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Monday, June 9, 2014

David Brooks, "The New Right": In Fact, There Is Nothing New Under the Sun

"There's nothing in the streets
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Are now parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight"


The Who, "Won't Get Fooled Again"


In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The New Right" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/10/opinion/brooks-the-new-right.html?ref=opinion&_r=0), David Brooks pays homage to Peter Wehner and Yuval Levin before informing us:

"The nanny state may have drained civil society, but simply removing the nanny state will not restore it. There have to be programs that encourage local paternalism: early education programs with wraparound services to reinforce parenting skills, social entrepreneurship funds to reweave community, paternalistic welfare rules to encourage work."

Yup, we need early education programs such as Head Start, even if they don't work (see: http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2081778,00.html), and we need to force meals on children that go uneaten (see: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/oct/2/michelle-obamas-school-lunch-program-leaves-childr/).

More to the point, we need to encourage "paternalism" at a time when "[f]ifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father" (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/dec/25/fathers-disappear-from-households-across-america/?page=all)? Sounds more like we need to encourage "maternalism."

Or is it all simply spinning out of control and destined for the garbage pail, akin to a Michelle Obama school lunch?

Don't get me wrong: I enjoy reading Peter Wehner and Yuval Levin, yet I have no faith in the likes of Rand Paul and Rick Perry.

The new right? The new left? How about the new nothing? As far as I'm concerned, Ecclesiastes 1:9 has had it right for considerably more than two thousand years: "That which hath been is that which shall be, and that which hath been done is that which shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun."

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