Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom): I am going to take issue with this @nytdavidbrooks piece because I think Brooks, and many others, are missing a crucial piece of the puzzle in the "death of truth" and the "unwinding of demcracy problem. Thread follows. /1

Brooks writes that Trumpers buy Trump's lies "because he tells stories of dispossession that feel true to many of them," and that kids on campuses are intolerant because they "feel entrapped by a moral order that feels unsafe and unjust." Maybe. But that's not the core issue. /2

What so many intellectuals miss is how bored and listless these people on both the right and left feel, and how energizing and good it feels to believe the lies, no matter what side they come from. It's ennobling. It's heroic. It's self-actualizing. /3

Are there "forgotten places" that breed despair? Is the social order unjust? Sure. But mostly, the people leading the charges on this stuff aren't the primary victims of the forgetting or the injustice. Middle-income whites and kids on Ivy campuses are not the victims here. /4

The worst off, most dispossessed in this country don't even vote, for crying out loud. This is the lashing out of the bored bourgeoisie, not "stories that feel true to them." These are stories they WANT to be true because it would ennoble their own dull lives to believe it. /5

We ignore at our peril - and yes, this is part of my book's argument - the idea that a bored and affluent middle-class, raised on a steady diet of narcissism and self-actualization are the real danger here. We have to stop making up noble excuses for illiberal ideas. /6

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