If you have the time to slog through the hell of the above link, by all means, do.
It is David Brooks...on a horse. A horse in an ivory tower.
After declaiming the horrors of the downtrodden, the single mothers, the drunks and the dumb-dumbs, this is his fix:
But it’s increasingly clear that sympathy is not enough. It’s not only money and better policy that are missing in these circles; it’s norms. The health of society is primarily determined by the habits and virtues of its citizens. In many parts of America there are no minimally agreed upon standards for what it means to be a father. There are no basic codes and rules woven into daily life, which people can absorb unconsciously and follow automatically.
Reintroducing norms will require, first, a moral vocabulary. These norms weren’t destroyed because of people with bad values. They were destroyed by a plague of nonjudgmentalism, which refused to assert that one way of behaving was better than another. People got out of the habit of setting standards or understanding how they were set.
Next it will require holding people responsible. People born into the most chaotic situations can still be asked the same questions: Are you living for short-term pleasure or long-term good? Are you living for yourself or for your children? Do you have the freedom of self-control or are you in bondage to your desires?
Oh, David, eat my pussy, please. People in emotional distress will not be able to answer those questions. They are too busy trying to scrape together enough money to buy bad food at the local smelly market. The problems are so much larger than your virtuous fear. Yes, David, fear. You are afraid of all these people with their hellish lives. I am, too. All of us with access to kale and Wells Fargo bottomless checking do not want single mommy drunks to take over the planet. But your simple solution is simply moronic. And oddly racist. And narrow like a slit canyon.
Ask oneself questions, sure. Consciousness, certainly. Open one's eyes. Not a bad idea. But please...if one more person comes at me with their fundamentals, their cure, their rules-of-the-road-so-help-you-God, I am going to drop acid and run through the streets from Nanuet, New York to West Covina, California screaming, "xlhderiasdfhadfasdoifhasdfoasihfl#q5qew5i##&#^@@*!!!"
Then I'll write a column about it.