(Any underlines are mine.)
NO, NOT TRUMP, NOT EVER, by David Brooks
The voters have spoken.
In convincing fashion, Republican voters seem to be selecting Donald Trump as their nominee. And in a democracy, victory has legitimacy to it. Voters are rarely wise but are usually sensible. They understand their own problems. And so deference is generally paid to the candidate who wins.
And deference is being paid. Gov. Rick Scott of Florida is urging Republicans to coalesce around Trump.Considering how unpopular Mr. Scott continues to be in Florida, this may not be a positive thing.
Pundits are coming out with their "What We Can Learn" commentaries. Those commentaries are built on a hidden respect for the outcome, that this is a rejection of a Republicanism that wasn't working and it points in some better direction.
The question is: Should deference be paid to this victor? Should we bow down to the judgment of these voters?
Well, some respect is in order. Trump voters are a coalition of the dispossessed. They have suffered lost jobs, lost wages, lost dreams. The American system is not working for them, so naturally they are looking for something else.
Moreover, many in the media, especially me, did not understand how they would express their alienation. We expected Trump to fizzle because we were not socially intermingled with his supporters and did not listen carefully enough..."Socially intermingled." What a polite way of saying that unless you are white, male, heterosexual, and Christian, Republicans couldn't care less about your needs, your problems, or you.
And yet reality is reality.
Donald Trump is especially unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn, His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn't know what he doesn't know and he's uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa.That may be the best paragraph ever written about King Combover.
Trump is perhaps the most dishonest person to run for high office in our lifetimes. All politicians stretch the truth, but Trump has a steady obliviousness to accuracy...
...He is a childish man running for a job that requires maturity. He is an insecure boasting little boy whose desires were somehow arrested at age 12.Here, Mr. Brooks seems a bit off. I'd say Sir Rich White Trash's maturity level stalled out somewhere closer to age 8.
He surrounds himself with sycophants. "You can always tell when the king is here," Trump's butler told Jason Horowitz in a recent Times profile. He brags incessantly about his alleged prowess, like how far he can hit a golf ball. "Do I hit it long? Is Trump strong?" he asks.That profile also includes his butler saying that they would always lie and say the golf ball had gone further than it had. Guess the job must pay well.
In some rare cases, political victors do not deserve our respect. George Wallace won elections, but to endorse those outcomes would be a moral failure.
And so it is with Trump.
History is a long record of men like him temporarily rising, stretching back to biblical times. Psalm 73 describes them: "Therefore pride is their necklace, they clothe themselves with violence...They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance."
And yet their success is fragile: "Surely you place them on slippery ground: you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly they are destroyed."...
The Republicans who coalesce around Trump are making a political error. They are selling their integrity for a candidate who will probably lose. About 60 percent of Americans disapprove of him, and that number has been steady since he began his campaign.That paragraph gave me pause. I would have liked it better had it ended with "integrity," for surely that is what those Republicans who are beginning to fall in line behind their Trumpenstein are doing: "selling their integrity." (Of course, it is also entirely possible that they're just being honest for the first time in their political careers and admitting that they hate the same people their orange-faced spokesman does.)
But saying that those who back Trump are wrong simply because Trump is a probable loser is an error in and of itself. Even if Trump were not despised by the majority of Americans, backing him would still be wrong on every moral and decency scale imaginable. Fortunately, Mr. Brooks continued:
...There are certain codes that if you betray them, you suffer something much worse than a political defeat.
Donald Trump is an affront to basic standards of honesty, virtue and citizenship. He pollutes the atmosphere in which our children are raised. He has already shredded the unspoken rules of political civility that make conversation possible...
...He is a threat to the long and glorious experiment of American self-government...
...Trump supporters deserve respect. They are left out of this economy. But Trump himself? No, not Trump, not ever.Here Mr. Brooks made his one error. He seems to assume that all Trump supporters have been excluded from America's affluence and that is their reason for following him in such large numbers. I would suggest instead, that Trump supporters are the hidden face of bigotry that the Republican Party has catered to for far too long. Now that they are in the open, to blame the uncomfortable public evidence of their existence solely on economic issues proves what liberals have been saying for years--with the GOP, it's all about the money.
You can read Mr. Brooks' entire column here.