Polls

Americans Are Less Enthusiastic About War and 'Leaders,' and This Makes David Brooks Sad

He seems to have an archaic great-man view of history, too.

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Stop it. You're making Mr. Brooks feel glum.
NBC

David Brooks' column today may be the most optimistic assessment of the public mood I've ever seen in a major newspaper. He wouldn't call it optimistic—he seems to think he's describing a dystopian hellhole of the mind—but you aren't obliged to agree with him about that.

Brooks starts by noting a recent Pew survey that shows Americans are less enthusiastic than ever about Washington throwing its weight around in the rest of the world. He adds that this doesn't represent a new isolationism: Large majorities favor economic and cultural engagement with other nations, and when it comes to decentralized activism, as opposed to D.C.-based power politics, most of us "have enormous confidence in personalized peer-to-peer efforts to promote democracy, human rights and development."

This is not the alt-text you're looking for.
says-it.com

Now untethered from the Pew poll, Brooks launches into a broad-brush history of American attitudes toward authority. In the wake of World War II, he claims, the country had "a basic faith in big units—big armies, corporations and unions," and it "tended to embrace a hierarchical leadership style." Now "that faith in big units has eroded—in all spheres of life. Management hierarchies have been flattened. Today people are more likely to believe that history is driven by people gathering in the squares and not from the top down. The liberal order is not a single system organized and defended by American military strength; it's a spontaneous network of direct people-to-people contacts, flowing along the arteries of the Internet." In the popular view, "The real power in the world is not military or political. It is the power of individuals to withdraw their consent."

When it comes time to argue against the worldview he has sketched out, Brooks doesn't have much to offer. He says it's "naïve to believe that the world's problems can be conquered through conflict-free cooperation and that the menaces to civilization, whether in the form of Putin or Iran, can be simply not faced." Now, there are several strong arguments to be made against those of us who'd like to see Putin and the mullahs brought down by mass movements of Russians and Iranians rather than by sword-rattling Americans, but You guys think this can be done without conflict is not one of them. The last big wave of these movements was the Arab Spring, and while people have plenty of complaints about how that went down, I don't think anyone believes it was conflict-free. Except apparently Brooks, who writes as though conflicts are only conflicts if one side is being directed from the Oval Office.

Indeed, he writes as though history itself should be directed from the Oval Office. Here's his final paragraph:

Next week: David Brooks urges us not to watch the parking meters.
D.A. Pennebaker

We live in a country in which many people act as if history is leaderless. Events emerge spontaneously from the ground up. Such a society is very hard to lead and summon. It can be governed only by someone who arouses intense moral loyalty, and even that may be fleeting.

"As if" history is leaderless? Is Brooks in thrall to some ridiculous 19th-century Great Man theory of history? Of course history is leaderless. You can't centrally plan history, and if Americans are losing the illusion that you can then that may be the best news Brooks has told us yet. Let him sit there longing for a leader "who arouses intense moral loyalty"; the rest of us can raise our glasses in a toast to ungovernability.

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  1. but you aren’t obliged to agree with him about that.

    The greatest tragedy of all.

    1. We just all took Friedman to heart that we really need to do some nation building at home, and not abroad.

  2. Ha ha ha – piss on you, Brooksie. You can pine for the Big Man to lead you to a glorious future, but the rest of us, hopefully, are starting to embrace more of a “fuck off, slaver” mindset.

    1. If there are no longer Great Men then sycophants to Great Men are underemployed (as overrated columnists at the NYT).

      No Great Men means Brooksie’s power is also diminished. Boo-hoo.

    2. Don’t harsh his war boner!

    3. At the risk of going Godwin here, I’m pretty sure Brooks would have collaborated with the Nazis. I don’t mean this in the usual hyperbolic sense of people who call everything fascist. Brooks would have been like Leni Riefenstahl without the talent.

      1. “I, for one, welcome our new government in Vichy and look forward to building a new and bright France with the help of our new German friends.”

      2. Almost everyone would. Pelosi would have salivated at the chance to do Hitler. It is the sad reality that most people don’t/won’t/can’t stand up for what they believe to be right.

  3. Oh, and alt-text gets two thumbs up (no gang sign).

    1. Whats the alt-text please? Can’t see on android.

      1. “Stop it. You’re making Mr. Brooks feel glum.”

        “This is not the Alt-Text you’re looking for”

        “Next Week: David Brooks urges us not to watch the parking meters.”

        1. Thanks:)

      2. “David Brooks: a true suck-cess”

        1. “David Brooks: a true suck-cess”

          “David Brooks: a true suck-ass”

          FTFY

          1. *headpalm*

            I think I went too obscure on the reference again.

    2. what about worm sign?

      1. Not enough sand, you’d end up with tapeworms.

  4. I read this piece this morning and was saying to myself, “and he thinks this is a bad thing?!”

    Is Brooks in thrall to some ridiculous 19th-century Great Man theory of history?

    Of course he is.

  5. a few questions
    So is this a widely held Regressive belief system?
    How in the fuck does this ideology even come into being?
    *most important* Why hasn’t this guy washed his mouth out with 00 buckshot?

    1. I think a turkey load is more appropriate…

      1. Anything that leaves a bloody pile of dead flesh rather than a fountainhead of stupidity

    2. What do you mean he ain’t kind? Just not your kind.

      1. Whaddya mean i could be president, of the united states of america?
        tell me something, its still WE the people… RIGHT?

        1. What do you mean I don’t pay my bills? Why do you think I’m broke? Huh?

          1. If there’s a new way, I’d be the first in line.

            1. It better work this time.

            2. But, obviously, it better work this time.

              1. you killed it, they were commenting on my handle not the article
                Vic(tim) Rattlehead is a skeletal construct with metal headphones covering his ears, a metal visor covering his face, and metal wire holding his mouth shut
                hes supposed to be the embodiment of the “perfect” obedient politician created by the government
                see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil
                kinda like Obama

                but the appropriate response was
                Peace sells, but who’s buying?

    3. This is a widely held Statist belief system. Both sides of the statist coin are equally dogged in their belief that Top. Men. are the only way to save the little people from themselves.

