I’ve spent my life in career fields populated by bright folks, and you’ll forgive me if I count myself as being reasonably sharp as well. But of course, there are all sorts of intellects at any point on the spectrum. For example, some of my friends — and I’m thinking of two in particular — are far more elegant thinkers than I will ever be. Their minds are like scalpels or lasers, capable of fine, beautifully crafted thought. What I have is more like a really big hammer — not particularly useful for, say, brain surgery, but just dandy for getting things out of my way as I approach whatever destination I find. A brick wall may blunt a scalpel, but given less time, I have a fair chance of battering my way through it. And honestly, I find that I’m far more likely to encounter brick walls than the necessity for brain surgery. I’m not subtle — but I’ve found that usually, neither is a lot of life.
Not long ago, my Facebook feed was inundated by friends — mostly of the liberal persuasion — sharing a clip from fungal enthusiast Aaron Sorkin’s show The Newsroom, a show whose premise seems to be that what we really need is liberal media. The clip has been watched more than 6 million times on YouTube, so you may well have seen it, but just in case:
At NRO today, Charles C.W. Cooke (a Briton come to the U.S.) addresses the concept that the American cognoscenti have grown so focused on what they see as particular shortcomings that they smack into a brick wall, and this brings us to our QotD:
There is a pernicious school of thought in America that holds that the country cannot possibly be the “best in the world” because it is third in grain exports or seventh in state-run education or because the government doesn’t do exactly what one wishes that it would. This misses the point completely. The United States is paramount among nations because it is based on the best of values and because it is prepared to defend them for itself and for others with force.
What do you know? There’s an elegance in simplicity after all.
Thank you, Mr. Cooke — I’m glad you’re here.