Friday, March 25, 2016

Brooks on Trump -- Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance

I know I said I was out for the weekend and I realize that the Kübler-Ross bit is overdone, but after repeated (if not perhaps sequential) displays of all of the other stages of grief, today's David Brooks column is such a perfect example of acceptance as summarized by Wikipedia ("It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it.") that I couldn't let it pass without comment.

The Post-Trump Era

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.

We’ve gone from Rising Tide America to Coming Apart America. Technological change, globalization and social and family breakdown mean that the benefits of growth, to the extent there is growth, are not widely shared.

Republicans sort of recognize this reality, but they are still imprisoned in the Reaganite model. They ask Reaganite questions, propose Reaganite policies and have Reaganite instincts.

Now along comes Donald Trump, an angel of destruction, to blow it all to smithereens. He represents not only a rejection of the existing Reaganite establishment, but also a rejection of Reaganite foreign policy (he is less globalist) and Reaganite domestic policy (he is friendlier to the state).


That’s where the G.O.P. is heading. So this is a moment of anticipation. The great question is not, Should I vote for Hillary or sit out this campaign? The great question is, How do I prepare now for the post-Trump era?


We’re going to have two parties in this country. One will be a Democratic Party that is moving left. The other will be a Republican Party. Nobody knows what it will be, but it’s exciting to be present at the re-creation.

We could talk a bit more about how Brooks seems to have come around to Krugman's argument that Trump may be a "cleansing shock," but that would just be kicking a man when he's down.

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