I added the term wackadoodle to my vocabulary after a recent column on the coming presidential election.
Then I spent some time thinking about basic decency.
David Brooks used the term in characterizing ideas of Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson. The New York Times regular then said she was right to say the election may be more about values than policy.
On the debate stage, she said, “This is part of the dark underbelly of American society: the racism, the bigotry and the entire conversation that we’re having here tonight. If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.”
Brooks said she was right in that, and in this, “We’ve never dealt with a figure like this in American history before. This man, our president, is not just a politician, he’s a phenomenon. And an insider political game will not be able to defeat it. ... The only thing that will defeat him is if we have a phenomenon of equal force, and that phenomenon is a moral uprising of the American people.”
Brooks said Democrats are not ready for it but must rebuild the moral structure of our country with these values:
- Unity: We’re one people. Our leader represents all the people.
- Honesty: We can’t have deliberative democracy without respect for the truth.
- Pluralism: Human difference makes life richer and more interesting. We treasure members of all races and faiths.
- Sympathy: We want to be around people with good hearts, who feel for those who are suffering, who are faithful friends, whose daily lives are marked by kindness.
- Opportunity: We want all children to have an open field and a fair chance in the great race of life.
He closes, “Trump has put himself on the wrong side of all these values. So Democrats, go ahead and promote your plans. But also lead an uprising of decency. There must be one Democrat who, in word and deed, can do that.”