David Brooks on Being a Republican

David Brooks is a thoughtful conservative Republican, an opinion writer for the New York Times and a regular on the PBS News Hour. Brooks has had it with who Trump is and what he represents, although he says so in a much calmer voice than Republican strategist Ana Navarro. On Friday night’s commentary, Brooks said that the Republican party — egged on by Trump — has become the home of a faction of armed-to-the-teeth white supremacists. Traditional Republicans who value low taxes, strong defense, and a moderate position on social issues now have to take a stand. Decent people who once formed the backbone of the Republican Party have to decide whether or not to stay in a movement that tolerates white supremacists and sees defending them, or at least giving them a pass, as a fair trade for conservative judges and maybe a tax cut. Brooks thinks it is not. Good for him for saying so.

The two-party system is well entrenched in our country, and I think it’s hard to imagine a strong third party taking root. But it may have to come to that. Voters who will continue to support Trump seem to me to be those who are anxious and drawn to authoritarian alpha males, those who find cultural differences frightening and threatening rather than enriching, and those willing to tolerate armed KKK and pro-Nazi sympathizers. The rest will need someplace else to go.

I can hardly imagine the upheaval that the remaining time of the Trump presidency, however long it might be, will bring.

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