I have reproduced, above, the title of one of David Brooks' recent columns in The New York Times. I hunted down that "Straw Man" photo to go along with my reference to the column, since that image seems so appropriate. The Straw Man is happy to embrace what Brooks is peddling. It's that SMB thing I have talked about before. "So Much Bullshit."
In the context of our contemporary politics, Brooks' column is (as he intended it to be) an attack on the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders. To some degree, the column is also an attack on the candidacy of Elizabeth Warren, even though Warren has gone out of her way to proclaim her adherence to the "capitalist" philosophy espoused by Brooks.
I am not very much of an "-ism" guy, and I am not calling out Brooks so much to defend "socialism" as against "capitalism," but rather to protest the intellectual dishonesty I find in the column I have linked.
Bernie Sanders calls himself a "Democratic Socialist." So far, that title has not scared off all of those red-blooded American patriots who should know, Brooks seems to believe, that "socialism" is the ultimate evil. Young people, particularly, seem not to be afraid of the label. Brooks is trying to reignite the fears of decades past, when the "Red Scare" informed American politics. One of the leading apostles of the Red Scare was Senator Joseph McCarthy, a person with a lot in common with our current president. Like President Trump, McCarthy had an extraordinary propensity to lie. And both McCarthy and our current president were served by, and revered, the same attorney, Roy Cohn.