Since this is the first episode of the American Mind Podcast, we thought we would go back to basics. What is the fundamental problem politics must solve? What does that mean for governments in general? What about for America?

Helping us work through those questions is Mike Anton. He is a Senior Fellow at the Claremont Institute and Lecturer at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center in Washington DC. He has written for Pete Wilson, Rudy Giuliani, George W. Bush, and most recently he served in Donald Trump‘s National Security Council as Deputy Assistant for Strategic Communications. But many of you know him from an essay he wrote for the Claremont Review of Books titled “The Flight 93 Election.” That essay became the basis for his new book, After the Flight 93 Election: The Vote that Saved America and What We Still Have to Lose. What is his answer to the fundamental problem of politics? And how does that answer lead to his criticism that conservatives are too focused on the accumulation of wealth? Mike Anton explores these questions and many more in the inaugural edition of The American Mind Podcast.

Note to Ricochet listeners: This episode was originally released on February 21, 2019. The American Mind will be a monthly podcast, but you’re in luck because the second episode comes out tomorrow.

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There are 3 comments.

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  1. EtCarter Inactive

    Thank you. I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can re this topic.

    Following events at home and abroad have me wondering what my history, political science, and civics teachers in high-school would say to the mass cluelessness from people in positions to make hard decisions for the future of nations (see UK vs EU)

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  2. Freesmith Inactive

    Some observations after listening to Mr. Anton:

    A people’s character may be, or may be made, unsuited for limited government. That’s the overarching goal which unites the welfare state and massive Third World immigration as progressive policies.

    The bureaucratic state is essentially anti-self-government. On that basis alone Anglo-Americans are blood-bound to oppose it. No complicated explications of rationalist philosophy are necessary.

    Anton ignores that the Founders did not merely devise a government based on the situation that they faced in their time, they also devised that government based upon being the descendants of real Englishmen who had brought them through trial-and-error to that situation. The Founders had teachers and those teachers were not named Machiavelli or Aristotle.

    American history teaching today is “warts and all,” but more than that it is cringing self-abasement in the shadow of certain conventionally accepted utopian ideals.

    The official Right is bought and paid for. It sits comfortably in its Asness Chairs, free to be luftmenschen.

    Of course they know that Wall Street hates them and overwhelmingly supports Democratic politicians and progressive social policies, but “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” [Upton Sinclair]

    Ah, reparations. Conservatives are always claiming not to know who is “white” in America and making fatuous references to “Irish Need Not Apply” signs and old anti-Eastern European immigrant prejudices. Want to know “who is white” in this country? Ask a reparations supporter if you’ll be expected to pay them. That’ll tell you, Whitey.

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  3. Stina Member

    His concept of “the good life” is traditional (pre-buckley) conservatism.

    I’m still learning on it, so I haven’t much to go on, but putting it simply, libertarian influence in conservatism has so reduced man to be devoid of attachments that transcend consent – like family, faith, and loyalty to nation/country.

    It is evident that men are motivated by more than material wealth. Material wealth does not define “happiness”. The good life is more holistic than that.

    And I agree with the wealth accumulation limit. My husband and I have discussed this in terms of anything over $x goes to charity. If we were business owners, whatever excess it made above needs for expansion and what we need for ourselves should go to our employees.

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