Why I’m Angry At David Brooks

Posts in this series

… [S]ome people waited anxiously [for the release of the Mueller Report]. Others already knew the result. As a Trump supporter named Donna Kowalczyk told the journalist Ben Bradlee Jr., “I don’t think there’s anything to it. If they find something, they will have made it up.”

To say that she and I approached the question differently would be an understatement. As a professional journalist, I am evidence-based, dispassionate, and fair-minded. I decide after I have the facts, not before. At least, that is how I flatter myself.

But really, am I so different from Ms. Kowalczyk? Or am I merely a member of a different tribe, and as biased and blind to my biases as she or anyone else? And suppose, for argument’s sake, Ms. Kowalczyk is in fact less evidence-based and dispassionate than I: whose way of thinking is more normal and natural? Whose way is more serviceable for most humans in most circumstances?

The answer: not mine.

Rauch, Jonathan. The Constitution of Knowledge, Pp. 20-21, fn omitted.

I was outraged by David Brooks’ article in the Atlantic, How The Bobos Broke America. In my last two posts I’ve tried to explain why I’m so angry. Of course everyone knows Brooks is a shallow apologist for the dominant class. Of course he dips into books and scholarly papers looking for passages he can twist to support his permanently fixed world view. Of course he blames liberals for all the damage done by the dominant class. Of course he wants readers to focus on his arguments and ignore his filthy rich patrons behind the curtain. I spent hours working my way through his dribble, reading Rauch, and writing these posts, so at one level it worked.

It’s genuinely stupid to blame the creative class for Trumpism, as Brooks does. Most people are happy to enjoy the work done by the creative class, and really don’t care what individual members of that class like in the way of coffee or lettuce or music. Just like we don’t really care if they like NASCAR and Country Music. Each to his own.

Everybody knows that the only reason anyone cares about these culture war issues is that sickeningly rich right-wing fanatics, opportunistic politicians, and paid media liars pump up hostility about the outrage of the day, hoping that the rage of their little minority coupled with the unthinking votes of long-time Republicans will keep them in power through gamed elections.

I’m occasionally pissed off at the people who fall for that garbage, but it always used to pass, and I certaoinly wasn’t angry at them. That’s changed. In writing these posts I realized that I’m genuinely angry at the anti-vaxxers, and at the Trumpists and their armed wing, collectively the Right. That anger boils over onto every Republican who ignores the threat the Right poses to our democracy.

At first I was furious at Brooks’ intellectual laziness. Rauch carefully describes an Epistemic Regime developed over centuries that dragged us out of ignorance and gave us tools to make our lives vastly better. Brooks calls it a group of people who determine what’s true. That’s an appalling misrepresentation.

Brooks insinuates that he works under the Epistemic Regime, but no. Brooks is a member of a bias-confirming community, a “… social affinity [group] where we seek not to test each other’s beliefs but to affirm them.” Rauch, supra at 114. In fact, he’s a confirmer-in-chief, a leader. I knew that, and now I have formal words to describe his despicable intellectual dishonesty rather than obscenities.

I’ve worked out two justifications for my anger at the Right as a whole.

1. Brooks argues that the creative class makes the Right and the Republicans feel disrespected.

If creative-class types just worked hard and made more money than other people, that might not cause such acute political conflict. What causes psychic crisis are the whiffs of “smarter than” and “more enlightened than” and “more tolerant than” that the creative class gives off.

Brooks is saying that the creative class creates psychic crises leading to political conflict by being different. The creative class has its own tastes in consumer goods, entertainment, and intellectual activities. It has a different moral sense than the Right. He’s saying that we in the creative class should not tell the Right about our tastes, maybe even that we shouldn’t have them. He says we should never argue with the Right about the thinking or lack of thinking behind our respective moral judgments. We must never try to put our own moral choices into law. He’s saying the Right’s tastes and morality should be respected, but it’s fine for them to hate us for ours. He’s saying that we should never use the law to rectify injustice as we see it.

Well, David Brooks, you might accidentally be right about this, but you contributed to it, and it’s bullshit. You the rest of your bias-conforming community can just fuck right off.

2. After reading Rauch, I began to see the Right differently. They aren’t just worried about living their own way, which somehow is threatened by my moral sense and the laws I think are necessary to make things better for all of us. Just like David Brooks, the Right rejects Rauch’s Epistemic Regime.