    4. Maybe he tried using one of them 2.2 mm bullets.

      1. The little used 0.087 calibre round, it’s natural habitat is small ponds in the rural UK.

        1. Good for hunting land-leaping goldfish.

          1. Or thin skinned pussy politicians

    5. 1) Unfortunately, it’s quite common among the GOP power structure
      2) Leo Strauss, liberals disaffected by sex and drugs, Nixon, general suckassitude of the university system
      3) Narcissism

  6. This cheered me up, thanks!

  7. It can be governed only by someone who arouses intense moral loyalty, and even that may be fleeting.

    Where is your silver tongued, neatly creased, charismatic puppetmaster now, Brooks? Wasting his godlike talents on some internet chat show.

    Let us all pause, and weep for Woodrow Wilson’s America.

  8. …”that faith in big units has eroded?in all spheres of life.”…

    The man is ‘way more optimistic than I am, but he prolly doesn’t see it that way.

    1. I still have faith in my big unit.

      1. Speaking of the Big Unit; Randy Johnson explodes a seagull. That never gets old.

        1. No it really doesn’t

      2. There, look at how much you’ve corrupted me! I hope you’re all happy.

        1. If you lie down with dogs you’re going to get fleas.

    2. It made me have some optimism for our species to read that

  9. You know who else wanted the people to have intense loyalty to a leader?

    1. Boudica?

    2. Bass Pro Shops?

    3. Diana Ross?

    4. The 4th Dimensional “Ziltoid the Omniscient”!
      the greatest guitar hero ever to have lived!

    5. Palpatine?

    6. The Yellow King?

    7. The Loyal Order of the Water Buffalo?

    8. Followers of the Magic Conch?

    9. He just wants some R-S-P-E-C-T

  10. I wish Brooks would find his own personal Wanda von Dunajew and stop trying to argue the rest of us into learning to love the whip like he does.

    1. Brooks has a sad because he’s missing out on the opportunity to advise the whip master on the proper form, intensity, and duration of applied force. Will no one listen to the experts!!!???

      1. I think it’s more personal for him. He loves it when the lash kisses his back. He wants us to love it to.

        Brooks has craven sub written all over him.

        1. Nah. Half the fun is lost if you can’t break ’em first.

  11. But but but the government must impose consensus upon us! how will we ever be able to live without a government goon granting special favors for connected interests, and stripping us of our humanity and god given rights?!?!?!??!?
    It would be total “anarchy”!!! (in the scary definition of chaos rather than leaderless voluntary society)

    when we advance to the next stage in our species will we be a hive mind blindly accepting the truth with no need for virtue? or accept that no one person or group deserves to be a leader and resolve to conduct business virtuously?

    1. I like this version best.

  12. Anything that makes David Brooks haz a sad is a good thing. Now if only he would realize that all is lost and do us all the kindness of shuffling off this mortal coil.

    faith in big units has eroded

    “Suck my unit.” – Sgt Lincoln Osiris

  13. “The real power in the world is not military or political. It is the power of individuals to withdraw their consent.”

    So Brooks is now channeling “Atlas Shrugged?” (which I doubt he’s ever read or had a good word to say about.)

    1. “The real power in the world is not military or political. It is the power of individuals to withdraw their consent.”

      He’s presenting that as a nightmarish scenario.

      1. The authoritah. It is not being respected.

      2. oh, lol i thought he was meaning it in a good way as in we are all finally realizing we foot the bill and if we don’t consent to spend our money on it, then don’t fucking take our money for it?

        Because taking something under false pretense that you will provide a service or product that you do not provide is….

    2. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    3. That is out of context. Brooks is putting these words up as an object of ridicule, not a declaration.

    4. They don’t have to read it. They just have to parrot the nth-hand accounts, speculation, and outright lies about it.

  14. But without centralized leadership, how will I know who the new Goldstein is? I’d be rudderless, befuddled, and puzzled. Do I hate Iran? Iraq? Iowa? Andorra?

    1. Canada, always hate Canada

      1. But they have ketchup chips and poutine!

        1. Regressives… always hate a regressive clinging to their undeniably failed ideologies like a raving lunatic with a tin foil hat

          1. Sorry to all Tinfoil hat wearing Reasonoids. that comment was in no way meant to demean the Tin hat community, but it was intended to show who the real wackadoo is

  15. Brooks starts by noting a recent Pew survey that shows Americans are less enthusiastic than ever about Washington throwing its weight around in the rest of the world. He adds that this doesn’t represent a new isolationism: Large majorities favor economic and cultural engagement with other nations, and when it comes to decentralized activism, as opposed to D.C.-based power politics, most of us “have enormous confidence in personalized peer-to-peer efforts to promote democracy, human rights and development.”

    Slightly related. Wife and I were discussing this the other day. What is America’s problem with Russia?

    We had an unbelievable opportunity, when the cold war ended, to crawl into economic bed with the Russians, trading oil for Big Macs and Levis. This would have lessened our dependence on middle eastern oil, created a new trading ally and eliminated the “red threat” forever. Instead we threw rocks at them and took every opportunity to rub their nose in the fact that they lost the cold war.

    Does anyone think this bullshit in Ukraine would be happening if we were all in trading partners?

    1. We don’t like beets.

    2. It was because we’d spent so long demonizing the eeevil Russkies that the Cold Warriors couldn’t wait to kick them when they were down or patronize them as savages who wanted to become good Americans.

    3. That was a popular question at the end of ’90s: “who lost Russia?” Intellectuals of Brooks’s caliber loved to discuss it probably right up to 9/11.

    4. I can only speak as an employee of a multinational that has tried to be a good trading partner with Russia…

      Crony favored, unpredictable, violent (the year I was in Afghanistan, it was more dangerous to be an investment banker in Russia) subject to droit de seigneur in every worst way. We have had our fingers burned enough. None of that was a result of anything America did.

      1. (the year I was in Afghanistan, it was more dangerous to be an investment banker in Russia)

        Point taken.

      2. ^^^THIS^^^

    5. The part where they sold their State oil interests to looters and cronies who couldn’t produce on schedule at market price?

  16. “He says it’s “na?ve to believe that the world’s problems can be conquered through conflict-free cooperation and that the menaces to civilization, whether in the form of Putin or Iran, can be simply not faced.”

    There is a naive strain of American thought that seems to imagine that threats to American security, like Iran’s nuclear and long range missile programs, would simply disappear if only we didn’t antagonize Iran anymore. I’ve seen some, who would condemn Chamberlain with their 20/20 hindsight, practically advocate appeasement towards Iran–as if the bad guys wouldn’t exist if only we ignored them.

