David Brooks’ Best Column Ever
No, that headline is really not in keeping with the humble spirit of the column, but Brooks’ words struck a chord this morning, and I probably overreacted … as I’m sometimes inclined to do.
His central concept is a rather simple one: the degree of our civility is directly related to the degree we recognize just how flawed and imperfect we each are.
That struck a chord with me because, as I crossed the 40-year-mark several years ago, it was a sense of fallibility, of imperfection — rooted, admittedly, in an expanded awareness of my mortality — that prompted me to step back from the die-hard, far-right conservatism of my youth and begin to evaluate the merits of a more … blended form of politics.
I’m still experimenting with the blend, still trying to figure out the mix; it’s a dynamic, often maddening, never-ending process. And that seems to be the very point Brooks is trying to make: the process of political discovery, of seeking the ideal mix, cannot and should not (in any one person’s mind or lifetime) reach a final conclusion. Because when it does — or we think it does — we start to calcify and dig trenches and see virtually everyone who disagrees with us, who rejects our particular political mix, as an enemy.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2011 The Moderate Voice