Ignoring the message

David Brooks promises newfound respect for the people whose message he is refusing to receive:

The question is: Should deference be paid to this victor? Should we bow down to the judgment of these voters?

Well, some respect is in order. Trump voters are a coalition of the dispossessed. They have suffered lost jobs, lost wages, lost dreams. The American system is not working for them, so naturally they are looking for something else.

Moreover, many in the media, especially me, did not understand how they would express their alienation. We expected Trump to fizzle because we were not socially intermingled with his supporters and did not listen carefully enough. For me, it’s a lesson that I have to change the way I do my job if I’m going to report accurately on this country….

Donald Trump is an affront to basic standards of honesty, virtue and citizenship. He pollutes the atmosphere in which our children are raised. He has already shredded the unspoken rules of political civility that make conversation possible. In his savage regime, public life is just a dog-eat-dog war of all against all.

As the founders would have understood, he is a threat to the long and glorious experiment of American self-government. He is precisely the kind of scapegoating, promise-making, fear-driving and deceiving demagogue they feared.

Trump’s supporters deserve respect. They are left out of this economy. But Trump himself? No, not Trump, not ever.

It’s amusing to Brooks declare, in the same column, that he is concerned about “a threat to the long and glorious experiment of American self-government” while wondering “should we bow down to the judgment of these voters” and ultimately concluding, no, he will not.

Brooks is an anti-democratic elitist who thinks, wrongly, that his opinion is still relevant. And, sooner or later, he will go the way of all those who set themselves in the path of a popular uprising against a corrupt and enervated elite.

Trump’s supporters don’t want David Brooks’s respect. They want his scalp.