The Stakes Are Well Done

 

The Claremont Institute recently granted me a Lincoln Fellowship, which offers a week-plus of seminars on American politics and political thought. But first, I have to read some books. A lot of books.

One of the first I picked up was Michael Anton’s The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return (2020). Anton famously dubbed 2016 “The Flight 93 Election,” and in The Stakes, he warned of what would happen if the Democrats took the White House in 2020.

In the chapter titled “If Present Trends Continue…,” Anton made several predictions of a Biden presidency.

At least at first, immigration levels will go dramatically up and there will be no pretense of enforcement. (p. 282)

It would appear in the very near future, basic criminal law will no longer be enforced in large parts of the United States of America. (p. 288)

Forcing you to call a woman a man, or vice versa, is all the more satisfying when those holding the gun to your head know you don’t really believe it. That, at the constant ginning up of new hysterias keeps deplorable off-balance and on the defensive. (pp. 289-290)

Yep. Pretty much nailed it, Mr. Anton.

Published in Literature, Politics
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 53 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    They won’t succeed because their policies don’t work, and can’t be made to work.

    They won’t succeed because men can become pregnant, but can’t have a say in abortion law.

    They won’t succeed because they will be laughed at. They can handle outrage. They can handle dissent. They can’t handle being mocked.

    • #1
  2. DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    They’ve been telling us for years how they intend to transform America. We laughed at them and said they won’t succeed, because this is America, not Communist China, and Americans won’t stand for such loss of freedoms.

    And yet, as we saw in 2020, Americans happily wore their chains, and berated their fellow citizens who refused to put them on.

    Which is to say, they will succeed. They are succeeding. Bit by bit we’re losing our freedoms.

    Believe them when they tell you what they’re planning to do. The crazier it sounds, the more we need to accept them at their word.

    • #2
  3. Michael Minnott Member
    Michael Minnott
    @MichaelMinnott

    Percival (View Comment):

    They won’t succeed because their policies don’t work, and can’t be made to work.

    They won’t succeed because men can become pregnant, but can’t have a say in abortion law.

    They won’t succeed because they will be laughed at. They can handle outrage. They can handle dissent. They can’t handle being mocked.

    I wish I could be as confident as you.  With an often Quisling GOP, I’m not so certain.

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Michael Minnott (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    They won’t succeed because their policies don’t work, and can’t be made to work.

    They won’t succeed because men can become pregnant, but can’t have a say in abortion law.

    They won’t succeed because they will be laughed at. They can handle outrage. They can handle dissent. They can’t handle being mocked.

    I wish I could be as confident as you. With an often Quisling GOP, I’m not so certain.

    They’ll be replaced.

    • #4
  5. Nathanael Ferguson Contributor
    Nathanael Ferguson
    @NathanaelFerguson

    I’m not sure the deplorables are still on the defensive, or that we will be for much longer at any rate. The results this November at federal, state, and local levels, should clear the matter up for us in any case.

    • #5
  6. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Nathanael Ferguson (View Comment):

    I’m not sure the deplorables are still on the defensive, or that we will be for much longer at any rate. The results this November at federal, state, and local levels, should clear the matter up for us in any case.

    We’re gonna get slaughtered.  The fraud will make 2020 pale by comparison.

    • #6
  7. Nathanael Ferguson Contributor
    Nathanael Ferguson
    @NathanaelFerguson

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Nathanael Ferguson (View Comment):

    I’m not sure the deplorables are still on the defensive, or that we will be for much longer at any rate. The results this November at federal, state, and local levels, should clear the matter up for us in any case.

    We’re gonna get slaughtered. The fraud will make 2020 pale by comparison.

    I hope you are wrong about that.

    • #7
  8. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Here’s another non-review. 

    • #8
  9. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    And yet, as we saw in 2020, Americans happily wore their chains, and berated their fellow citizens who refused to put them on.

    Which is to say, they will succeed. They are succeeding. Bit by bit we’re losing our freedoms.

