Brooks: Democrats “don’t even have the language to articulate what Trump represents and what needs to be done”


Debate Dems

I am sure my progressive friends hate David Brooks’s recent column, but I loved it.  Brooks thinks Marianne Williamson is on to something, but the column is about so much more.

Here is a taste:

This election is about who we are as a people, our national character. This election is about the moral atmosphere in which we raise our children.

Trump is a cultural revolutionary, not a policy revolutionary. He operates and is subtly changing America at a much deeper level. He’s operating at the level of dominance and submission, at the level of the person where fear stalks and contempt emerges.

He’s redefining what you can say and how a leader can act. He’s reasserting an old version of what sort of masculinity deserves to be followed and obeyed. In Freudian terms, he’s operating on the level of the id. In Thomistic terms, he is instigating a degradation of America’s soul.

We are all subtly corrupted while this guy is our leader. And throughout this campaign he will make himself and his values the center of conversation. Every day he will stage a little drama that is meant to redefine who we are, what values we lift up and who we hate.

And this:

The Democrats have not risen to the largeness of this moment. They don’t know how to speak on this level. They don’t even have the language to articulate what Trump represents and what needs to be done.

Part of the problem is that the two leading Democratic idea generators are both materialistic wonks. Elizabeth Warren is a social scientist from Harvard Law School who has a plan for everything — except the central subject of this election, which is cultural and moral. Bernie Sanders has been a dialectical materialist all his life and is incapable of adjusting his economics-dominated mind-set.

They are what Michael Dukakis would be if he emerged in an era when the party had swung left. This model has always had appeal to a certain sort of well-educated Democrat.

And this:

It is no accident that the Democratic candidate with the best grasp of this election is the one running a spiritual crusade, not an economic redistribution effort. Many of her ideas are wackadoodle, but Marianne Williamson is right about this: “This is part of the dark underbelly of American society: the racism, the bigotry and the entire conversation that we’re having here tonight. If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.”

Read the entire piece here.

4 thoughts on “Brooks: Democrats “don’t even have the language to articulate what Trump represents and what needs to be done”

  1. Jim in STL,

    Regarding your final remark………

    Speaker Pelosi won’t allow an impeachment. She values her current job too much. The hundred or so DEM representatives who are pushing toward this end are driven by hate and raw irrationality. Pelosi might well hate Trump but she doesn’t let it overcome her wiser political decisions.

    Jim, nothing of consequence about Mueller or his investigation was raised at the CNN DEM debates last week. The committees of Nader and Schiff are not going to find anything which Mueller couldn’t locate. The old hands among the DEMs know that it’s time to find another way to try to unseat The Donald. Mueller and the impeachment rap didn’t work out as they had hoped.

    I have to say that I am surprised you are still holding out hope on this front. You are usually a reasoned thinker.


  2. David Brooks has written the exact same column every week for 20 years. He tut-tuts some Republican outrage, but it always ends with the lesson that the poor Republican had no choice given the real problem, which is how mean and liberal those extreme poopy-head Democrats are.

    The same column twice a week every week for decades. And the same argument every week on PBS. “Yeah, Trump is bad, and I would really truly like to object, but then I’m going to spend the rest of my time talking about that horrible sideways glance that Nancy Pelosi gave. And Beto O’Rourke waved his hands! Elizabeth Warren is not funny! Outrage! My God, the humanity! Trump what?”

    This is the guy who talks about middle America but would have to be dragged there in chains. Who can forget the book in which he talks about sneeze guards at some restaurant in the country that he supposedly visited but didn’t really exist.


  3. The Dems’ “Twenty Dwarves” are all sealed in their Political Wonk Echo Chambers like smartphone zombies and their screens.

    I remember hearing similar about the Dems in 2016; how Bill Clinton kept trying to tell Hillary that Trump was addressing the Important Issues of and stealing the Dems’ historical base of the white blue-collar vote in the NE and Great Lakes states, but she wouldn’t listen. Eventually Bill gave up, leaving Hillary to her Best and Brightest and their algorithms and focus groups.

    I am definitely NOT a Bill Clinton fan, but I would listen to him if the subject was campaign strategy, operations, and tactics; the guy KNOWS the American Election system and has a track record of knowing how to work it when running for office.


  4. To paraphrase some guy that was in the presidential office for eight years, “It IS the economy, stupid.”

    Why get mired in the culture wars dialogue – people already know what side of that debate they occupy. The Dems are talking about things that effect everyone – health care, the economy, finance, etc. The Trumpeteers will not be swayed and don’t need to be pandered to and they are firmly planted already. The never Trumpers, whether Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, conservative, liberal or progressive, that already know the issue, don’t need to be reminded and are firmly planted already. The marginal to ill-informed, I’ll check in on the presidential race from time to time stating in October 2020, aren’t going to be listening now anyway. And when they do listen, maybe occasionally before October 2020, they will want to hear about health care, the economy, finance, etc.

    It is David, among others in da biz of shaping minds, that need to be speaking the language loudly and forcefully. That’s histheir job – to inform and persuade. I do like that he is aware. Now keep it up and stop hammering the only possible solution.

    Meanwhile, we’ll see how the “impeachment inquiry” goes. I suspect that the language will follow. Drip drip and all that.


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