It’s the usual practice under the Epistemic Regime to insert disclaimers about problems with everything we defend. Not this time. Rejection of our system for accumulating knowledge is dangerous, stupid, and scary. The alternatives offered by the Right are ignorant, absurd, and guaranteed to produce misery for everyone. The people who push those alternatives are ghouls, misfits, nihilists, and power-maddened freaks.

We are constantly admonished that the fault lies with the leaders and mis-leaders, not the great mass of our fellow citizens. We should be nice to the latter, it’s not their fault. I could almost accept that when they complained about equal marriage, abortion rights, and the War on Christmas. But now they attack the entire way of thinking that gave us the vaccine for a deadly disease, and then organized to produce vast quantities of the vaccine, safely, in a matter of months.

The Right’s rejection of vaccines, for whatever ridiculous reasons, threatens me personally and the people I love. I work hard to be a member of the Tribe of the Epistemic Regime, and I take it personally, I get angry, when the Right Tribe attacks it. More broadly, rejection of the Epistemic Regime is a threat to the continued accumulation of knowledge, which is crucial if our planet and the human race are to survive.

That threat justifies intense anger.

75 replies
  1. Savage Librarian says:


    Apprenticeships & workforce training,
    It’s hard to understand complaining,
    or any GOP outlandish profaning
    for something that is so self-sustaining.

    Health, child and elder care:
    Build back better what’s in disrepair,
    Don’t fall for psychological warfare,
    or grift by some greedy billionaire.

    Fair housing and a fair tax code:
    Trying to keep us buffaloed,
    Republicans clamor in a choral ode,
    that we belong in medieval mode.

    A Civilian Climate Corps
    could lift our lives off the floor,
    A way to begin to settle the score
    of our anthropocene weather war.

    Two free years of community college,
    to compete globally and be a hedge
    against loss, plus a useful wedge
    to get the facts, and new knowledge.

    Universal preschool:
    That’s a plan that’s pretty cool,
    Biden might be the POTUS who’ll
    move us beyond the wading pool.

  2. Troy P says:

    Amen to this and your previous posts about Brooks and the damage he his nonsense have done. It is tempting to go on a paragraphs long rant about this, but it really would not say anything different fro what you (and other thoughtful commentators) have said here and in previous posts. What discourages me the most is that I do not see a way out. The Right lives in its own little eco-sphere that is confirms it prejudices and right now appears to live for two things: 1. grabbing and maintaining power; 2. owning the libs. How does one interact with such a group? I am at a loss. Thank you for these posts.

    • Sonso says:

      The Right reminds of the scene of Eddie Murphy (in 48 Hours, I believe) where he is yelling “I am not listening, I am not listening…” over and over, to prevent any discussion. In so many instances we’ve forgotten about ‘degrees’, and so we get Brooks’ constant use of false equivalencies and false dichotomies. He is, intentionally, not listening.

    • Margo Stone says:

      Brooks is really a doofus posing as a serious thinker. The thing is, it works for him and he is well compensated. He generates a lot of clicks in the comments section of the NYT.
      I’d love to hear Marcy’s thoughts about Bret Stephens. When googling snivel, his picture pops up.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    What a hoot:

    “As a professional journalist, I am evidence-based, dispassionate, and fair-minded. I decide after I have the facts, not before. At least, that is how I flatter myself.”

    A lot to unpack there. Bobo is not a journalist: he’s been an OpEd writer for nearly twenty years. The NYT pays him over $1.5 million a year to tell its patrons – in a smooth, polite tone – that it’s OK to be ruthless, selfish, and reactionary. His opinions are not evidence-based or fair-minded. Rather, he twists the evidence to uniformly support his side of the aisle. His opinions do exhibit his trademarked dispassion, but that delivery merely disguises the passion with which he sells them. As for flattering himself, he says that about being a narcissistic jerk, too, because he thinks that’s what he’s paid to be – as if he had no agency in the matter. But, yes, it is nauseous self-flattery.

    • MB says:

      “At least, that is how I flatter myself.” I would say: at most.

      I have a friend, not at all sympathetic to Trump, who might fit the category of a “moderate” or “centrist” or “blue dog” Democrat. We were discussing something George Will said on an MSNBC interview, and when I brought up David Brooks’ name, he immediately categorized Brooks as “center-left”. I nearly blew up hearing that. He might be a tad to the left of Will, and certainly less strident in his presentation of ideas, but for people like my friend, who only has a passing acquaintance with public opinion-makers like Brooks, it’s astonishing to see him mis-placed in that pigeonhole…

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I suspect that derives from Brooks being published in the NYT. It, too, benefits from being mislabeled as a voice of the center-left.

