Did David Brooks recently join the “Cool like Meghan McCain Republicans” ? It seems so, as he jumps on the bash-Palin bandwagon with both feet. He starts off writing what should be a fine column. I mean paying homage to George Washington is always a great thing to do.
But, as he rambles along, Brooks seemingly realizes he has not, as RS McCain puts it stabbed anyone in the back yet and ventures forth on a despicable attack on Sarah Palin.
The old dignity code has not survived modern life. The costs of its demise are there for all to see. Every week there are new scandals featuring people who simply do not know how to act. For example, during the first few weeks of summer, three stories have dominated public conversation, and each one exemplifies another branch of indignity.
First, there was Mark Sanford’s press conference. Here was a guy utterly lacking in any sense of reticence, who was given to rambling self-exposure even in his moment of disgrace. Then there was the death of Michael Jackson and the discussion of his life. Here was a guy who was apparently untouched by any pressure to live according to the rules and restraints of adulthood. Then there was Sarah Palin’s press conference. Here was a woman who aspires to a high public role but is unfamiliar with the traits of equipoise and constancy, which are the sources of authority and trust.
In each of these events, one sees people who simply have no social norms to guide them as they try to navigate the currents of their own passions.
So, in David Brooks “Cool Like Meghan McCain” brand of Conservatism, making a decision to step down as governor is morally equivalent to cheating on your wife or molesting kids! Wow! But, being “cool like Meghan” Brooks manages to give us hope in a new dignity, by puckering up and delivering a sloppy kiss to the backside of the Obamassiah!
But it’s not right to end on a note of cultural pessimism because there is the fact of President Obama. Whatever policy differences people may have with him, we can all agree that he exemplifies reticence, dispassion and the other traits associated with dignity. The cultural effects of his presidency are not yet clear, but they may surpass his policy impact. He may revitalize the concept of dignity for a new generation and embody a new set of rules for self-mastery.
Yes, because apologizing for your country, supporting Marxists in the Honduras, completely ignoring our constitution and being all for partial birth abortions is way dignified!
Congratulations David Brooks, you are the first EVER winner of my newest award. The Moral Retard Award!