I mean obviously the first and most important point is: Mazel tov! After a few years of harrowing personal crisis for America’s Foremost Moral Decay Diagnostician, our boy David Brooks has at last found love, and gotten married (to his 23-years-younger former research assistant)!
Yes, things are looking up for ol’ Dave. No longer must he stalk the dim corridors of an empty home, toga’d in soiled linens but shrouded, metaphorically, in despair, declaiming about the death of civic virtue with an ice-cream sandwich hanging out of his mouth. Now he can do marital congress in the sight of God! Now, all is right with the world! Including, quite suddenly, Donald Trump:
Second, Trump’s competency level has risen from catastrophic to merely inadequate. In the first few weeks, Trump was shooting himself in the foot on an hourly basis. But as time has gone by, he has hired better people and has shifted power within the White House to those who are trying to at least build a normal decision-making process.
His foreign policy moves have been, if anything, kind of normal. His administration has committed to NATO, backed off his China bashing, confirmed Iran’s compliance with its nuclear agreement obligations and exercised some restraint on North Korea.
Third, Trump has detached himself from the only truly revolutionary movement of our time. If the current world order is going to really be disrupted, it will be because a U.S. president taps into the anger seething among the globe’s rural working classes. It will be because the U.S. leads a coalition of the global populist strongmen.
Trump seemed inclined to do that a few months ago, but not today. Sure, he’ll send out a pro-Le Pen tweet, but Trump has mostly switched from being a subversive populist to being a conventional corporatist. His administration-defining motif now is being pro-business — lightening regulations, embracing the Export-Import Bank and offering to lower corporate taxes.
This is quite a departure for Dave! Only two weeks ago, we were in a full-blown “Crisis of Western Civ”; two weeks before that, he peered between the dusty blinds of his lonely hovel and foresaw “The Coming Incompetence Crisis.” As recently as February, the 21st century itself was “broken”; the United States had a “death wish”; Trump would not finish a single term in office. Seems something has changed ... perhaps sexily.
Yes, how nice it is to have a secure place to store your peener, and to be the kind of millionaire boomer quasi-academic who can, in the opinion pages of the New York Times, read all the human condition into the dust patterns on your hog. Corporate prosperity is secure; ethnonationalist abusiveness is not a problem for the people who matter. David Brooks can spoon in the good graces of nonspecific Western moral tradition; turns out, the republic is safe after all.
Anyway, here is a link to the happy couple’s wedding registry.
I can’t decide between the Vitamix Professional Series Heritage 750 Blender (they only need to raise 600 more bucks to get it!) and the OXO Good Grips Oven Mitt With Magnet.