‘This is a wonderful moment to be a conservative. For decades now the Republican Party has been groaning under the Reagan orthodoxy, which was right for the 1980s but has become increasingly obsolete. The Reagan worldview was based on the idea that a rising economic tide would lift all boats. But that’s clearly no longer true.’
All this optimism is kind of a bewildering stance in the face of the rise of Trump , the American Caudillo. Our very own Peron, the strong man who sets all our vexing problems right, by knocking heads together, those dissenters,well! Building a fence against Mexican rapists. Xenophobia, Islamaphobia, a Politics of Fear,Suspicion, the threat of violence and its actuality . Mr. Brooks looks forward to the post-Trump era of Conservative politics, as full of an absent quality in the now: hope allied to decency?
Mr. Brooks describes the American political present as a contest between the once ascendant Rising Tide America to the dismal present of Coming Apart America. As usual with the propaganda that Mr. Brooks produces, it is a convenient simplistic description, that erases from the picture, the inconvenient fact that the Republican/Conservative agenda has been one of nihilism, since the election of President Obama. And can we forget the era of The Contract With America authored/led by Gingrich? The Compassionate Conservatism of Bush II? The Willy Horton of the Lee Atwater/Bush I? We might become stymied in the act of remembrance of Nihilism’s Past.
All of this chatter framed, tarted up, by Kuhn’s Scientific Revolution:
‘ Trump is prompting what Thomas Kuhn, in his theory of scientific revolutions, called a model crisis.’
As usual with Mr. Brooks his apologetics for Republican Nihilism are subject to his notorious verbosity: the garnish of Kuhn’s theory of ‘model crisis’ is central to his pose as optimist.Which becomes the soothing balm of ‘this to shall pass’ in his guise as protestant scold. In sum, Mr. Brooks’ Conservatism is nihilistic at its core: a vision that is about sewing political discord, indeed chaos, as the means to power. Trump is the product of that Conservatism, and the self-destruction of the Republican Party.