David Brooks -- who is currently traveling in Cuba with a number of artists as part of President Obama's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities -- took time out from penning condescending columns about liberals' shortcomings to celebrate the work of 19th Century Cuban poet José Martí -- sort of.
"It’s hard to be too optimistic about Cuba’s short-term future," he wrote. "The leaders are trying to square the mother of all circles -- to have a rich society but without rich people; to have an entrepreneurial class but without losing the egalitarian solidarity; to have revolutionary socialism and also outside investment and growth, risk-taking and enterprise."
However, they do have Martí, "who told Cubans who they were and what their story was." This is something, he continued, that
[e]very nation needs to know -- who it is and what its collective story is. I wonder if the current U.S. malaise has something to do with the way we have lost touch with our own national poets, or even a common sense of who they might be...