We’ve had a lot of talk about the choice between principles and political necessity. An individual politician’s character is a matter of principle, but the far bigger principle involves the actual issues at stake.
Never Trumpers like David Brooks keep picking their dislike of Trump over the biggest issues while insisting that it’s all about principles. But that’s not surprising coming from Brooks who gushed over Obama’s pants leg crease. For many former Republicans on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the markers of the elite upper class matter far more than whether a socialist statist takes over Washington D.C.
And, on that note, here’s Brooks going Red.
And yet, if it comes to Trump vs. Warren in a general election, the only plausible choice is to support Warren. Over the past month Donald Trump has given us fresh reminders of the unique and exceptional ways he corrupts American life. You’re either part of removing that corruption or you are not. When your nation’s political system is in danger, staying home and not voting is not a responsible option.
Politics is downstream from morality and culture. Warren represents a policy wrong turn, in my view, but policies can be argued about and reversed. Trump represents a much more important and fundamental threat — to the norms, values, standards and soul of this country.
And, here’s the fundamental difference.
For Brooks, as for so many Never Trumpers, socialism is not a meaningful threat. Leftist policies are just policies. They can be reversed. Just ask the Cambodians or the Chinese, Russians or the Cubans. But rudeness and bad manners are an existential threat.
Brooks spins this as Trump threatening the nation’s soul. But Warren ending the Constitution isn’t a threat to the nation’s soul.
Just as Obama wasn’t a threat to its soul.
For Brooks, elite manners are more important than the Constitution. What he really wants is a country where everyone follows the rules, even if they’re evil rules. There’s nothing conservative about that brand of Miss Manners statism.
It’s not conservatism. It’s Toryism.