The sins of fathers and grandfathers

It has been years since my conservative cousin from New York contributed to Power Line. David Brooks’ latest column smoked him out, inspiring this contribution:

Donald Trump appears to have caused David Brooks to lose his senses. In today’s New York Times, Brooks imputes the alleged ethical lapses of Donald Trump to the the original sins of his grandfather and father.

It seems the bad seed started with grandpa Frederich who dodged the German Army draft and apparently amassed a modest fortune by operating bordellos in Washington State and British Columbia. The sins of the Trump family moved on through the generations with father Fred who worked seven days a week building middle income housing in Brooklyn and Queens, and “didn’t like wimps.” Brooks also alleges that Fred was arrested at a K.K.K. rally though he allows that it’s unclear if he was a member.

One wonders if Brooks would apply the same family tree explanation to other national leaders. Was FDR corrupted by a family fortune that grandfather Hugh Delano amassed selling opium to the Chinese? Or JFK by his slumlord paternal grandpa Patrick Kennedy or the philandering corrupt politician, maternal grandpa John Fitzgerald? (Tenants in Fred Trump’s buildings enjoyed far better housing than those unfortunate to live in a Patrick Kennedy dwelling).

And Kennedy’s father Joe’s Wall Street manipulations produced nothing of value to anyone but himself. He makes Fred Trump look like a great public benefactor. Of course, there’s also the glaring example of Barack Obama’s father.

To answer my cousin’s query, there is no reason to believe that Brooks would apply his family tree theory to FDR, JFK, or Obama. He probably believes that, when it comes to liberal Democrats, immorality skips generations.