Aug 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

First look: Former Trump aide Michael Anton's apocalyptic new book

The book over of "The Stakes" shows a match box with the America flag on it in flames
Courtesy: Regnery Publishing

Michael Anton, a former senior official on President Trump's National Security Council, is out Tuesday with a new book, obtained by Axios, titled, "The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return."

The big picture: The heading of the book's first chapter captures the tone and tenor of Anton's polemic: "Be afraid, very afraid: California as case study of America's possible future."

  • In the ensuing 407 pages, Anton imagines a future America under total Democratic Party control. He bombards the reader with scene after dystopian scene of what he describes as leftist authoritarianism, rampant crime and the policing of all non-"woke" thought.
  • "Blue-state politics from coast to coast," he writes, "could, once established, last a very long time and might end only with the country itself."
  • In a later chapter, Anton muses about secession.

Why it matters: Anton's incendiary writings don't live on the fringes of modern conservatism. They have influenced a president and some of the most powerful figures in the movement.

  • In 2018, Trump used Anton's Washington Post opinion piece, "Citizenship shouldn't be a birthright," as a basis for asking administration lawyers to draft an executive order to overturn birthright citizenship. (The White House counsel's office dismissed the idea.)

During the 2016 election, under the pseudonym Publius Decius Mus, Anton wrote a widely circulated piece titled "The Flight 93 Election," comparing a vote against Hillary Clinton to rushing the cockpit on a 9/11 flight hijacked by terrorists.

  • Some of the most powerful conservatives promoted Anton's piece as a rallying cry to persuade Never Trumpers to hold their noses and vote for Trump.

The bottom line: Anton's book elaborates on Trump's re-election campaign playbook — and likely foreshadows what's to come.

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