His moderate conservatism--a synthesis of conservative giant Edmund Burke and Ur-centralizer Alexander Hamilton that has earned him the label of "liberals' favorite conservative"--may be anomalous, but it allows him a kind of freedom that other, more partisan pundits lack. He's a party of one, without followers. This is Brooks's central paradox: He's both the essential columnist of the moment, better than anyone at crystallizing the questions we face--ones for which there are often no good answers--and also, somehow, totally out of step.
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