Why did I try? In a previous post, a commenter left a link to one of Brooks columns. So I decided to look at some of Brooks earlier columns. As a result, I discovered this gem.
A New Social Agenda
By DAVID BROOKS
I’m to Rick Santorum’s left on most social issues, like same-sex marriage and abortion. I’m also put off by his Manichaean political rhetoric. He seems to imagine America’s problems can best be described as the result of a culture war between the God-fearing conservatives and the narcissistic liberals.
Like most Americans, including most evangelicals under 40, I find this culture war language absurd. If conservative ideas were that much more virtuous than liberal ideas, then the conservative parts of the country would have fewer social pathologies than the liberal parts of the country. They don’t.
But having said all that, I’m delighted that Santorum is making a splash in this presidential campaign. He is far closer to developing a new 21st-century philosophy of government than most leaders out there. (continued here)
While I don’t necessarily agree with Brooks, the analysis is interesting. When we consider things from another point-of-view, we see things we might not otherwise notice. In this case, we notice what Santorum doesn’t yet see.
Santorum doesn’t yet see that once you start thinking about how to foster an economic system that would nurture our virtues, you wind up with an agenda far more drastic and transformational.
If you believe in the dignity of labor, it makes sense to support an infrastructure program that allows more people to practice the habits of industry. If you believe in personal responsibility, you have to force Americans to receive only as much government as they are willing to pay for. If you believe in the centrality of family, you have to have a government that both encourages marriage and also supplies wage subsidies to men to make them marriageable. (from here)
Wage subsidies to make men marriageable? In order to reduce to the size of government? I sure am glad Santorum does not see that.
Hopefully, after all the trouble we have had with the current Utopian dreamer in the White House, most people realize we don’t need another. Didn’t God give each of us the right to pursue our own happiness? Then why do we need a president who insists upon telling us how to run our lives?