Follow by Email

Monday, March 10, 2014

David Brooks, "The Leaderless Doctrine": The Death of Hope and Change?

"And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth."

- King James Bible, Revelation 6:8

Do I believe in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? No, but I suppose you could say that with Her Hideousness Catherine Ashton busy chatting up Rouhani and his monster friends in Tehran (see:, my outlook is something less than sanguine.

Kudos to David Brooks on his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Leaderless Doctrine" ( Pointing to Pew Research Center data indicating that "[f]or the first time in half a century, a majority of Americans say that the U.S. should be less engaged in world affairs" and that "[f]or the first time in recorded history, a majority of Americans believe that their country has a declining influence on what’s happening around the globe," Brooks declares:

"Americans have lost faith in the high politics of global affairs. They have lost faith in the idea that American political and military institutions can do much to shape the world. American opinion is marked by an amazing sense of limitation — that there are severe restrictions on what political and military efforts can do."

Brooks's conclusion:

"We live in a country in which many people act as if history is leaderless. Events emerge spontaneously from the ground up. Such a society is very hard to lead and summon. It can be governed only by someone who arouses intense moral loyalty, and even that may be fleeting."

Is Brooks correct?

Empowered with real-time knowledge by the Internet, are we able to reach more objective, better informed determinations than our leadership? Does this omniscience spawn helplessness, despondency, disaffection and a sense of abandonment? Do we turn inwards to avoid being overwhelmed by the meanness and rapacity of all that surrounds us?

If the US can only be governed by someone who arouses intense moral loyalty, how is such a person to arise from a system that demands moral compromise? Maybe there is no room for ethics in politics.

Obama promised hope and change, but even young voters, who brought him into the Oval Office and kept him there, have lost faith in a president who "found out on the news like the rest of us," i.e. failed to lead. Remarkably, Harvard University's Institute of Politics recently determined that 52 percent of America's youngest millennials, ages 18 to 24, now favor throwing Obama out of office (see: The bloom is off the rose; however, there is nothing better waiting in the wings.

But more to the point, can Americans afford to retreat inwards? Will Americans arise from their solipsistic slumber only after an Iranian ICBM, currently under development  (see:, falls in their laps?

Well on its way, this rude awakening will most likely arrive with a bang, sure to interrupt our favorite music, messaging and Facebook postings.


  1. Putin vs. Obama
    This would be funny if it weren't so true:

  2. Even the corporate media is beginning to admit that President Obama has become a two-term version of President Jimmy Carter.