Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Conservative Columnist, David Brooks

I've generally thought of myself as a political independent---was several years back a big supporter of John McCain, back when he was riding the "straight talk" express. But then he abandoned straight talk and I abandoned him. Our Michigan governor is a Republican and he does a lot of good things, though recently he's been in the news for his delay in getting uncontaminated drinking water to Flint. It would be easy to blame the regular folks of Flint, but the problem was created by know-it-all politicians (who knows what party they belonged to) and now Governor Snyder is trying to fix it.

This morning I read a piece, "The Brutalism of Ted Cruz," by conservative columnist David Brooks---very thought-provoking. Here are a few sentences that frame the piece, though the most shocking section is the opening which features a very specific example of brutalism:

Ted Cruz is now running strongly among evangelical voters, especially in Iowa. But in his career and public presentation Cruz is a stranger to most of what would generally be considered the Christian virtues. . . . Traditionally, candidates who have attracted strong evangelical support have in part emphasized the need to lend a helping hand to the economically stressed and the least fortunate among us. Such candidates include George W. Bush, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. . . . 

In doing a little research on David Brooks I came across this column on the marriage crisis in America. Here is an interesting perspective coming from a conservative Republican:

Today marriage is in crisis. Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. Worse, in some circles, marriage is not even expected. Men and women shack up for a while, produce children and then float off to shack up with someone else.
Marriage is in crisis because marriage, which relies on a culture of fidelity, is now asked to survive in a culture of contingency. . . . You would think that faced with this marriage crisis, we conservatives would do everything in our power to move as many people as possible from the path of contingency to the path of fidelity. But instead, many argue that gays must be banished from matrimony because gay marriage would weaken all marriage. . . . The conservative course is not to banish gay people from making such commitments. It is to expect that they make such commitments. We shouldn't just allow gay marriage. We should insist on gay marriage. We should regard it as scandalous that two people could claim to love each other and not want to sanctify their love with marriage and fidelity. When liberals argue for gay marriage, they make it sound like a really good employee benefits plan. Or they frame it as a civil rights issue, like extending the right to vote.
Marriage is not voting. It's going to be up to conservatives to make the important, moral case for marriage, including gay marriage. Not making it means drifting further into the culture of contingency, which, when it comes to intimate and sacred relations, is an abomination.