David Brooks, Republican Party, New York Times discussed on The Diane Rehm Show

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

And. Hi it. Diane on my mind is Friday a conversation with David Brooks. You know, him from his poetical analysis in the pages of the New York Times and the weekly appearances on NPR and the PBS news hour, but despite continued professional success a few years ago Brooks found himself in a dark place in his personal life. Marriage of many years had fallen apart. His Republican party was moving away from him is moment of personal crisis. He turned his attention to the question of how to lead a good life. His conclusion our country has become far to focus on the individual. The result is his new book the second mountain a quest for a moral life. I spoke with David Brooks on Wednesday. David Brooks it so good to see you again. Good to see again. It's been many decades we've been there. I know this book seems to come from a very personal place. As specially in. It's small bit obsessed disclosure, which I gather you had not intended to do an issue. No, I did not I was gonna write a book about the state of our society and about the failure of our relationships, and our failure to be kind to each other. And I gave the first draft to a researcher who's student, you soup, Pennsylvania. And she said you have to put yourself in the book, and I said if you're going to write about relationship invulnerability will maybe you have to talk about your relationships and offer little vulnerability, and I'd gone through hard time in two thousand thirteen my marriage ended in my kids had moved away. And I lost a lot of friends in the conservative movement because I'm not the kind of conservative that is popular now. And so. I was lonely and I went through a valley. And so I felt I had to describe that because we're going through something of a national valley evaluation. And I've spent six years thinking had he get outta valley. Howdy renew yourself morally, and so at applied to personally, but I also thought it applied to me nationally. You're talking about the Republican party end. It's conservatism the days how it my mentor when I was a young man was William Buckley. He came to the Chicago where I was he gave a speech, and I had written. This really mean parody about him. And at the end of his speech. He said David Brooks. If you're in the audience, I'm gonna give you a job he liked what I written about him. And that was the big break in my life and three years later. I call them up and say, hey, is that offer still open? And so for eighteen months, I was his surrogate son, he took me to concerts. He took me sailing introduced me to life of that. He had a life of luxury never imagined never confronted before. But it was very kind to me. And it was a conservatism that was about respect for tradition. Respect for wisdom and change should be constant, but it should be cautious. And that to me is real conservatism. Now, we have reactionary ISM and though respect for tradition. No respect for intelligent respect for expertise. No respect for moral values. And so I can't be part of what is called conservatism. Now tangle this that does second mountain describe press the first and second out a lot of us get at a school, and our egos released driving us we want to have a good job. We want to be well thought of we want to be admired. And then something happens sometimes you achieve success and you find it's not as satisfying as thought sometimes you fail, and you're not on your first mount anymore. Sometimes something happens that wasn't part of the original plan. You have a cancer scare or elusive child. And they make the desires of the ego seem very small, and you have a tragedy like that. And so you're down in the valley and in the valley, some people get broken by the valley, they turned bitter and hostile resentful some people get broken open. They turn more vulnerable. They they see deep into themselves and they see deeper into themselves than they ever saw before. And then when they see into their depths, they realized that only spiritual and emotional food will fill those steps and they operate not out of the ego. But out of the heart, which is a desire for love for another and out of the sole desire to serve some transcendent. Good, and when they make those realizations they're ready for of larger climb, and that's the second mound, and how do you fit into that second mountain? How does your life translate to that second now while in twenty thirteen I went through a bad period. And I realized I was over working. I was valuing time over people trying to be productive, and I live in an apartment about a mile from where we're sitting right now, and hey divorce after divorce, and no I was just working. So if you went to my kitchen, you open the drawers instead of silverware in that drawer. There was posted notes instead of plates. There was just stationary. I was just working and I re-. Realized I was misleading my life. I'd been sucked into the things our culture encourages us to believe that career success can make you feel fulfilled or I can make myself happy on my own. And so that occurred the a really a lot of looking at myself, and how it misled my life, and what a real life should look like. And then one thing I think is true as you have to get larger as incense you can't solve your problems at the same level of consciousness that which you created them you have to get a bigger consciousness. So what is getting larger me, David? It is getting out

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