Monday, January 30, 2012

A "Times" Pick

A couple of weeks ago my comment to a David Brooks column entitled "Where Are the Liberals?" was selected as an NYT Pick, which will both delight and perturb my parents. Risk the column at your discretion. Here's my comment, which strikes me now, a couple of weeks later, as oddly non sequitur:
     The best answer is most likely the simplest: we're getting older. And as people get older, they tend to become more conservative. Not because conservatism is correct about the world, but because change frightens us as we age: now past 40, I find myself increasingly resenting a world I no longer recognize, and yearning for the world of my youth.
     Yes, I'm keenly aware that contemporary American conservatism is a moral and philosophical catastrophe. But I feel the allure of conservatism's moralistic resentment, the comforts of its pervasive racism, the decisiveness of its flagged-up militarism. Getting older now, and feeling myself to be increasingly irrelevant, I wonder, for the first time in many years, if I don't want a Romney to lead me—an anachronistic, pseudo-religious greedmonger: a man like me, who will watch out for what little power I still retain.
     I can only imagine how the baby-boomers must feel. The world they knew is gone. Conservatism promises to bring it back. It's a tedious, destructive fantasy, grotesque with injustice. But who among us doesn't understand its appeal?

1 comment:

  1. I found your blog a year or two ago due to another comment you made in the NYT (I believe it was a David Brooks column). Since then, I've found that I overwhelming agree with your outlook on life, sports, and politics. Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts.

    Btw, the comment may be non sequitur, but the absurdity of our current environment almost requires such logic. At some point we will have to bridge the gap that exists between "liberals" and "conservatives". By acknowledging the appeal of such thoughts, and by extension eventually acknowledging the good in our ideological opponents, we may find ways of working together while still disagreeing.