NYT columnist David Brooks has officially reached acceptance:
This is a wonderful moment to be a conservative. For decades now the Republican Party has been groaning under the Reagan orthodoxy, which was right for the 1980s but has become increasingly obsolete. The Reagan worldview was based on the idea that a rising economic tide would lift all boats. But that’s clearly no longer true.
Thump-thump! That sound you heard was Bobo throwing Ronald Wilson Reagan under the bus. Never thought I’d see the day, honestly.
On the one hand, who cares what a toady like Brooks says? On the other, he is the toady who is officially in charge of cloaking greed and rapaciousness in the garb of morality, comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted. So at the very least, his epiphany may portend a shift in house style.
Bobo goes on, expressing gratitude that Trump came along to blow up a sclerotic party so something better can arise from its ashes. What might that look like?
Somehow the Republican Party will have to rediscover a language of loving thy neighbor, which is a primary ideal in our culture, and a primary longing of the heart.
Fat chance, Bobo. But it’s pretty to think so.
To move on to a public figure who is actually worth listening to, author Marilynne Robinson was interviewed on the Q CBC radio program that aired last night on my PBS station. Robinson talks about the rise of Trump and the related influence of hate and fear on U.S. politics. An excerpt:
There are people that have grounds for fear. There are people that don’t know how they will retire, or whether they can educate their children, or whether they can keep their house. But there are lots of people, I think, for whom fear is a hobby.
She cites Limbaugh and Fox News as media outlets that purvey fear as a stimulant — an addictive pleasure. That rings true for me, but to be honest, she made some points that had me questioning my own relationship with politics and the media when she scolded wingnut outfits for “teaching listeners that people who disagree with them are mortal enemies.”
Anyway, food for thought.