In the seventh paragraph of David Brooks’ latest New York Times column, titled, “To Be Happy, Marriage Matters More Than Career,” he confesses, “As I confront young adults who think this way [not prioritizing marriage], I am seized by an unfortunate urge to sermonize.” Since Brooks has already been sermonizing for six previous paragraphs, you might think this is the turning point, the place where he will exert some sociological imagination and curtail his unfortunate urge to sermonize. You might think that if you’ve never read anything by Brooks, anyway. Of course, he continues right on sermonizing in the exact same vein n which he started off.
Brooks lectures about the importance of marriage with all the sanctimony you’d expect of a man who, a couple years after divorcing his wife of decades, fell rapturously in love with a woman 23 years younger than himself and remarried. But it’s more than that. He’s also a financially comfortable if not downright wealthy older man lecturing young adults about how to respond to their generation’s financial precarity.
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