Conservative David Brooks did not pull any punches as he excoriated the Republican Party as they continue their rot. Brooks' scathing piece titled "The G.O.P. Is Rotting," is a must-read.
Brooks points out that Donald Trump has asked the Republican Party to bend in his image and unfortunately much of the party obliged.
Now it’s clear that middle ground doesn’t exist. That’s because Donald Trump never stops asking. First, he asked the party to swallow the idea of a narcissistic sexual harasser and a routine liar as its party leader. Then he asked the party to accept his comprehensive ignorance and his politics of racial division. Now he asks the party to give up its reputation for fiscal conservatism. At the same time he asks the party to become the party of Roy Moore, the party of bigotry, alleged sexual harassment and child assault.
There is no end to what Trump will ask of his party. He is defined by shamelessness, and so there is no bottom. And apparently there is no end to what regular Republicans are willing to give him. Trump may soon ask them to accept his firing of Robert Mueller, and yes, after some sighing, they will accept that, too.
That’s the way these corrupt bargains always work. You think you’re only giving your tormentor a little piece of yourself, but he keeps asking and asking, and before long he owns your entire soul. The Republican Party is doing harm to every cause it purports to serve.
He scolded Republicans for wrapping themselves in Trumpism.
You don’t help your cause by wrapping your arms around an alleged sexual predator and a patriarchic bigot. You don’t help your cause by putting the pursuit of power above character, by worshiping at the feet of some loutish man or another, by claiming the ends justify any means. You don’t successfully rationalize your own tawdriness by claiming your opponents are satanic. You don’t save Christianity by betraying its message.
Brooks then went biblical.
“What shall it profit a man,” Jesus asked, “if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?” The current Republican Party seems to not understand that question. Donald Trump seems to have made gaining the world at the cost of his soul his entire life’s motto.
David Brooks claims that the rot began with Sarah Palin. He is entirely wrong on that account. The decay was always there if controlled. But as soon as President Obama came into power, nothing could stop the growth of the rot as the TEA Party and others felt free to display their racism, xenophobia and all other isms openly.
It is the failure of the Republican Party to keep the lid on its demons that provided the fuel that created Donald Trump. The Donald is but the instantiation of the new Republicanism on steroids.
Brooks closed by attacking the anti-intellectualism of both the party's policies and the party proper.
Today’s tax cuts have no bipartisan support. They have no intellectual grounding, no body of supporting evidence. They do not respond to the central crisis of our time. They have no vision of the common good, except that Republican donors should get more money and Democratic donors should have less. The rot afflicting the G.O.P. is comprehensive — moral, intellectual, political and reputational. More and more former Republicans wake up every day and realize: “I’m homeless. I’m politically homeless.”
For the most part, David Books reads his former party well. What he has not done is lay the blame entirely where it belongs, with all of those who allowed the TEA Party and other Right Wing radicals to take over the party because of the timidity of the rank and file Republicans.
Also published on Medium.