Saturday, October 28, 2017

Disappointing David Brooks Part 512

Underlying every David Brooks column is a set of assumptions that are universally accepted and embraced and not even David Brooks himself could shake their veracity.

  • America is great
  • America is a Judeo-Christian nation
  • American greatness owes to many of the Judeo-Christian things that are Judeo-Christian things even if they are also things that are true of non-Judeo-Christians
  • Civility is very important
  • Civility during times when people are oppressed is better than non-civility during a time when people are asserting their own worth (David Brooks is, after all, a white guy, so it's not like anyone's going to keep David Brooks down)
  • People are allowed to disagree but only in a civil way and, possibly if we work together we can make slight changes to the political orthodoxy
  • The best way to help others is by pointing out how they're not being civil

Donald Trump is not civil.

Many Donald Trump supporters are also not civil. Despite how obvious that is, we, as a society have not yet shut that down. This is the biggest disappointment to a disappointed David Brooks.

Today's disappointed David Brooks cites the former chief rabbi of Britain (a Judeo-Christian and probably, if I know my David Brooks, also a white guy) as saying that "'All men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights,' would have been unintelligible to Plato or Aristotle or anybody raised in a hierarchical society." He cites this without a tinge of irony or even a modest acknowledgement that the phrase was written about white guys specifically, and that it didn't apply to girls or people of color, and super duper not about girls of color (who are both girls AND people of color because, intersectionality). David Brooks is a white guy, and everything was fine then, and would be fine now if people would be civil again.

Judeo-Christian Americans love their neighbors. Not any of the ones I know, who typically never talk to their neighbors, and often openly despise them, but in the David Brooks America they do. Non-Judeo-Christian Americans, or pagans for short, do not love their neighbors. They leave their Christmas decorations up just a bit too long or give out the wrong treats on Halloween or planted decorative annuals in the parking strip without clearance from the association.

Judeo-Christian Americans, which is to say David Brooks Americans, are still good people, they just need a leader with the character to stand up to Donald Trump and restore all the civility.

Shorter David Brooks: why can't we all just get along?!

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