Useless Without The Conversation

One thing to say about this David Brooks column: What separates constructive pundits from destructive ones is often mere investment in the idea that intellectually honest exchanges can bear fruit, and that error in oneself can be usefully corrected by others. That's certainly the aspiration here: you help me - through error and insight - to get closer to the truth sooner than if I were trying to understand the world alone.

The competing approach is to regard the whole of public discourse as a zero sum game where each side is meant to seize whatever ground is immediately before it that day. Increasingly, I think this is the core divide in our politics - not left or right, but open or closed. Both sides bear some fault for this, but in my view, the right is in a class of its own. It has become not just closed but hermetically shut.

And bitter. So bitter.