Brooks' blarney

EDITOR: When columnist David Brooks is in his flowery mode, he's fun to read even if my blarney meter shades into the red zone. Brooks says that "America has prospered because we have a decentralizing genius" ("Obama overlooks another side of progress," Wednesday). I don't entirely disagree, except that I believe a wide range of opinions, experiences and backgrounds has played a crucial role in the dynamic development of our country.

Later, he said our "greatest innovations . . . were unforeseen by those at the national headquarters." Actually, recent books have shown that radar, electronics, computers and many other innovations were often facilitated by the federal government. In truth, history shows we get our biggest jumps when both government and business are involved.

Finally, Brooks says we have "one party that talks the language of government and one that talks the language of the market." If Brooks wants one word for Republicans, fine. But I believe the relevant language of Democrats, as recent elections have made clear, is fairness, diversity and livable wages. That's only four words, hardly enough to cover the issues of our times, but apparently straight talking even that basic is enough to encourage Brooks' flowery digressions.


Santa Rosa