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David Brooks Is Wrong Again — Trump's Rise Is Not 'Anti-Politics' but the Cancer of Big Money


#1


#2

The evisceration of public education in the areas of civics and economics, in particular, is also to blame. Inundation of infotainment is also at root (see Fairness Doctrine). Corporate Big Brother has been long and hard at work--and His boot is heavy and steady...


#3

Brooks would do well to read things like "A People's History," or watch some of Scott Noble's documentaries, maybe read Perkin's book, "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. As it is now, he really is clueless--fully indoctrinated, and that's why he's a mouth piece for msm. and yes, PBS is mainstream. :confused:


#4

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#5

"...even right-wingers like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and John Kasich are now described as 'moderates.'"

To that list one could also add Hillary Clinton.


#6

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#7

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#8

What Trump represents is the turkeys coming home to roost. Ever since Nixon's "southern strategy," the poison pill of southern racist, religious and hyper-nationalist reaction combined with John Birch extremism have been leading to this dumbed-down version of American fascism.

Clinton is little better in most ways representing the more moderate sector of the corporate ruling oligarchy -- in reality the older, more realpolitik right.

Sanders is the exception, representing authentic progressive populism. He shows the way forward as the only alternative we realistically have to corporate dictatorship in the short term.


#9

While I think Dreier's points are quite valid to explain the rise of Trump I believe you have to include deep-seated racism and xenophobia. Trump was leading the Republican polls 4 years ago when he started a campaign based on the birther movement. This time around he again went to top of polls with a proposal to send all illegal immigrants back to Mexico (even though many don't come from Mexico) and build a wall on the Mexican border. Then he later topped that by proposing that all Muslims who are not US citizens be banned from entering the US. Polls of Trump's supporters reveal that a high percentage have racist and xenophobic views. Going back even before the 1970s blue collar workers began to feel a loss of status as the people with the most status were college educated people who didn't do manual labor. There has been resentment building up over this loss of status by laborers over many years. All of these things have probably come together to create the Trump phenomenon where we have a Teflon candidate who lacks any experience in government, insults anyone who criticizes him, has few if any real policies, and changes his positions on a dime leading the pack on the Republican side.


#10

First of all, David Brooks is PAID to be wrong! He's the guy at the crime scene who points the gendarme in the wrong direction... on purpose!

I would add two things to this excellent analysis by Peter Dreier.

On the phenomena suggested in the paragraph below, it also took place in Germany in the 1930s and set the MOOD for Hitler.

"It is not, as Brooks argues, an increase in the number of people with "authoritarian" personalities that explains Trump's appeal. It is simply everyday people rightly angry that they are losing their homes, can't send their kids to college, don't know if their jobs will be there in a few years, can't afford to take a vacation, aren't sure that their health insurance will cover their costs if an emergency comes along, and don't know if they'll be able to retire without falling into dire poverty."

And I would add to the following book recommendation Jane Mayer's new book: "Dark Money." It chronicles the billionaire boys' club and how it's funded academia, think tanks, media pundits, and authors to VEER the national discourse radically to the right for several decades and counting.

"Starting in the 1970s, America's biggest corporations reorganized their political operations -- coordinating their campaign donations, lobbying, creating new think tanks, policy organizations, and front groups -- to be more effective at influencing government policy at all levels. All this is well-documented in Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson's 2011 book, Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer -- and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class."


#11

I do not think that David Brooks is that sophomoric and he knows better, but like the rest of the MSM presstitutes and whorespondents he has sold out for $ and access. David Brooks is given access because he is an establishment stooge using his college education, facile and specious rhetoric to rationalize and mislead.


#12

David Brooks, are you kidding me, why do people take this nut seriously? How many wish they'd stop interviewing him on NPR besides me? Politicians live in fear, eh? Of what? Of losing their jobs? The folks you're trying to apologize for are creating the very conditions that political solutions were meant to fix. And still you (and they) obstruct. You, and they, are blooming fucking idiots. Refusing to compromise, living in the past, it's like you Republicans are Fucking American Taliban! Go ahead and get yourself gunned down by an unrepresented constituent who recognizes you in public. Is this what you want? Brooks epitomizes the dysfunction that is the republican party with his consistent Missed-The-Mark-By-Another-Unbelievably-Wide-Margin-Of-Galactic-Proportions commentary. Again, I ask, who cares what crazy people think?

Your analysis, Mr Dreier, is spot on!


#13

It is not only the right that tries to censor debate and discussion. Many in this forum do the same thing likely because they have been exposed to it for far too long. The old aphorism of "I disagree with what you say but I will fight for your right to say it" seems out of date now.

David Brooks is an astounding hypocrite who knew that after his boosterism for the debacle that was Bush/Cheney's war in Iraq that he should have resigned or been fired yet he kept on prognosticating his supposed wisdom as if he had been right about it.

You have to wonder at how these people look at themselves in the mirror each day after they have been proven wrong so many times as they have been.


