New York Times columnist David Brooks stated that we’re in a world where people treat politics as a fight to the death and make politics their identity, and President Trump “is the exclamation point” of that, on Friday’s PBS NewsHour.
Brooks stated Trump’s response to the bombings over the past 24 hours was “OK. … But that’s following three years of friend-enemy distinctions, of us-them thinking. And it’s not only Republicans. I mean, when Steve Scalise was shot, that was somebody from the left.”
Brooks continued, “But we’ve just entered a world — and it’s been increasing over the years, and I’d say Donald Trump is the exclamation point of it, A, is treating politics as a war to the death between two sides and that, for the country move forward, you need to destroy the other side. And that’s not what politics is, it’s competition between partial truths, competing values systems. And then the second thing is, politics, for some people, has become their identity for them. This guy’s truck — or his van just was covered with these stickers, some of them with crosshairs on Democratic figures.”
He concluded, “And that’s when — if you try to make politics your idol, you’re asking politics to bear more than it can bear, and you’re headed for an ugly place. And so, we’ve entered a spot where we’ve got these Manichaean distinctions, and then we’ve also got people catastrophizing, if the other side wins, then the country’s off to ruin, and neither of those things are true.”
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