    Or, one could say, we all put on the masks because we were in uncharted territory, unsure of how to combat this thing and be safe, and everyone put on the mask out of caution. Over time, some became attached to masking for reasons that had less to do with evidence and more to do with their new identity as a Good Science-Driven  Person Who Cared. The loud anti-maskers were outnumbered by the irritated mass of people eager to get on with it all, and when the vaccines came along, people dropped the masks, and became impatient with attempts to enforce their continued use. 

    They did not succeed. I took a plane today, and the passengers were 1% masked, if that. Lots of New Yorkers are still walking around with masks, but they seem faintly ridiculous. The people I saw in the tourist areas were mostly maskless and happy. How could I tell? Because I could see their faces, and they were smiling. 

    The Authorities (TM) squandered their trust, and now half the country – a population that used to regard them as serious and reasonable – hear the constant news about variants and surges like the statements of a cult leader whose prediction of the end of the world didn’t come true, and has to issue constant reassuring update that the end is, in fact, nigh.

    The freedom we lost was the freedom to show our faces, and we took it back, one individual at a time, and there’s squat-all they can do about it now. 

    • #9
  10. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    And yet, as we saw in 2020, Americans happily wore their chains, and berated their fellow citizens who refused to put them on.

    Which is to say, they will succeed. They are succeeding. Bit by bit we’re losing our freedoms.

    Or, one could say, we all put on the masks because we were in uncharted territory, unsure of how to combat this thing and be safe, and everyone put on the mask out of caution. Over time, some became attached to masking for reasons that had less to do with evidence and more to do with their new identity as a Good Science-Driven Person Who Cared. The loud anti-maskers were outnumbered by the irritated mass of people eager to get on with it all, and when the vaccines came along, people dropped the masks, and became impatient with attempts to enforce their continued use.

    They did not succeed. I took a plane today, and the passengers were 1% masked, if that. Lots of New Yorkers are still walking around with masks, but they seem faintly ridiculous. The people I saw in the tourist areas were mostly maskless and happy. How could I tell? Because I could see their faces, and they were smiling.

    The Authorities (TM) squandered their trust, and now half the country – a population that used to regard them as serious and reasonable – hear the constant news about variants and surges like the statements of a cult leader whose prediction of the end of the world didn’t come true, and has to issue constant reassuring update that the end is, in fact, nigh.

    The freedom we lost was the freedom to show our faces, and we took it back, one individual at a time, and there’s squat-all they can do about it now.

    That – and so much more – depends on honest elections coming in November of this year, and in 2024.  In a way we may all be betting our lives on that, whether we choose to or not.

    • #10
  11. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    The Authorities (TM)

    Perfection.

    Your average Democrat wants to believe in this crap so much.

     

    • #11
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I never wanted to were a mask because I had enough medical knowledge to know they were ineffective. I only wore one because I was forces too. I knew that only vented masks would protect me, and they were on timers. 

    Masks were never about caution. They were a lie from the start.

    • #12
  13. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    It’s not like those predictions were difficult.  But still . . .

    • #13
  14. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Skyler (View Comment):

    It’s not like those predictions were difficult. But still . . .

    That was my thought too.  I can’t think of any Democrat who wouldn’t have done more or less the same things.

    • #14
  15. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    James Lileks (View Comment):

     

    The freedom we lost was the freedom to show our faces, and we took it back, one individual at a time, and there’s squat-all they can do about it now.

    That’s not even close to true.  They’ve learned that we will do it.  We won’t like it, but they have control of federal agencies.  And businesses.  And that’s all that they need.

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    It’ll be hard work, Jon, but what a treat! Enjoy!

    • #16
  17. Michael Henry Member
    Michael Henry
    @MichaelHenry

    Man, that was close. On first reading, Jon, I thought you were joining the Lincoln PROJECT. I was going to suggest you watch your back(side)…. 

    • #17
  18. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Michael Henry (View Comment):

    Man, that was close. On first reading, Jon, I thought you were joining the Lincoln PROJECT. I was going to suggest you watch your back(side)….

