David Brooks--too feminine for the times (12 March 2009)
Two more letters in defense of David Brooks and his aversion to guns:
@ G West:
G West, I said he's Republican, but also that if you haven't seen him, you'll imagine him best if you picture him as a genteel, soft-mannered democrat. I think this is right. Mark Shields (a democrat--and one of the greatest!) at the Newshour, has said much the same.
God speed to Michelle. I like her, and am rooting for her and her husband. But THERE IS RIGHTNESS in David's wariness of her "guns," and WRONGNESS in many people's praise/defense of them. Some sense of why the latter might be the case is in how it (i.e., people's praise/defense of them) moved nightbloom to mock and set up for vitriole, "hissy" and "tizzy," North East pussies. A nation in step will march right over their tender little feelings, and perhaps of others similarly in possession of a more -- to use nightbloom's terms -- "feminine persuasion." I'll leave it to your imagination to picture who they might possibly be. But if you hear of anyone described so they seem anything other than manly and spartan, know that they too might be being shaped so they seem unworthy of sympathy, and hope that they deserve no more than that.
The history of such goes a long way back (my first sense of it in American history is when the men-of-letters first greeted the ascent of the first non-gentry President, General Andrew Jackson), and there is an awful lot that isn't good about it. There is a lot there that is just about class, and I understand when people then go out of their way to defend the up-and-comer from snide, belittling comments, as you have done. Still, sometimes, and maybe all the time, the resistance isn't fairly dismissed as just about keeping "proper" heirarchies in place: newcomers often get in when the country is more in the mood for a no-nonsense, general's leadership. It happened with Jackson, it happened with Reagan. Important to note, too: it can also happen when the country is finally on to something truly good: witness Jimmy Carter.
Like you, I find Michelle radiant and beautiful. She has her own style, and isn't being asked to "adjust" it, as Hillary Clinton regrettably had to do to settle down public anxieties, and likely wouldn't do so, anyway. But my sense of pretty much all who are spending lots of time toning their muscles these days, is that their ultimate fitness is not co-sympathetic to those whose leisured take on life has earned them muscles somewhat less taut. Michelle is ready for a fight, and like Batman, she will be stunningly smart in motion. But I want to hear from the David Brooks of the world too, but since they do kind of suffer from anasthenia, they can be shut-down if conversations come with too much thunder and lightning.
I am sorry if I misrepresented/misunderstood you, nightbloom. I certainly suggested you were worry-worthy, which wasn't all that nice, and given your respectful response, more than likely, unfair. I aim to slow down and attend to you with consideration and imagination, in future. This may be obvious, but I do have sympathies for the gentry crowd that -- Edith Wharton-like -- is so often the subject both of our scorn and admiration. In some, I have found their soft manners TRULY all about well-attendence, mutual respect. And I speak now on their behalf because they're worthy, and sure to be in need it.