Donald Trump Is a 'European-style Blood-and-soil Nationalist,' Says David Brooks

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Credit: PBS


JUDY WOODRUFF: But what does it say, though? We have been hearing in the last 24, 48 hours about Donald Trump maybe having second thoughts at midnight last night. There was the back and forth.

He told one interviewer: “I’m close to a decision. I want somebody on national security.”

And then he told somebody else: “No, it’s down to three.”

What do you make of this whole process?

DAVID BROOKS: Well, this is not a real campaign.

Like, there is a certain norm of the way things are done. Usually, when you announce your vice presidential candidate, there is like a professional rollout. Like, you do trivial things like updating your Web page, which the Trump campaign didn’t do for a little while.

MARK SHIELDS: That’s right.

DAVID BROOKS: And so they’re just — it’s a one-man show.

And one gets the impression everyone else around is sort of in the dark, and Trump is deciding or not deciding. And, as a result, the institutional presence that a campaign has, where decisions get made, and things get done and conventions get organized, a lot of that, it’s unclear if that’s happening.

BROOKS: I do think that that’s one of the keys for this convention. For me I want to see at least 30 or 40 members of the Trump family actually speaking at the podium, which it seems we’re getting close to that number.


DAVID BROOKS: But I do want — it will be curious to know how organized it is, because if they can’t organize a convention, how do they organize an administration or a fall campaign?

And then the emotional tone. Conventions are like coronations, but if you watch the Trump speeches leading up in the last couple of weeks, it’s filled — it’s sour. He’s sour. He’s filled with resentment. People aren’t treating me nice. CNN has been mean.

DAVID BROOKS: Yes, I don’t think Trump would exist as a viable candidate if it’s not for this climate for the past couple of years of psychological blows the world has endured.

You start with the economic stuff, anxiety which is of longstanding nature, but you go back to the beheadings, the ISIS beheadings. These were psychologically damaging for the country. And what we felt last week — we were on the show last week. It was rough.


DAVID BROOKS: It was a very depressing week.

And then this week is worse. And what’s going on in Turkey, it’s just the world is spinning out of order. And so that implicates the campaign in two ways. This campaign is in part a debate between an ardent nationalist, which Donald Trump is sort of a European-style blood-and-soil nationalist, vs. a candidate on the Democratic side who is more of a globalist, who believes in global institutions.

And these attacks all around the world, we see the dark side of globalization. And so I do think they help Trump. And then to me, the interesting thing is, people are going to want order, as Mark said. They are going to want somebody who is going to preserve order.

Normally, that means they want experience. And that would be good for Clinton. But I think in this climate of chaos, they are going to want toughness and the sort of like this authoritarianism. And that’s sort of up more Trump’s alley.

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