        • MB says:

          Yep, makes sense. I’ll bet my friend made a 1-to-1 correlation in his mind between Brooks and the NYT’s “public reputation”.

        • Theodora30 says:

          The damage the NY Times has caused to our democracy is — or should be — a huge scandal. It was the Times that led the propagation of right wing slanders against Clinton in the 90s. It was the Times that kept demanding the appointment of an Independent Counsel AFTER the Special Prosecutor, Republican Robert Fiske, had cleared the Clintons of any wrongdoing in Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, the “murder” of the Clintons’ close friend Vince Foster, etc. Because it was the Times the rest of the media followed its lead. Even after all that damage and empowerment of the right wing smear machine the Times never acknowledged how badly they had been played, let alone apologized. Instead they helped sell us on Cheney’s WMD lies.
          It was also the Times that first regurgitated the claims about the Clinton Foundation that they knew came from a book written by Steve Bannon’s partner Peter Schweitzer, getting played once again by right wing operatives.
          How the Times’s reputation is still so high is beyond my understanding.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          The systemic strangling of local newspapers, wringing out the real journalists who might report what is happening in statehouses and courtrooms, has stranded many of us on that familiar little island composed of NYT, WP and whichever paywalls we can afford to penetrate. I wish I could keep the LA Times, but I try to prop up smaller independent papers in flyover country, aka the world I know best and desperately want not to let slip through my fingers.

        • vvv says:

          Was just having this discussion. I took the more nationally-oriented Trib online but – due to its awkward online fake-newspaper-page format – it so annoyed me I would go weeks without reading it.

          It was a relief to have the excuse to cancel it due to the recent takeover (itself a scandal) and so, towards that supporting-the-local-press idear, I went with the more locally-oriented Sun-Times which – due to its awkward online fake-newspaper-page format – so annoys me I go weeks without reading it.

        • vvv says:

          Ah, I’m in the suburbs, Block Club is a little too city-oriented for me.

          As an interesting aside, they may know not what they are apparently named after, the “block clubs” of Chicago originally existing, at least in part, to hold the line on “white flight”.

          I know – I had a relative who worked for Fr. Francis X. Lawlor.

        • Theodora30 says:

          That unethical behavior should have made Will unemployable by any respectable media outlet but if you are one of their crowd you can even get by with breaking the law. The media buried the fact that the Iran Contra Independent Counsel’s final report said that Colin Powell had lied under oath to investigators. A major network killed that story because they
          didn’t want to anger Saint Colin.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I forgot to say that Brooks is a liar. For comparison, Trump lies in plain sight. He will say something vile, then pretend it was a joke. Most people know that he meant it, and that the lie is Trump’s version of being polite and avoiding accountability. More frequently, Trump just makes shit up. He lies at will to recreate the imaginary world he lives in – and to allow his followers to do the same, in order to shut out reality and the opposition.

      David Brooks does likewise. Here, he describes himself as a benevolent, fair-minded, professional, with the highest standards. But with his trademarked meekness, he walks out the backdoor by admitting that’s only how he sees himself, and might be as imaginary as the Pennsylvania diners he never talked to. Did he mean the former, or is he only touching up the painting in his attic?

      • Theodora30 says:

        I am not sure if Brooks is lying or if he is just deluding himself. He recently wrote an article “Here’s the mindset that’s tearing us apart: When all you see is groups and not people.” His condemnation of people he childishly labels “bobos” is doing exactly what he condemns in that article. He is so blatantly hypocritical that I suspect he isn’t aware of his blatant double standard. The man is a shallow, self-important fool, in love with his own bloviations.

      • Dark Phoenix says:

        David Brooks is the guy the Sulzburgers pay to tell them how every decision they’ve made in their lives is the right and good decision, and the only reason people are angry is because they’re ungrateful members of the “EXTREMES ON BOTH SIDES” who can safely be ignored. Well, not just him; they have a bunch of Op-Ed writers who churn out the same shit.

  4. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    “Why I’m angry at David Brooks”???

    Just seeing that headline, I almost blew my morning coffee all over my keyboard…

    Take a number and stand in line, pal…

    • Theodora30 says:

      Our anger should be directed at the NY Times for paying Brooks to write his vapid, hypocritical columns.

