Publius Decius Mus, the name behind which Michael Anton wrote some of the most enlightening articles during the election, has now not only been brought out into the light, but is, on that account, also on the high intensity receiving end of the usual slanders of the left. Only we on our side of the divide will ever listen to what he has to say, but he has turned out to be one of the most insightful persons in this Age of Stupidity, helping to clarify the political issues of our time. Below I excerpt from Decius Out of the Darkness: A Q&A with Michael Anton but you do need to read it all.
On being called an anti-Semite
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.
On the notion of America First
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.
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.
Much more at the link.