Civic Order

Can someone please introduce David Brooks to the concept of code language?

Today, if Republicans had learned the right lessons from the
Westerns, or at least John Ford Westerns, they would not be the party
of untrammeled freedom and maximum individual choice. They would once
again be the party of community and civic order.

They would
begin every day by reminding themselves of the concrete ways people
build orderly neighborhoods, and how those neighborhoods bind a nation.
They would ask: What threatens Americans’ efforts to build orderly
places to raise their kids? The answers would produce an agenda: the
disruption caused by a boom and bust economy; the fragility of the
American family; the explosion of public and private debt; the wild
swings in energy costs; the fraying of the health care system; the
segmentation of society and the way the ladders of social mobility seem
to be dissolving.


6 thoughts on “Civic Order

  1. “Republicans generally like Westerns.”
    No, they likeRed Dawn, dumbass.
    “Ford’s movies dwell affectionately on the social customs that Americans cherish — the gatherings at the local barbershop and the church social, the gossip with the cop and the bartender and the hotel clerk.”

  2. One thing I will say in fairness to Brooks – I was stunned at how not law & ordery the RNC was last year. I actually do think he’s got a point that the party is completely ignoring cities, and crime, and poverty, instead of… well, instead of fearmongering about it like they did when I was growing up.

  3. all you’d have to do with that wallace add is replace the candidate’s name and it could be used currently.
    oh, yeah, brooks is an ass.

  4. David Brooks doesn’t know what a Western movie is. “My Darling Clementine” was a romance.

    For example, in Ford’s 1946 movie, “My Darling Clementine,” Henry Fonda plays Wyatt Earp, the marshal who tamed Tombstone. But the movie isn’t really about the gunfight and the lone bravery of a heroic man. It’s about how decent people build a town. Much of the movie is about how the townsfolk put up a church, hire a teacher, enjoy Shakespeare, get a surgeon and work to improve their manners.

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Oscar?? He makes it sound like a Reader’s Digest Condensed Version of Michael Landon’s “Little House on the Prairie” series. Trivialization is us, right Brooksie?
    Look, even when he’s right

    But the Republican Party has mis-learned that history. The party sometimes seems cut off from the concrete relationships of neighborhood life. Republicans are so much the party of individualism and freedom these days that they are no longer the party of community and order. This puts them out of touch with the young, who are exceptionally community-oriented. It gives them nothing to say to the lower middle class, who fear that capitalism has gone haywire. It gives them little to say to the upper middle class, who are interested in the environment and other common concerns.
    The Republicans talk more about the market than about society, more about income than quality of life. They celebrate capitalism, which is a means, and are inarticulate about the good life, which is the end. They take things like tax cuts, which are tactics that are good in some circumstances, and elevate them to holy principle, to be pursued in all circumstances.

    he’s wrong. Yes, the Republicans do all these things, ad nauseam ad infinitum, but it isn’t because they mis-learned the history or the principles of community. It’s because they DELIBERATELY ignore the idea of the “common good,” the concept of “us” being limited in their imaginations and mindset to their mirrors (all people not showing up in the mirror with you first thing in the morning not being part of your community). They’ve morphed hard right — theocracy, oligarchy, bigotry (in every flavor from misogyny to racism to homophobia) being reinforced constantly in their rhetoric and by their [anti-] intelligentsia / leadership on a daily basis with a bent towards the outer edges of libertarian/ anarchist feudalism that’s really pretty inconsistent not just with working capitalism but working society on any level having come to the fore in all their ideas, overwhelmed all other ‘considerations’ on every issue.
    They don’t know “Survivor” is a game, let alone that it’s rigged.

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