David Brooks Quotations

David Brooks

America is not just a democracy; it represents a certain culture of competitive mobility and personality aspirations...politics is not merely a clash of interests, but a clash of dreams.

Everything the old gentry tried to make smooth, we in today's educated gentry try to make rough. They covered over ceiling beams. We expose them. They buried bulky stone chimneys in plaster and paint. We unearth stone chimneys and admire massive rocky hearths. They prized narrow floor planks. We like broad sturdy ones. They filled their homes with knock-off versions of high art. We like handicrafts. They covered their furniture in silk. We toss coarse Columbian throw rugs over our sofas, with maybe a few stray hairs from a long dead burro.

Highly educated young people are tutored, taught and monitored in all aspects of their lives, except the most important, which is character building. When it comes to this, most universities leave them alone.

I'll believe the intelligence community has really changed when I see analysts being sent to training academies where they study Thucydides, Tolstoy and Churchill to get a broad understanding of the full range of human behavior. I'll believe the system has been reformed when policy makers are presented with competing reports, signed by individual thinkers, and are no longer presented with anonymous, bureaucratically homogenized, bulleted points that pretend to be the product of scientific consensus.

People used to complain that selling a president was like selling a bar of soap. But when you buy soap, at least you get the soap. In this campaign you just get two guys telling you they really value cleanliness.

This death cult has no reason and is beyond negotiation. This is what makes it so frightening. This is what causes so many to engage in a sort of mental diversion. They don't want to confront this horror. So they rush off in search of more comprehensible things to hate.

To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy.