5 Best Tuesday Columns

Michael Knox Beran on the decline of civil society, Rebecca Traister on Bruce Springsteen's infidelity, and more

This article is from the archive of our partner .
  • David Brooks Gives Three Cheers for America  The New York Times columnist breaks from his gloomy political proclamations and puts forth a "great luscious orgy of optimism." Breaking down a number of social and demographic factors that forecast an "exceedingly bright" future for the U.S., Brooks argues America's proven capacity for "dynamism" and "disruptive change" will lead to an "age of social entrepreneurship" and a rise of thriving suburban hubs. "Surely a country with this much going for it is not going to wait around passively and let a rotten political culture drag it down," he writes.
  • Eugene Robinson on Invisible Black Suffering  The Washington Post columnist takes an unflinching look at the "desperate poverty and self-sustaining dysfunction" of D.C.'s black working class. A recent shooting in a poor Washington neighborhood has made headlines, but for Robinson, the real tragedies are systemic and ongoing: unemployment, broken schools, "dysfunctional families and a toxic peer-group culture." These problems are only getting worse, but "entrenched black poverty, with all its causes and implications, barely makes a ripple in the public debate these days."
  • Dennis Prager on the Erosion of American Values  Pointing to a Iowa town's decision to rename Good Friday "Spring Holiday," the National Review columnist launches a thunderous attack on political correctness, the ACLU, and the left. Positing there is a natural war between liberals and Christianity, Prager argues "the elimination of Good Friday as an American holiday is just one more such battle in this war." Arguing that "civil-rights organizations are not about civil right" but are about promoting leftist policies, Prager rounds out with a virtuoso finish.
"Like everything PC, the term itself hides its true meaning, which is leftism. Political Correctness is invariably produced by the Left. The term, therefore, should not be PC; it should be OTL, “Offends the Left.” It is very unfortunate for America that it isn’t. Americans would have much greater clarity as to the Second Civil War now taking place."
  • Rebecca Traister on Bruce Springsteen's Old-School Infidelity  Responding to allegations that rock icon Bruce Springsteen had an affair in 2005 with a New Jersey housewife, Salon's Rebecca Traister finds herself oddly charmed by the awkward, affectionate nature of the dalliance. "As far as I can tell, there were no Nazi outfits or salutes involved in this story," Traister writes. "No used tampons or violent text messages. No one's wife had terminal cancer, no one got a mistress pregnant." Traister admits that it would be wrong to "pretend that just because infidelity does not include car crashes or Nazi paraphernalia that it is not agonizing to the people it damages," but can't escape the feeling that Springsteen's behavior--without losing sight of the adultery aspect--appears to have been "practically chivalric."
  • Michael Knox Beran on the Decline of Civil Society  Writing at National Review, Beran, a contributing editor of City Journal, rejects the idea (espoused by Eugene Robinson, among others) that runaway anti-government sentiment is responsible for recent incidents of violence. Rather, Beran blames the erosion of "voluntary, spontaneous, and deeply traditional patterns of civil life." In our increasingly bureaucratized, mechanized, atomized world, he says, we're fast becoming " a sick, sleepless, and impotent people," alienated from each other and from our own better natures.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.