November 9, 2016

DAVID BROOKS: “Sociologically, this campaign has been an education in how societies come apart.” “Any decent society rests on codes of etiquette and a shared moral ecology to make cooperation possible, to prevent economic and political life from descending into a savage war of all against all. But this year Donald Trump has decimated the codes of basic decency without paying a price.”

FLASHBACK: How David Brooks Created Donald Trump.

Brooks is, of course, horrified at Trump and his supporters, whom he finds childish, thuggish and contemptuous of the things that David Brooks likes about today’s America. It’s clear that he’d like a social/political revolution that was more refined, better-mannered, more focused on the Constitution and, well, more bourgeois as opposed to in-your-face and working class.

The thing is, we had that movement. It was the Tea Party movement. . . .

Yet the tea party movement was smeared as racist, denounced as fascist, harassed with impunity by the IRS and generally treated with contempt by the political establishment — and by pundits like Brooks, who declared “I’m not a fan of this movement.” After handing the GOP big legislative victories in 2010 and 2014, it was largely betrayed by the Republicans in Congress, who broke their promises to shrink government and block Obama’s initiatives.

So now we have Trump instead, who tells people to punch counterprotesters instead of picking up their trash.

When politeness and orderliness are met with contempt and betrayal, do not be surprised if the response is something less polite, and less orderly. Brooks closes his Trump column with Psalm 73, but a more appropriate verse is Hosea 8:7 “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” Trump’s ascendance is a symptom of a colossal failure among America’s political leaders, of which Brooks’ mean-spirited insularity is only a tiny part. God help us all.

He doesn’t seem to have learned much. Also, “decimated,” which means “reduced by a tenth,” is not a synonym for “devastated.” I rather doubt that Brooks means that Trump has reduced basic decency by 10%. Amazing that that got by an editor.

And really, you backed Hillary Clinton and you’re talking about basic decency? Really?