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Friday, June 27, 2014

David Brooks, "The Spiritual Recession": What About the IRS Scandal?

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

- Abraham Lincoln


In a New York Times op-ed entitled "The Spiritual Recession" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/27/opinion/david-brooks-is-america-losing-faith-in-universal-democracy.html?ref=opinion&_r=0), subtitled "Is America Losing Faith in Universal Democracy?," David Brooks describes the decline of democracy in the US:

"But now the nation is tired, distrustful, divided and withdrawing. Democratic vistas give way to laissez-faire fatalism: History has no shape. The dream of universal democracy seems naïve. National interest matters most."

Brooks's conclusion:

"The democratic gospel was both lofty and realistic. It had a high historic mission, but it was based on the idea that biblical morality is necessary precisely because people are selfish and shortsighted, capitalism is necessary because economies are too complicated to understand and plan; democracy is necessary because concentrated power is always dangerous, no matter how seductive it seems in the short term.

Sure there have been setbacks. But if America isn’t a champion of universal democracy, what is the country for? A great inheritance is being squandered; a 200-year-old language is being left by the side of the road."

No mention by Brooks of the IRS scandal or the fact that "[m]ore than three-quarters of voters -- 76 percent -- think the emails missing from the account of Lois Lerner, the ex-IRS official at the center of the scandal over targeting of conservative groups, were deliberately destroyed" (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/06/24/fox-news-poll-voters-think-irs-emails-were-deliberately-destroyed/).

Bottom line: It is difficult to "champion" universal democracy at a time when the American electorate believes that one of its most feared government agencies is being used to crush persons opposing administration policies.



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