    I would say to Brooks that this naive outlook didn’t develop in a vacuum. We supported invading a country that wasn’t really a state sponsor of terror and didn’t really have a WMD program–specifically because our leaders told us that Iraq had strategic ties with Al Qaeda and a WMD program. Meanwhile, the consequences of invading Iraq, predictably, benefited Iran, which really is a state sponsor of terror and really does have an active WMD program.

    1. How is an Iranian nuclear program a threat to American security? Was Israel accepted as the 51st state?

      1. Both hawks and doves seem to agree that Iran close to having their own ICBMs.

        They’ve already launched multistage rockets. They’ve already put satellites into orbit.

        The estimates I’ve read suggest that they’ll have ICBMs in around 6-10 years.

        Just because I don’t want to go to war with Iran is no reason to pretend facts aren’t facts.

        1. They’ve been 6-10 years away from ICBMs for about twenty years now.

          1. ICBMs are hardly magic. It is a good bet that any country with the money Iran has and enough determination will build them eventually.

            The problem is not the missiles. It is building a nuke small enough to fit on one. It is pretty easy to build a Hiroshima type bomb. But that bomb weighs several thousand pounds and wont’ fit on a warhead. Building one small enough to fit on a rocket is a lot harder. But they will eventually do it given the time.

            But what they won’t do is build enough missiles to get through a good missile defense. The people who neither want to stop Iran from getting nukes nor build effective missile defense are the ones who are insane.

            1. Problem is, there is currently no such thing as an ‘effective missile defense’.

          2. You’re right. I’m being generous.

            The Air Force’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center says (p. 3 of 32, third paragraph, under “Key Findings”) that, “Iran could develop and test an ICBM capable of reaching the United States by 2015”.

            http://www.afisr.af.mil/shared…..10-054.pdf

            The doves usually respond that it’s more than likely that Iran won’t have and ICBM until 2020 or 2025.

            Maybe everyone’s lying to us. Both the Hawks and the Doves! I do know that Iran has an active missile program–and an active space program–with multistage rockets that have launched satellites and achieved orbit.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_Space_Agency

            What, am I supposed to ignore all of that–just because I don’t want to go to war with Iran? If I did that, then I would resemble an ostrich. If I want to make the case for not going to war with Iran, I’m going to do it in spite of the facts–not by ignoring them.

            1. Ken,

              Our intel community is incompetent. The day the Iranians nuke Jerusalem no one will be more surprised than your intel community.

              Iran wants nukes and say they want to use them to destroy Israel. I am unsure why every dove insists that they must be lying.

              1. This intel is consistent with what I can observe with my own eyes.

                See the Wiki on Iran’s space program.

                I opposed invading Iraq despite what our intel said about their WMD program, and I oppose invading Iran despite what our intel says about their ICBM program, too.

                But if someone asks me, incredulously, why I would think that Iran’s nuclear program was a threat to American security, I’m not going to pretend that there’s no reason–just because we shouldn’t accept whatever our intelligence sources say blindly.

                It is perfectly reasonable to assume that Iran will have ICBMs soon–given what we know about their space program and the reliability with which they use multistage rockets to successfully launch satellites into orbit.

                1. I agree Ken. But Sarcasmic and Fransisco are both convinced Iran is entirely peaceful and the US is the only threat to the world.

                  I don’t support invading Iran either. But the idiocy of the people on this board who insist Iran could never harm the US drives me nuts.

                  1. Well this is what I keep talking about.

                    Their intentions are good, but they don’t want to go to war with Iran, so they don’t want to believe any facts that might suggest that Iran is a security threat.

                    Their motives are good. But so are ostriches when they bury their heads in the sand.

                    We have to reason with them and try to get them to see that ignoring facts isn’t conducive to avoiding war. The facts will ultimately assert themselves, and the time to make the case for not going to war in spite of them is not after Iran demonstrates an ICBM. It’s right freaking now!

                    And, as I keep saying, the best way to avoid this scenario is staring us in the face. All we need is for the Obama Administration to refuse to lift sanctions against Iran unless they renounce their right to enrich their own uranium.

                    They do that, and it’s probably Cold War II averted. They fail to achieve that, and historians of the future may forget all about Chamberlain and start using Obama as their go to guy for appeasement references.

                  2. But Sarcasmic and Fransisco are both convinced Iran is entirely peaceful and the US is the only threat to the world.

                    Nice strawman, Red Tony. If for a moment you stopped pontificating about what you feel that we think, you might actually learn what we really think.

                    Go look at my posts. I have not said one of the things you are arguing against. Not one.

                    You’re flailing at straw men, Red Tony.

                    Whatever. Continue your rant. I would never expect you to let what someone actually thinks get in the way of your attacking what you feel that they think.

        2. Capability doesn’t imply intent. The US has ICBMs that can target a guy’s happy pouch from the other side of the planet Does that mean that Iran – or any other country – can consider us a threat and launch a preemptive strike?

          1. Sure Susan. But there is such a thing as accident and some people really are nuts. The world was pretty damned lucky to survive the cold war. There were at least three times where a nuclear war was frighteningly close. I don’t think it is a good idea to chance that again. And I especially don’t think it is a good idea to chance it with a country like Iran who is clearly much crazier and much more incompetent than the Soviets ever were.

          2. “Capability doesn’t imply intent.”

            There is more than one problem, here.

            1) Just because the USSR had nuclear ICBMs, that doesn’t mean they intended to use them against us either, but do you really want to go through the Cold War again?

            The Cold War was an authoritarian shit storm of awful for the whole world. I don’t want to go through that again!

            2) Who’s to say a Cold War with Iran would end like the one with the USSR? Who’s to say a Cold War with Iran would ever end? Maybe it would go on forever.

            3) If Iran gets nukes, then all of their enemies (and all of their enemies’ enemies) will want nukes, too. Egypt will want nukes. Saudi Arabia will definitely want nukes. So, we’re probably not talking about a Cold War between the USSR and its allies, on one side, and the US and its allies on the other. We’re talking about a multilateral standoff–that might never end but has a higher probability of ending badly.

            1. Maybe you’re right. But when I read the history books about the Cold War (and remember what I saw living through the end) a lot of that authoritarianism came from opportunists looking to use fear and mistrust for their own ends. It was a bug, not a feature.

              Why would a cold war start? US interests in the middle east are almost entirely economic and have very little conflict between us and them apart from “you-know-who” – and they may have retaliatory capability already.

              Libertarians are fond of saying that an armed society is a polite society. Can’t that apply to nations as well? We may not like the Iranians but they’re not lunatics or idiots. Nor is anyone else wielding real power in the middle east. And they’d have to be before any Mexican standoff scenario can realistically happen.

