Friday, October 17, 2014

David Brooks Squishes Politics into a Can of Sardines

The fish of low idealism: Oily and salty. But they pack so neatly!

Not to knock David Brooks or sardines, but... Okay, yes, to knock David Brooks slightly, but only because, to avoid talking -- as he has this election cycle -- about the state of the right wing he ostensibly supports, Brooks has waxed philosophic in order to remove himself from the toxic swamp his conservatives have wallowed in as they pursue their crusade to destroy Obama.

And Thus doth our Mr. Brooks, in his column, "The Case for Low Ideals," elevate "low idealism" to its vaunted perch as the best we should aspire to. I only slightly knock dear David because his politics have become so slight.

A commenter on his column, Gerard, said it best:
There's a weariness and resignation masquerading here as realism. Whole societies can believe in high ideals and bring them to fruition. The German and Dutch nationwide initiatives to quickly move towards green energy come to mind. Mr. Brooks is reflecting a country that doesn't really know what it wants and is too divided and anxious to use its collective imagination and energies.
If I had David Brooks' job -- to represent conservatism as a positive position to govern from -- I'd be weary, too. I'll grant him that. But to squish politics into philosophic mush?

Why so squishy, Brooks? Is it because of what commenter Sceptique said?
The "the high idealism that surrounded that 2008 campaign" was about education, sustainable energy, infrastructure, and medical care. Too much to ask Republicans to support.
Ouch. A party that wants to drown government like a baby in a bathtub -- blame Grover Norquist for that image, not me -- might not be a party about which one could use the word "ideal," though the word "low" does seem apt.

I'm a philosopher, not a conservative pundit. No, really. Can I go home now?

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