More Facts About The Tea-Party's "Goliath-Slayer" David Brat

Tyler Durden's picture

Slowly but surely, more is being revealed about Eric Cantor's unknown until now (so unknown that his Wikipedia entry was only two sentences before Tuesday night) nemesis, the anti-big business, anti-Wall Street, anti establishment "Goliath-slayer" David Brat. In addition to our profile from this morning, here is the latest compilation of biographical factoids about the suddenly uber-famous tea party activist, who has written about the role of religion in economic growth. He is also a fan of the pro-capitalist novelist Ayn Rand. Here are some facts about Brat from Reuters.



Brat, 49, is an economics professor at 1,300-student Randolph-Macon College outside Richmond, Virginia. He describes himself as a budget expert on his campaign website, saying he "presents a major problem for liberals who try to continue increased government spending by discrediting conservatives." In May, Brat reportedly missed planned meetings with national conservative leaders because he had to prepare for final exams. He graduated from Hope College in Michigan in 1986 with a degree in business administration, received a Master's in divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a PhD in economics from American University.


Brat teaches a class on Rand's thinking underwritten by Rand admirer and former banking chief executive John Allison, who is promoting the class to counter what he sees as anti-capitalist thinking at U.S. institutions. The program, known as "The Moral Foundations of Capitalism," is intended to further the ideas Rand outlined in her novel, "Atlas Shrugged." Brat has reportedly said he is not a "Randian" but appreciates the case she makes for freedom and free markets.


Brat has in published work found fault with a 2001 paper by Ben Bernanke, who would later become chairman of the Federal Reserve, that said long-term growth was mostly determined by variables such as saving rates, population growth and levels of education. Brat said that Bernanke had overlooked the role of Protestantism, which he said created conditions conducive to strong economic performance.


In campaign ads, Brat accused the majority leader of "giving citizenship papers to illegal immigrants." The immigration issue helped Brat win endorsements from notable conservatives such as Ann Coulter, who called Cantor "amnesty-addled" in a column for right-wing news site Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham also campaigned for Brat in Virginia and slammed Cantor on immigration.


Brat's Democratic challenger in the November election will be Jack Trammell, a Randolph-Macon assistant professor and director of disability support services who has written books about the slave trade and his family's life on a small farm in rural Virginia.


Cantor initially dismissed Brat as "a liberal economics professor" who was pretending to be a conservative. Cantor's attack was widely reported, bringing a bonanza of publicity to Brat.

* * *

Further on Brat from The Hill

Dave Brat, suddenly among the most famous House nominees in the country, has preached an economic policy message rooted in capitalism and Christ, fearing in his writings that a weak society could produce the next Hitler, or that one party could try to monopolize morality.

If markets are bad, which they are, that means people are bad, which they are. Want good markets? Change the people. If there are not nervous twitches in the pews when we preach, then we are not doing our jobs,” Brat wrote in a 13-page 2011 paper published in Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology. “If we all spread the word, we would not need the government to backstop every action we take.”

“I have the sinking feeling that it could all happen again, quite easily,” he wrote.

Brat, a Randolph-Macon economics professor, stunned the political world on Tuesday night when he defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) in a Republican primary, a feat Brat described as a "miracle" on Fox News.

Now Brat, lauded by the Tea Party following his victory, is thrust into the national political spotlight, and his economic papers are being sifted through for clues about how he would govern.

"The government holds a monopoly on violence. Any law that we vote for is ultimately backed by the full force of our government and military. Do we trust institutions of the government to ensure justice?” Brat wrote in 2011. “Do you trust that power to the political Right? Do you trust it to the Left? If you answered 'no' to either question, you may have a major problem in the future.”

Brat received a doctorate in economics from American University and a master's divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.

He now faces Democratic challenger Jack Trammell, another professor at Randolph-Macon in Ashland, in the battle for Virginia's 7th District.

Brat's remarks on Fox News following his primary victory echoed another passage he wrote in the 2011 paper.

“God asked the people of Israel: Are you sure you want a king? That is a good question to ask at this time,” Brat wrote in 2011. “The church needs to regain its voice and offer up a coherent social vision of justice and rationality. Soon. The Bible and then Calvin is a good start. Rule of Law is in the middle. Capitalism will be in the final chapters.”

