What constitutes leadership? When one is designated a "leader," what are the particular obligations of leadership? How are these responsibilities expressed in ethical terms? Does ethical leadership imply social responsibility? Is leadership different age to age?
In Chautauqua Institution's annual Applied Ethics exploration, David Brooks examines leadership from the points of view of business and politics, education and sports, from those who make headlines and from those who lead by following.
David Brooks has been an op-ed columnist for The New York Times since 2003. Previously, he was an editor at The Wall Street Journal, a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, and a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Atlantic. Currently a commentator on PBS’s “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” Brooks is also the author, most recently, of The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character. His earlier books are Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There and On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense. He has contributed essays and articles to many publications, including The New Yorker, Forbes, The Public Interest, The New Republic, and Commentary. He is a frequent commentator on NPR, CNN’s “Late Edition,” and “The Diane Rehm Show.”
Collection, preparation, and distribution of news and related commentary and feature materials through media such as pamphlets, newsletters, newspapers, magazines, radio, film, television, and books. The term was originally applied to the reportage of current events in printed form, specifically newspapers, but in the late 20th century it came to include electronic media as well. It is sometimes used to refer to writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation. Colleges and universities confer degrees in journalism and sponsor research in related fields such as media studies and journalism ethics.
David Brooks of course should be expected to take this position. I can imagine however that there are many who can argue that Obama has gone too slow, has not swung for the fences, that has not been aggressive enough. This is soft impressionist rhetoric that doesn't really help us much. To rely on public opinion polls for wisdom about politics is not only foolish but it smacks of much ignorance of the way public opinion works and how the public is polled. The questions almost demand a given answer. So I think Brooks is true to form as a opponent of Democratic leadership.