David Brooks joins a growing number of conservative opinion leaders who have divorced themselves from the Republican Party. Many Trump supporters call themselves conservatives. Brooks explains why Donald Trump is the arch enemy of conservatism. He does this by defining the central concepts of conservative thought. Neither Trump, or most of his supporters, adhere to the basic principles of conservatism. They are members of a tribe that defines itself by its opposition to members of an alien tribe. The Republican Party has also been an advocate for market fundamentalism which also divides communities rather than building them. This leads Brooks to a sad conclusion. He can no longer be a conservative and a member of the Republican Party. He is now a man without a political party.
Donald Trump probably cares little about conservative opinion leaders like David Brooks, George Will, Jennifer Rubin and others. However, they played an important role in the Republican Party by providing it with an ideology that has been attractive to many members of the party. It is now a party without an ideology that is compelling to a growing number of thoughtful Republicans. Donald Trump has created his own political party that is based upon himself and the personality of power that he has tried to establish in his base. In the process he has exposed the Republican Party for what it has become. A party without a compelling ideology, and support from intellectuals like David Brooks and others, will not have a long half life in the US.