              1. “Libertarians are fond of saying that an armed society is a polite society. Can’t that apply to nations as well?”

                No, I don’t think states and governments should be treated like individuals with guns in regards to nuclear arms.

                Incidentally, my position on gun rights is that I qualitatively prefer individuals have the freedom to bear arms–rather than avoiding whatever harm that freedom entails. If the right to bear arms is a net negative for society–so what? I prefer individuals have the right to bear arms anyway.

                I’m not willing to extend that qualitative preference to foreign governments controlled by authoritarians and totalitarians, who have described themselves as our enemies since before 1953.

                States do not act like individuals in terms of their perceived best interests, nor do they act in the best interests of the individuals they govern.

                Take Saddam Hussein as an example. Refusing to allow weapons inspectors to see that he didn’t have any WMD was basically suicidal–turns out that megalomaniacs are sometimes irrational, who knew?!

                In the first Gulf War, he started lobbing Scud missiles at Israel in the hope of breaking up the Arab-US alliance against him.

                If he’d been able to act on those kinds of calculations with nuclear weapons, we’d be in serious trouble.

              2. “A lot of that authoritarianism came from opportunists looking to use fear and mistrust for their own ends. It was a bug, not a feature.”

                I think if you give people a good reason to be scared, a lot of governments really are going to use it.

                Fear really is the Mind-Killer.

                I wish people were invulnerable to that kind of fear and the easy compliance that fear breeds, but I’m afraid that’s not the way people are.

                Religious fanatics having nuclear armed ICBMs pointed at us is a serious threat, and we need to avoid that if we can. This is why Obama needs to not give in to Iran being allowed to enrich its own uranium–regardless of what’s going on in the midterm elections.

                I’m not sure Obama is wise enough to handle that, so we should be bringing public pressure on him to stand his ground on enrichment.

                1. Take Saddam Hussein as an example. Refusing to allow weapons inspectors to see that he didn’t have any WMD was basically suicidal–turns out that megalomaniacs are sometimes irrational, who knew?!

                  That comes awfully close to saying: “If you have nothing to hide then you have no reason to worry”. Believe me, I take no pleasure in defending Iran or Iraq.

                  As for the rest, well, I don’t really know. Nations are ruled for the interests of those in power and I can’t conceive that it’s in the interest of anyone in power in Iran to have their cities and resources reduced to glowing blue slag.

                  But, again, what do I know? As an atheist it’s hard for me to believe that someone could seriously start a self-destructive war to appease their sky-men. Yeah, they’d say that to get hoi polloi on board but the leadership has to have a reason justifying the risk.

                  1. “That comes awfully close to saying: “If you have nothing to hide then you have no reason to worry”. Believe me, I take no pleasure in defending Iran or Iraq.”

                    that was just intended as an example of how governments don’t always act in their own best interests–much less the interests of their people.

                    We can’t always depend on authoritarian governments, especially, to behave reasonably. Saddam Hussein, for instance, practically committed suicide with his foreign policy response to the UN and the United States.

                    We stacked all our troops on his borders, and he still couldn’t bring himself to do the only thing that might have kept him alive.

        3. Again, so what? You don’t actually think they will use them, do you?

          Iran wants nukes for one reason. Because the US doesn’t preemptively invade countries with nuclear weapons. PERIOD!

          Eventually, everyone will have nukes. That genie has sailed. Threatening sovereign nations for doing nothing more than what we did 70 years ago is fucking tyrannical.

          1. Again, so what?

            So you think the Cold War was a great thing? Since when is countries holding nuclear destruction at each others’ throats a good idea?

            The cold war was insane and is nothing that should ever be repeated if possible. It is only by luck that the US and Soviets didn’t destroy the world.

            If your plan is “well hey we will just have MADD with the Iranians”, you really don’t have a plan.

              1. When the Iranians get nukes and proceed to fuck with us and everyone else in the world.

                  1. Someone who preaches martyrdom and bankrolls suicide bombers isn’t exactly going to view incinerating Tel-Aviv (or any other city) with a truck bomb the same way as everyone else. That will in fact be the announcement that they are now nuclear capable.

                    1. Bullshit. Israel would wipe Iran off the face of the map in under 10 minutes.

                      FURTHERMORE, that’s an Israeli problem, not ours.

                    2. Israel would do no such thing. Isreal would kill a few million Iranians but Iran would still be there. Iran is too big to “wipe off the map”. Israel in contrast would be wiped off the map with just a few nuke strikes.

                      WTF is wrong with you Fransisco? Half the time you are the world’s biggest pacifist. Then when confronted with the possibility Iran might not be so peaceful, you turn into Curtis Lemay claiming that the death of the entire population of Israel and a good chunk of Iran is no real downside to consider.

                      And Israel being wiped off the map and taking a good chunk of Iran with it would sure as hell be our problem. You dumber than you appear if you think otherwise.

            1. It would never come down to MAD (not MADD, that’s mothers against drunk driving) with Iran.

              Sure, it is inevitable that they will eventually get ICBM’s capable of hitting the US, lets call it a decade from now (probably closer to 20 years but whatever)with technology we have today we have about a 30% chance to shoot down a single inbound ICBM, a decade from now it will be up to about 80% of a small strike gets shot down and our missile defense capabilities will continue to grow faster than their ability to build enough missiles to really threaten us.

              Remember it is not 1980 anymore and missile defense systems are no longer vaporware, we’d probably still be in a MAD situation with Russia or China but no one else really has the resources to field a large enough of a missile force to penetrate missile defenses at a high enough rate to be able to destroy us.

              1. In the game of nuclear destruction even 99% effectiveness sucks when hundreds of thousands will die.

                BTW, defensive systems suck: they have to be 100% accurate, 100% of the time. Swarm them, and you are going to get some leakers. In the game of nukes, even a single leaker is a catastrophe. So pardon me when I do not want to play that game with a bunch of irrational fucks with delusions of granduer.

                1. So you are saying that because vaccines are not 100% effective we shouldn’t bother to have them?

                  More importantly you are wrong. MAD said you can’t attack me and I can’t attack you because we will wipe each other off the face of the earth and there is nothing we could do about to stop it.

                  Missile defense says you can’t attack me because you can only hurt me while I will kill you outright, I however can risk attacking you because if you escalate I know I will survive and you know you won’t so you are unlikely to escalate.

