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Monday, January 16, 2012

David Brooks, "South Carolina Diarist": "Try to Remember"

David Brooks is in South Carolina, covering the Republican primary with his 12-year-old son. In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "South Carolina Diarist" (, Brooks informs us that he particularly enjoys meeting the people who come to the rallies and pointedly observes:

"I was also struck, as in New Hampshire and Iowa, by the mood of this year’s rallies. Republican audiences this year want a restoration. America once had strong values, they believe, but we have gone astray. We’ve got to go back and rediscover what we had. Heads nod enthusiastically every time a candidate touches this theme.

I agree with the sentiment, but it makes for an incredibly backward-looking campaign. I sometimes wonder if the Republican Party has become the receding roar of white America as it pines for a way of life that will never return."

But is it only "white America" that seeks a restoration? My guess is that in 2012 you will never see the 2008 "Hope" poster, which came to emblematize Obama's prior presidential campaign. After three disillusioning years, hope has gone by the wayside.

Were you fortunate enough to see an off-Broadway performance of "The Fantasticks," which ran for 42 years, establishing it as the world's longest-running musical? Notwithstanding the passage of some 40 years, "Try to Remember" (see: still reverberates across my aging synapses.

I would like to believe that America can still rediscover hope and that this longing does not reside only within the hearts and minds of any given race or creed.

The South Carolina primary? Meaningless. Romney has already sewn up the nomination. However, I hope that David's son will long remember this time spent with his father.

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