David Brooks of the New York Times goes to town with a very interesting column in which he declares, ex-cathedra, that real estate mogul Donald Trump will not be the nominee of the Republican Party. The words in the above title are exactly his. Central to his argument is the fact that a lot of folks at the present time are not paying attention to what is going on in the campaign. Once they start doing so, Brooks goes on, Republican primary voters will have no choice but to embrace the candidate they think can defeat the Democratic candidate instead of choosing who they really like. “When campaigns enter that final month, voters tend to gravitate toward the person who seems most orderly. As the primary season advances, voters’ tolerance for risk declines. They focus on the potential downsides of each contender and wonder, Could this person make things even worse?” Brooks writes.
Brooks needs no introduction to many here. Decidedly the most influential conservative columnist at the Gray Lady since William Safire, Brooks has been penning opinion for the Times twice a week since 2003. Brooks is clearly exercised by the rather bizarre direction in which Trump has taken the only political party that remains a vessel for his (Brook’s) conservative values, a direction that could conduce to electoral slaughter for the party of Abraham Lincoln next November.
Poor Brooks. He’s going by conventional wisdom which had in past campaigns trumped every other consideration. But as we have clearly seen so far, these are no longer conventional times for the GOP. You can argue that it still is for the Democratic Party, as shown, for example, by the desire of a growing number of Democrats to want to settle on Hillary Clinton as their nominee for the November election after what seemed an initial flirtation with Bernie Sanders.
There’s something going on in the GOP which should not be difficult to see. They have got a candidate who, unlike previous candidates in past elections, is not afraid to voice what a majority of the GOP truly believes in, a candidate who puts a loud trumpet to the lips of their deceptively silent id. If after Paris and every damnable thing Trump has said he is still scaling heights in the polls, then that should tell Brooks something. I see the multitude of faces at Trump’s rallies on television every day. They all look happy to have found their “Jesus” who will rescue them from their two objects of hate: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. No other Republican candidate better represents the hidden, disquieting racism of their primary voters better than Trump who can say anything under the sun about President Obama in particular.
Brooks is also wrong to say that not enough voters are paying attention to the goings-on at this time. Enough are already. Can’t he see? This, so far, has been a different campaign, and one man has succeeded in making it so almost single-handed. Donald Trump is his name.