Monday, August 24, 2015

David Brooks Endorses Donald Trump?


Sure as hell sounds like it, because his famous National Greatness Manifesto from back in his Weekly Standard glory days --
A Manifesto for a Lost Creed
MAR 3, 1997, VOL. 2, NO. 24 • BY DAVID BROOKS
-- starts right out of the box by telling his readers that Buildings Are Important.

Especially, big, brassy buildings that wave their big, Murrican dicks around!
But the Jefferson Building is more than just a giant Faberge egg. When you get down to looking at the details, you find that the craftsmanship is actually mediocre: You can travel around Europe and find a hundred buildings with better paintings and better sculpture. Nonetheless, there is something about the energy of the building that makes it more than the sum of its parts, that makes it not so much an artistic wonder as a spiritual artifact. How did any group of builders muster so much vitality?

The answer is that this is an American building. For all its classical and Renaissance style, this 1897 building speaks to us in American. It embodies the optimism and brassy aspirations of Americans in the Gilded Age, their faith in the power of beauty to elevate, their confidence in America, their brash assertion that America was emerging as a world-historical force...
But since the glorious Gilded Age, everything as gone to pot.  Heck, even Murrica's greatest politicians are boring 'n shit:
For all that our current politicians take advantage of the library -- J. C. Watts delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union there, Bill Clinton signed the telecommunications bill there -- present-day leaders possess none of the library's confidence and sureness of purpose. American politicians show little evidence of the great national vigor that animates this building. They don't dare to make great plans or issue large challenges to themselves and their country. At a moment of world supremacy unlike any other, Americans are not asking big questions about their civilization, nor are they being asked anything but the sorts of things pollsters and marketers want to know. And so our politics has become degrading and boring. Political conflict appears trivial, vicious for no good reason.
Because the fucking hippies ruined everything!
For much of this century, liberals possessed high aspirations and a spirit of historical purpose. Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, the New Deal, John F. Kennedy's New Frontier -- these were efforts to aim high, to accomplish some grand national endeavor. Liberals tried to use American preeminence as a way to shape the world, fight communism, put a man on the moon. But then came the 1970s, and suddenly liberalism became a creed emphasizing limits. Small became beautiful. A radical egalitarianism transformed liberalism, destroying hierarchies and discrediting elitist aspirations. An easygoing nihilism swept through academia, carrying away any sense of a transcendent order. The civil- rights era turned into the affirmative-action era, and what had been a great national crusade for justice devolved into a series of petty squabbles over spoils.

Worse, under the influence of the New Left, the personal became political. Private concerns came to eclipse the larger public realm. At a time when a teenager's haircut was a political statement to be adjudicated by the Supreme Court, all the issues of the private realm -- smoking, methods of raising children, sexual preferences -- began to overshadow the traditional subjects of the public realm: subjects like order, justice, and the distribution of wealth. Americans have almost forgotten what the public realm is and how it differs from the sum of private concerns.

But cultural liberalism has smashed reticence, mistaking it for hypocrisy. Finally, the national-greatness ideal was based on iron discipline over the passions. But cultural liberalism mistook self-control for unhealthy repression.
But you know what? It's really Conservative who are to blame, because WTF people?  Why aren't you Reaganing the shit out of everything?
But it is primarily the fault of conservatives that America has lost a sense of national mission and national greatness. After all, this is a conservative era, and one shouldn't expect the Democrats to come up with the energy that animates a conservative era. But since Ronald Reagan returned to California, conservatism has shrunk.
And Both Sides, also too, because it comes with everything David Brooks writes.  Like shitty little plastic forks.  You can tell them at the drive-thru "No, thanks, I have one million forks at home and I do not need your shitty plastic cutlery" but damn if, when you open them bag, there it is, at the bottom, mocking you.  Same thing with David Brooks and Both Siderism, always forever:
Currently, American political philosophy has divided itself into the opposing principles of "order" and "freedom." Now, when liberals stand for one, conservatives stand for the other. Liberals want economic order; conservatives want economic freedom. Conservatives want social order; liberals want social freedom.
So now that you are sufficiently sad and paranoid and pissed off at the Dirty Hippies for messing up Murrica and at Conservatives for not punching those damn hippies with sufficient vigor, what's the solution?  How do we get on with the business of....  Restoring American Greatness?

It turns out, the answer is that you build something.  Build anything.  Because it literally doesn't matter what we build so long as it Yooooge!  And built by ambitious individuals, because the gummit is run by craven idiots.
The national mission can be carried out only by individuals and families -- not by collectives, as in socialism and communism. Instead, individual ambition and willpower are channeled into the cause of national greatness. And by making the nation great, individuals are able to join their narrow concerns to a larger national project.

Historically, national missions have included settling the West, building the highway system, creating the post-war science faculties, exploring space, waging the Cold War, and disseminating American culture throughout the world...

The most successful missions have set physical goals, rather than abstract ones: America in 1897 constructed the world's finest library. The library has had an important impact on culture, but its impact is the byproduct of a physical project. Sometimes the federal government has funded these efforts. Sometimes it has merely identified the new national cause. Sometimes it has eliminated barriers to ambition.