In the same paper, he framed the current political landscape as one where Republicans “enforce morality” and Democrats “coerce others” to fund social programs.

“Can Christians force others to follow their ethical teachings on social issues? Note that consistency is lacking on all sides of this issue. The political Right likes to champion individual rights and individual liberty, but it has also worked to enforce morality in relation to abortion, gambling, and homosexuality,” Brat wrote.

“The Left likes to think of itself as the bulwark of progressive liberal individualism, and yet it seeks to progressively coerce others to fund every social program under the sun via majority rule. Houston, we have a problem. Coercion is on the rise.”

Brat praised institutions as a force of economic good, particularly religious institutions, according to a 2004 paper he authored that was published in the Virginia Economic Journal.

“Institutions such as religion, democracy and government anti-diversion policies all significantly enhance a country's long-run economic performance,” Brat wrote in 2004. “The religion variable may be the strongest ex ante, exogenous institutional variable in the literature.”

Brat wrote that “a real test for liberal Christian types is whether they will reach out to capitalists.”

If we are ever going to be transformers of culture, we need to get our story straight on capitalism and faith,” Brat wrote in 2011. "The two can go together and they had better go together, or we will not transform anything.”

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Flakmeister's picture

Religion and Ayn....

Very strange bedfellows indeed...

quintago's picture

They didn't take him serious before. Now it's just a matter of time before they find some sort of illegal porn or something sent from one of his emails.

Troll Magnet's picture

I'm still waiting to find out how many Diebold employees were fired after Cantor was beaten.

NoDebt's picture

They neglected to mention his strongest point:  never in Congress before.

I think they should all be limited to 2 terms.  If you go for a third, they 'Logan's Run' your ass.

gh0atrider's picture

As long as he's not a gh0at-slayer, gh0atrider will vote for the Brat.

nope-1004's picture

Blankfein is upset, so I'm happy.  Was hilarious this morning to hear Mini-Me Blankfein state how concerned he was over a democratic voting process.  Of course, anyone into stealing from the people would be "concerned" if the people choose to end the gravy train.

Stubby scum banker.  Get a real job Blankfart.  Go make something, go produce something, instead of skimming off of every transaction and getting gov't handouts, you loser.




lotsoffun's picture

nope-1004 - my sentiment exactly.  if lloyd is pissy - something is a-missy.  they don't own this guy.  yet.

he will probably end up dead.  his principals may not be my principals, but he may have some.  he may stick to them.  then he gets dead.

all of you guys saying - 'well he's only a nothing at such and such university' - it might be a plus.  it might mean he didn't want to be a world beater and was content with his life.  until - things got to the point that he felt it necessary to do something.

obama was the same thing :) - he was never anything - (well - he was a community organizer) - and then suddenly - he was everything. 

so - we will have to wait and see.

bottom line is - i hear lots of talk about how 'we' (i include myself) are going to do this and that, but he's making a move, not arm chair quarterback.  i hope it works out for everybody. 



smithcreek's picture

Can Christians force others to follow their ethical teachings on social issues? Note that consistency is lacking on all sides of this issue. The political Right likes to champion individual rights and individual liberty, but it has also worked to enforce morality in relation to abortion, gambling, and homosexuality,” Brat wrote. “The Left likes to think of itself as the bulwark of progressive liberal individualism, and yet it seeks to progressively coerce others to fund every social program under the sun via majority rule. Houston, we have a problem. Coercion is on the rise.

I don't know much about this guy, but I sure like to hear someone who believes that.

Muppet Pimp's picture

For crying out loud guys, why do you keep blaming Lloyd Blankfein of all people? I think Lloyd has been a good sport through all this. 

And yeah,  about homosexuality, in and of itself (while really gross and certainly sinful and inrinsically disordered) it is not a problem per se (as in keep it to yourselves fags you don't bother us we won't complain about what you do between your four walls), Gay Marriage will most certainly have a negative effect on society as a while and should not be sanctioned by the state.  If it is, the state is saying that barren intrinsically disordered relations deserve the same sanctity as fruitful traditional relations and there will be negative repurcussions.

For one, the ACLU and Eric Holders DOJ are foaming at the mouth to declare christianity a hate group.

