There’s a joke told in the old days by British infantry officers about cavalry officers, whom they considered aristocratic but dim. (It was also told by Naval officers about Marine officers, by Englishmen in general about Irishmen, and by Irishmen about Kerrymen.)Well, how smug and unrealistic has the anti-Trump movement become? David Brooks has started to notice!
“Have you heard about the cavalry officer who was so stupid that the others started to notice?”
I mention these inconvenient observations because the anti-Trump movement, of which I’m a proud member, seems to be getting dumber. It seems to be settling into a smug, fairy tale version of reality that filters out discordant information. More anti-Trumpers seem to be telling themselves a “Madness of King George” narrative: Trump is a semiliterate madman surrounded by sycophants who are morally, intellectually and psychologically inferior to people like us.Maybe it's possible, but no one is even trying. Law professor/blogger Ann Althouse has read the Brooks piece, and writes:
I’d like to think it’s possible to be fervently anti-Trump while also not reducing everything to a fairy tale.
The Decline of Anti-Trumpism, January 8, 2017
As to why anti-Trumpism is in decline, the proudly elitist Brooks blames "lowbrowism":Still, not as weird and crazy as David Brooks [Email him] who wrote in February of last year “For the life of me, I can’t figure out why so many Republicans prefer a dying white America to a place like, say, Houston,” accusing other people of being smug.Fox News pioneered modern lowbrowism. The modern lowbrow... ignores normal journalistic or intellectual standards.... We anti-Trumpers have our lowbrowism, too, mostly on late-night TV. But anti-Trump lowbrowism burst into full bloom with the Wolff book....Preening over his own lofty intellectual standards, Brooks makes a lowly grammatical mistake and no one doing the "normal" journalism at the NYT noticed: "the monotonous daily hysteria of we anti-Trumpers" should be "the monotonous daily hysteria of us anti-Trumpers."
In every war, nations come to resemble their enemies, so I suppose it’s normal that the anti-Trump movement would come to resemble the pro-Trump movement. But it’s not good. I’ve noticed a lot of young people look at the monotonous daily hysteria of we anti-Trumpers and they find it silly.
I think "we" might feel more dignified than "us," but mixing up your objective and subjective pronouns is a pretty lowbrow mistake. Speaking of things noticed and found silly, I find that silly — not because you made an error but because you're so sure you're the one on high looking down at other people.
Anyway, the monotonous daily hysteria of anti-Trumpers is worse than "silly." I write about it all the time, not — as you might think — because I'm pro-Trump, but because the haters hate too much and it's making them weird and crazy. In my view, Trump was too weird and crazy to be President, but in the real world, he is President, and it's weird and crazy not to live in the real world. [More]