    • #18
  19. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Gasoline and baby formula may be instrumental in taking them down. 

    • #19
  20. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Percival (View Comment):
    They won’t succeed because their policies don’t work, and can’t be made to work.

    Who needs policies that work when you can rig elections?

    Democrat policies have been failing in American cities for decades, but they are continually returned to power.

    • #20
  21. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    They won’t succeed because their policies don’t work, and can’t be made to work.

    Who needs policies that work when you can rig elections?

    Democrat policies have been failing in American cities for decades, but they are continually returned to power.

    Minneapolis and Minnesota are #1 in almost all of the racial disparity categories. So that means the difference between black and everybody else, not the absolute level. The new one I just heard is housing.

    Obviously, there is enough wealth and progressive power to fix all of this. It never happens, and the Democrats basically never lose any power.

    George Floyd was moved to Minneapolis by a Christian group. Arguably this is the worst place you can send a black person. I wish some sugar daddy would figure out a way to create scholarships to help them move to better areas.

    • #21
  22. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Percival (View Comment):
    They won’t succeed because they will be laughed at. They can handle outrage. They can handle dissent. They can’t handle being mocked.

    So true.  The left feeds on how outraged they can make us, which is why they propose more and more outrageous things.  The one weapon we have is ridicule.  We need to point out time and time again that the emperor has no clothes, and using ridicule (or satire, parody, you name it) to do it.

    BTW, we also feed on their outrage.  The schadenfreude from the leaked SCOTUS opinion is delicious.  I’m just worried the real decision may be watered down . . .

    • #22
  23. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Stad (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    They won’t succeed because they will be laughed at. They can handle outrage. They can handle dissent. They can’t handle being mocked.

    So true. The left feeds on how outraged they can make us, which is why they propose more and more outrageous things. The one weapon we have is ridicule. We need to point out time and time again that the emperor has no clothes, and using ridicule (or satire, parody, you name it) to do it.

    BTW, we also feed on their outrage. The schadenfreude from the leaked SCOTUS opinion is delicious. I’m just worried the real decision may be watered down . . .

    I agree with all of this, particularly the highlighted part. That is the way it is.

    • #23
  24. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    They won’t succeed because their policies don’t work, and can’t be made to work.

    Who needs policies that work when you can rig elections?

    Democrat policies have been failing in American cities for decades, but they are continually returned to power.

    Minneapolis and Minnesota are #1 in almost all of the racial disparity categories. So that means the difference between black and everybody else, not the absolute level. The new one I just heard is housing.

    Obviously, there is enough wealth and progressive power to fix all of this. It never happens, and the Democrats basically never lose any power.

    George Floyd was moved to Minneapolis by a Christian group. Arguably this is the worst place you can send a black person. I wish some sugar daddy would figure out a way to create scholarships to help them move to better areas.

    Was it a “Christian group” or a religious group with historic, but greatly frayed, ties to a Christian tradition?  Can you share the name of the group?  

    • #24
  25. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    They won’t succeed because their policies don’t work, and can’t be made to work.

    Who needs policies that work when you can rig elections?

    Democrat policies have been failing in American cities for decades, but they are continually returned to power.

    Minneapolis and Minnesota are #1 in almost all of the racial disparity categories. So that means the difference between black and everybody else, not the absolute level. The new one I just heard is housing.

    Obviously, there is enough wealth and progressive power to fix all of this. It never happens, and the Democrats basically never lose any power.

    George Floyd was moved to Minneapolis by a Christian group. Arguably this is the worst place you can send a black person. I wish some sugar daddy would figure out a way to create scholarships to help them move to better areas.

    Was it a “Christian group” or a religious group with historic, but greatly frayed, ties to a Christian tradition? Can you share the name of the group?

    I heard that once. I don’t remember the details. Nobody brings it up, ever.

    I have no idea if it’s one of those notorious NGOs, but obviously this wouldn’t be a big money maker in that sense.

    • #25
  26. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    They won’t succeed because their policies don’t work, and can’t be made to work.

    Who needs policies that work when you can rig elections?

