Essay Image Virtue

The 2020 election is their own Flight 93 Election (though they’ve so far had the decency to make the point without using 9/11 metaphors).Joe Biden Then again, the Democratic politician whose rhetoric most closely mirrors Anton’s is, actually, the one whom he was opposing in 2016.

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But at least Hillary Clinton stopped short of going “full Anton” by comparing her fellow Americans to al-Qaeda terrorists.

In this new book, Anton asserts that “[t]he leftist enterprise has staked its success on an absurd and obviously false account of inequality.” One could say the same of Anton, at least when he just pages earlier writes of “the Left’s all-consuming drive for absolute power, its hostility to all American and Western norms—constitutional, moral, prudential—and its boundless destructive enmity.” Or when he writes of the Left’s “spiritual sickness, the self-loathing and existential despair, with which it has infected the formerly confident and capable West.” There is no shortage of reasons to criticize the modern progressive political agenda and the worldview that undergirds it.

It follows that the property of a belief and/or the justification of it cannot make it true. We therefore require an intrinsic connection to truth.

If we accept that most intellectual virtues have truth as their ultimate end; then it follows that our disposition in arriving at true knowledge is truth-driven.

It was an early example of the now all-too-familiar trend of “performative wokeness.” Anton himself seems to recognize this in his book’s new introductory essay: “My intent in writing ‘The Flight 93 Election’ was to impress upon those who consider themselves principled conservatives the urgency of the moment,” he explains, and many “have told me that it ‘woke them up’ to the dangers that militant leftism poses to our country and our civilization.” In other words, Success breeds imitation.

In the early days of the 2020 campaign, Democrats already are rallying the end-of-the-world political rhetoric that Anton and other Trump supporters advocated in the last one.

Of course, if he dedicated more than a moment’s thought to the metaphor, then he surely recognized its deeper problems—especially its strangely deterministic premises.

A commercial flight takes off for a predetermined destination, its path controlled by the pilots, the computers, the airline, and the air traffic controllers who bring its passive passengers from one fixed point to another.

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