An Incurable Optimist

I was watching a PBS Newshour segment of “Shields and Brooks” a while back and the title above was used to describe David Brooks by his cohort. That is one of the things I most admire about David Brooks. He tries to find things to be optimistic about in every story he discusses. Another is that he is a “True” conservative and doesn’t have much of anything good to say about the current Oval Office occupant.

Here are some of his words that got him labeled an incurable optimist:

canstockphoto2740608.jpg“My hero is Edmund Burke, a great Irish philosopher, and parliamentarian and he said manners are more important than laws because manners touch us every day. It’s manners that either degrade us or uplift us…

And so I think, as a society, we’re trying to close those doors, set some new rules, set some norms, because, without the norms of manners and civility, life is just dog eat dog. And so I sort of see it as good news that at least the reaction is coming, the lines are being redrawn.”

Yeah, we are seeing what it means to be without manners and civility especially in our executive branch now. #CO3 just seems to alienate everyone he touches including our strongest allies.  I certainly hope Mr. Brooks is right, a reaction is coming and lines will be redrawn. I put the first significant step in the retrieval process to happen at the mid-term elections.  If some of the lines are not redrawn then it will be hard for even David Brooks to be an incurable optimist.

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office occupant

2 thoughts on “An Incurable Optimist

  1. It seems to me that over the last decade or so we have become a nation believing that as “long at it is legal it is ok to do it” (it being anything I feel like doing).

    Which, I believe, is adding to the proliferation of what some would call “behavior laws”. As societal norms disappear or are ignored or even change for the good there is a push to create laws to replace them.

    We think as individuals we should be allowed to do anything we want without repercussion.

    My point is if you dislike this trend we need to pay better attention to the new norms evolving in the country.


    1. Thanks for your thoughts Bob. Here are my views.

      “As long as it is legal it is ok” – I personally don’t see that this is much different than it has been for decades.

      Creating laws to replace social changes – I guess you are pointing out the anti-discrimination laws protecting various minorities. Yes, there are new norms happening and that is probably one of the core issues with the rad-cons. They hate change and love being in total control and with all the social media sites that abound now those things are rapidly changing. That is ok with me. Various social media comes and the best thrive. We don’t send snail mail Christmas cards anymore, and some of us don’t go to church to maintain a social group as we used to.

      I think the worst part of some of these sites is the anonymity that makes people believe they can be as nasty as they want and the friends will never know it. I see that changing in the near to intermediate future. You will have to own everything you put online as it will have a path back to you.

      If by “new norms” you are talking about the daily Twitter lies that come out of the highest office in the land, I am just waiting for the revolt and backlash of that in the coming elections. Most of us still think that truthfulness is an essential trait. Of course, “My Ten Pillars” are where I stand (see more of that in the “About” menu item at the top of each page here) and I really don’t think I am that unusual in that regard.


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