As regular readers know, I am no longer on the David Fking Brooks beat. It is being handled with more and better aplomb by my betters than I could ever muster. I cannot read Brooks without having an unpleasant out of body experience, much like being engulfed a fart cloud from an office in the Gray Lady.
That said, even over at Axios morning email thingie they are taking Brooks behind the woodshed over his latest outrage posing as a column:
“VandeHei, a father of two, read the column on a flight, and batted out this response on his iPhone while we were landing:
“These kids are growing up with incomprehensible access to people, ideas and information, and [are] armed with immeasurable and invaluable skills and tech/social media savvy, giving them the power to do much more and much earlier in life than those before them.”
“They rightly lament the failure of institutions and elites. But for all the hand-wringing, all the hangdog moods, all the whining, all the misguided wars and mismanaged entities, these students will enter the workforce chapter of their American experience better positioned to dream, think, do big things than almost any other students in any other country at any other point of time.”
“I truly hope these kids and all of us snap out of it, play to our insane collective strengths, and direct our energy to fixing shit, beating China and perfecting in our imperfect way the American experiment.”
And, you know, because VanderHei is not one of us filthy, dirty hippies at the Applebees salad bar, he has access to DFB and gets a reply:
“Brooks almost instantly wrote back, and kindly gave me permission to share his thoughts:
“Don’t blame the messenger! I more or less agree. At each of these sessions I was usually there with a faculty member and we tried to pump some optimism into the students, with moderating degrees of success. Though I think the students are absolutely right to sense that institutions are not working and the relationships between Americans are not as thick as they once were.”
“I left the exercise thinking that the way we teach American history in public schools is one of the really destructive forces in national life.
“To my mind the U.S. has been on balance an enormous force for good in the world, and we are the lucky inheritors of an awesome legacy, from men and women who were much wiser than we are a lot of the time.”
“But this isn’t communicated much today. Instead, an education that is designed to right historic wrongs only ends up demoralizing and fragmenting people. I never paid much attention to civic education, but I will now!”
David Brooks is one of the most destructive forces in American life. Honestly, that jerk has been trying to rewrite history ever since the moment he farted into his chair and into a lifetime appointment at the NYTimes, a history that absolves American Conservatives from any blame for anything. If we even have historians 100 or more years from now (assuming that the GOP doesn’t finally go full Lord of the Flies and there is no guarantee), they will be sifting through the rubble and find a cache of DFB’s hagiography of the Republican Party.