                  Further I think you are severely overestimating the number of warheads and missiles that Iran could ever build. Even China and the UK have less than 300 total nukes and less than 200 ICBM’s. ICBM’s and nukes both are EXPENSIVE to maintain and it is highly unlikely that Iran could ever get to UK levels of strategic nuke deployment but lets say they did and they took the next 40 years building a fleet of 160 Nuke armed ICBM’s, if we could shoot down 95% of them that has 8 Nukes getting through. Would that suck? Sure you’d be looking at possibly as high as 50 million Americans dead depending on which cities they hit. In response however Iran would cease to exist as 80 – 90% of it’s population was killed and those left tried to survive in glass desert.

                  1. That is the calculus the Iranian government would have,basically their threat of nukes against us would be largely rendered moot becuase any attempt to use them would result in their deaths and the utter annihilation of their people.

                    Without missile defense we are back to MAD and never even bothering to oppose anything they do with more than a sternly worded letter.

                    1. Even if what you’re saying is true (and I’m not sure it is), you’re looking at proxy wars like in Syria breaking out all over the place.

                      See my posts about proxy wars below.

                      MAD may make it less likely that we engage each other directly, but it also probably makes proxy wars more likely.

                      And proxy wars are much easier to justify and get going. We were engaged all over the world, and it only hit the news in the U.S. occasionally–if there was some kind of scandal.

          2. And the Iranians certainly know we will not use nukes first. So if they have Nukes, what is to stop them from fucking with us at every opportunity? If 911 had been traced back to a nuclear Iran, what exactly would the US have done about it?

            Risked nuclear war or just sucked it up and done nothing? It is a good bet it would have been the latter.

            1. what is to stop them from fucking with us at every opportunity?

              How, exactly, would Iran fuck with us?

              1. Sponsor terrorism. Shut off the straights of hormuz, attack their neighbors.

                Do you really think that no country would ever do anything bad or mean us harm?

                They are not fucking Canada. They actually do hate our guts.

                1. Oh, damn. The Strait of Hormuz. Guess we’d be forced to actually exploit our own oil and gas. That would certainly suck.

                  We would CRUSH them, if they did that. And they could send a nuke or two in response. AND THEN, their ENTIRE FUCKING NATION would cease to exist in under a minute.

                  John, you promote peace through trade, NOT by pointing a gun. (Although you need the gun to defend yourself)

                  1. We would CRUSH them, if they did that.

                    Not if they had nukes we wouldn’t there tough guy. Do you want to risk losing an American city to a nuke over the Straight of Hormuz? I don’t. And don’t tell me, “but they know we would destroy them if we did that”. Well, miscalculations happen. And even if it were true, since when is killing the entire population of Iran a good option? Would it be better if they didn’t have nukes and thus we would never have to face such a choice?

                    1. Would it be better if they didn’t have nukes and thus we would never have to face such a choice?

                      How you planning on achieving that? Preemptive force? AGAIN?

                      How’d that work out the last time? Will you war mongers EVER learn?

                    2. How you planning on achieving that? Preemptive force? AGAIN?

                      Maybe we can’t. But please do me a favor and stop pretending that it is no big deal. It may be there is no way to stop it. But please be honest about that and stop pissing on my leg pretending there is no way Iran could ever mean harm.

                    3. But please be honest about that and stop pissing on my leg pretending there is no way Iran could ever mean harm.

                      When did he say that? When did I say that?

                      Oh yeah, we didn’t.

                      Ass.

                    4. I’m NOT pretending.

                      It IS NO BIG DEAL.

                      Iran CANNOT and WILL NOT harm us. They simply aren’t capable and even if they get that way, attempting such would be their end.

                      Like it or not, MAD worked for 50 years. Not only were their no nuclear exchanges, but there were very few brushfires. The US didn’t fight a major war for 20 years (sad that 20 is considered good). A well armed global community is a polite global community.

                      But you fucking war boners are just looking for an excuse to poke your goddamned fingers in somebody’s chest and create MORE problems down the road.

                      IT IS IMMORAL TO INITIATE FORCE! PERIOD!

                    5. Francisco,
                      To be fair, what if Iran initiated force against Israel? What then?

                      I’m not saying that justifies attacking Iran, but what if?

                    6. It’s the same as asking if you witness a mugger beating a woman can you intervene?

                      The answer is that you may thwart the aggressor on behalf of the woman, but you aren’t morally obligated to. Whether you do or not should be weighed against your own personal interests keeping in mind the long term implications (cost/benefit analysis).

                      That may sound harsh at first, but really, countries are responsible for their own defense. We have treaties with the Israelis, a mistake which further complicates the issue. In the scenario you submit, Israel could obliterate Iran and I’d have no problem with them doing so (in self defense).

                      Then the question becomes. “Does the US intervene to stop other countries from entering the fray?”

                      Avoid foreign entanglements. We need to stop being the worlds cops, especially since the world isn’t paying for our services.

                    7. “Like it or not, MAD worked for 50 years.”

                      There is no reason to think a Cold War with Iran would end like our Cold War with the USSR.

                      “Not only were their no nuclear exchanges, but there were very few brushfires….A well armed global community is a polite global community.”

                      This is absurd. Never mind our war in Vietnam, our war in Korea, our invasion of Grenada…what about the war in Angola? What about the civil wars in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua? What about the war between Iran and Iraq? What about the war in Afghanistan? All of the developing world became a battleground during the Cold War–a big, giant brushfire.

                      Being able to fight through proxies makes wars easier–in many ways–even if it’s harder to engage each other directly.

                    8. There is no reason to think a Cold War with Iran would end like our Cold War with the USSR.

                      Bullshit. It happened the way it did because people are rational and value survival above all else.

                      Twenty years (1971-1991). The Soviet threat is what kept Vietnam and Korea from being much bigger. The rest were barely conflicts.

                      And why is it my job to give a flying fuck whether Iran and Iraq fight each other? In support of that argument…they did…and it didn’t affect the US in the slightest.

                      Trade with everyone. Initiate force against no one. Have the capability to win decisively if you are aggressed against.

                    9. “It happened the way it did because people are rational and value survival above all else.”

                      It happened, in no small part, because the Soviet Union was built on an economic system that was inherently flawed, and it was imploding.

                      Do you imagine that Iran is fundamentally opposed to a rational economic system?

                      “Twenty years (1971-1991). The Soviet threat is what kept Vietnam and Korea from being much bigger. The rest were barely conflicts.”

                      This is total garbage.

