Decius Out of the Darkness: A Q&A with Michael Anton

Decius Out of the Darkness: A Q&A with Michael Anton, by American Greatness. Publius Decius Mus is the nom de plume of Michael Anton, who wrote the insightful and important article The Flight 93 Election: The Last US Election before Total Leftist Victory. The Wentworth Report has also found other articles of his valuable: see here and here. The PC Huffington Post did a hatchet job on him recently, as did the leftist Intercept. This article is a recent interview with Michael Anton.

HuffPo and The Intercept basically say you’re an anti-semite, or something close to it. What do you say to that?

It’s completely outrageous but sadly typical of the slander culture perfected by the modern Left. They can’t debate ideas anymore and don’t even want to try. They just look for any way to connect their enemies — that’s what I am to them, an enemy — to some scurrilous person or outlook. Once that taint is on you, they then work to make it impossible to scrub out. …

Nothing you can say is considered a valid defense. Once they have the chance to smear you, they will do it and continue the smear because it serves their interests. The human damage that they cause, the destruction of reputations — they don’t care about that. Actually, they do care, but they see it as a positive. Enemies are to be destroyed by any means necessary. …

So what does “America First” mean in the current context?

It means prioritizing American interests in our foreign policy and the American people in our domestic policy. Which is what every state — at least every government that is acting as it should — tries to do.

This is such a “well, duh” statement and idea that the fact it would be super controversial shows how corrupt our intellectual discourse has become.

But there’s another layer here, too. There is now, and has been for some time, a broad consensus from the center-right all the way to the far left that America’s only legitimate role is to be a kind of savior of and refuge for the world. It’s not a country with citizens and a government that serves those citizens. It belongs to everyone. Everyone has a right to come here, work here, live here, reap America’s bounty. We have no legitimate parochial interests. Rather America exists for others. This standard does not seem to be held to any other country, although one sees it increasingly rising in Europe.

So Donald Trump’s forthright stance against that, insisting that this country is ours, belongs to us, and demands that we prioritize our own interests, sounds like the most horrible blasphemy against this universalist consensus. I think that explains so much of the freakout against his presidency and the travel executive order, for instance. People ask, “How can he do that? Doesn’t he realize that America belongs to the whole world?” And Trump’s response is: “Don’t be silly, of course it doesn’t. It’s ours and we must do what’s best for us.” No prominent leader has said that or acted on that in ages. So the reassertion of basic common sense sounds shocking.

What about the broad charge of “white nationalism”?

Just another lie/smear. Though I cop to “nationalism,” but I do wonder what is the difference between nationalism and patriotism? I am open to being educated on that point if someone wants to make a case why “nationalism” is so awful but “patriotism” is OK. If I am a nationalist, I am an American nationalist. I am also an American patriot and I don’t see the difference.

As for the “white” part, where do people get that? It’s just a convenient way to destroy and smear and not have to deal with the argument. …

I know there are people who call themselves “white nationalists” but they strike me as a fringe. I don’t think “white nationalism” per se is actually possible or viable. The root of “nationalism” is “nation.” A race is not a nation. ….

What is the proper basis for this country—or any country—to decide its immigration policy?

The proper basis is what is best for the existing citizenry — period, full stop. It’s also important to note that the existing citizenry is entitled to base its judgement on whatever considerations it wants. That is to say, the existing citizenry is free to be “wrong” in the eyes of expert or elite opinion.

Expert and elite opinion definitely wants high immigration and views opposition as “inaccurate” or “in error” and therefore illegitimate. This is true not just of immigration but of a whole range of policies that a majority of ordinary citizens don’t want but that the elites want. The elites then make an elaborate case for why their preferences are “correct” and any opposition is based on simple ignorance, not a legitimate, political difference. This is a much larger topic, that I explored in my previous writings, but that’s the heart of administrative state rule. Your wishes don’t count. Right and wrong are replaced by correct and incorrect and political government by the people is replaced by administrative rule by experts.

Read it all.