Tuesday, February 13, 2018

David Brooks Predicts End Of Two Party System In US

David Brooks has been struggling to come to grips with the changes that have been underway in the US political system.  He explains how his political party became the Trump Party and he argues that conservatives will break away and start a party that is more compatible with its ideology.  Something similar will happen among liberals and the Democratic Party will also split.  This will be the end of the two party system in the US and we will look more like the parliamentary system in Europe.

Brooks's thesis is centered on the idea that a scarcity mentality has replaced the abundance idea that had prevailed in the US.  He argues that the scarcity mentally destroys belief systems.  Moreover, he believes that scarcity is not going away; it will only get worse. It is incompatible with any civilized political creed. It transforms belief systems.  The Republican Party has become a clan warrior party under Donald Trump.  Under the abundance mind set the Wall Street Journal was the primary organ for the Republican Party.  It has been replaced by Fox News.  Immigration has become its new mind set.  It is no longer concerned with responsible fiscal policy, the rule of law, global engagement and moral decency.  Its immigration policies are also tainted by racism.  Evangelicalism has been turned into an interest group that reveres a pagan immoralist.

Eventually conservatives will have to leave the clan warrior party and start a new conservative party.  Something similar will happen to the Democratic Party.  Brooks does not have much to say about the Democratic Party but he believes that it has also been infected by the scarcity mentality and that its belief system has also been eroded.  He must believe that the tension between the Sanders and Clinton wings of the party are similar to what transformed his party to the Trump Party. I think that Brooks has taken moral equivalence to a new level but he can't give up his party without doing something similar with the Democratic Party.

The end game for Brooks is that both of our major parties will break up and the two party system gives way to a multiparty political system.  Brooks does not discuss the other possibility.  That is, the Trump Party wins the war and we end up with a one party system like those that he described in Europe.

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