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Igniting An East-West Globalizing Dialogue

On Social Conservatives: A Response to David Brooks

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In “The Next Culture War,” David Brooks extols social conservatives as the (exclusive) group capable to “…help reweave the sinews of society” because they are “…equipped with a vocabulary to distinguish right from wrong, what dignifies and what demeans” and who already “…in private, tithe to the poor and nurture the lonely” (David Brooks, “The Next Culture War,” The New York Times, 30 June 2015).  Specifically identifying “vocabulary”, Brooks would be well reminded that values are not a byproduct of etymology or even semiology.  Furthermore, application and discernment of said values is not the task of nomenclatura.

Brooks concludes his column by directing our attention to “…repair a society rendered atomized, unforgiving and inhospitable” through a concerted focus on the “…love, dignity, commitment, communion and grace” that social conservatives exhibit.  While he might be right in conferring upon social conservatives the sole ability to “reweave” and “repair” society, his choice is (unnecessarily) rather narrow.  He could (accurately) broaden the principals to a global horizon across all ‘types’.

By pinpointing one group as the ultimate answer and panacea to society’s ills, Brooks might just be placing undue weight upon that group’s shoulders.  After all, why should it be the sole task of social conservatives to fix what it has taken all groups – across type – to destroy?  Furthermore, why pin it down to a specific (socio-political) type, anyway?

Against a pervasive ill, why narrow the cure to one answer at the exclusion of the multitude of all possible existing, potential – and equally, if not more – effective answers?

While it might be a positive and effective step to shift society’s panacea away from religion and faith towards a secular arena, Brooks’ landing point falls short.  It is not that social conservatives are not up to the task but rather, that they are not the sole exclusive ones to be called upon to do so.  Instead, it is the task of all individuals – across social, political, economic ‘type’ and across time, space, and geography – who must address the ills with a boldness and unwavering spirit towards a solution in order for any meaningful change to succeed.  And it takes innovation, creativity, and empowerment from self-realized potentiality to make that success last.

Now, more than ever, the time is upon us all: Infinite Creative Potentiality and the dawn of the Transcendent Era.

–JY

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