David Brooks: Anti-Trumpism Has Failed

After more than a year of relentless opposition to President Donald Trump, New York Times "conservative" columnist David Brooks has thrown his hands in the air and has declared that blind resistance is futile. Notably absent in his April 9 column is that he himself has been guilty of many of the excesses and extreme hubris of the anti-Trumpers.  Brooks lays out his case without much of a sense of critical self-awareness in The Failures of Anti-Trumpism:

Over the past year, those of us in the anti-Trump camp have churned out billions of words critiquing the president. The point of this work is to expose the harm President Trump is doing, weaken his support and prevent him from doing worse. And by that standard, the anti-Trump movement is a failure.

We have persuaded no one. Trump’s approval rating is around 40 percent, which is basically unchanged from where it’s been all along.

According to Rasmussen that approval rating is closer to 50 percent but Brooks proceeded in laying out the reasons for the anti-Trump failure.

We have not dislodged him. For all the hype, the Mueller investigation looks less and less likely to fundamentally alter the course of the administration.

Was this written before the increasingly desperate Mueller investigation, which has found no evidence of Russian collusion, instigated the raid on the office of Trump's lawyer?

A lot of us never-Trumpers assumed momentum would be on our side as his scandals and incompetences mounted. It hasn’t turned out that way. I almost never meet a Trump supporter who has become disillusioned. I often meet Republicans who were once ambivalent but who have now joined the Trump train.

Ah, yes. I seem to remember a certain David Brooks just three days after the 2016 election who declared that Trump "will probably resign or be impeached within a year."

Part of the problem is that anti-Trumpism has a tendency to be insufferably condescending.

And a really good example of that insufferable condescension came from Brooks himself just three days before the 2016 election as he mocked a Trump supporter for his supposed ignorance:

A few weeks ago I met a guy in Idaho who was absolutely certain that Donald Trump would win this election. He was wearing tattered, soiled overalls, missing a bunch of teeth and was unnaturally skinny. He was probably about 50, but his haggard face looked 70. He was getting by aimlessly as a handyman.

I pointed to the polls and tried to persuade him that Hillary Clinton might win, but it was like telling him a sea gull could play billiards. Everybody he knows is voting Trump so his entire lived experience points to a Trump landslide. He was a funny, kind guy, but you got the impression his opportunities had been narrowed by forces outside his control.

So has Mr. Brooks tracked down that "funny kind guy" to tell him that he, NOT the supposedly enlightened Brooks, was right after all?


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2020 Presidential New York Times David Brooks Donald Trump