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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

 
Dear David Brooks 

by tristero




In your latest column, you compare Donald Trump to.... oh, I can't repeat it, it's too ridiculous and contrived. Here it is in your own words:
After World War II the Protestant establishment dominated the high ground of American culture and politics. That establishment eventually failed. It tolerated segregation and sexism, led the nation into war in Vietnam and became stultifying. 
So in the late 1960s along came a group of provocateurs like Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and the rest of the counterculture to upend the Protestant establishment. People like Hoffman were buffoons, but also masters of political theater... 
[The Hillary Clinton "cohort" - Brooks' word]... created an economy that benefits itself and leaves everybody else out. It led America into war in Iraq and sent the working class off to fight it. It has developed its own brand of cultural snobbery. Its media, film and music industries make members of the working class feel invisible and disrespected. 
So in 2016, members of the outraged working class elected their own Abbie Hoffman as president. Trump is not good at much, but he is wickedly good at sticking his thumb in the eye of the educated elites.
I don't where to begin but let's start with the obvious: they pay you for this bullshit? You're the second luckiest man in the world, my friend!*

There are so many obvious differences. Trump's, at best, a sympathizer of white supremacists. Trump is humorless. Trump is illiterate. Trump is so ostentatiously rich he poops on a gold toilet.

Abbie was none of those things. But their greatest difference:

Abbie Hoffman could never have been elected president of the United States. Ever. And why is that? Because of difference #1 - Trump hearts only the whites and there are a lot more whites that respond to racist dog whistles than there ever were people of any color who responded to Abbie's radical political theater.

As for the idiotic social science equivalence you draw between 60's yippies and Nazis, white supremacists, and their apologists in America today... gaaaah, do I have to state the obvious reason why it is entirely specious? "Members of the outraged working class" didn't elect Donald Trump, white people elected Trump, across all classes. There are working class blacks who are outraged, too, y'know, and they didn't vote for His White Orangenosity-ness.

Funny, David, but when it comes to America, it all comes back to race. And it is absurd to compare the conscious political theater of Abbie Hoffman - even at his most manic - with the inchoate raging race-baiting of Donald Trump.  Unless you're getting paid well, and I hope you are.

But honestly, David, there's no amount of money that would cause me to write such obviously dishonest trash as you did in this column.

Love,

tristero

*Andrew Lloyd Webber's the luckiest man in the world (it's an old musician's joke).