Here's a fun fact! 30 years after this commercial was aired it turns out...
...there really was a bear in the woods.
And it really was vicious. And dangerous. And it really was easy for many of us to see.
But, in a surprising twist, it turned out the real bear in the woods wasn't the Commies after all.
It turns out, the real vicious, dangerous bear in the woods has always been the Republican base.
And now that bear is out of the wood.
And it's eating David Brooks' kayak.
As regular readers of this blog know, having failed publicly and spectacularly to keep the horrifying reality of Actual Conservatism sufficiently whitewashed with his Amazing Tales of Imaginary Conservatism, Mr, David Brooks is now spending some of his teevee face time and New York Times column inches reassuring his benefactors that some day real soon he is going to leave the comfort and camaraderie of his Acela corridor fastness and venture upriver into the Heart of American Darkness to report back on WTF is going on in the country about which Mr. Brooks has so profitably opined with such supreme confidence and invincible ignorance for so long.
Friday was another one of those columns.
First, comes the allocation blame. To those Republicans. Who are waaaay over there and not anywhere near Mr. David Brooks:
Donald Trump now looks set to be the Republican presidential nominee. So for those of us appalled by this prospect — what are we supposed to do?Second, comes the plea for unity. Let us not dwell too much on which of us made a fucking fortune carrying water for the scum of the Right, and which of us ended up broke and outcast for warning that this day was coming. Instead...
Well, not what the leaders of the Republican Party are doing. They’re going down meekly and hoping for a quiet convention. They seem blithely unaware that this is a Joe McCarthy moment. People will be judged by where they stood at this time. Those who walked with Trump will be tainted forever after for the degradation of standards and the general election slaughter.
The better course for all of us — Republican, Democrat and independent — is to step back and take the long view, and to begin building for that.Because now is not the time for recriminations people! Now is the time for us all come together -- Republicans (who are the authors of every recent disaster including this one), Democrats (who have been sounding the alarm for 30 years that Republicans are creating catastrophe) and, most important of all, Imaginary Independents (out of which David Brooks has spent so many profitable years spinning tales of his Imaginary Center) -- and agree that David Brooks should not be sacked for gross incompetence and run out of journalism on a rail.
Then comes Mr. Brooks begging his benefactors to let him keep his sweet gig despite overwhelming evidence that the sucks at it:
I was surprised by Trump’s success because I’ve slipped into a bad pattern, spending large chunks of my life in the bourgeois strata — in professional circles with people with similar status and demographics to my own. It takes an act of will to rip yourself out of that and go where you feel least comfortable. But this column is going to try to do that over the next months and years.How adorable is is that, for David Brooks of the New York Times, it takes an "act of will" to "rip" himself away from juggling Paul Ryan's balls in his mouth long enough to go and talk to ordinary Americans where they are about what they think.
But Mr. Brooks can't do it alone kids! No siree. It's also up to you, Mr. and Mr. Real-America-About-Which-David-Brooks-Knows-Nothing to do your part and...
...do one activity that leaps across the chasms of segmentation that afflict this country.Or, as the rest of us call it, going to work, grocery shopping, attending church, participating in our kid's schools with other parents, helping out in our neighborhoods, chatting with the waitress who brings us pancakes and the guy sitting next to us at the bar, and, in general, living our lives.
Of course rather that trying to retrofit a spavined, myopic, infamously unreliable narrator like David Brooks for the rigors of a journey to the American Heartland, I suppose the New York Times could just hire a decent writer who already lives there, works there and interacts with other human beings there.
But nah! That's just crazy-talk!
Instead, in an epic exercise in Cart-Before-Horse-Putting, Mr. David Brooks' finishes his column on the importance of finally taking a clear-eyed look at America-As-It-Actually-Is...
...with his dream-journal doodles of The-America-That-Might-Be after all of this Trump unpleasantness is safely behind us:
We’ll probably need a new national story...Of course, we'll also need ice cream.
I don’t know what the new national story will be, but maybe it will be less individualistic and more redemptive...
We’ll probably need a new definition of masculinity, too.
We’ll also need to rebuild the sense that we’re all in this together.
Maybe the task is to build a ladder of hope.
Then solidarity can be rekindled nationally.
And to tell our exciting new national story we'll definitely need new national storytellers who are not completely full of shit.