David Brooks has a story to tell you.
His New York Times op-ed, yesterday, “The Danger of Single Story,” builds on a good premise: “each individual life contains a heterogeneous compilation of stories. If you reduce people to one, you’re taking away their humanity.”
Brooks puts a political edge on what otherwise might sound like a lesson in manners with his next sentence: “American politics has always been prone to single storyism — candidates reducing complex issues to simple fables. This year the problem is acute because Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the giants of Single Storyism.”
Brooks then asserts that Trump and Sanders share a similar story that they beat to death, “the alien invader story.”
You can see how it applies to Trump, a staunch opponent of illegal immigration. Aliens invade!
But Brooks recognizes that Sanders’s story is about “the evil entity called ‘the banks.’” Not exactly alien. This menace is home-grown.
Then our pundit moves on to issues not in the single-story vein of Trump and Sanders, and how what seem to be opposite stories (incarceration prevents crime; too much incarceration is a moral horror) can both be true.
Crime is low right now, but Brooks devotes most of this putative paean to multiple crime stories. The third Bernie story he takes a bite of, the $15 minimum wage, belies the Single Storyism charge. That is, the point of his essay.
Way to go, sophisticate.
He also draws a complete non sequitur: “Raising the minimum wage to $15 may make sense in rich areas.” Nothing he wrote gives any credibility to that. At best the hike would do nothing.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
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