PBS: In their final Friday political analysis before the election, syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss Hillary Clinton's shrinking lead, the rough language that has pervaded the campaign, the outlook for the congressional power dynamic, a year of 'irresponsibility' in government and prospects for filling the Supreme Court vacancy.
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Brooks said the less educated and non-college educated whites are going to vote for Donald Trump no matter what. He added, "people are just going with their gene pool."
Brooks said demographics is the reason why Clinton is making a campaign stop in the state of Michigan, normally a Democratic stronghold, because "there are a lot of white people."
"Basically, less educated or high school-educated whites are going to Trump," Brooks told host Judy Woodruff. "It doesn't matter what the guy does. And college-educated going to Clinton."
"Sometimes, you get the sense that the campaign barely matters," a dejected Brooks said. "People are just going with their gene pool and whatever it is. And that is one of the more depressing aspects of this race for me."
Brooks said Trump is running a campaign of hate and reminisced about then-Senator Obama's campaign of hope. He said Trump has no choice but to end his campaign on a negative note, however said it would be a "very questionable" way for Clinton to end her campaign on.
"It's a campaign of hate," he said of Trump. "Obama is a campaign of at least hope. At least his first campaign was. This is just a campaign of hate. And, you know, people who don't like Trump really don't like Trump. And I guess I'm among them."
Brooks criticized Clinton for not properly campaigning; he said she should have pivoted and campaigned as the candidate for change.
"I do think she should have pivoted and say, I am change, I am change, because people do want some change. And to end on this negative note, I think especially for her -- he has no choice -- that's his whole repertoire," Brooks complained.
Brooks said globalization, the influx of immigrants and feminism "has been really good" for America. "We had a lot of good things over the years that were really good for America," he said. "I think globalization has been really good for America. I think the influx of immigrants has been really good for America. Feminism has been really good for America."
Brooks said he is not sharing who is voting for, leaving it up to the viewer to surmise who he'll pull the lever for. "I can't say who I'm going to vote for, but one person is clearly disqualified for that job," Brooks said at the end of the segment. "And I can't mention his name."
Transcript, via PBS:
DAVID BROOKS: Well, I think she’s the favorite.
I have a sense that it would have happened anyway and that, at the end of the day, people were going to come home to who they were. And what’s depressed me, frankly, most about this race is, we went into this country a divided nation, and now the chasms are just solidified, so divided along race, divided along gender, urban/rural, college-educated/non-college-educated. We can go down the list.
And, basically, less educated or high school-educated whites are going to Trump. It doesn’t matter what the guy does. And college-educated going to Clinton. Everyone is dividing based on demographic categories.
And, sometimes, you get the sense that the campaign barely matters. People are just going with their gene pool and whatever it is. And that is one of the more depressing aspects of this race for me.
DAVID BROOKS: And, well, it’s a campaign of hate. Obama is a campaign of at least hope. At least his first campaign was. This is just a campaign of hate. And, you know, people who don’t like Trump really don’t like Trump. And I guess I’m among them.
And we just saw in our report about the Trump voters in Pennsylvania. Did you see — when they were shouting on the road, did you see anything nice about Trump? No. Send Clinton to jail.
And so it’s just — what was it? There was a Burt Lancaster movie where he had love and hate tattooed on his hands. And there’s just a — we’re in a psychosis of what they call negative polarization, where nobody likes their side, but they really hate the other side.
And it feels like it’s just building and building. And so we have got this cycle. And I don’t know if it pops on Election Day. I hope so. But the idea that Clinton is finishing this campaign bringing Miss America or the Miss Universe to the rallies just seems wrong to me.
I do think she should have pivoted and say, I am change, I am change, because people do want some change. And to end on this negative note, I think especially for her — he has no choice — that’s his whole repertoire.
I think, for her, I think it’s a very questionable way to end the campaign.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes.
That sort of goes back to my point about demographics. Why is she in Michigan? Because Michigan was — we all thought it would be Florida, South Carolina, Nevada, all the — New Hampshire, the states we have been talking about. But there are a lot of white people in Wisconsin and Michigan.
And so there’s another route that he has in ways we didn’t expect, because of the way the demographics are just driving this election much more than ideology was in years past.
DAVID BROOKS: So we had a lot of good things over the years that were really good for America. I think globalization has been really good for America. I think the influx of immigrants has been really good for America. Feminism has been really good for America.
But there are a lot of people who used to be up in society, because of those three good things, are now down, a lot of high school-educated white guys. And they have been displaced.
And shame on us for not paying attention to that and helping them out. And, therefore, as a result, what happened was, they were alienated, they got super cynical, because they really were being shafted. And so they react in an angry way.
Well, that’s not a shock, given the last 30 or 50 years of American history. And so, for us going forward, it’s to not reverse the dynamism of American society and the diversity. It’s to pay attention to the people who are being ruined by it, and so this doesn’t happen again.
DAVID BROOKS: I think it’s in the Constitution. And we not only have rules in the Constitution the way it should work. The president should be able to nominate justices. But we have an etiquette around the Constitution.
And what’s happened in America is, that etiquette has been acidified away. And I hate the nuclear option of going for 50 votes in the Senate. But if they behave this way, then I think the Democrats might be justified and go to the nuclear option, because we actually have to have a government. We have to have people confirmed and put into office.
And — but it’s the degradation of the way our government is supposed to run.