David Brooks' "How To Negotiate With Monsters" as it works in the real world.
(Caution: Contains a major Breaking Bad spoiler)
(Caution: Contains a major Breaking Bad spoiler)
As America's Leading Brooksologist, after 13 years and the hundreds of thousands of words I have published on the subject, I take it as my job to tell you true things about Mr. David Brooks and, by extension, the mainstream media power structure which created Mr. Brooks and protects him like a glutton protecting his lunch.
So here is a true thing: The Sulzberger family has been paying Mr. Brooks to write slight variations of the same, ridiculous Both Siderist claptrap for 15 years. This has made Mr. Brooks a wealthy and influential Washington D.C. power player. It has brought him professional respectability and a life of extraordinary privilege which Mr. Brooks has lived exactly where Mr. Brooks has always wanted to live -- detached from human concerns and floating dirigibly as far above the Real World as humanly possible.
Here is another true thing: Mr. Brooks' wealth and influence flow directly from his ability to bullshit other wealthy and powerful individuals who also live lives as far removed from the Real World as possible that he, Mr. David Brooks, is possessed of a keen and accurate insight into what is really going on in the grubby Real World far below. He doesn't, of course -- Mr. Brooks knows shit-all about this country and has a long and well-documented record of being completely wrong all the time about everything. But none of that matters, because his audience of clueless titans of industry, Beltway-media moguls, and TED-Talk jet-setting university presidents are even more clueless than he is.
Here is another true thing: The cloistered plutocrats who are Mr. Brooks' primary audience do not want to hear that Mr. Brooks' Republican Party has gone mad and is killing the country because that would impose a moral burden on these parasites that they have no interest in shouldering. They do not want to hear that the lowest of the low -- those dirty, disrespectful hippies who say "fuck" all the time -- have been right about the Right all along, because that, too, would require some kind of action on their part, and they have paid a shit-ton of money to buy their way into the cloud city of High Above It All where the brochure promised that the problems of the Little People would not harsh their beautiful minds.
Here is another true thing: Thus in order to maintain his position of wealth and influences, Mr. Brooks' must perform one task over and over and over again, perfectly and without fail. That task is to tell his cloistered plutocrat audience the lies they want to hear. Lies about squabbling Tribes of Red and Blue peasants who are Both Equally Wrong About Everything All The Time.
And today Mr. Brooks glided right over the bodies of 17 murdered Americans to deliver the latest iteration of that Big Lie -- hot and fresh -- to his employer.
We have one big tribal conflict, and policy fights are just proxy battles as each side tries to establish moral superiority. But just as the tribal mentality has been turned on, it can be turned off. Then and only then can we go back to normal politics and take reasonable measures to keep our children safe.
Yes, Mr. David Brooks, who has never in his entire professional life had the first fucking clue about what goes on out here in the Real World, nonetheless has some very definite ideas about how we who do live in the Real World should be conducting our gun control debate. Specifically, that we as a nation cannot lift one fucking finger to stop mass shootings until the paranoid madness of America's NRA thugs and ammosexual ghouls is heeded -- humbly and respectfully -- by everyone else.
I'm not kidding:
If you want to stop school shootings, it’s not enough just to vent and march. It’s necessary to let people from Red America lead the way, and to show respect to gun owners at all points https://t.co/BBrlNIlzY3— NYT Opinion (@nytopinion) February 20, 2018
Because then apparently, God Almighty will pass a fucking miracle the likes of which has never happened before in American history when a fanatical minority held the majority hostage:
other Great David Brooks Columns Of History pic.twitter.com/CkEPABACg5— Current Affairs (@curaffairs) February 20, 2018
Here is another true thing: Within living memory, there has never been any conflict over any public policy where Mr. Brooks has not warned the Left that our only reasonable course of action was to cave, capitulate or otherwise cede ground to the madmen who run his Republican Party. And as a matter of historical fact, there has never been any case of concession or capitulation to the madmen who run Mr. Brooks' Republican Party which was not immediately followed by those same madmen taking even more hostages and demanding even greater concessions.
But of course, those hostages are never anyone that Mr. Brooks actually knows.
The families whose health care Mr. Brooks' Republican Party wants to strip away are no one Mr. Brooks knows.
Robbing poor senior citizens of fuel assistance won't kill any old people of Mr. Brooks' acquaintance.
Shredding the social safety net to pay for Mr. Brooks' tax cuts will not inconvenience anyone in Mr. Brooks' social circle.
The kids who were slaughtered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were not Mr. Brooks' kids.
So you can certainly be appalled by Mr. Brooks' column today -- I know I am -- but no one has any business being shocked by it.
Mr. Brooks has spent his entire adult life clawing his way to a position of professional respectability and privilege which permits him the luxury of not having to give a shit about the actual life and death struggles of the poor and the elderly and the kids who live here in the Real World. And the way he gets to keep that very valuable seat in Beltway Elysium is by continuing to feed his cloistered, plutocrat patrons the happy horseshit they wish to believe. By reducing the very real misery and ruin which Mr. Brooks' Republican Party visits on real people in the Real World every day to fairy tales about the faraway yammering of tribes of equally unreasonable Red and Blue peasants:
The discussions reveal other sensitivities. Some Blues didn’t want to enter a venue that had a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag on the wall. To Reds that was a neutral flag from American history, but to Blues it carried all sorts of nasty associations. Reds were offended by the lawn signs that said, “Hate Has No Home Here.” The implication: Hate has no home in my house, but it does in yours.
In another exercise, Reds and Blues ask each other honest, nonleading questions. Blues may ask Reds, “Name a safety-net program you can support.” Reds may ask Blues, “How do you balance having a heart with keeping health care costs under control?”
Here is one last true thing: Mr. Brooks will go right on gliding over as many dead and suffering Americans as it takes to keep his place in the clouds until his employers kick him out. So how does one go about getting the Sulzberger Family to take some action? Any action at all?
Well, as of this writing, Mr. Brooks has been trending on Twitter all day because of the sheer perversity of today's column, and he is being eviscerated on social media and in the blogosphere.
From Splinter News: David Brooks: Please 'Show Respect to Gun Owners' During This Difficult Time
From Brother Charlie Pierce: Our 'National Gun Conversation' Is Now the Worst of American Discourse
Media Matters: David Brooks needs to shut up
This Space Reserved For Yastreblyansky
All of which is right and good, but none of which will make the slightest difference because Mr. Brooks is protected from on high. And Mr,. Brooks will go right on being immune to the forces of both merit and morality as long as he keeps delivering that sweet, sweet Both Side Are To Blame (But Mostly Liberals) sugar to his premium clientele.
In fact, according to Mr. David Brooks, the only way to finally get the Sulzberger Family to pass common-sense restrictions on David Brooks' morally bankrupt columns is to listen to David Brooks.
To really listen to him. Humbly and respectfully. Decade after fucking decade.
To stop shaming David Brooks.
To stop calling David Brooks potty-mouth names.
To stop pointing out that he lies flagrantly and constantly in order to prop up his morally bankrupt cult of Both Siderism.
Then and only then will David Brooks lead the way to common sense restrictions on David Brooks' toxic bullshit.
Wait, where have we seen this movie before?
Behold, a Tip Jar!