  5. matt fischer says:

    Thanks for the posts, Ed. You wrote, “I work hard to be a member of the Tribe of the Epistemic Regime,” and, sadly, that points to an inherent part of the problem. It takes hard work to cut through the copious BS. People don’t have the time and energy (or, in many cases, capacity) to think critically about the key issues of the day. Bias-confirming social affinity group-think is much much easier (not to mention that it can be more emotionally gratifying, especially if it involves owning the libs).

    • matt fischer says:

      From page 23: “Maybe Socrates would rather be right than popular, but most of us prefer to maintain our good standing with our tribe, a reasonable call when one considers that Socrates was executed by his fellow citizens.”

      • Ed Walker says:

        That’s right, thanks Matt. Also, your above comment is spot on. Rauch is an engaging writer, as that quote demonstrates.

  6. Epicurus says:

    I admit confusion. The initial quote/passage above is attributed to Mr. Rauch. I thought Mr. Rauch was describing himself as the professional journalist and if he were attributing a quote to Mr. Brooks describing Mr. Brooks himself as a professional journalist we would have seen that attribution. Perhaps Mr. Walker can clarify who is the professional journalist being referred to in Mr Rauch’s quote since I don’t have that book of Mr. Rauch. (I do have Demosclerosis by Mr. Rauch.)

    The passage by Mr. Rauch describing himself as the thinking journalist makes more sense to me as that would be a characteristic of System Two thinking of Daniel Kahneman in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. The woman quoted in the reference, Donna Kowalczyk, is thinking and responding in System One. Mr, Brooks as the referred to professional journalist doesn’t make sense to me in this context. Why would Mr. Brooks be in this part of Mr. Rauch’s book? But again I don’t know to whom Mr. Rauch is referring.

    • matt fischer says:

      The quote is from early in Chapter 2 of Rauch’s book: “The State of Nature: Tribal Truth; Bias, groupthink, and the epistemic war of all against all”. Rauch is referring to himself.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Thanks. I was confused into thinking it was by Brooks, in part because the quote fits perfectly with the story about himself that Ed dissected so well in his last post on Brooks. It is exactly what Brooks would say, without Rauch’s mirth. Brooks would not see it as rhetorical humility, but rather as a useful tool to propagandize.

      • matt fischer says:

        Rauch concedes that Kowalczyk’s stance is more natural in order to demonstrate a larger point, that sticking with the tribe is quite often the more profitable approach. In doing so he demonstrates a humility of which Brooks seems incapable.

      • Ed Walker says:

        Brooks wants to be seen as Rauch describes himself. It’s just like the way Creationists try to look like they’re scientists. In both cases they want the color of reality but aren’t willing to subject their theories to intelligent criticism.

  7. Kenster42 says:


    Great piece, but I also wanted to thank you for your incredibly thoughtful pieces on this site. They’re well-researched and the type of meaty, muscular writing I like to dig into on the weekends. Keep it up, you’re killing it.

    • Ed Walker says:

      I can see that: he does make his points clearly. But style only carries you so far, and it doesn’t hide duplicitous analysis.

      Nobody gets banned for criticizing the ideas in a post, but it’s bye-bye to those who attack the writer.

    • bmaz says:

      It very well may. You are a spamming crackpot, and of no benefit to our commentary. And, yes, I saw your attempt to further spam us under a sock puppet handle. Stop.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Giving the devil his due – saying that he’s good at manipulating human beings – doesn’t address to what ends he puts those skills. That’s an omission one could contemplate for as long as it takes for Toby Atkinson to separate all the new arrivals in hell.

      Without question, David Brooks works hard to promote a neoliberal agenda. His warm demeanor he uses to convince the multitude that they should sit back and enjoy what they cannot prevent. This site has many goals. One of them, I think, is to convince people that they have agency and can organize and oppose such propaganda and the policies that it serves.

      • Wm. Boyce says:

        “Neo-liberal agenda” indeed. That’s what suffused most of the mainstream media for decades before the rise of Trump. It’s gone way beyond that now, we’re actually looking at the overthrow of our elections by would-be dictators.
        Mr. Brooks, to me, looks incredibly meek and ineffective, as events have moved way past polite rule by the ruling class.

    • Elizabeth Hanson says:

      A humanities professor here. I give students like Brooks an A-/B+ It’s code for: “writing style is university level but mind will never get out of the dorm-room. Do not recommend for grad school.”

