in Wisconsin is being destroyed, Chicago has been looted. 2020 is the worst year of my life - not in person, but in light of what is happening to America.

They exaggerate. Can you substantiate your statements?

The evidence is everywhere. If you need a technical journal to see that America is on fire and that the Democrats take turns lying about it or fueling it, then I can't help you either. That being said, I don't intend to spend a second proving anything for your personal satisfaction, which is perfectly obvious if you aren't walking around with your eyes intentionally closed.

You recently claimed that the alternative was "more Trump, more populism, more nationalism, more patriotism". What does that mean?

A second term of office that takes the 2016 agenda more specifically. Trump is supposed to renew the Republican Party. I would like to see the remaining anti-Trump faction of the Grand Old Party, which has not yet defected to the Democrats or Independents, sorted out. By that I mean the forces for open borders, free trade, and infinite wars. Instead, I have a vision of the party that focuses on economic populism, the manufacturing sector and closing the income and prosperity gap.

In your opinion, would that be a policy for medium-sized companies?

It is a mystery to me, but it proves the shameless hypocrisy of our time: the left was always concerned with narrowing the wealth gap. Today the Democratic Party is absolutely the party of the very rich and the very poor. She's a spider-lover of the middle class. Traditionally, that has been the role of Republicans, the party of big business, wealth concentration and production. Differences did not matter as long as “the tide lifts all boats”, is JFK's bon mot, according to which the poorest and the middle class also benefit when the rich get richer. This dynamic has not worked for thirty years. The old Republican Party, with its dogmas of free markets, free trade and low taxes, is dead. I want a new Republican Party that is more economically centrist, takes care of income and wealth inequalities and the distribution of wealth.

Do I hear sympathy for Bernie Sanders here?

Maybe I want to tackle the same problems - but not by the same means. I am not a socialist. But I have no problem with the use of the state. The conservative dogma has always been that the free market is sacrosanct and that regulatory interferences are harmful, philosophically and morally illegitimate and unjustified. Outrage against the sanctity of the market as a moral crime - that is grotesque! The Republican Party under Abraham Lincoln originally stood for industrial production, protected by tariffs. Traitors and devious idiots like those from the so-called Lincoln Project, which supposedly gathers patriotic anti-Trump Republicans under a new label, know this very well. Still, they wrap themselves in Lincoln's cloak to get excited about Trump's collective bargaining policy. They're just liars.

This brings us to a leitmotif of your essay - that the conservative movement in the USA has definitely failed. Are you still holding on to that after four years at Trump?

I still believe that. Initially, from 1955 and the founding of the National Review by William F. Buckley, conservatism was quite successful. From the mid-1990s, his success dried up. In his dogmatism of free markets, free trade, outsourcing and belligerence, he has deeply harmed Central America, the people who donated and voted for the conservative cause. But instead of going inside and reflecting on how our mistakes favored Trump's rise, conservatives only expressed contempt and hatred of Trump and his constituents. That annoyed me, so I wrote The Flight 93 Election. If the essay is about anything, it is less about Trump than about Conservatism Inc., his mistakes and his inability to see the signs of the times.

That would be?

Nobody likes to stand by their mistakes. But in Washington I saw and see a group of highly paid writers and political insiders pointing fingers at voters in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the Ohio Valley. To people who earn a tenth of the crooks in the capital. People who saw their incomes stagnate or fall for thirty years, and then these fat, content crooks said down from their high horse in DC: "How dare you vote for the orange man?" When they had benefited from exactly these people for thirty years? I found that morally disgusting and I still find it.

Today some members of the Republicans etch Trump for having polarized the country with his style and language. Doesn't this position contain at least a grain of truth?

Do you know the expression «CYA»? It is a nonsense and stands for "Cover your ass" - protect your own ass. They were all against Trump, and no one asked about their own accountability or mistakes. The Iraq war was a spectacular mistake, one of the greatest disasters in US foreign policy. Thousands of US forces, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and other people in the Middle East are dead, an entire region of the world is destabilized. Not only were almost all Lincoln project developers for the Iraq war, but they were also its architects. Did a single one of them admit to themselves in a quiet little room: "Wow, I was wrong about that!"? They'd rather all be against Trump, because Trump comes along and tells the truth, a truth that makes sense to all these voters with elementary school degrees and naive understanding of US foreign policy.

We all know what a traitor is: someone who appears to be on your side. These people make a living saying, I've been a Conservative and a Republican for many years. And the leading media, the Democratic Party and the classic liberals are laughing up their sleeves, because these crooks also earn money with this scam. They're paid by people of the same regime who want more finance, lower trade barriers, and more endless war, aren't they? You shovel money into them because they are useful in beating Trump. Well, I think their best before date is about to expire. Because regardless of whether Trump wins or loses - as soon as he withdraws, these people no longer need them.

They morally condemn the conservatives. In the last paragraph of "The Flight 93 Election" you appeal to virtue.

Yes, in Italian.

Machiavelli's «virtù».