For two, the public school system will teach children they are equivelant beginning at Kindergarten and that will cause children to question if they too were born that way, a major distraction from their growth as productive members of society.  Because it is garbage doctrine and not conducive to household formation or birth rates, or christianity, or sanity for that matter. Christian children in public schools bringing home their coloring (crayons) of two men holding hands and complaining about everything with thought bubbles emphasizing a lisp are not going up on christian refrigerators. This will signal the end of public schools for those with the means to do otherwise.  While many of you are applauding this, public schools, those not unionized by the communist party, ok southern public schools, still serve a purpose. This has the potential for major social upheaval, and seeing as it is at its core garbage doctrine it should be abandoned.

For three, people in california will not know which type of clothing to buy for their children, as they will be unable to determine their sex, even at birth, and this will quickly spread to Seattle.

For four, Just fucking stop with the gay marriage already for crying out loud it is bull and you all know it.  Stop using disorder in society to create social movements and garner votes for collectivism.  Geez.

Just stop the bull.


For the extremely headstrong who will still say this is a great idea, lets hire some consultants (maybe use the next round of money that was going to go to studying duck penises) to do an exaustive study of all the knock on effects, you know the effects not driven by all this pent up emotion that has been egged on by the idiot liberals who are destroying our country, and see just what all we enjoy that stands to be ruined by this stupid idea.


For the record Lloyd is on the record saying he has real doubts about this whole liberal social thing, but in his words, "We will see where it gets us" (pull the tape from CNBS if you don't believe me)

PS You guys seem to have a man crush on Lloyd.

SMG's picture

Brat is right on, you can't have a free society without morality.

rtalcott's picture

And what is morality?

"Eat it raw...that's the spirit we have here...raw...raw..."

SMG's picture

You know...Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Not in fashion these days I guess, but what we need to save human freedom.

rtalcott's picture

No...I did not know what you meant....which was my point...oh well..too abstract and subtle...

Anusocracy's picture

Most everyone thinks their particular moral mix is the correct one and are willing to kill to prove it. That is a strong indication that their perceived morality is totally wrong.

Moral Foundations Theory

In 2004, Haidt began to extend the Social Intuitionist Model to specify the most important categories of moral intuition. The result was Moral Foundations Theory, co-developed with Craig Joseph and Jesse Graham, and based in part on the writings of Richard Shweder. The theory posits that there are (at least) six innate moral foundations, upon which cultures develop their various moralities, just as there are five innate taste receptors on the tongue, which cultures have used to create many different cuisines. The six are Care/harm, Fairness/cheating, Liberty/oppression, Loyalty/betrayal, Authority/subversion, and Sanctity/degradation. The theory was developed to explain cross-cultural differences in morality, but Haidt and his collaborators at have found that the theory works well to explain political differences as well. Liberals (leftists) tend to endorse primarily the Care, Fairness, and Liberty foundations, whereas conservatives (rightists) tend to endorse all six foundations more equally.

Wiki fails to mention that libertarians emphasize liberty above the other moral foundations.

XitSam's picture

Morality does not mean religion although many people believe it does.

piceridu's picture

You don't need religion to have morality...morality is watch my back when I take a drink at the watering hole, and I'll watch your back when it's your turn.

Flakmeister's picture

Yes.... but inate in that evolution has selected on that basis...

However, there are always 3-5% of the population that ruin it by not following the script...

TheRedScourge's picture

More often than not, morality is used to control people, which is why politicians always seek to convince people they have the moral high ground. If you can make a moral rule and then make a handy exception for yourself, you've untouchable.

fonzannoon's picture

If this guy manages to singlehandedly bring the debt ceiling debate back and gridlock everything and the U.S is forced to default on it's debt and the dollar collapses and interest rates blow sky high and martial law is declared and everyone ends up in the street hallucinating and throwing grapes at each other while screaming in other languages I will tip my hat to this man.

Everybodys All American's picture

Obama put us all on that same outcome or glide path when he chose Yellen as the Fed chair.

disabledvet's picture

Or simply "Virginia for Virginians."

There is nothing in this article that says anything other than "the debt Ponzi can be saved."

Already "we have a bull market here! Start buying!"

How much longer until the talking points folks say "hey, these talking points aren't working"?

dellievan's picture

   This country would very slowly return to a diluted form of greatness if all politicians became aware of the approaching, unstoppable, acrid smell of electoral defeat (tough I know, but thought provoking).  Complete greatness would be achieved if all .gov were under a mandate of term limits.  Start in the millionaire's club ( the senate )

mvsjcl's picture

Hey Tyler! More "facts?" From whom? Have you interviewed this person yet? Have you gotten a gut feel for this person and are transmitting your own personal impressions? Oh! This is stuff from "The Hill?" That's important to know, and I'm glad that you clearly stated so.