    • Sonso says:

      Well, no band is permanent, not even the currently touring Rolling Stones cover band (playing at a stadium perhaps near you).

      • bmaz says:

        The Stones are NOT a cover band, they play their own music. And if they are coming anywhere near you, you should go see them. They are still absolutely fantastic live.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        I would think better of the Stones if:

        1. Mick and Keith could finally admit that the cover they did of “Time Is On My Side” was first made popular by Irma Thomas. It would be proper if they could also compensate her and her family in some way for that.

        2. Mick and Keith could stop being dicks and take full responsibility for their racist, misogynistic song, “Brown Sugar.”

        “Irma Thomas – Time is on my side | The Story Behind The Song | Top 2000 a gogo”


        “ ‘I’m trying to figure out with the sisters quite where the beef is’: Keith Richards on Rolling Stones decision to drop Brown Sugar” – Nadia Khomami, Rachel Hall, Thu, Oct 14, 2021

        “Jagger said as far back as 1995 that he’d never “write that song now … I’d probably censor myself.”


        • bmaz says:

          The Stones don’t owe anybody jack shit. They do covers of artists they like, to honor them and promote them, and oftentimes work directly with them on stage. How do you think Etta James got so big? Because the Stones loved her and had her tour with them (and I was at one of those shows). And if they do your song it is a big and valuable deal for the other artist. And, by the way, they quit performing Brown Sugar, and publicly made a statement why.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          Did you look at the cites I included? The point is not that they did the cover, “Time Is On My Side.” It’s that they would not admit that Irma Thomas covered it first. They actually went to a club to hear her. Why can’t they just say that?

          Obviously it’s a big deal for the Stones to do someone’s song. No news there. But, then again, as white boys they sure had advantages when they started out. Now that 21st century folks are looking for ways to improve on human relations and democracy, it might be worth the time and effort for some entertainers to help move the conversation forward. I’m not talking about anything financial.

          You seem to be a very dedicated and loyal fan and representative of the Stones. You have your reasons, I’m sure. But I think you might be overlooking some relatively easy and painless ways to create some good will.

        • bmaz says:

          JFC, you have to be kidding me. This is such petty bullshit. Sure they have done covers. Whateverthefuck. And, no, I do not “represent” them although have worked on a couple of shows. This is just cheap ass bullshit.

          And they still do not owe anybody anything, including you.

  8. Badger Robert says:

    William F, Buckley was defending something that still existed, the conservative 20th century Republican Party.. He was like a monarchist.
    But Brooks is rationalizing the steady drift to something still in the making. He is far too smart not to know where the MAGA movement is heading.
    The American comparison might be someone like Robert E. Lee, a handsome, intelligent man who rationalized dreadful choices. Lee used Christianity to excuse slavery, and used Virginia to excuse his resignation from the army and taking a position with the Confederacy within days.
    David Brooks has become an apologist for a rising tide of fascism. He is making up excuses for a minority that knows the future is against them.

  9. punaise says:

    Shame on Mark Shields for never (?) calling BS on Brooks on PBS. Long ago, Shields – who always brought good historical context – was a decent opinionator, before entering his long and slow glide path into irrelevance.

    • bmaz says:

      And Shields at one time had a fairly decent sense of irony and humor. Good grief, I am getting old, had not thought of Shields in forever.

      • Lulymay says:

        I’m so old, bmaz, that I still remember the MacNeill/Lehrer as the best news cast I used to watch religiously on PBS and often wish we still had that calibre of reporting to digest each night. I’m so tired of all these “talking heads” that I could chew nails and spit tacks!!! Glad I’ve got emptywheel to keep things in perspective and thank you all for that.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I’m sure I’m forgetting some of their lapses, but MacNeil/Lehrer were head and shoulders above the current crowd of news readers, as was their version of PBS.

        • bmaz says:

          Yes Lulymay, I do remember that period too. And they well outlasted Huntley/Brinkley and Cronkite. There are still people not bad around, but you have to actively pick and choose at any moment, and that is not easy. The times, they have a changed.

        • John Lehman says:

          “Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end”…..”Time keeps on passing…passing into the future” The era’s memories come with wistful lyrics.

    • Wm. Boyce says:

      I can’t tell you the number of times I heard Shields disparage, vigorously, progressive ideas like universal health care. He was center-right, IMO, but on a mainstream program like the News hour, he was the liberal to Mr. Brook’s gentle right-wing claptrap.

