By Richard Kirk
Only a few decades ago California twice elected Ronald Reagan governor and twice voted for the Gipper as President. It later chose a series of Republican governors, ending with its former Senator Pete Wilson (1991-1998). Twenty years later the state has no functioning Republican Party and all statewide offices are securely held by Democrats in the mold of San Francisco’s Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris. What California looks like today is what Democrats want for the whole country. That Gilded State dystopia is described in detail in the first chapter of Michael Anton’s book The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return. That portrait features super-wealthy coastal elites eager to impose their environmental ideology and social justice agenda on a vanishing middle class as well as on Valley farmers whose irrigation waters and livelihood dry up for the sake of a supposedly endangered fish. This Democrat lock on political power is based on an ever-growing multitude of legal and illegal immigrants whose voting power and reliance on government assistance turned a relatively red state deep blue.
Add to this overview crushing home prices, the highest state income tax rate, crumbling infrastructure, traffic nightmares, deteriorating schools, a burgeoning homeless population, and a protected class of illegal aliens with more freedom to violate the law than conservatives have to express opinions about males who identify as the opposite sex and share bathroom facilities with biological females. This incomplete portrait reveals what’s in store for the rest of the country if current trends continue, trends made possible by the addition of, at a minimum, fifty-nine million immigrants since Ted Kennedy’s 1965 “reform” bill whose every promise to the American people was, as Anton notes, a complete lie. Anton also observes (in chapter 5, “Immigration”) that fifty-nine million doesn’t include the offspring of those prolific immigrants or the twenty million plus illegal immigrants now in the country. All totaled, these numbers represent an unprecedented inflow of foreigners whose presence in the country has lowered working class wages, increased home prices, drained public coffers, taxed public services, crowded cities, “fundamentally transformed” California, and is quickly transmogrifying Colorado and even Virginia.
Most AT readers are familiar with the execrable state of affairs in California (well summarized by Victor Davis Hanson) but most will find something new to consider when Anton focuses attention on the ultimate objectives of America’s super-wealthy ruling class (chapters 3 and 4), a group consisting of tech, finance, business, and agriculture oligarchs who provide the money that creates and motivates political puppets eager to create their own fiefdoms via influence-peddling and revolving government-business doors. (Why has Congress, including the GOP, been loath to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden’s corruption? Answer: “because they all do the same thing — or hope to once they leave office.”) Anton’s analysis of these super-rich and somewhat hereditary puppeteers focuses more on economics than sheer ideology, and on political power as the means to secure their positions of wealth and status.
Anton asserts that the primary goal of these elites is “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, foreigners over the native-born. ” Put more simply, ruling elites pursue a globalist free market that redounds to the benefit of high finance and big business (especially technology) at the expense of American workers, American culture, and the American Constitution. A “high-low” coalition of the super wealthy plus folks dependent on government is the nationwide ruling class playbook as it was in California.
Anton doesn’t discount the role of ideology among the ruling class but views it more as a means than an end in itself — a vehicle employed to pacify true believers (the “Wokerati”) and to secure the power that guarantees their fabulous wealth will continue indefinitely. Indeed, these elites must employ a juggling act that balances grievance-based identity politics with the need to pay off their various constituencies. Killing the golden goose of globalist capitalism would surely produce a break-up of their coalition that includes many “Freeloaders” as well as aggrieved minorities unwilling to give up I-phones and hefty government assistance programs just to vilify “the (white, male, heterosexual, Christian) man.” The vindictive “Avenger” group in this coalition, led by academics like Ta-Nehisi Coates, seeks nothing short of, in the words of one critic, “a program of infinite penance for whites.” Meanwhile a soulmate of Coates, Noel Ignatiev, goes even further by giving his Harvard Magazine article this title: “Abolish the White Race.” While the largely white ruling class elites are content to use this racist hatred for political objectives that now include reparations, they hardly want to see their mega-fortunes turned into dust.
Whether a global capitalist system can succeed in buying off these competing constituencies given a democratic-in-name-only America is unlikely, thus Anton’s prolonged discussion in chapters 6 and 7 of future possibilities which extend from Blue and Red Caesars to outright war to various secession scenarios. Anton would have been wise, in my view, to sharply curtail these speculations since the author himself notes Yogi Berra’s prognosticative warning: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” What is perfectly clear, however, is how that globalist system has harmed American workers and how our ruling elites have all but destroyed the country’s traditional political institutions thanks to the ubiquitous rule of activist judges (“kritarchy”) who regularly nullify democratic decisions like the 60 to 40 percent California vote in 1994 to deny illegal aliens non-emergency government assistance.
With respect to culture, I give Anton major kudos for discussing how the ruling class has pacified and distracted Americans via mindless and morally vacuous entertainments, drugs, and especially “porn” — all products that have dulled the cognitive abilities and moral fiber of Americans thanks to their incessant propagation via television, film, music, and the Internet! Needless to say, the ruling class’s media “Megaphones” eagerly push these tawdry products to keep themselves modestly rich and American consumers “demoralized” — indifferent to the hollowing out of their country’s working class and Constitution.
In this hollowed out America justice is anything but Constitutionally equal. One example among several Anton provides is the FBI’s pre-dawn, SWAT-squad raid of the elderly Roger Stone’s house that was filmed “coincidentally” by CNN — all in response to a non-violent “process crime.” Compare this wildly disproportionate use of force with the failure to even prosecute a ruling class functionary, Andrew McCabe, who lied to Congress about a coup designed to undermine a legally elected President. Thanks to a complicit media dedicated to the proposition that most Americans are racist dimwits, this blatant injustice is hidden from the wider public.
Anton’s final chapter provides a political platform that calls for President Trump’s re-election and disavows any Republican Party not committed to protecting American workers, America’s traditional culture, and the American Constitution. The GOP of the two Bushes and many “conservative” think tanks that push globalist “free trade” policies and give tacit support for open borders and unchecked immigration must either follow Trump’s pro-American lead or die.
While Anton would have done well to make his points in two-thirds the space, he nevertheless scores numerous bullseyes that make his tendency to “over-explain” forgivable. Among these telling hits is the author’s quotation of an English author, Anthony Daniels, who observed that political correctness is “communist propaganda writ small.” The purpose of both is to humiliate people by forcing them to repeat obvious lies and thereby “lose once and for all their sense of probity.” An example I would offer is the now-PC claim that men can have babies and menstruate. Daniels says, “To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself.” He adds, “A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.” Control is an essential component of the ruling class’s agenda, and one that’s surely at stake in next month’s election.