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David Brooks slams Hillary Clinton for lacking imagination: "This country's seriously off course — a little imagination is in order"

Clinton needs to offer "something inspiring and audacious" if she wants to win the White House


Scott Eric Kaufman
May 6, 2016 4:16PM (UTC)

In his Friday New York Times column, David Brooks argued that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton "sounds like a normal Democratic candidate in the noble tradition of Edmund Muskie and Hubert Humphrey, but she doesn’t sound like an imaginative candidate who is responding with fresh eyes to situations today."

He was referring to a speech she gave in West Virginia in which she promised coal miners job retraining and tax credits to compensate for any positions lost as the coal industry slowly shutters itself. But that wasn't enough for Brooks, who thinks she should have addressed the epidemics of loneliness, broken hearts and opioid addiction:

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A daring approach might have been to use the speech to propose a comprehensive drug addiction and mental health agenda. That would have grabbed the attention of all those Americans whose families are touched by addiction and mental health issues — which is basically everybody. A more imaginative approach might have been to unfurl a vision to reweave social fabric, the way David Cameron has in Britain. In areas of concentrated poverty, everything is connected to everything else — job loss, family structure, alcoholism, domestic violence, neighborliness. It would be nice if America, too, had creative politicians who could put together a comprehensive agenda that nurtures social connection...

Read the rest at the New York Times...


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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David Brooks Elections 2016 Hillary Clinton West Virginia

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