  10. Zinsky says:

    Very interesting series, Mr. Walker, thank you. To me, David Brooks is the Wrong Way Corrigan of the journalistic profession. He correctly and thoughtfully lays out societies problems and underlying symptoms and comes to exactly the wrong conclusions about the causes of and solutions for those problems. Sure the working class has drifted ever rightward since the 1970s, and many blue collar Joe Lunchpail types now are Trumpers who used to vote Democrat. But the cause is not these presumed “bobos” or the so-called creative class, who so offend Brooks’ rock-ribbed conservative sensibilities with their lattes and hot yoga lessons. It is because there has been a tidal wave of right-wing misinformation and disinformation, augmented by nefarious hackers and on-line trolls from Russia, Bulgaria and other places, who have convinced millions of people there is an alternative reality. An alternative Game of Thrones reality where the noble, pious [but heavily armed] conservative labors mightily again the heathen liberal in a mythical struggle to the death. In other words, utter horseshit. We are in an epistemological crisis in America and David Brooks can’t even see it.

    • Wm. Boyce says:

      I think you’ve hit it on the head. The internet has so fucked people’s brains that they believe it with a stupid religiosity. It’s people right here in the USA who’ve contributed mightily to the increasing general stupidity via social media, right-wing radio, etc.

  11. skua says:

    “Of course he wants readers to focus on his arguments and ignore his filthy rich patrons behind the curtain. I spent hours working my way through his dribble, reading Rauch, and writing these posts, so at one level it worked.”
    Brooks is following the path of Bjorn Lomborg, See, for starters
    httpLINKBREAK://lomborg-errors.dk/ and httpsLINKBREAK://web.archive.org/web/20120808182039/http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/HFResponseToLomborgFeb262010.pdf
    Their stuff is very effective rhetoric.
    IMO presenting the fallicies that their analyses produce alongside the consequences of their propaganda, as you have done, can effectively counter it – if the countering achieves wide enough circulation.

    The next pandemic will, if the current direction is held, arrive in a USA where basic containment measures, normal public health steps, will be widely rejected as “infringements on invioable human rights”. The source of this lethal insanity is well described by Zinsky above, aided by commercially driven magnifiers FB and YT. Wide acceptance of Brooks’ mis-diagnosis and useless prescription will cover up the true source, obstruct correction, and make gross carnage ever more likely. This is one of those times when I’d feel more assured if I had a firm belief in a biddable, humane, interventionist god. However I think it’s actually up to me and my fellow humans.

  12. jaango1 says:

    Permit me to add my two cents to this unassailable opinion.

    Today, our nation is the Age of Advertising…

    To wit, David Brooks is the ‘cutting edge’ of advertsing. His regime is becoming shortlived given that his opinions are in supporting the wealth accumulation for the New York Times, and seeing such behavior is far from wanting. Take, for example, the now and virtually financial disfunction of smaller news outlets is now being addressed. These news outlets are being purchased by investors for accessing the potential advertising wealth currently and readily available and the local news value of not much of financial value.

    And for the past two decades, I have been touting the establishment of the Municipal-Owned Internet News Network and which readily encompasses up to 50 municipal governments, and funded by federal government on a annual basis for an approximate $500 annually. Thus, each municipality with a federal largesse of $10 million, would hire 35 credentialed journalists. And as such, 15 journalists would be focused on the government operations, while another 15 journalists would address the public management policies pending before the city council members and subject to the mayor’s ‘wants and desires’.
    Subsequently, and 15 journalists would discern and address the general public’s “unmet needs.” And as such the payroll costs would not exceed an annual salary of an approximate level of $100,000 for each journalist.

    And of course, the political stories emanate from daily results of this nationalized public efforts, and of course, today’s media outlets would continue to seen as the current Advertising Age, and nothing less.

    In closing, Chicanos are largest cohort among today’s Progressive-Orientation and currently measured at 46 percent among all of the Democratic conglomeration. And as such, folks like David Brooks and his fellow right-wingers as they await their entrance into the Monument/Museum of Criminal Stupidity, while demographics demonstrate that 900,000 Chicanos are turning–on an annual basis, registering and voting on a regular basis. And of course, David Brooks has to recognize that his “history” will be readily trashed by Chicano historians, in the years ahead while he is currently camouflaged as a fascist and not as a conservative.

