Michael Anton (born 1970) is a conservative intellectual and seniornational security official in the Trump administration. He is best knownfor his pseudonymous essays written during the 2016 Presidentialcampaign, mainly pro-Trumpism "The Flight 93 Election", which compared conservatives letting Hillary Clinton win with passengers not charging the cockpit of the Al Qaeda-hijacked flight.  Anton was named Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategic Communications on the United States National Security Council. He is a former speechwriter for Rudy Giuliani and George W. Bush’s Nationa Security Council, and most recently worked as managing director of investing firm BlackRock. William Kristol, editor of the neoconservative political magazine The Weekly Standard, compared Anton'srole to that of the Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt; Anton had previously written for the magazine.
A SENIOR OFFICIAL on President Trump’s embattled National Security Council warned in previously unreported comments that it is “inevitable” an Islamic terrorist group will carry out a successful nuclear attack against the United States and that in its aftermath, the world “will regress hundreds of years politically.” The official, Michael Anton, laid out a dire scenario of multiple nuclear detonations on American soil, saying that terrorists “will, I think, wait until they can hit us with several blows at once, followed by a number of follow-on blows.”
Anton, appointed as the Trump administration’s senior director of strategic communications on the NSC, wrote in 2009 that he was “surprised it hasn’t happened yet” and predicted that once the attacks occur, “economies will collapse … the world will revert to a kind of localism and warlordism.” He added, “If Chicago wakes up one morning and NY is simply not there anymore, and some dude on Al Jazeera is saying, ‘Chicago you are next!’ I don’t see order lasting long.”
New York, he added, seems to be the most likely first target. “I think you do not fully grasp what New York represents to the Islamist Terrorist mind. It is not simply the financial capital of the US, or even of the world. It is quite simply the capital of the western world and of all modernity. It is the center and chief creator and exporter of decadence and corruption. It is quite simply, to them, the most hated place on the planet, and the most important, outside the holy cities.”
Anton, who previously served in a mid-level position on the NSC in the Bush era, published a string of attention-getting essays last year that attempted to make a conservative intellectual argument for supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy. Those essays, while provocative, do not seem to be nearly as controversial or apocalyptic as the comments The Intercept unearthed after receiving a tip from a reader. The comments were made on an obscure website devoted to men’s fashion, Styleforum.net, which also hosts wide-ranging discussions among its members on a variety of political topics. Anton, who previously wrote a book titled “The Suit: A Machiavellian Approach to Men’s Style,” posted on Styleforum.net under the username “Manton,” and his user profile listed his usual shoe width as D medium. He was exceptionally prolific: Since joining the site in 2002, he has posted more than 40,000 comments.
“An all out nuclear war is not inevitable, or even likely,” he wrote in a discussion thread he started about nuclear terrorism. “A regional nuclear exchange between two regional powers is more likely, but still not inevitable. A nuclear detonation in a major US or European city (or Moscow) is inevitable.” He added, “Let’s just say the event is overdue. People have been wanting to do it for a long time, and trying to do it for a long time. … As a general matter, anything that human beings have wanted to do badly enough, that it is physically possible to do, they have eventually found a way to do.”
His concerns were so severe that he provided advice to people thinking of building their own fallout shelters.
“They could be worth a great deal,” Anton wrote. “If they are not underground at all, they are not worth much. [If] they are underground on even one side, their usefulness goes up by a lot. If they are surrounded by at least five feet of earth on four sides, then you are pretty much invulnerable from initial fallout — as long as you can hold out down there. … You would [be] better off having stored water. You never know about a water supply, it might be affected, might not. Best thing to do is to have some means of testing the water on hand. Buy it in advance and put it in the shelter.” Asked by another commenter when he thought the nuclear attack would occur, Anton responded, “Any day now.”
Anton also made provocative comments about diversity and affirmative action, saying they were harmful or unfair. Writing about university affirmative action programs in the humanities and social sciences, he stated, “What actually happens today is a total, consuming obsession with ‘diversity’ defined solely by skin color (and to a lesser extent national origin) coupled with an even more consuming obsession with ideology.” He also argued for the superiority of homogenous societies in which the population has common attributes, such as a shared language and ethnicity.
“The homogenous ones have higher trust levels, greater levels of cross-family cooperation, more public-spiritedness, higher levels of volunteering, charity donations, etc.,” he wrote. “They are also more able and more willing to support safety nets—formal and informal—that benefit non-family members. Heterogeneous societies have lower trust levels, people ‘hunker down’ and avoid contact with neighbors not just of other races/groups but of their own. They are more likely to concentrate solely on taking care of their own and to see taxation and other attempts to fund public goods as robbing Peter (themselves) to pay Paul (the other). Ordinary stuff does not get done or done as well. The state, with all its inefficiencies, has to be larger and more intrusive in order to make up for the lack of a thriving civil society.”
The detail and apparent extremism of Anton’s comments appear to go even further than much of what has already emerged from the Trump White House. The comments provide what seems to be the darkest of contexts for understanding the Trump administration’s desire for radical crackdowns on immigration and Muslims in general: a fervent conviction that a civilizational apocalypse caused by Muslims is coming soon.
“I look at the world and I see a whole movement of people who want to kill me, destroy my country, and end my civilization,” Anton wrote to a commenter who in his view had downplayed the threat posed by Muslims. “You either don’t see any of these people or you just think they are a joke. The bombs and the propaganda you alternate between taking in stride, finding pathetic, or dismissing any connection to Islam.” He also told the commenter, “Entirely absent from your analysis is even the possibility that there really is an enemy that wants to do terrible things to us and change us in fundamental, illiberal ways.”