The way I see it we can play life one of two ways: We can pretend like we know what the hell it is that we're saying and doing, or we can seek out experts who know what in the world they are talking about.
The following is depressing but true: If you truly want to understand something you basically have to have a PHD in said thing. The PHDs know what they're talking about (some of them), the rest of us are just passing the time. Popular conversation on any given subject is basically a joke; I try not to think about that too much because I wouldn't be able to get up in the morning if I was ever conscious of the fact.
That's a long way to run to make the only, simple point that I wanted to make:
David Brooks is an absolute genius, his genius is recognized by both left and right, and all of us should start spending more of our time listening to people like him and his ilk.