David Brooks demands more feminine niceness from Clinton

I’ve never been able to figure out how David Brooks ever got to be David Brooks. He’s so staggeringly conventional and mediocre and empty – what does anyone see in him?

Upholding his record of conventionality and mediocrity, he did an opinion piece for the Times on Friday musing on why Hillary Clinton isn’t “gracious” enough for his taste, and how important it is to be “gracious,” and how might Hillary Clinton become “gracious” enough for him.

Hillary Clinton is nothing if not experienced. Her ship is running smoothly, and yet as her reaction to the email scandal shows once again, there’s often a whiff of inhumanity about her campaign that inspires distrust.

So I’ve been thinking that it’s not enough to be experienced. The people in public life we really admire turn experience into graciousness.

Those people, I think, see their years as humbling agents. They see that, more often than not, the events in our lives are perfectly designed to lay bare our chronic weaknesses and expose some great whopping new ones.

Sooner or later life teaches you that you’re not the center of the universe, nor quite as talented or good as you thought.

Or at least…it does if you’re a woman. Because let’s face it, women are not the center of the universe – men are – and they are of course never as talented or as good as they think, because after all, they’re women. Women aren’t talented or good. It’s just so irritating when they swan around thinking they’re qualified to do a big job, when obviously only men are qualified to do that. It’s a good thing we have talented good genius men like David Brooks to take those women down a peg or two or six or a squillion.

People who are gracious also understand the accuracy of John Keats’s observation that “Nothing ever becomes real ’til it is experienced.” You can learn some truth out of a book or from the mouth of a friend, but somehow wisdom is not lodged inside until its truth has been engraved by some moment of humiliation, delight, disappointment, joy or some other firsthand emotion.

Especially humiliation, right? Bring on the humiliation! Let’s see Hillary Clinton humiliated a lot, starting right now. She can’t be gracious or dainty or sweet enough until she’s been humiliated a few thousand times. I can sense David Brooks’s excitement at the prospect from here.

Gracious people are humble enough to observe that the best things in life are usually undeserved — the way the pennies of love you invest in children get returned in dollars later on; the kindness of strangers; the rebirth that comes after a friend’s unexpected and overawing act of forgiveness.

Yup yup yup – Hillary Clinton needs to realize that she doesn’t deserve any of this – the bitch – she thinks she’s so great but really she’s just another useless woman.

It’s tough to surrender control, but like the rest of us, Hillary Clinton gets to decide what sort of leader she wants to be. America is desperate for a little uplift, for a leader who shows that she trusts her fellow citizens. It’s never too late to learn from experience.

If only everyone were as wise and generous with advice and sympathetic and just downright helpful as David Brooks.

23 Responses to “David Brooks demands more feminine niceness from Clinton”