    Democrat policies have been failing in American cities for decades, but they are continually returned to power.

    When the number of votes cast regularly exceed the number of voters available to cast those votes, someone is going to notice.

    • #26
  27. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    And yet, as we saw in 2020, Americans happily wore their chains, and berated their fellow citizens who refused to put them on.

    Which is to say, they will succeed. They are succeeding. Bit by bit we’re losing our freedoms.

    Or, one could say, we all put on the masks because we were in uncharted territory, unsure of how to combat this thing and be safe, and everyone put on the mask out of caution. Over time, some became attached to masking for reasons that had less to do with evidence and more to do with their new identity as a Good Science-Driven Person Who Cared. The loud anti-maskers were outnumbered by the irritated mass of people eager to get on with it all, and when the vaccines came along, people dropped the masks, and became impatient with attempts to enforce their continued use.

    They did not succeed. I took a plane today, and the passengers were 1% masked, if that. Lots of New Yorkers are still walking around with masks, but they seem faintly ridiculous. The people I saw in the tourist areas were mostly maskless and happy. How could I tell? Because I could see their faces, and they were smiling.

    The Authorities (TM) squandered their trust, and now half the country – a population that used to regard them as serious and reasonable – hear the constant news about variants and surges like the statements of a cult leader whose prediction of the end of the world didn’t come true, and has to issue constant reassuring update that the end is, in fact, nigh.

    The freedom we lost was the freedom to show our faces, and we took it back, one individual at a time, and there’s squat-all they can do about it now.

    Just flew from Charlotte, NC to Burlington, VT – at the Charlotte airport, my rough estimate was 5% of people wearing  a mask.  And I was generous in the estimate.

    Went out to dinner last night, did some walking around in Burlington at lunch – same.  Almost nobody is wearing them.

    Oh, and the flight?  To echo James, maybe 5%, again.  It’s over.  What might have been squandered is the willingness to comply for the next one – which they’re trying to ramp up expectations over, right now (Bill Gates, Fauci, etc).

    • #27
  28. DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Skyler (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    The freedom we lost was the freedom to show our faces, and we took it back, one individual at a time, and there’s squat-all they can do about it now.

    That’s not even close to true. They’ve learned that we will do it. We won’t like it, but they have control of federal agencies. And businesses. And that’s all that they need.

    Yes. They learned that the masses will obey if enough fear is pumped into them. Fear replaced knowledge. You will be made to comply with their edicts. And as we saw, they will call the cops on you if you don’t. Windsurfing without a mask? Out in your motor boat when Governor Whitmer says only boats without motors are allowed? (I mean, she really did that.) They cut the nets off neighborhood basketball courts. They took down the swings and filled the skate parks with sand. And everyone said “we are obedient.” And they screamed at their neighbors who wouldn’t comply.

    They could have said “Wear a mask to protect yourself” and left it at that. And then it would have been seen as an individual choice. But instead they said “No, you wear a mask to protect those around you,” and it became an experiment in collectivism where the scofflaws were treated like lepers. It was perfectly devised to set one citizen against the other and break apart all social bonds. 

    And people are still wearing masks here. Not many, but they’re out there. See ’em in the stores. Still see ’em driving alone in their cars with masks on. So in spite of their being absolutely no evidence that masks work (and some evidence that they actually harm people, to say nothing of the psychological effects), the mind control has worked pretty well.

    They know they can do it again. And they know that the masses will comply.

    • #28
  29. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):
    They could have said “Wear a mask to protect yourself” and left it at that. And then it would have been seen as an individual choice. But instead they said “No, you wear a mask to protect those around you,” and it became an experiment in collectivism where the scofflaws were treated like lepers. It was perfectly devised to set one citizen against the other and break apart all social bonds. 

    1000% accurate. 

    They did nothing in the aggregate. They had limited application if you used a lot of common sense around a person that was vulnerable. 

    They love collectivist concepts and they will shame you about them even if they obviously don’t work.

    • #29
  30. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    What were the other books on the reading list?

    • #30
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.