Dear Mr. Brooks,
Your column might be the best thing written in the New York Times in the past seven years. You’ve undoubtedly been subjected to a fair amount of abuse for it. You should probably never have written it if the comments are any indication. But those are people in the bubble. They don’t represent either the majority or the future. They think they do, but they don’t.
Your question, “Are we the bad guys”? The answer is yes. You are the bad guys. You have systematically dehumanized half the country because they dared to want to be represented by someone you don’t like. You have gone along with a warped distortion of who Donald Trump actually is, and you have perpetuated that lie to your own detriment. …
Anatomy of a red-pilling:
I am a lifelong Democrat who voted for every Democrat that ever ran for president starting in the 1980s. I was a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter. I marched, I protested, and I wrote op-eds. I said Me Too. I supported and voted for Joe Biden. And yes, I wrote about race and gender for years on my website. Yeah, I was that guy (girl).
It would take me a while to realize you were all wrong about Trump. First, I had to find out all of these years later that your paper of record was not telling me the truth, which I did in June of 2020 when the New York Times upended itself over the Tom Cotton essay, then threw two of its editors under the bus.
That moment was, for me, like the lantern dropping out of the sky in The Truman Show.
My whole world changed. But it was hard to explain it to my friends and family. I would say things to them like, “I can’t explain it to you because you’re in the bubble.” And they would look at me like I was insane.
All that really meant is that they still trusted the New York Times. They still trusted you, Mr. Brooks. But little by little, people like me are escaping the bubble and discovering a whole wide world of freedom outside of it — freedom of the mind, most especially. Imagine, not having to fret every word that comes out of your mouth. Imagine people seeing each other as people and not as partisans in an imaginary war, not as “white supremacists” or divided by race or gender. …
That intense focus on race and racism pushed and adopted by the Times, has had a catastrophic effect on the news business and American culture writ large, but especially so in the Trump era. …
Why can’t they, or you, trust the voters? Why can’t you find better candidates and better policies? Why can’t you allow an outsider to shake things up in a people-run government? Moreover, who gave you permission to claim this country for yourselves and decide for American voters what they should want? That is not how things are supposed to work in this country.
You’ve all been treating Trump like an elusive mob boss who engaged in dirty dealings, drug smuggling, prostitution, bribery, and even murder, which justified taking extraordinary measures against him to put him in prison finally. But the evidence at hand does not bear this out. He’s a rule-breaker by nature, he always has been. He likes to upset people. He likes to antagonize, tease, and sometimes bully, but we can’t even get to Turmp’s real problems because of your tsunami of hyperbole.
The so-called charges against Trump will look ridiculous in time, just like the perjury charge against Bill Clinton does. By now, you all should be sued for wasting our time and money policing a president who had the nerve to win an election and offend the ruling elite. And then had the nerve to protest the most corrupt election in my lifetime. But again, we won’t go into that. …
When I headed over to Trump World and watched his rallies, I did not see a racist or a bigot. I didn’t see a frothing-at-the-mouth Hitler-esque tyrant. And I couldn’t lie about that anymore.
This isn’t about telling you to support Trump or that I will even vote for him. It’s hard to talk about anything else because of YOUR obsession, not ours. He has to dominate the news because it drives traffic on your site and ratings on cable news and because God forbid any of you will actually report on the Biden administration’s obvious failings.
Some people got it long before I ever did, like David Horowitz, a former lefty, who wrote a brilliant book on the 2020 election and January 6th called Final Battle. His introduction goes like this:
“Trump’s final seventeen hours of campaigning had included more than 3,000 miles of flights and motorcades, 367 minutes of rallies, and—in the words of one Wall Street Journal reporter, “five awkward and hilarious stage dances to [the popular song] ‘YMCA.’”A Trump rally was always an entertainment.”
“At one point in the evening, the crowd became so ardent — as similar rallies had before — that it began to chant “We love you!” and did so over and over, until Trump responded: “Thank you. Don’t say that. I’ll start to cry and that wouldn’t be good for my image.” It was an uncharacteristically emotional moment, displaying a self-awareness and even self-deprecation, that went generally unacknowledged by Trump’s legion of haters.” …
And that was really it for me. The journalists, so many people I knew and in the highest reaches of culture and power, had the story completely wrong. They didn’t know Trump at all and had no clue why so many people supported him. All they could do was spin around, wondering how could anyone like and vote for a MONSTER like Trump?
But Trump makes them feel seen, in the parlance of the Left. The people most of you throw away like human garbage had one guy with balls of steel taking on the entire machine. If you don’t think most people are rooting for Trump to skate these charges, then you aren’t paying attention.
Oh sure, the Beckys and the Karens are waiting for their money shot, but most people can’t help but root for the underdog. Sorry, folks. You’ll have to confront the lies you’ve been selling for years because the people are way ahead of you.
The end is near?
Lastly, you write:
“But there’s a larger context here. As the sociologist E. Digby Baltzell wrote decades ago, “History is a graveyard of classes which have preferred caste privileges to leadership.” That is the destiny our class is now flirting with. We can condemn the Trumpian populists until the cows come home, but the real question is: When will we stop behaving in ways that make Trumpism inevitable?”
The answer, Mr. Brooks, is never. As with most aristocracies, power must be taken from you. No, not with a violent revolution, but when the American people realize what I finally did — that they can no longer trust the media, and that the media have become the bad guys. When that happens, it’s all over but the shouting.