It's painful to see David Brooks trotted out as some sort of counterpoint to liberal E.J. Dionne. They are the same side of the same coin.
If only persons such as First Things editor R.R. Reno were given the air space that the redundant Brooks occupies. In the November issue, Reno elegantly lays out the current theologico-political crisis:
Helen Andrews gave a talk at our offices on September 22 as part of our regular series of evening book talks and lectures. Her provocative title: “How to Spot a Dictator.” She’s been researching the Roosevelt era and had a lot to say about the four-term president’s imperious style. But more important was the fact that Roosevelt oversaw the construction of the administrative state. The Tennessee Valley Authority was unprecedented: a government business venture. It epitomized the era. The 1930s gave rise to the notion that the federal government has responsibility for ensuring economic prosperity.
We’re at a similar juncture today, though with respect to culture, not economics. Progressives believe that the federal government must ensure “inclusion” and “equality.” The Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage is akin to nationalization of industries. It’s a government takeover of a traditional institution.
I’m more and more convinced that a planned culture, engineered by political correctness, is as likely to fail as a planned economy. Rising illegitimacy, suicide rates, drug overdose deaths, and racial tension, combined with fatherless households, declining labor participation, and middle class anxiety—these are indicators that it’s already failing.
Even if Beatitudism were the alpha and omega of Christian politics, as we see, even the best intentions can go very wrong. Brooks may be right about one thing--the road to hell is also paved with bad results.