Opinion | Biden’s Rise Gives the Establishment One Last Chance – By David Brooks – The New York Times


Opinion Columnist

Credit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

“I don’t know about you, but the election results this week filled me with more hope than I’ve felt in years. It felt like somebody turning down the volume.

The angry and putrid shouting that has marked the last four years — and that would mark a Trump vs. Sanders campaign — might actually come to an end. Suddenly we got a glimpse of a world in which we can hear each other talk, in which actual governance can happen, in which gridlock can be avoided and actual change can come.

But the results carried a more portentous message as well. For those of us who believe in our political system, it’s put up or shut up time. The establishment gets one last chance.

If Joe Biden wins the nomination but loses to Donald Trump in the general election, young progressives will turn on the Democratic establishment with unprecedented fury. “See? We were right again!” they’ll say. And maybe they’ll have a point.

If Biden wins the White House but doesn’t deliver real benefits for disaffected working-class Trumpians and disillusioned young Bernie Bros, then the populist uprisings of 2024 will make the populist uprisings of today look genteel by comparison. “The system is rotten to the core,” they’ll say. “It’s time to burn it all down.” “

David Lindsay:  Thank you David Brooks for another deep and elequent column. I decided not to post this one, because I couldn’t put my finger on its strength. But a day later, I dove into the recommended comments by order, called Reader Picks, and was astonished. For the the first time in memory, the popular comments were not tearing Brooks down, but acknowledging the extraordinary event we all witnessed.

Brooks wrote: “Democrats are not just a party; they’re a community. In my years of covering politics I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like what happened in the 48 hours after South Carolina — millions of Democrats from all around the country, from many different demographics, turning as one and arriving at a common decision.

It was like watching a flock of geese or a school of fish, seemingly leaderless, sensing some shift in conditions, sensing each other’s intuitions, and smoothly shifting direction en masse. A community is more than the sum of its parts. It is a shared sensibility and a pattern of response. This is a core Democratic strength.”

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