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Friday, January 22, 2016

David Brooks, "The Anxieties of Impotence": US Foreign Policy in Need of Viagra



In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Anxieties of Impotence," David Brooks bemoans the "anxiety of impotence" which is gripping America. Brooks writes:

"Americans are beset by complex, intractable problems that don’t have a clear villain: technological change displaces workers; globalization and the rapid movement of people destabilize communities; family structure dissolves; the political order in the Middle East teeters, the Chinese economy craters, inequality rises, the global order frays, etc."

His conclusion:

"If we’re to have any hope of addressing big systemic problems we’ll have to repair big institutions and have functioning parties and a functioning Congress. We have to discard the anti-political, anti-institutional mood that is prevalent and rebuild effective democratic power centers.

This requires less atomization and more collective action, fewer strongmen but greater citizenship. It requires the craft of political architecture, not the demagogy of destruction."

Fascinating! Who else would have ever hit upon "the craft of political architecture, not the demagogy of destruction"? (Peculiar, though, how this reminds me of Brooks's call, last week, for racial reconciliation by way of art.)

Never mind, David! Fix a meeting ASAP with Obama and present him with this novel notion! But don't expect too much from the president, who, still busy weaving "impotence" into American foreign policy, has just arranged to pay Supreme Leader Khamenei $1.7 billion for the freedom of four innocent Americans held hostage by Iran.

Do you remember how just five days ago Obama was claiming that the release of the prisoners resulted from "smart, patient and disciplined" diplomacy? What nonsense!

1 comment:

  1. David Brooks' bubble-world needs to start with the failure of American Public (and some private) schools to actually teach enough to produce a literate Citizen, the original impetus behind public education.

    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/knowledge-bank/2015/03/20/states-requiring-civics-exams-in-high-school-are-on-the-right-track

    "...There’s no conflict between classes that seek to develop deep civic engagement and establishing a rock-bottom basic level of civic knowledge as a public school exit ticket. And the failure of so many Americans to answer even basic questions like, “What stops any one branch of the government from becoming too powerful?” (while demanding that naturalized citizens know as much) is something of a national embarrassment. ..."

    [worse that NYT columnists are just as ignorant.]

    k

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