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Thin-Sliced Narrative Baloney

Every columnist has a housekeeping day occasionally

Posted in 2020 elections, US politics Tagged with: , ,

Hard-working David Brooks, of The New York Times, is no exception.  Last week Brooks offered nine, count-em, nine grand narratives packed into a single 866-word column, the material currently on his desktop cleaned up and put away, presumably, in order to get ready for another week. Four of these sources of identity were from a “superbly clarifying speech” by George Packer, author of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America. Not four, mind you, but the four.  Depending on who doing the telling, Packer said, the American story is to be understood as fundamentally libertarian (“free markets and