I posted this link last week – Glenn Reynolds in USAToday on how David Brooks and establishment-y pundits like him led to Donald Trump.
This passage caught my attention; the Tea Party preceded Trump by a good 6-7 years. We were civil, orderly, and we left the world a much better place than we found it, even in little ways, as shown in this story from a San Francisco counterprotest:
In San Francisco, too, tea party protesters met pro-Obama activists and picked up their trash. “John,” author of The City Square blog wrote: “As Obama supporters moved along in the line to get into the fundraiser, they left behind an impressive amount of trash … Tea Partiers shouted ‘pick up your garbage’ and ‘this is San Francisco, what about recycling?’ There was no response. They chanted ‘Obama leaves a mess.’ Still no response. Eventually, a tea partier (wearing the black cowboy hat) crosses over and starts to pick up the trash on his own. Other tea partiers join him. Another manages to find a trash bag. Soon the trash is being collected.”
It’s true. I was there. It was an amazing outpouring of motivation, passion, and equanimity.
But it was spontaneous and from the right, so it had to be destroyed. And between the media and the establishment GOP, it was.
Yet the tea party movement was smeared as racist, denounced as fascist, harassed with impunity by the IRS and generally treated with contempt by the political establishment — and by pundits like Brooks, who declared “I’m not a fan of this movement.” After handing the GOP big legislative victories in 2010 and 2014, it was largely betrayed by the Republicans in Congress, who broke their promises to shrink government and block Obama’s initiatives.
So when you shut down peoples’ peaceful, reasonable assembly for redress of grievances, what do you expect is going to happen?
So now we have Trump instead, who tells people to punch counterprotesters instead of picking up their trash.
When politeness and orderliness are met with contempt and betrayal, do not be surprised if the response is something less polite, and less orderly. Brooks closes his Trump column with Psalm 73, but a more appropriate verse is Hosea 8:7 “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” Trump’s ascendance is a symptom of a colossal failure among America’s political leaders, of which Brooks’ mean-spirited insularity is only a tiny part. God help us all.
The whole thing is worth a read.