                      Practically the whole developing world was at war at some point during this period–fueled by third party protagonists on either side of the Cold War.

                      Just look at one example in Angola:

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angola_Civil_War

                      27 years of war. 500,000 people dead. 1 million displaced. You think that’s barely a conflict? And that’s just Angola!

                    10. 27 years of war. 500,000 people dead. 1 million displaced. You think that’s barely a conflict? And that’s just Angola!

                      And how is that ANY of our concern? How were we impacted?

                      JESUS Ken, you consider yourself a libertarian. How can you justify interventionism?

                    11. Don’t change the subject!

                      Your claim was that nuclear standoff meant that “Twenty years (1971-1991). The Soviet threat is what kept Vietnam and Korea from being much bigger. The rest were barely conflicts”.

                      The rest of the world at war was “barely conflicts”?!

                      Bogus! Baloney!

                      The developing world was in various stages of war the whole time. Sometimes it was wars between different countries, and sometimes it was civil wars or wars against insurgencies. it happened all over the developing world!

                      All of South and Central America. All of Africa. Large Chunks of Asia.

                      Your claim that the Cold War meant Vietnam, Korea, and the rest were barely conflicts is complete garbage.

                      What the Cold War meant was a world-wide proxy war that lasted for nearly four decades! If another Cold War emerges, we will probably end up engaging through proxy wars like what’s going on in Syria.

                    12. “It IS NO BIG DEAL.”

                      Huh?!

                    13. I’m NOT changing the subject. I don’t give a hairy rat’s ass about conflicts between other countries, unless they DIRECTLY affect mine.

                      How in the name of god, can you call yourself a libertarian and condone initiation of force?

                      When Iran uses nukes, THEN you get to intervene. Being the good guy means you need to take the first punch.

                      You gonna start wars with everybody you disagree with? Your position is immoral.

                    14. “How in the name of god, can you call yourself a libertarian and condone initiation of force?”

                      I haven’t condoned anything in this thread except for recognizing the facts and insisting that Iran has forfeited their right to enrich their own uranium.

                      Apparently, you don’t like the conclusions that some people will draw from the facts, so you seem intent on denying the facts’ existence–and it’s evidence by your assumptions about what I think we should do, based on nothing but which facts I’m willing to recognize.

                      The fact that we waged a proxy war across the whole developing world over a period of 40 years is such a fact.

                      When the USSR instigated an unpopular insurgency in some developing country to take it over–a la Cuba–and then prop up anti-American, authoritarian regimes to sit on top of it all to supply and assist unpopular insurgencies elsewhere to do likewise, there were people who thought that the best response to such aggression was not to do nothing.

                      Whether I or you think that we SHOULD engage in proxy wars under those circumstances is beside the point. The point may be that under those circumstances–that’s what we’re likely to do. If you don’t want to see us do that, the we should try to avoid getting to that point in the first place.

                      It is very important that Iran not be permitted to enrich their own uranium.

          3. That genie has sailed.

            I like this.

          4. Iran wants nukes for one reason. Because the US doesn’t preemptively invade countries with nuclear weapons. PERIOD!

            Yep. The world policeman doesn’t want Iran to have nukes for the same reason city cops don’t like armed citizens.

            1. So even though they say that they want to spread the Shia revolution to the entire Middle East, they are just lying?

              Isn’t is possible that they don’t have good intentions? You guys seem to think that only the US is ever capable of meaning harm. The Iranians say they plan to take over the Middle East and destroy Israel. Should I not believe them because since they are not the US, they would never do that?

              1. Have you ever had a conversation with someone from Iran?

                Didn’t think so.

                1. All the time. And the “people” are not the government. The Germans were nice people too. So are Americans. But you certainly understand that our government is not the same as the people who live here. Why do you not understand that with regards to Iran?

                  1. Whatever, Red Tony. I have not said any of those things you attribute to me. Not one. Try asking me what I think instead of telling me what I think. Ass.

                    1. I have not said any of those things you attribute to me.

                      So you as an American supported the invasion of Iraq, NSA spying and drone strikes?

                      Stop sarcasmic. You know good and well that because the population doesn’t want something doesn’t mean the government won’t. And every time you scream Red Tony, you are just telling everyone on the board you lost the argument.

                    2. All I said, John, and all Fransisco said, was that perhaps Iran wants nukes to prevent a US invasion. Nothing about that being the only reason, nothing about Iran being all cuddly and nice, nothing about actually invading them, nothing about Israel, nothing more. That’s it. Then you go all ballistic against straw men. Whatever Red Tony. You don’t need me for this argument since you seem to know everything I think. Ass.

                    3. And every time you scream Red Tony, you are just telling everyone on the board you lost the argument.

                      No, John. When I call you Red Tony it is because you are arguing with straw men. Anyone with a brain (and that excludes anyone named Tony) can scroll a bit and see I didn’t say any of the things you are ranting against. Not one. Ass.

                2. I’ve had numerous conversations with people from Iran, and none of them want to talk about politics between Iran and the U.S.

                  NONE! …and I’ve tried.

                  Iran is a regional threat. Especially to Saudi Arabia.

                  This popped up via Google quickly:

                  http://www.washingtontimes.com…../?page=all

      2. A nuclear Iran can close the Straights of Hormuz, and since we’re not back on the path of self-reliance for energy, that is an American interest.

        1. The same people who are okay with Iran having nukes also hate the Keystone pipeline and will do anything to shut down US oil and gas production.

          They are either insane or really on the other side.

        2. How much of the oil we use comes from the gulf?

          1. It doesn’t matter. As long as we are net importers of oil, cutting off that supply hurts us. Now, if we are net exporters, we don’t have to care, since any money we lose because of a rise in oil prices we will make back selling it.

            1. It does matter. We import approximately 12% of our daily usage of oil from the Persian Gulf. We could probably replace that easily if the Gulf were shut. Not remotely worth going to war with Iran over.

              Iran wants the bomb for geopolitical leverage to dominate the region. There’s very limited probability that the leaders of the coutnry will risk self annihilation to wipe out a western city or two.

              1. Oil is fungible

                1. So are words but I don’t know what that has to do with anything.

                  1. If the straight is cut off the price of oil goes up no matter where you buy it from. The fact that we get it from Canada or Venezuela won’t matter since other countries will come and out bid us for it if we won’t pay the higher price.

                    1. Yeah, it would be a real fucking tragedy if BO were forced to exploit our gas and oil and we become energy independent.

                      That would like totally fucking suck.

