NYT conservative columnist, David Brooks, writes that Trump and "his felons" are dragging America into moral chaos.
The crucial thing about Donald Trump is that he is not a nationalist who uses immoral means. He is first and foremost an immoralist, whose very being was defined by dishonesty, cruelty, betrayal and cheating long before he put on political garb.
In this presidential campaign, Trump’s nationalist platform — trade, immigration — has faded into the background while his immoral nature has taken center stage. Compared to 2016, it’s more pure Trump and less Pat Buchanan.
The key events of the campaign have been moral events: Trump reportedly calling military veterans and the war dead suckers and losers; Trump downplaying a deadly pandemic to the American people; Trump failing to pay fair taxes; Trump sidling up to white supremacists, resorting to racist and QAnon dog whistles.
The debate was an important moment. You and I can give sermons about how cruel, dishonest behavior shreds the norms of a decent society. But moral degradation is an invisible process. It happens subtly over time.
During Tuesday night’s debate, by contrast, people got to see, in real time, how Trump’s vicious behavior destroyed an American institution, the presidential debate. They got to see how his savagery made ordinary human conversation impossible. Debate watchers were confronted with a core truth: What Trump did to that debate Tuesday night is what he’ll do to America in a second term.
On Tuesday we got see that immorality isn’t just a vague thing people talk about in Sunday school. It is a Howitzer that blows through walls and leaves rubble. It is an attempt to serve yourself by breaking things and making other people suffer.Biden should continue to talk about his economic recovery and pandemic control plans and all that stuff, but this election has devolved to certain key questions: Does America still have a moral core, a basic framework that makes this a decent place to live? Will we let Trump and his felons drag us to moral chaos?...Some Republicans see Trump’s immorality as a sideshow they will tolerate to secure other goods. But his immorality is voracious, a widening gyre that threatens the basic stability of civic life. If he undermines this election, and his Republican enablers let him, he’ll approach what comes next with appalling ferocity.My intuition tells me, as does the polling data, that more people are paying attention, have recognized what’s before them and will make the right decision. Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Seward made the essential point: “There was always just enough virtue in this republic to save it; sometimes none to spare.”