David Brooks: How Do We Rebuild Norms Of Reality After Watching Past Two Years In "Shocked Horror?"


PBS NEWSHOUR: Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s news, including tough questioning for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, plus two damning portraits of President Trump, including a new book by famed journalist Bob Woodward and an unsigned op-ed in The New York Times.

Brooks said while it is "the best economy of our lifetimes maybe right now," people should be worried of a "moment where something scary could happen" and Republicans don't take action.

"I mean, it should be said we probably have the best economy of our lifetimes maybe right now," Brooks said Friday on PBS NewsHour. "But there comes a moment where something scary could happen. And I don’t expect Republicans to take some action."

"I just think we watch with — as we have been for two and three years, with sort of shocked horror. And then I think we build for — rebuild for the long term, which is, how do we rebuild norms of morality? How do we build norms of behavior, so that we can have a functioning civil government in the future?" Brooks asked.

Brooks said the winning argument Democrats can use to campaign against Trump is "corruption."

"I agree, mobilizing millennials is a big thing," Brooks said Friday. "The second thing is, how are Democrats actually going to frame the argument against Trump? Because there are a lot of arguments to make against Donald Trump. And they made a lot of them in 2016."

"Barack Obama sort of spread the field with a lot of different arguments. But which is the one that actually turns voters’ minds?" Brooks asked.

"I personally think it’s the corruption one," Brooks said.

Brooks on "permanent state of crisis" under Trump:

BROOKS: That we’re in a state of permanent crisis, that we have got an agent of incompetence and instability in the Oval Office, and the people around him are trying to do what they can.

I wish they wouldn’t write about it. And the question to me is, A, will this spin out of control into something truly horrific? Will Trump take some action in a way that really does endanger the nation? Or is he in a state where he can corrode the norms, he can corrode the Republican Party, he can corrode the government, but we’re just going to be for the next two years or so in a state of just this instability and crisis?

And the argument is, he’s too ignorant and incompetent to do much damage. And I really don’t know which track we’re on, whether it is a trajectory towards disaster or just this continued depressing erosion of standards.

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