How Howard Dean Debates Liberal Moral Superiority With David Brooks

8 December 2017
Davis Richardson

In the Trump era, tribalism bests morality. The party of Lincoln elected a reality television star who recently endorsed a senate candidate accused of molesting teenagers. Meanwhile, two Democratic leaders resigned this week after dozens of sexual assault allegations. Conservatism’s underlining principles of economic empowerment have fallen to deep state conspiracy, while liberalism’s social egalitarianism is subverted into media soundbites. As both parties reconcile their roles amid a political landscape upended by populism and global networks, liberalism (long touted as the voice of reason) faces an existential crisis over whether its morals can withstand an inherently immoral climate. On Thursday night at the Kaufman Center in Manhattan, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, New York Times columnist David Brooks, Princeton professor Robert George, and former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry debated whether the left still holds the moral high ground.