The Power Line Show, Ep 210: “The Stakes,” with Michael Anton

Well I’m finally finished with my jury service on a grueling four-week criminal trial (perhaps I’ll write about it later—it was quite something), so I’m back with our regular long-form interviews. And look for another Three Whisky Happy Hour, Special Labor Day edition on Monday.

Today is the 4th anniversary of the appearance of one of the most memorable political essays in American history, “The Flight 93 Election,” written by the pseudonymous author “Decius.” It began with this memorable attention-grabber:

2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.

Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.

Decius turned out to be Michael Anton, and I had forewarning about the article because he roughed it out while visiting me on vacation a couple weeks before. People still talk—and argue ferociously—about Michael’s essay, and now he is back with a full length sequel, a book about this year’s election, The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return. Michael starts our conversation with an account of how what he thought would be an obscure essay became a sensation, and how the political scene in the country has sharpened more ominously since Trump’s upset win four years ago.

You can read an excerpt of the book—the concluding chapter—here, where he says “There’s little wrong with President Trump that more Trump couldn’t solve.” (See also Angelo Codevilla’s review of the book, “‘Finger in the Dike’ Election.

You know what to do now: listen here or download the show from our hosts at Ricochet, or from your favorite podcast platform. And since this is a holiday weekend, could you spare three minutes to give the show a five-star rating on iTunes or wherever you procure your podcasts?