02 Oct David Brooks is Utterly Clueless
It is unfortunate that a man of David Brooks’ writing caliber is so unbelievably affected by rank snobbishness and incredible envy. He has written many things over the years I have enjoyed, though I confess they do not come back to memory easily. But Brooks is a northeast elitist, and there is nothing in the world that irks northeastern elitists more than the very existence of Middle America, let alone the indisputable popularity of the various personalities middle America is fond of. Today’s temper tantrum from Brooks (read it here) is deplorable, and sad.
I am not a huge fan of Sean Hannity. I really never watch Bill O’Reilly. I do like Rush Limbaugh, but am hardly a “follower”. I never watch Glenn Beck, but do follow his rising popularity. I have no axe to grind in defending or affirming the popularity of these individuals. But David Brooks is absolutely clueless if he really believes that these people’s fans are “ghosts”, and that their real-world influence is non-existent. But Brooks does not really believe those things. Rather, he just wishes that the constituents to whom these men appeal did not exist. And since the ruling passion of David Brooks life – the liberalization of the Republican Party – is what these men most viciously fight against, I can understand the psychological desire for Brooks to wish it away. But he owes his readers better.
He is certainly right that Obama won the election even though these men opposed him. And he is certainly right that McCain won the nomination even though these men opposed him. He happens to fail to mention the election victories of 2000 and 2004 for George W. Bush, but I digress. Both sides have various bodies of empirical data they can appeal to – none of it conclusive or helpful. Did Brooks ever consider that the Republican failures at the ballot box in recent years were because of the party’s failure to be true to its principles, and not because those voters dislike those actual principles? Of course he did not consider this. For if he did, it would destroy his career existence – an existence based on the idea that through time, we do not need to make government smaller; we just need to make it somehow “better”.
Somehow it is just “ghosts” that have caused Fox News ratings to more than double than the combined ratings of the hyper-left MSNBC and CNN. Voters are not really incensed at Obama-care, and those people yelling at townhall meetings are plants of a vast right wing conspiracy, probably rooted in the religious right (backward traditionalists from a rural state, of course). Glenn Beck is a good marketer, but his followers are impotent.
Brooks can wish all of the above into his own reality. For me, I am going to start pretending that northeast elitist big government narcisstic snobs don’t really exist. I think it will give me more peace.