                    2. Yeah, because he gives a shit about doing that.

                      Let Iran have nukes so the Greens and Dems have to exploit our oil!!

                      Are you fucking kidding me?

                    3. Wow, John….so how about them nasty Norks
                      with a working nuclear program and weapons and an express desire to wipe western influence off the map
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      hows that going for them? nothing? they haven’t done a god damned thing? you gotta be kidding me, but they’re craaaazy and they will undoubtedly launch nuclear weapons at our west coast….any day now….just wait for it…. almost there…10 years later and not a fucking peep.
                      Either Dennis Rodman is the worlds greatest diplomat, or humans will not destroy the only inhabitable planet in this star system

                    4. “hows that going for them? nothing? they haven’t done a god damned thing? you gotta be kidding me, but they’re craaaazy and they will undoubtedly launch nuclear weapons at our west coast….any day now….just wait for it…. almost there…10 years later and not a fucking peep.”

                      I believe the standard assessment has it that the Iranians are ahead of the North Koreans in regards to their ICBM program. North Korea’s launch tests have often gone badly.

                      Regardless, if you think having a child-lunatic in charge of a nuclear arsenal with the ability to launch it at the U.S. is a great example of why we shouldn’t worry about the proliferation of nuclear weapons among our self-avowed enemies, then you’re out of your freaking mind.

                    5. I didn’t say it was a good thing they have ’em, but I was making the reference to how they were the big scary “axis of evil” with WMDs but they haven’t used em for anything other than to be left the fuck alone.
                      Whats more likely?
                      Iran nukes Israel, and covers their countryside and their very own holy land in radioactive dust for centuries rendering it uninhabitable

          2. I have conflicting numbers, so I can’t say.

  17. So, the American people don’t want to get fooled again, and if you can’t lead them where they refuse to go because of poor leadership in the past, that isn’t being sheepish. That’s probably a good outcome. The non-aggression solution to Iran’s nuclear program may be staring us in the face, anyway–simply refuse to lift sanctions unless Iran renounces the right to enrich their own uranium. We can offer them all the enriched uranium for energy they need!

    If the Obama Administration capitulates on that point to Iran and Putin, then the fault isn’t with the naivete of the American people. The blame is squarely on the gullibility of the Obama Administration. Don’t blame the American people for that one. Blame our leadership for being naive.

    1. Just for the record, this is actually the important part of what I had to say.

      1. Just for the record, you have nothing to say.
        If the laws of man mattered at all in this world, we probably wouldn’t have made it out of the Theocratic dark ages without purging the non-believers

        1. I don’t see how what you’re saying relates to what I wrote.

          1. you’re saying that magically if we rebuke them as an international community that they will abandon all their thoughts of independent nuclear weapons and power
            Im saying this is tantamount to believing in magic
            people gunna do what they gunna do man

            1. We’re having a summit on their right to enrich their own uranium in about a week.

              The sanctions made them burn through all of their foreign reserves. If they don’t get access to world credit markets in the next couple of months, their economy will go from the free fall it’s already in–to total implosion.

              That’s why they’re at the negotiating table now.

              If they cannot enrich their own uranium without being subjected to the same sanctions again, then it will significantly hamper their ability to make nuclear weapons.

              Nothing magic about it.

              1. And from where does the US derive the authority to dictate terms to a sovereign nation?

                This position reeks of hypocrisy.

                Land of the free, home of the brave…indeed.

                1. “And from where does the US derive the authority to dictate terms to a sovereign nation?”

                  It’s in the text of the Non-Proliferation Treaty they signed!

                  They violated the treaty by refusing to declare their enrichment activities, and they were first cited for it back in 2003.

                  They’ve refused to go back within compliance of the treaty they signed, and most of the rest of the world has been backing sanctions against them because of it for a very long time.

                  You didn’t think the rest of the world was joining in sanctions just because America told them to, did you?

                  1. Um…

                    *Francisco furiously waving the bullshit flag*

                    The current Iranian government NEVER signed a non-proliferation treaty.

                    That’s some pretty disingenuous shit there Ken.

                    1. You must really feel backed into a corner–the way you keep moving goalposts about.

                      First you suggest that the U.S. is arbitrarily dictating these terms to a sovereign nation–and when that turns out to be total bunk–now you’re suggesting that treaty obligations expire every time a new government takes over?

                      It doesn’t work that way. It never has. Do the Iranians even claim that their treaty obligations don’t exist because the Iranian government signed the treaty before the revolution?

                      You think every time the French or British get a new government, that nullifies whatever treaty obligations the former government signed on for?

                      Doesn’t work that way. Never has.

  18. We live in a country in which many people act as if history is leaderless. Events emerge spontaneously from the ground up.

    Perhaps it’s not entirely characterized by arbitrary groundswells of leaderless action, Brooks, even if it isn’t entirely centrally directed. Maybe it’s somewhere in the middle, some process by which the masses votes for leaders who patronize their allies and backers, or by which the various polities of a nation coalesce around the flags of whomever or whatever best serves their interests. Maybe it has more to do with the institutional structures and lobbies and concentrations of wealth than it does any particular man. Maybe the “great leader” fiction obfuscates the incredibly complex organization of competing interests that undergird these social structures. Maybe politics is less about men and more about institutions and flows of rents between patrons and benefactors.

    1. We live in a country where its leaders have abused history to such a degree people no longer will listen to the lessons of it.

      If people are skeptical of believing Putin is the next Hitler, Brooks has only himself and people like him to blame.

      There is a place for internationalism. But any country’s appetite for it is limited. So you better appeal to it only when it really matters.

      The other thing that Brooks seems not to understand is that the bigger problem is the rest of the world. Iraq proved one thing above all others. The US cannot unilaterally eliminate a bad actor from the world stage. It doesn’t have the money or the will do it alone. And worse doing it alone creates more hard feelings than it solves.

      If Europe and Turkey and the rest of the civilized world decided as a group to roll into Syria and set up some kind of UN mandate and rebuild the country, the US could maybe participate in that and it might some hope of succeeding. But the world is not willing to do that. If the world won’t do it, the US can’t do it. So there is no point in bemoaning the lack of US action.

      1. I recall a certain figure in US history who said something about friendly relations and entangling alliances, but maybe I’m mistaken. It didn’t sound very leaderly, after all.