#14

i think we were saying pretty much the same thing on this point. :slightly_smiling:on the rest we'll just agree to disagree.
regards-


#15

It is astounding that all kinds of peripheral reasons are being proposed for the rise of Donald Trump.
None of them come close to the number one reason: pure xenophobia & racism, and absolute refusal of white Americans to even consider giving up one ounce of privilege and sharing with their fellow citizens. Until you confront this fact, admit its total insanity and take steps to stop this colossal fool from ruining the country, he will win the presidency.


#17

Ahh, but the fight is for the soul of the party.
Everything has moved so far to the right that a Goldwater Republican in HRC is now running for president from the Left! Unbelievable! If Bernie doesn't win the democratic nomination, he will consider running as an independent. I will contribute to that endeavor. But only if he completely bows out will I vote for HRC; and that is for the sole purpose of keeping a maniac from gaining the white house!


#18

The astonishing thing is Brooks gets any respect or attention - he doesn't deserve either; he is a paid informant, provocateur and all-around horses-ass.

One thing Peter Dreier wrote I'd like to expand - "Since the 1970s, ordinary Americans have increasingly been burdened by private debt -- mortgages, student loans, consumer borrowing -- because of stagnant wages and incomes." - Include in that ordinary Americans increased health-care rip-off and also forced to pay for massive tax-evasions by the 1% and the "tax-cuts" endlessly touted by RepubliCons and mirrored by Dem trying to cash-in on the scam. The lion's share of tax-cuts have gone to the very wealthy, financial parasites, and corporations with the active collusion of government/politicians, with the 99% forced to make-up the short-fall by increased federal, state and local taxes of various sorts (property taxes), "fees" (taxes by another name), fines and all manner of other scams targeting those least able to pay! All to fund the larceny of corrupt government.
In NY especially the "three men in a room" worked overtime to screw the common guy and gal and serve big-money. The odious Andy Cuomo presides over the circus these days but the rigged nature of things (including how NY government fundamentally works) has gone on for, what? - a century? Longer?

http://fiscalpolicy.org/the-path-not-taken-how-new-york-state-increased-the-tax-burden-on-the-middle-class-and-cut-taxes-for-its-highest-income-taxpayers-by-over-8-billion-a-year A story of government corruption in servitude to the uber-wealthy.......


#19

I also remember when I was young that there were a lot of 'serious' news and politics oriented shows besides just those on Sunday morning. We were taught civics in school and learned how the country's government (and economy) worked. It was our duty as citizens to do more - to learn about more than just entertainment.

I think that as massive wealth was allowed to accumulate (the tax system was gutted which made the lower classes pay a higher percentage of their earnings in taxes than did the wealthy) then people saw opportunity. At each stage of the game, wealth took a further step towards greed and selfishness. It isn't that the wealthy don't realize that they benefit more from how their tax money is spent, it is that they no longer care about duty. Think back to when the income tax's highest rate was 90% and America had the highest standard of living in the world for most working people (racism excluded). 90%!!!!!!!!!!

Now you get the sense that for the wealthy that duty is something that is for the little people and that when you are rich enough that you then owe allegiance only to making money. Outsourcing was never patriotism by any stretch of the imagination and its effect on America took us down a peg.

People like Brooks make a lot of money but they talk about duty and such for what others should do or think while excluding themselves for the most part.
Brooks sees desire to change back to democracy and the empowerment of ordinary people as a threat to the status quo. It even makes him view Trump's rise as anti politics because for Brooks the status quo is politics not the will of the people. Putting aside the merits or flaws in a Trump candidacy, the fact remains that people for good or ill have responded to Trump. They do so because they want a change (one that includes a change from pundits like Brooks dominating the pundit stream) from the status quo. Were Trump to have been more progressive, he'd still would have attracted support.

There are three electoral races being run. One is the republican with the extremist though entertaining Trump pulling ahead, the contest for the Dems between Bernie and Hillary ( 'the don't vote for me ,vote for a woman candidate')...and a third race being run in the background. The race between the status quo and the desire for change and reform.

Bernie upset the apple cart early on by surprising everyone with his meteoric rise to popularity. So the media began hyping Trump as a counterbalance never seriously expecting his candidacy would be taken seriously...but it was. That surprised people like Brooks. That wasn't supposed to happen. They know why Bernie is popular but Trump is a wild card and they don't have a handle on his popularity even now.

Brooks calls it anti politics because he can't bring himself to call it anti-status quo because that would include himself.


#21

Trump has disavowed the endorsement of David Duke but now Jean-Marie Le Pen says if he were an American he would vote for Trump. To understand the rise of Trump follow his endorsements from outside of mainstream US politics. Could it be any clearer?

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/27/jean-marie-le-pen-endorses-donald-trump


#22

SOME white Americans!

And they're mostly angry white guys and/or Fundamentalist Christians.