In David Brooks latest he explains the good news, that Hard Times are making Americans into a grimly moral and introspective people given to thrift and self-denial as opposed to the frivolous life embracing people we once were who ran up our national credit cards on flatscreens, the latest doodads from Apple, and the occasional big night out splurging on a foreign war or two. And sure those guys that the damn dirty hippies are protesting against are bad actors in this drama, but really good common salt-of-the-earth Americans should be tending to their own gardens and maybe those bad guys will learn a thing or two and be shamed into not being enormous greedheads.
I’m sure Brooks actually believes that.
But tucked away in his column is a little nugget that should be cause for concern for all Americans. I speak, of course, of The Boner Gap:
While the cameras surround the flamboyant fringes, the rest of the country is on a different mission. Quietly and untelegenically, Americans are trying to repair their economic values.
This project begins with the pessimism and anger you see in the protest movements. Seventy percent of Americans now say their country is in decline, according to various polls. When people are gloomy they have fewer babies, and, sure enough, fertility rates have dropped sharply, with the most dramatic plunges occurring in the hardest hit states, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Yes, when people are having sex at all, it’s sad sex and not the kind of sad cringing weeping sex that Marcus Bachmann has with his “wife” in order to keep up appearances. No, America has become flaccid and desultory; a nation that once said “Yes, we can!” now says “I have to get up early and stand in line for government cheese and, besides, Tim Allen is on Leno…”.
Sad. So very very sad.
On the bright side this is an excellent opening for a third party that can say to The Right: “Barack Obama has stolen your great throbbing Red White and Blue manhood” and to The Left: “Barack Obama is forcing you to take Viagra in order to enrich Big Pharma.” Sound ridiculous?
Third parties have formed over smaller things than this. And not yours, yours is perfectly… average.