      2. HA! you come to reason and invoke the unholiest tyrannical group of oppressors as a means for getting shit done?
        The UN is a fucking worthless group of un-elected retards vying for globalism when every form of centralized government that has ever existed is an abject failure
        just look at terrorists vs governments…
        seems like terror is winning the battle with less sophistication, less expenses, and no central leadership capable of fucking it up for everyone else.

  19. Of course he’s sad. Witch Doctors need their Attilas.

  20. If we just go invade Iran, we’ll all feel better.

  21. Such a society is very hard to lead and summon.

    Hard to summon? What does that even mean? Hard to demand the society’s presence at your feet?

    1. That is exactly what he means. Hard to enthrall when you need a good ego shot.

      1. It’s sad state when a politician is no longer able to draw a pentagram on the floor and summon a society.

        1. If only it were that easy, Snark. To summon a proper society one has to defile the blemishless red calf within the bounds of Vatican city while chanting backwards in proto-Aramaic.

          If you deviate from that in any way you end up with Sacramento. Unless you defile a fetal alcohol syndrome goat, for some reason that produces Cleveland.

          1. whats the excuse for NYC?

              1. You’re thinking New Jersey.

            1. That requires a totally different ritual of the blackest kind. Luckily there are no more dodo cloaca to violate and we are safe from it ever being repeated.

  22. The history of the world is the history of war. Good job making history “great” men.

  23. If only you naive bastards had been politically sophisticated enough to hold your noses and vote for Romney, none of this would have happened!

    1. We will never know. But I can’t imagine Putin finding Romney more of a chump than he finds Obama. So, it is at least possible Putin would have thought twice about doing this.

      1. Yes but is there anything in Mitt’s background to indicate that Putin would have found him to be significantly less of a chump than Obama?

        I mean it is not like he has ever really displayed a backbone on anything

        1. Romney has had a successful career in business. That automatically gives him more of a spine and grounding in reality than Obama could ever have.

    2. Are you insinuating that Tulpa is really Brooksie?! Hmmm….

      1. What exactly do you mean by hmmmmm? Is there a definition of that? Words matter and it is impossible to have an intelligent discussion about a subject where agreed upon definitions aren’t in place. Perpendicular place.

          1. Thanks, but I feel it was one of my poorer efforts to mock the Bo/Tulpa.

  24. Are you insinuating that Tulpa is really Brooksie?! Hmmm….

    Our friend Ken spent weeks weeping and wailing about how libertarians handed the election to Obama, when tyhey should have voted for Obama Lite.

    1. Did Tulpa do some of that too? And recently, at that? I may have gotten them mixed up. Or one of Tulpas socks…

  25. OT: It is really going to piss off the GOP if the assistant to a dead Congressman gets beat because the Libertarian drew a larger-than-the-margin vote. (Note that Sink, the Dem has a huge early-voter advantage and that 60% surveyed have already voted.)

    The candidates for Congress in Tuesday’s election are Republican David Jolly, Democrat Alex Sink, and Libertarian Lucas Overby. If the election was today, who would you vote for?
    45% David Jolly
    ……………………
    41% Alex Sink
    ……………………
    10% Lucas Overby
    ……………………
    4% Undecided
    ……………………

    Q4
    Combined Horse Race
    45% David Jolly
    …………………….
    48% Alex Sink
    …………………….
    6% Lucas Overby
    …………………….
    2% Undecided

    1. unfortunately this is a good thing, we may not have much time left to get the carcass of the republicrats out of the way to save our country. a clear message needs to be sent that running republican means you lose just like any of the marginal party candidates
      2nd place is just a fancy word for losing, and will continue to happen to the statist scum on the republican side of the aisle. if a candidate is worth a libertarian vote, the LP would endorse them as their candidate of choice and not run against them.

      1. Alex Sink is pretty much a Blue Dog, so the difference between her and an insider Congressional assistant/lobbyist is pretty small. Also, it might keep the GOP from measuring the Senate Majority offices for furniture before Election Day. (Not that I’m a GOP guy, but Reid has to go.)

  26. Wow, Brooks is pretty much standing against 300 years of liberal, Enlightenment thought. Maybe I just don’t pay enough attention to his rantings, but I never thought he’d be this explicit.

  27. Ave, true to Caesar!

  28. Did Tulpa do some of that too?

    Yes. Tulpa did plenty of bitching about our lack of faith in Romneytarianism.

    1. yes because the problem isn’t that were trying to have healthcare for all, its that we didn’t use the correct name for it.
      Romney was and always will be a non-starter
      if the GOP wants to impress me, field a politician that will stand up for all 10 of the bill of rights, that will never spend a penny unless consenting the governed, and will abolish unpopular regulations and institutions that serve to stifle freedom

  29. Is Brooks in thrall to some ridiculous 19th-century Great Man theory of history?

    So long as you don’t replace it with the equally ridiculous progressive view of history.

    1. Nobel savages, tolerent of all, living in harmonal matriarchal bliss with other cultures and Mother Gai.

      1. And along came the evil white man with hjs big and empty hands. He wanted all the buffalo dead.

  30. na?ve to believe that the world’s problems can be conquered through conflict-free cooperation and that the menaces to civilization, whether in the form of Putin or Iran, can be simply not faced

    he better fucking hope we keep believing that. cause his ass is high up on the shit list if we ever stop.

  31. The scary part is people follow something. If they don’t follow a leader, they follow an ‘ism’. Is Green going to hurt us less than following Obama? Not sure what is worse.

    The best thing the founders did was separate the State from the Church. Let people ‘believe’ in something and make their belief not connected to politics, which should be simple and unobstructive administration of the few truly collective issues every society has.

  32. For intelligent men, Brooks and this author have stepped into a bit of chromagnum manhood. Societies always have leaders. Those who shape opinions lead. Mobs have leaders. The Occupy movement had a leader. Leaders don’t always stand at the front of the column adorned in uniforms. Some of the most cunning and unscrupulous leaders, this current administration included, are those who stay beneath the surface, and “inflame the passions of the mob” in order to get what they want.

    Those that think they are leaderless are the obtuse ones, and are destined to suffer at the whims of the aforementioned mob.

  33. Brooks is a Straussian. Of course he is upset that people are getting harder to fool. He wants the elite to rule in secret and manipulate the population into sacrificing for the political collective. He doesn’t like this radical individualism stuff. Radical individuals can’t be ruled or controlled. If the rest of the population buys into those ideas, the Straussians will lose a lot of power, because every idea or plan that they offer will be rejected. It has been happening, but they are fighting back hard. Fox News is now a Straussian agenda promoter 24/7.

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