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The Populists Are the Winners

State of the Union: On that David Brooks column.
(By Ben Von Klemperer/Shutterstock)

On this week’s TAC Right Now, we tackled that David Brooks essay making the rounds: “What If We’re the Bad Guys Here?

First, credit where credit is due: This is a remarkably self-reflective, self-aware piece from Brooks, whom I’ve criticized in this space before. It bespeaks why he’s been such an important voice for so long.

One critical point made by my colleague Helen Andrews is worth highlighting, however. “Brooks is unable to escape the biggest fallacy about populism held on the left,” Helen noted. “The fallacy is that populists are losers. They are the left behind.” She continued: “It is fundamental to my whole political outlook that the people who support Trump are not, in fact, losers, who need to be compensated or appeased, or their anxieties assuaged.”

It is such a crucial point. The populists are the people who built America’s greatness. They are not nostalgic for a “simpler” time; they want a country that works once more. Our current elites are simply coasting on that which the “losers” built.

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