All posts tagged David Brooks


Obama 2.0

First and formost, congratulations to the president on his second inauguration and the start of his second term. The past four years have been tumultuous and were filled with numerous political battles, unexpected disasters, international crisis’ and incidents, and the slow reemergence of the nation’s economy following the financial crisis of 2008. With that in mind President Obama’s first term must be graded as incomplete due to the fact that it will take several years to see what the tangible impact his policies and efforts will eventually lead to. Many of his policies, primarily Obamacare, will begin to take effect in the upcoming years as well as the change in our global engagement. The ending of our two wars, the Middle East in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and our shifting focus to the Pacific all make the next four years on the world stage very interesting.

In his speech, Obama sought to tie liberalism to a long American tradition.

In his speech, Obama sought to tie liberalism to a long American tradition. Photo from Reuters

Domestically the president dealt with a politically divided nation and an obstructionist and far-right leaning Republican Party, primarily due to the efforts of the Tea Party. Many questioned the president’s leadership style, his true political philosophy, and his ability to negotiate and compromise to reach deals to help further the nation. Whatever skepticism or questions that may have existed were clearly answered, and put to rest, during the president’s inaugural speech this past Monday. I, as many, had hoped for  a more vintage and hopeful Obama who would speak above the petty political fights that have consumed the day to day battles engulfing Washington. What could have been a grand call to unity on the largest public stage and the loudest bully pulpit– targeting and rallying Americans, and bypassing the sclerotic Congress–turned into a direct rallying cry to the president’s base. The Obama who showed up was a new politician who was unshackled by the constraint of reelection which has bogged him, and his policy goals, down for the past four years. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the agenda that the president outlined, what is evident is that the next four years seem to be set up as a battle between the administrations newfound confident liberalism and the politically divided Congress. Read more…


Moderating a Moderate

David Brooks, of the New York Times, clearly and forcefully makes a case for what a “moderate” is in this great article. With the election coming up this week, and with months of campaigning by both candidates, the one word that has been used, and more often than not misused and abused, is moderate. Candidates are known for campaigning to their bases during primaries and then campaigning towards the political center during general elections. That common notion is that of as candidates become “moderates” for the general population. However, moderate is NOT someone in the middle, when referring to a moderate, a true moderate, which most pragmatic people and Americans really are.

Brooks defines a moderate:

First, let me describe what moderation is not. It is not just finding the midpoint between two opposing poles and opportunistically planting yourself there. Only people who know nothing about moderation think it means that. Moderates start with a political vision, but they get it from history books, not philosophy books. That is, a moderate isn’t ultimately committed to an abstract idea.

Regarding political economic, and cultural issues; Read more…