He says despite the birth of diversity in fields as diverse as banking, journalism and government, the disaffection is greater now than ever before.
Which makes him yearn for the Good Old Days, it seems, though he denies that is his point.
Here's his money quote: "Yet here’s the funny thing. As we’ve made our institutions more meritocratic, their public standing has plummeted. We’ve increased the diversity and talent level of people at the top of society, yet trust in elites has never been lower.
It’s not even clear that society is better led."
That last comment is clearly a call for return to the old ways.
You remember them. When banks caused the Great Depression, newspaper moguls started wars, and secret governments led by men like J. Edgar Hoover destroyed people's lives at will. A time when blacks were lynched and Asians interned and Presidents stood by, when some greedy corporations operated without any impediments and women were kept in their place and father knew best ?
"No Irish, Blacks. Ethnic or anyone not WASP need not apply signs" hung over almost every power position in society.
Ah yes, the Good Old Brooksian days.
John F. Kennedy ended most of that and Barack Obama finished it off. Ronald Reagan, son of an alcoholic and graduate of Eureka College, not Harvard, made it to the White House. Women, black, Hispanic, ethnic kids of all classes and creeds learned to believe they could make it anywhere, too.
Sure, it's messy, noisy and troublesome at times. Sure, there are times when we seem stuck in reverse and only able to inch forward at best. Yet we are better off, living longer and better cared-for than at any other time in the nation's history.
But guess what? We are closer to the spirit of the Founding Fathers than ever before. Men and women are not yet treated equally, but we are heading in the right direction, color of skin and ethnic class is no longer a total dividing line in out society.
We only have to look at the current occupant of the White House to see how far we have come. Brooks and his crackpot theories belong on the ash heap of history.
The Good Old Boys and their Good Old Days are gone forever.