Here’s a letter to the New York Times:
Calling for a “national greatness agenda,” David Brooks writes that “It will take a revived patriotism to lift people out of their partisan cliques. How can you love your country if you hate the other half of it?” (“National Greatness Agenda ,” Nov. 12).
One half of America doesn’t hate the other half. Americans cooperate in countless polite ways with each other every day. I just bought gasoline from an American-owned station near my home; I have no knowledge of the owner’s politics and he none of mine. And neither of us cares, for our interest in a successful commercial transaction is mutual. Ditto for everyone else who buys or sells gasoline – and groceries and clothing and restaurant meals and nights at B&Bs and copies of the New York Times and on and on and on. Americans get along peacefully and productively with each other every moment of the day in ways too many to list.
The only place the hatred mentioned by Mr. Brooks consistently arises is in the political arena, for it’s there that Jones takes from Smith and Smith tries to protect himself from Jones. In that setting, both persons naturally oppose, curse, and hate the other. This hatred will only intensify the more our lives are politicized, whether by ‘Progressives’ or by ‘national-greatness’ conservatives.
Donald J. Boudreaux