(NYT Op-ed) David Brooks–The Governing Cancer of Our Time

We live in a big, diverse society. There are essentially two ways to maintain order and get things done in such a society ”” politics or some form of dictatorship. Either through compromise or brute force. Our founding fathers chose politics.

Politics is an activity in which you recognize the simultaneous existence of different groups, interests and opinions. You try to find some way to balance or reconcile or compromise those interests, or at least a majority of them. You follow a set of rules, enshrined in a constitution or in custom, to help you reach these compromises in a way everybody considers legitimate.

The downside of politics is that people never really get everything they want. It’s messy, limited and no issue is ever really settled. Politics is a muddled activity in which people have to recognize restraints and settle for less than they want.
But that’s sort of the beauty of politics, too….

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Theology

One comment on “(NYT Op-ed) David Brooks–The Governing Cancer of Our Time

  1. Terry Tee says:

    Much food for thought here, but also something missing. The missing factor is the necessary agreement on values. If there is a common recognition of overarching values, then rules can be arranged for the negotiation of discord, and compromises reached. This may sound to readers like a liberal perspective: I would say that it is a conservative perspective. The liberal trend in the past few decades has wrested control of the social agenda, and its motto is: let’s agree to disagree. You have your values, I have mine; but we can still live together. All kinds of agreed positions about values from the past, above all the central importance of the family, and the utility of patriotism, are jettisoned for an ongoing negotiation of differences. The trouble is, without those shared values, agreeing to disagree is impossible, and society becomes dominated by the more powerful players.