The dark arc of history that we’ve been in for three or four decades leans this way: the American middle class is being systematically dismantled, every bit of it — public education, union wages, pensions, home ownership, labor laws, consumer protections, social safety nets.
What follows for us is a slow tumble into serfdom, and it never matters what happens to serfs. They don’t count. There are always more of them to be had. Only billionaires will count, politically, economically, socially, journalistically and — to the churches they sponsor — metaphysically.
The Republicans are hell-bent on this outcome, and while the Democrats may drag their feet, they remain headed in the same direction.
The question of how Americans might help each other actually sickens Republicans. They loathe it, and much prefer to direct the public discussion toward speculation about the increasing necessity for Americans to bomb other countries and shoot each other. Those topics they like.
And the Democrats may talk a good populist game, but in their cozy private meetings they will tut-tut over their impotence in the face of the inevitability of “globalization” and signal for another glass of that excellent Merlot, please.
This arc won’t be unbent without a major shift in the intellectual atmosphere of this nation, a lightning flash of insight about Americans’ real needs and community responsibilities that is not going to be provided by politicians or the corporate news media with its cosseted, lap-dog pundits. David Brooks is not where he is in order to provide you with his sage wisdom, but to keep you from asking the right questions about the United States, now a wholly owned subsidiary of multinational corporations.