Power Failure
The Left of the Right
The Nerd Trying to Turn the GOP Populist

The Wall Street Journal has released a two-minute attack ad against American Compass, whose mission is to restore an economic consensus that emphasizes the importance of family, community, and industry to the nation’s liberty and prosperity.

For readers who may not have a chance to watch the video, and in anticipation that such a journalistically inadequate product may not remain available on the Journal’s website indefinitely, I’ve transcribed it here with some brief commentary. Read to the end to learn how they spliced audio of my answer to a question about whether I would consider being a socialist, removing the part where I praise Friedrich Hayek and making it sound instead like I start my answer with, “yes.”

The video accompanies a column by Bill McGurn that accuses Compass of having “an unbounded confidence that, whatever the undesirable market outcome identified, all that’s needed is to gather the best and the brightest, give them the power to flip the right switches, and — voilĂ ! — the perfect solution, with no opportunity costs, no unfairness, no unintended consequences”; suggests we support “redesigning an economy from central command”; and then admits “stacking” the debate to “tar anyone who dissents from their pet orthodoxies.”

Wait, correction. In addition to describing our “unbounded confidence” in “perfect solutions” and our commitment to “redesigning an economy from central command,” the Journal accused us of “name calling,” stacking the debate rather than encouraging it, and trying to tar those who dissent from pet orthodoxies.

On to the video.

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Oren Cass
Oren Cass is the executive director at American Compass.
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