Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Five Epic Crises All at Once - David Brooks

I've been preparing a few summaries for a meeting this coming Sunday of The Austin Rainbow Forum, a senior group that discusses current topics and ideas. The topic for the meeting is "Possible Futures - The World after Coronavirus." I thought I would pass on what I'm putting in a slide showing a truncated version of David Brooks' recent Op-Ed piece in the NYTimes. His five epic crises:
1 - we are losing the fight against Covid-19. Our behavior doesn’t have anything to do with the reality around us. We just got tired so we’re giving up.
2 - Americans... are undergoing a rapid education on the burdens African-Americans carry every day...already public opinion is shifting with astonishing speed.
3 - we’re in the middle of a political realignment. The American public is vehemently rejecting Donald Trump’s Republican Party.
4 - a quasi-religion, Social Justice, is seeking control of America’s cultural institutions...Viewpoints are not explorations of truth, but weapons that dominant groups use to maintain their place in the power structure. Words can thus be a form of violence that has to be regulated.
5 - we are on the verge of a prolonged economic depression.
The Social Justice methodology is ultimately not a solution to our problem, it’s a symptom of our problem. Over the last half century, we’ve turned politics from a practical way to solve common problems into a cultural arena to display resentments. Donald Trump is the ultimate performer in this paralyzed arena.
...thank God that Joe Biden is going to be nominated by the Democratic Party. He came to public life when it wasn’t about performing your zeal, it was about crafting coalitions and legislating. He exudes a spirit that is about empathy and friendship not animosity and canceling. The pragmatic spirit of the New Deal is a more apt guide for the years ahead than the spirit of critical theory symbology.

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