I don’t always agree with David Brooks, and in particular he and I part ways when it comes to his somewhat superficial understanding of China. I agree with him more often than not, however, and I can forgive him his ignorance of China if he will forgive me my similarly thin understanding of New York.
In what was possibly one of his best editorials yet, Brooks was motivated by the prospect of a “disastrous double-dip recession” to call out both Republicans and Democrats for their singular failures and, to borrow a phrase from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, their “two-dimensional thinking.”
The prognosis for the next few years is bad with a chance of worse. And the economic conditions are not even the scary part. The scary part is the political class’s inability to think about the economy in a realistic way.
He really gets to the heart of the matter a few grafs further down when he notes:
Yet the ideologues who dominate the political conversation are unable to think in holistic, emergent ways. They pick out the one factor that best conforms to their preformed prejudices and, like blind men grabbing a piece of the elephant, they persuade themselves they understand the whole thing.
It is a balanced, intelligent essay, and one that should be read, digested, and internalized by everyone who cares about the future of the United States.