David Brooks gets it wrong
David Brooks, the purportedly conservative New York Times op-ed columnist and NeverTrump, recently exceeded in transparent error anything he's yet published that's known to this writer. In his column published Thursday, titled "How Democrats Won the War of Ideas," Brooks made two points:
- That Democrats, through argument, have convinced "Americans" to embrace an ever-expanding welfare state and big government and
- That "crises" accelerate this alleged majority view.
The first is absolutely false, the second true but merely a further illustration of how the left wins by cunningly creating fake crises rather than engaging in rational discourse — in which they would fare atrociously.
In addition to his job at the New York Times, David Brooks is a regular commentator on The PBS NewsHour.
YouTube screen grab.
As to the first, Democrats have not changed "Americans'" minds on the size and role of government. They have changed Americans. It was a quicker, easier route to victory than convincing the population that built the country. If only those whose parents were born in America could vote, Obama would be a forgotten, blown out loser. The 50–60 million (at least) immigrants since 1965 and their young adult children made all the difference. They are largely impoverished and hail from countries with no constitution, laws, or cultural traditions that limit government's role and encourage self-reliance. They are and will remain overwhelmingly leftist in their voting habits.
To the extent that it appears native-born American youths have moved left, again, that is not because the Democrats have "won arguments." It is because Democrats have prevented arguments — and, through increasing repression, are moving to ban them altogether. The conservative view of America, economic, social, historical, is banned from public schools and higher education. Uttering normal conservative views can and does land teachers and students in hot water. People under 35, maybe under 40, have never heard them. Employed adults who utter them are "canceled."
So what to the shallow conservative apostate David Brooks is explained as "winning the arguments" is in fact simply bringing in massive foreign leftist reinforcements and banning the mention of conservative ideas and most history from public education, K through university — and, increasingly, through threat, among the public generally. It is the result not of rational discourse leading to "winning arguments," but of political ruthlessness.
Brooks's second point is absolutely correct, but the conclusion he draws from it is dead wrong.
Huge "crises" do increase people's tendency to look to government for help and protection. That's why Democrats and the European left have so hyped and lied about their two favorite "crises," global warming and now the Wuhan virus, the latter a "crisis" straight out of their dreams. Both are grossly exaggerated, verging on fake. Both frighten people into looking to government for protection. The second "crisis" is especially delicious for the left, because the severe measures they've taken to combat it isolate people from one another. And isolated people are orders of magnitude easier for government to manipulate.
By the way, these two "crises" also relate to Brooks's ludicrous argument that the left has "won" the arguments. Here, too, as with the size and role of government, the left's tactic is the antithesis of "argument" — i.e., rational, logical, fact-based discourse. For years, the left has been urging that the arguments of highly credentialed climate crisis doubters be banned; the same tactic is now widely employed on the internet and social media to stifle expressions of doubt about the need for the soul-crushing lockdowns employed to fight the Wuhan flu.
The left is winning in America, but not for the reason conservative turncoat Brooks claims. The left is winning not because it is prevailing in discourse. It is winning because it has brought in an army of reinforcements, and because it is doing all it can to suppress discourse. Another way of putting it is, the left is winning because its utopian fantasies and urge to power make it more ruthless — the same reasons Lenin won.