Friday, December 8, 2017
Davd Brooks Explains How He Lost His Political Home
David Brooks represented a political party that many thoughtful people, like himself and his NYT readers, could respect. There were a core of ideas for which the Republican Party stood. The Democratic Party embraced a different set of ideas, but the two parties could come together much of the time and do what was best for the nation. Compromise was not a mortal sin. That is no longer possible today because the Republican Party has lost its soul. That was inevitable under a leader who exploited populism to satisfy his insatiable need for power and adoration. Excellence is hierarchical, it can't be populist. Donald Trump has no ideas, moral principles, or competence beyond hucksterism. He has taken the Republican Party down to the level of his political base. They only look upward in anger and despair. They want to punish excellence and those who do not belong to their tribe. Donald Trump has led the Republican Party downward and it has followed him gladly in pursuit of political advantage and personal gain. They will welcome Roy Moore into the Senate in order to gain one more vote for a tax bill, or another seat on the Supreme Court or an opportunity to destroy what remains of President Obama's legacy. David Brooks cannot join them in their downward spiral into the moral abyss they have chosen to pursue. He is not alone. Many of his colleagues and friends can only watch their chosen political party disintegrate with every Trump tweet or policy proposal. They are all carefully designed to maintain his hold on his political base which has become the electoral foundation of the Republican Party. Our position as a global leader is sinking with Trump and his followers in a political party without a soul, and without a moral compass by which to lead. Our former allies can only watch in despair as Trump and his political party descend into the abyss. Many of them are like David Brooks and many other former Republican intellectuals. Donald Trump and his Republican allies have destroyed in one year a system of governance that took decades to develop. It can only get worse as David Brooks and others like him abandon the Titanic.