It almost doesn't matter what great task government sets for itself, as long as it does some tangible thing with energy and effectiveness. The first task of government is to convey a spirit of confidence and vigor that can then spill across the life of the nation. Stagnant government drains national morale. A government that fails to offer any vision merely feeds public cynicism and disenchantment.

But energetic government is good for its own sake. It raises the sights of the individual. It strengthens common bonds. It boosts national pride. It continues the great national project. It allows each generation to join the work of their parents. The quest for national greatness defines the word " American" and makes it new for every generation.
Which, taken all in all, sure sounds like one hell of an endorsement of a plan by the loudest, most ambitious New Gilded Age asshole in Murrica to build the yooogest, most beautiful wall ever on the face of the Earth.

And the cherry on top? The fact that now that the candidate of The Weekly Standard's wet dreams has finally arrived in the flesh, Bloody Bill Kristol (Mr. Brooks' former Weekly Standard employer and fellow National Greatness tub-thumper) is scuttling as fast as possible in the opposite direction:
Is It Time for Another GOP Candidate?

August 24, 2015
By Taegan Goddard

Bill Kristol says it may be time to encourage another candidate to enter the Republican presidential race.

“It may seem odd to suggest that the solution to an already unprecedentedly large field is to expand it further. But politics is full of oddities. And what would be truly odd would be to go into battle in 2016 with a candidate we settle on rather than a nominee the country can rally behind.”


D. said...

Ah well, breakfast is overrated. But I am not fond of the taste of vomit.

dinthebeast said...

Well, if Alito ran for president we could replace him on the Supreme Court... And Lewis Black said the same thing about the "Public Works Project" much better, and years ago. I believe he called it "The Big Fucking Thing"... "It doesn't matter what it is, so long as it's big, and it's a fucking thing..." And in that same show he called for a giant border wall, on the border with Canada: because that's where the cold air comes from...

-Doug in Oakland

Unsalted Sinner said...

"It almost doesn't matter what great task government sets for itself, as long as it does some tangible thing with energy and effectiveness."

Where did Bobo mislay that argument when Obama was suggesting to stimulate the economy with programs to build and maintain infrastructure? I don't recall him pushing for "an energetic government" back then -- or at any time during Obama's presidency.

Unknown said...

A timely reminder that David f'n Brooks has always, in fact, been a clueless moron.

Yep, the Interstate Highways and Hoover Dam were built by individuals and families and the big bad collective commie sockulist gummit stayed out of the way.

And this guy now has tenure at the New York Times.

Man, I am so in the wrong profession.

DrBB said...

But energetic government is good for its own sake. It raises the sights of the individual. It strengthens common bonds. It boosts national pride. It continues the great national project.

I know, I know! Let's invade Iraq! Oh, wait a minute...

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Brooks left something out, unless Drifty neglected to quote it, and I doubt Drifty would miss this:

"That evil rotten no-good radical egalitarianism partially smashed the most important hierarchy of all--the hierarchy of men over women! Once women could get good jobs for themselves, they could judge men on the bases of whether or not they were cute, or funny, or interesting, or good in bed, rather than whether or not they were likely to become Good Providers, so I couldn't get any of the prime pussy until I was middle-aged and rich! O! The Injustice!"

I don't know if Mojo Nixon still performs "Elvis Is Everywhere", but now that poor Michael J. Fox has Parkinson's Disease, I nominate David F. Brooks to take Mr. Fox's place as "The Anti-Elvis".

David F. Brooks has no Elvis in him.

Median N. Mean said...

That was a Palinesque word salad; just a broader random selection of ideas and vocabulary. When it's not making sense, it's contradicting itself -- much like the mediocore Jefferson library which is the finest in the world by virtue of being American. Sigh.

Brooks as soy sauce packet.

pharmakeusubik said...

Brooks was against Obama's stimulation of the economy because he saw Jacques Cousteau's Octopus Octopus and thought that was the kind of stimulation that was going to be applied.

ELSKY said...

And Rupert Murdoch is slouching toward Times Square to be born. The ground has been totally softened.

Kathleen O'Neill said...

So David is seeing other candidates? Has anyone told Rubio, who up to now has ben the fave of Dave?

Ormond Otvos said...

Collectives? FAMILY is the ultimate collective. You owe it no matter what evil it does.

Median N. Mean said...

It's interesting how many notes Brooks hits in the Paxton' definition of fascism:

"Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with

community decline,
or victimhood

and by compensatory cults of
and purity,
in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."

Let's count them together.

David in NYC said...

1,000,000 monkeys + 1,000,000 typewriters = 1,000,000 David Brooks columns.

David in NYC said...

1,000,000 monkeys + 1,000,000 typewriters = 1,000,000 David Brooks columns.

Batocchio said...

'In the name of civility, common decency and national greatness, can't we all come together and agree to fellate the rich and fuck the poor?'

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

(Off topic)

Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked this side ad on a site I was visiting:

Oh, for Haruhi's sake, people actually believe this crap?