David Brooks — and the Psalmist — Take On Donald Trump

Occasionally, newspaper columnists (even conservative columnists!) write with the voice not only of a journalist, but as a prophet. Not a prophet who predicts the future, but a prophet in the biblical sense. One who speaks “God’s Word” to the people. I heard this Word this morning in David Brooks’ column in the New York Times,”No, Not Trump, Not Ever.”

First of all, he acknowledges that something is due Trump in that he has “heard” the cries of the dispossessed who are angry because they have suffered lost jobs, lost wages, and lost dreams. Brooks acknowledges that many in the media, including himself, underestimated the Donald’s ability to capitalize on this discontent. But then, this conservative pundit states clearly why no one should support Trump, No…Not Ever:

“Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out….Trump is perhaps the most dishonest person to run for high office in our lifetime…He is a childish man running for a job that requires maturity. He is an insecure boasting little boy whose desires were somehow arrested at age 12…In some rare cases, political victors do not deserve our respect…to endorse those…would be a moral failure.”

And here, David Brooks begins to speak prophetically, “History is a long record of men like him temporarily rising, stretching back to biblical times. Psalm 73 describes them:

“Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence…They scoff and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. Therefore people turn to them and drink up their waters in abundance. ” And yet their success is fragile: “Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly they are destroyed.”

And the sermon’s conclusion? “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…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.”

Precisely that the founders feared! Will Donald Trump’s supporters in this country realize that…before it is too late?

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