  13. eastman says:

    I haven’t read enough of what David Brooks has written to be so annoyed by him, but this series of articles has helped me understand the type of information that many people receive.

    If you think this question/idea is too far off topic, feel free to omit it…

    Is it inevitable that a two party adversarial political system will evolve to produce two highly polarized groups?

    I think the answer is yes. I might be wrong, and I’m sure that if both adversarial parties were grounded in facts, we’d be in a better place now. I still can’t help feeling like our current polarized situation may be a predictable consequence of two powerful political parties competing to appeal to slightly more than half of us…

    • Rayne says:

      The problem with the premise of inevitable polarization is that the political system in the US has been consciously and deliberately gamed to produce the current level of polarization — which means it’s not inevitable under natural, unforced conditions. If anything there would be the likelihood of at least one more party arising to fragment power and act as a spoiler if extreme polarization wasn’t enhanced by application of the Overton window combined with active measures focused on the nation’s weakest points.

      One of the weakest points in the US is its former newsprint media, which no longer relies on sales of newspapers but on advertising and on selling data. This contemporary model relies on use of clickbait to harvest advertising clickthroughs and data from users. What earns clicks is content which annoys, angers, irritates audiences.

      Thus David Brooks continues at the NYT long past his freshness date — he is reliably fucking annoying, and that’s really all that’s required of him.

      • Eastman says:

        That’s a very good point, thanks. I wish I thought a third party would form and have some success. As you say, it is a big problem that the profitability if news outlets is often uncoupled from (or even inversely related to – eek!) the quality of the information and reporting that they provide. I’m not really sure what can be done about that.

        • Rayne says:

          You can see in the Manchin-Sinema intransigence the nascent dynamic which could spawn a third party in the middle, but because the motives behind their intransigence are corrupt and not driven by a well-articulated ideology, no party will emerge.

          The Green Party could have continued on its efforts in 2016, but that party was also being driven by corrupt forces — Stein got as far as she did with foreign influence, not a grassroots effort to organize a third party coast to coast. The forces behind Stein had achieved its aims by fragmenting left of center organization; there was no sense in continuing to invest resources there when there was more return on effort investing in broader demoralization and destabilization efforts.

          I regret now that we didn’t game out a third party based in progressivism back in 2004-2006; the effort moved Democrats to the left in time for the blue wave in 2006 and Obama’s election in 2008, but without a formal progressive party there wasn’t enough impetus to overcome the right-wing’s creation of its own response in the form of the Tea Party in 2009-2010. Note how the Tea Party has now disappeared; it was a synthetic and corrupt creation of corporate interests (Hello, Kochs) which didn’t need to sustain it once Trump emerged as a figurehead to consolidate power through the cult of personality.

          And now we’re left with the stale remnants of this last two decades like Brooks who has zero relevance save annoying clickbait.

      • eastman says:

        First, as a relative newcomer here, I want to thank you all for engaging with me. This series of articles has been very thought provoking for me, and led me to revisit some ideas I’ve wondered about in the past.

        Why didn’t it happen sooner or before is a good counterpoint, but there have been periods of extreme polarization in American political history before too. There has also been plenty of conservative extremism before as well, so I suppose I think it actually has happened before.

        The push to motivate voters based on national level issues has probably exacerbated the problem, and that must be easier to do now with relatively centralized media production, than it was when local papers were a major source of information. None of my ideas here are particularly new or interesting, but I appreciate being able to share them with a group like this one.

    • Epicurus says:

      Eastman, There is a book by Columbia law professor Jamal Greene titled “How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession with Rights is Tearing America Apart” that I would suggest you consider reading. It would add to your understanding as to how and why a two party adversarial system in this country can morph into polarized groups.

      • Rayne says:

        Uh-huh. Reduced we are to a party which believes every person has Creator-endowed unalienable Rights including Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, and an entity which believes their leader is right to deny persons their rights based on race/sex/gender/country of origin/political ideology/etc.

        I don’t think Greene’s work stands up in the face of rampant fascism.

        • Sonso says:

          I would like to pause for a moment, and reflect on how we are at a point where we are rationally and realistically discussing an active and successful fascist movement in America (which, in the most part, as elsewhere, doesn’t even recognize itself as such). The white supremacy-Trump rallies sure do look like the MSG 1930’s era rally. Remember Frank Zappa singing ‘it can’t happen here”? Well, darn, it sure has (oh, and Frank was being his usual sarcastic self).

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