Monday, May 09, 2016

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 5/6/2016

"Shields and Brooks on Trump’s nomination triumph, and why the Democratic race isn’t over" PBS NewsHour 5/6/2016


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week in politics, including what Donald Trump’s ascension as the GOP’s presumptive nominee means for American politics, the fate of the Republican party after Trump, why Hillary Clinton hasn’t been able to finish off Sen. Bernie Sanders and the role of “big ideas” in this election cycle.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  And we take a close look now at this stunner of a week in American politics with Shields and Brooks.  That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields, and “New York Times” columnist David Brooks.

Welcome, gentlemen.

So, we just heard from a feisty Bernie Sanders.  We’re going to talk about him in a minute.

But I first want to ask you about, I guess, kind of an earth quake that happened this week that many people thought wouldn’t come, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, David, is Donald Trump.   I won’t say if anybody in this room predicted he might not make this — reach this point, but what does it say that here he is against all odds?

DAVID BROOKS, New York Times columnist:  I’d like to assure you that he will not get the nomination.


DAVID BROOKS:  You know, it says a lot of things.  It says the Republican establishment has been coasting on the fumes of Reaganite philosophy for too long which are not applicable to the day.  It says that we have some people in America who are longing for a country that is never coming back, where a certain sort of white male ideal is the top of society and that’s never coming back and they’re looking for a white male to remind them of those days.

It also says a lot of people are hurting for perfectly legitimate reasons.  They’ve seen their jobs go, they’ve seen their neighborhoods go, they’ve seen their families go, they’ve seen drug addiction, they’ve seen unemployment, and they’re pessimistic about the future and they’re willing to take a flyer on the guy.

And so, there are a lot of legitimate and illegitimate reasons why this guy is here.  I don’t think he’s a legitimate candidate or would be a legitimate President but what he’s done has to be respected to some degree.

JUDY WOODRUFF:   What would you add, Mark?   How did he do this?

MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist:   Judy, I think we missed the story, in the sense that we never examined the program sees that the Republican Party has been organized around, which is an aggressive foreign policy, a muscular defense policy, interventionists, a commitment to smaller government; and not open immigration but certainly, considerably welcoming immigration policy, and tax cuts.

And Donald Trump went right by this argument.  He basically did.  I mean, he repealed the Republican interventionist defense foreign policy and, you know, emphasized his own opposition to the war in Iraq, and echoed some of the sentiments that the President himself has.  I mean, our allies have to do more, that they have to contribute more to their own defense, and the responsibilities.

But I would say beyond that, what he did was he put government — this is Henry Olsen, the conservative scholar’s analysis, I think it’s a good one — he advocates a government that is on the side of the people who are hurting, the people David described.   I mean, he’s not going to change Social Security.  He’s going to strengthen Social Security.  He’s going to make sure Social Security is there.   He’s going to make Medicare there and at the same time, he’s going to use it to — aggressive opposition to trade policies, where these people in many cases as David mentioned have been the collateral damage.

The big picture has been good.  There are communities and families and individuals all over this country, and he spoke to them in a way that really neither party has and, you know, I think that has to be acknowledged, and just remarked upon.  It’s an amazing achievement what he’s done.

He’s transformed the Republican electorate nominating the President.

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