David Brooks, in a nutshell?

Wunderkind Ben Casnocha summarizes a talk:

David Brooks, columnist, New York Times:

  • "I’ll be brief because many of you are academics, and you’re not here to hear me talk, you’re here to hear yourselves talk."
  • He likes Edmund Burke.
  • People learn when there’s an emotional connection.
  • All factions of conservative movement united around distrust of government – this ain’t enough.
  • Obama’s perceptiveness / self-awareness / stability is striking.
  • McCain’s morality is based on honor, not morality. #1 trait is aloofness – somewhat detached personality.
  • Conservatism shouldn’t have permanent policies (like tax cuts): don’t get moral about a situational policy issue.
  • Conservatism is about not knowing much; modest about what we can know/do.
  • Conservatism is philosophy first, policy second. Liberalism is policy first, philosophy later.
  • Conservatism values social mobility more than equality.
  • Top issues in the election: bipartisanship, immigration, healthcare.
  • People aren’t solely self-interested economic rational creatures.
    If this were the case, why would 30% of students drop out of high
    school even though it’s econ ruinous to do so?
  • What’s the point of being a democrat if you can’t play the class card?
  • Bush seems 40 IQ points smarter in private than in public.

Here’s a QuickTime version of Brooks’ speech.

I agree with many of these, although I am not sure that conservatism puts philosophy first.  Does it not put experience first?  Also, I think the main issue in the election is George W. Bush.


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