Jonah Goldberg on Michael Anton

Jonah Goldberg’s new book landed at my front door today. Because I am a consummate professional, I turned immediately to the index. I figured American Greatness wouldn’t be in it, but I guessed our friend Michael Anton would be. And I suspected the mention of Anton would be . . . well, facile and lame. And that’s true. But the factual errors were a bonus!
From pp. 315-316 of Suicide of the West:
Michael Anton, a multimillionaire hedge fund partner and part-time intellectual who now works for the Trump administration, wrote a famous pseudonymous essay for the Claremont Review of Books titled “The Flight 93 Election.” In it, he argued that America was essentially doomed if Hillary Clinton was elected. So, like the passengers who overpowered the terrorists on 9/11, there was no choice but to back Trump. Selfless courage was required (but not so much courage as to risk losing his job by publishing under his own name). This argument was widely subscribed to by many leading conservatives, even many who had once been passionate opponents of Trump. The imperial arrogance of progressive social engineers and social justice warriors had earned an apocalyptic backlash so powerful that even clear-eyed conservatives who recognized Trump’s dishonesty and demagoguery couldn’t resist it. Indeed, as much as I hold Trump in contempt, I am still compelled to admit that, if my vote would have decided the election, I probably would have voted for him.
Anton is not a multimillionaire, Black Rock (his former employer) is not a hedge fund, and he was never a partner. Other than that, spot on. (Snort.) I wonder what the rest of the book has in store.

About Ben Boychuk

Ben Boychuk is managing editor of American Greatness. He is a former weekly syndicated columnist with Tribune Media, and a veteran of several publications, including City Journal, Investor's Business Daily, and the Claremont Review of Books. He lives in California.

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