Let's see how events unfold.



mvsjcl's picture

"Dave Brat on capitalism, Christ and Hitler"

That's the headline on "The Hill."


Christ and Hitler! Why don't we include his views on the Crusades and mention the fact that he once admired Genghis Khan for governmental efficiency?

Sheppy's picture

Genghis was very efficient!

Billy O'Naire's picture

He made the horses run on time.

stocktivity's picture

I just hope this starts a movement to remove all the scumbags that got bought off by Goldman and the like.

NidStyles's picture

One term is more than long enough. It should feel like service not a paid employment opportunity. 

Elected persons should not be getting paid for their positions, it should be a privilege if it's going to be anything. 

N2OJoe's picture

If they got NO pay, you would only have rich people who could afford years/a year without pay.

It should pay the US median household income with no tax breaks, no lifetime anything, and no benefits.

Harbanger's picture

I guess voting counts.  The Repubs, Rinos' and all, won a landslide in 2010 because of the peoples opposition to Obamacare.    Now the Teaparty is targeting the Rino's and will take them out one by one.

logicalman's picture

Voting is a one-bit system.

How much information can you convey with one bit?

Just a thought.

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

True-false, yes-no, live-die are good for a start...

JLee2027's picture

I'm still waiting to find out how many Diebold employees were fired after Cantor was beaten.



McMolotov's picture

How could they not take him seriously? He has straight teeth and politician hair.

rubiconsolutions's picture

Religion and Ayn Rand. Sounds like he needs a healthy dose of Thorazine.

NidStyles's picture

Because he doesn't agree with you? 


I find some reasoning of you guys rather dubious...

Pool Shark's picture




So, let me get this straight:

If he relies solely on religion; he's okay.

If he relies solely on secular humansim; he's okay.

But if he borrows positive concepts from both; he's a psychotic schizophrenic?


logicalman's picture

Anyone who believes an invisible man in the sky gives them the right to impose their will on others is, for me, seriously scary.

Never leads to anything good.

Read the Old Testament for some real horror stories.


nmewn's picture

I wasn't aware we lived in a theocracy.

But if we're gonna go that route, I want Gaia (aka Mother Nature) banned from any mention in public schools.

Its mixing state & religion in something taxpayer funded. And I want ideology banned from public schools so young, impressionable minds aren't corrupted by dreams of an all powerful state, again, paid for with our tax dollars.

Lets see how this plays out ;-)

logicalman's picture

Look at the number of US politicians that use the Bible for their own ends.

Not a theocracy..... Yet.

JLee2027's picture

Religion is what built this country. Atheism, loss of morality, is what is destroying it. It's as clear as day when you look.

SMG's picture

So you wouldn't want an absolute rule that says "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?" 

You dont have to listen to "the invisble man in the sky", you are given that choice.

But wouldn't it be a be a better world if all of us did listen to that rule?

I guess that's the real choice between Satan and God.

logicalman's picture


So you wouldn't want an absolute rule that says "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?

That's the only rule required.

That's what I was getting at.

I guess I wasn't clear enough.

SMG's picture

Yes, but it if it was only up to you to decide.

But you must ask God, Did I do enough?  Did I help my fellow humans?

To rest your soul, you must do all you could to free the human spirit.

Did you?

Anusocracy's picture

The rule is useless if you can do things to others and they can't reciprocate.

Do-good weasel words like that bother me.

nmewn's picture

Cantor 5 million dollars and 23 staffers. Brat 100k and two staffers...and wins.

Now thats a fiscal conservative ;-)

what's that smell's picture

whoa! what the fuck!

if you got the cash to spend on cantor, you be a winner and a superman (as defined by the winner-take-all ayn).

now you want me to believe brat, a littleman, the winner, is an anti-ayn rand supermench?

whoa? what the fuck!

NidStyles's picture

You've never read any of Rand's work have you? 

what's that smell's picture

brat, a tea party littleman, is now an ayn rand supermensch.

brilliant, stupid, and crazy...all at the same time...

nedstyles....did i miss anything?