Reader comment on: David Brooks's Latest
Submitted by J.Johnson (United States), Oct 29, 2010 17:16
Brooks is a member of the 'Elite' by virtually anyone's definition. His columns exude the sort of elite 'above it all' attitude that motivates him and his fellow elites to lecture each other and the rest of us on how we should think and behave. His piece in today's NYT is really nothing more than 20 column inches of re-election advice to the man he voted for in 2008, Barack Obama and, as is typical of Brooks, it is full of conclusions and generalizations he is so certain about that he offers almost no basis for them. The rap on his 'Bobos' book was that it was chock full of on-high conclusions and generalizations that, upon somewhat deeper examination by numerous book reviewers, proved far less than conclusive. I certainly found it to be that way.
From his column, Brooks advises Obama, if he wants to have a chance in 2012 to: be politically "more data driven" , believe in "order, self discipline, punctuality and personal responsibility" , be "a traditionalist on social matters and a center-left pragmatist on political ones" , propose policies that "reestablish the link between effort and reward" , "suppress his natural competitive instincts" , reinforcing the 'narrative' that Republicans want to "slash government" and want "destruction" while Obama wants "renovation" and to "restructure" government." A cynic might say that the word "drivel" was devised to describe this sort of information-free, data-free, rationale-free and implementation-free advice.
The biggest whopper, and something that affirms Brooks position among elite thinkers, is his statement in the column that " the public's real anxiety is about values, not economics." I suppose if you're in the upper 1% bracket pulling down big bucks every year with your books, columns and TV appearances and basking in the approval and adulation of your fellow elites, then maybe 'values' are causing more anxiety than economics; but if you live in the 'flyover' part of the country where I live, 'economics' is not just the most important thing right now, it is the ONLY thing.
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