Of course, Machiavelli. Elsewhere I used the Greek term “thymós”, which means something like pride and self-respect - boy, was I cut down for it. How can you use such delicate words for an anti-democratic phenomenon like Trump! All these hypocritically self-proclaimed conservative guardians of democracy have played a "confidence game". That is, they have tricked, cheated and cheated on their voters and financiers by delivering the opposite of their election promises. I, on the other hand, said: Trump will come and he will promise you the things you want. He will degrade our involvement in stupid, pointless wars in the Middle East. He will eliminate these bad trade deals and not enter into new ones. All of these things have been praised by Republican grassroots, Republican politicians, and think tanks for years.

All of them - really?

You can divide the conservative movement into two classes: The American Enterprise Institute Conservatives, the Paul Ryan Republicans, are reasonably honest in saying, Open borders and trade are great, and those are conservative principles. Others are dishonest and lie to voters. For example, whenever Senator John McCain stood for re-election, he would go to the border in Arizona and play the strong man on border security. In one of his commercials he looked into the camera under his cowboy hat and demanded that the "damn fence be built" - like in a film by John Ford. After the re-election, he went back to Washington and campaigned for an amnesty for illegal immigrants. This is that lying crook republican. I am voting against the guy who promises what he really intends to do and tries to do it.

You yourself say that Donald Trump is a product of corrupt times in a corrupt republic. How can such a corrupt product help? Doesn't he rather embody the desire to burn everything down and start over?

He's not trying to burn everything down! He is working hard to implement an agenda that America can heal from. In my view, until 2015 liberalism had withered to the following: the financialization of the economy, the extensive dismantling and outsourcing of the manufacturing industry, open borders and techno-censorship. The technological control of information and thoughts fits like the hand to the glove of the government, the omnipresent citizen spying and military combat operations in forty countries that most Americans cannot even name, let alone explain. Untenable!

Trump calls for insourcing and redomiciliation of American manufacturing and other operations. He has done more for it than any other president in recent years. In addition, he has shattered the prevailing orthodoxy. That in itself is an achievement that was as difficult as it was necessary. I am personally grateful to him for that, no matter what happens in the 2020 election. Without him, the vision that I want for this country, away from the window, would be forgotten. There would be no change.

What change?

Lots of people love today's San Francisco. They love rampant crime, homelessness, studio apartments for $ 5,000 when you have to step over syringes on the street and a handful of companies and industries control everything. If you like that, you'll love the post-Trump appearance of America. If Trump's program can be implemented, however, then I see a chance that we can build a functional America program, where politics is actually made, where, with Aristotle, free citizens rule and are governed accordingly. Where both sides recognize the legitimacy of the other. We are currently far from that.

Where are we exactly?

I find it most ironic that I'm still being ironed out for writing an article called "The Flight 93 Election". How tasteless, they say - what kind of horrible person uses such a 9/11 metaphor? But now it is the left that is calling for the “Flight 93 Election” in 2020. The left say we have to win because if not, America is finished. What they really mean, of course, is that in case of defeat, their vision of a blue, democratic state between west and east coast with total control and no opposition is in danger.

How important is Trump's victory in November to you personally?

Very, absolutely. But like I said, all I can do is vote. All opinion polls claim that there are no more independent swing voters, that the opinions are made. So it's all about voter turnout - at least that's what the experts say.

Do you agree?

I do not know. Trump came as a surprise in 2016, partly because the polls no longer know how to survey the country. You are far too far removed from the mood of the electorate. Thanks to the rise in the cancel culture and the stupid uniformity in mainstream media and social networks, voters know only too well what to say and what not to say. In this respect, it is even more difficult to obtain reliable survey results today than it was four years ago. That could cause another surprise. I can well imagine that Trump will win the elections - and just as well that he will lose them. I just do not know.

Also relevant four years later: Michael Anton's essay "The Flight 93 Election"

On September 5, 2016, the Claremont Review of Books published the essay “The Flight 93 Election”, written under the pseudonym of the little-known Roman consul, general and martyr Publius Decius Mus. Decius called for Donald Trump to be elected and compared the election file with flight UA93. As is well known, on September 11, 2001, the passengers of the plane hijacked by bin Ladin's henchmen stormed the cockpit. Instead of the Capitol or the White House, UA93 crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton as president is like Russian roulette with a semi-automatic, with Trump you can at least turn the drum. This is the chance to overthrow the corrupt regime of a globalized elite, the Davoisie, supported by Democrats and Republicans alike, in favor of the American middle class.

After Rush Limbaugh read "The Flight 93 Election" in its entirety live on the radio, the article became a disreputable sensation: that Trump had no chance was a foregone conclusion, support for Trump was not socially acceptable. Two months later this changed suddenly, and the polemics of Anton, who has meanwhile been exposed as an author, turned out to be prophetic in retrospect. Anton then served as Deputy Assistant in Strategic Communications to President Trump from February 2017 to April 2018, a member of the National Security Council. The magazine “Vanity Fair” described him as “Machiavelli” and possibly the “most powerful man” in the Trump administration. Before that, the 50-year-old speechwriter worked for Rupert Murdoch and Rudy Giuliani as well as Citigroup's communications director. Today he is a lecturer at the Washington branch of Hillsdale College.

Michael Anton's latest book, “The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return” (Regnery Publishing, 500 pages), has just been published.