Category: David Brooks

The Bernie Sanders Fallacy

This is a golden age for “Theyism.” This is the belief that there is some malevolent, elite “they” out there and “they” are destroying life for the rest of us.

There is Donald Trump’s culture-war Theyism: The coastal cultural elites hate genuine Americans, undermining our values and opening our borders.

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A Ridiculously Optimistic History of the Next Decade

Looking back at the 2020s from our vantage point in 2030, the first great event was the complete destruction of Donald Trump’s Republican Party. As the former Republican consultant Mike Murphy had noticed, there were roughly 300 state and federal elections during the Trump years and Republicans did horribly in most of them. The 2020 vote was a continuation of that trend. Trump’s landslide defeat left him humiliated, and the Republicans lost their Senate majority.

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The Media Is Broken

Those of us in journalism primarily do one thing: cover events. We report and opine about events like election campaigns, wars and crimes. A lot of the events we cover are decisions — a decision to reform health care or write a tweet — so we tend to congregate in the cities where decision makers live. The internet has sped up the news cycle. Now we put more emphasis on covering the last event that just happened. But it’s still mostly events.

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The Politics of Exhaustion

There are two power blocs driving politics today. First, there’s the proletariat. These are the working-class voters who go to Trump rallies in the U.S. and powered Brexit and Boris Johnson’s campaign in the U.K. They see their best world receding and they want a tough guy to bring it back.

Second, there is the precariat. These are the young and educated voters caught in the gig economy, who see no career security ahead.

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The Wisdom Your Body Knows

This has been a golden age for brain research. We now have amazing brain scans that show which networks in the brain ramp up during different activities. But this emphasis on the brain has subtly fed the illusion that thinking happens only from the neck up. It’s fed the illusion that the advanced parts of our thinking are the “rational” parts up top that try to control the more “primitive” parts down below.

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The Revolt Against Populism

Have you noticed that the world is on fire?

Crowds are chanting “Death to Khamenei” in Iran while the regime kills them en masse and shuts down the internet. Throngs are marching to preserve democratic rights in Hong Kong, Warsaw, Budapest, Istanbul and Moscow. The masses are angry in Pakistan, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia and toppling leaders in Lebanon and Bolivia.

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In Praise of Washington Insiders

Let me tell you a secret. The public buildings of Washington are filled with very good people working hard for low pay and the public good. There are thousands of them and they are very much like the Foreign Service officers that we’ve seen or are expected to see testifying at the impeachment hearings: William Taylor, George Kent, Marie Yovanovitch and Fiona Hill.

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Impeach Trump. Then Move On.

Is it possible that more than 20 Republican senators will vote to convict Donald Trump of articles of impeachment? When you hang around Washington you get the sense that it could happen.

The evidence against Trump is overwhelming. This Ukraine quid pro quo wasn’t just a single reckless phone call. It was a multiprong several-month campaign to use the levers of American power to destroy a political rival.

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