I borrowed the post title from a long-ago P. J. O'Rourke speech that has all manner of good stuff in it.

It's relevant today in view of what might be Mrs Clinton's latest attempt to resurrect the New Deal or the Great Society or whatever flag the Fatal Conceit flies under these days.  We are stronger together.  Yeah, that's as patriotic as the Join or Die snake flag; it's also as scary as the symbol on the reverse of the Liberty dime.

The slogan, however, is part of the Cult of the Presidency.  Professor Althouse doesn't say so explicitly.  And yet.  "And that's the problem with a leader or would-be leader using togetherness. We're supposed to get together into the obedient mass that can be ruled over by this power seeker."

Scott Adams sees more promise in Make America Great Again.
No one wakes up with a passion to pursue togetherness. Half of the country is comprised of introverts, loners, and competitive a-holes. Those folks want less togetherness, even if they mean it in an entirely different way.
Then comes David Brooks, suggesting that Mrs Clinton is a poor role model for togetherness.
Clinton’s unpopularity is akin to the unpopularity of a workaholic. Workaholism is a form of emotional self-estrangement. Workaholics are so consumed by their professional activities that their feelings don’t inform their most fundamental decisions. The professional role comes to dominate the personality and encroaches on the normal intimacies of the soul. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones once put it, whole cemeteries could be filled with the sad tombstone: “Born a man, died a doctor.”

At least in her public persona, Clinton gives off an exclusively professional vibe: industrious, calculated, goal-oriented, distrustful. It’s hard from the outside to have a sense of her as a person; she is a role.
There's more to it than that. There are people who might have the focus of a workaholic who nevertheless enjoy what they're doing.  I have yet to see Mrs Clinton, even after a primary victory, looking like she's enjoying herself.  There's always one more applause line to shout over.  Mr Trump, for all his inexperience, and for his bad improv, at least seems to be having fun.  That might be worth the margin of error in the poll.

Mr Brooks also suggests that it's useful, even for happy warriors, to seek balance in all things.
Most Americans feel more vivid and alive outside the work experience than within. So of course to many she seems Machiavellian, crafty, power-oriented, untrustworthy.

There’s a larger lesson here, especially for people who have found a career and vocation that feels fulfilling. Even a socially good vocation can swallow you up and make you lose a sense of your own voice. Maybe it’s doubly important that people with fulfilling vocations develop, and be seen to develop, sanctuaries outside them: in play, solitude, family, faith, hobbies and leisure.
Buy your advisor a train set.

No comments: