The always thoughtful and thought-provoking, David Brooks describes what he sees as a kind of "happiness gap"--not between but within American voters. He argues that the successful candidate will address this with what he calls, "a gimlet-eyed federalism — strong government with sharply defined tasks." While I agree with his perception of cynicism in many voters, I think I still disagree with his assessment that "voters are not interested in uplift" or inspiration. People are always interested in that--even when they say they’re not. In fact, their omnipresent interest in inspiration is probably what causes them to say that they’re not interested in it. To use a psycho-babble (but I think true) term--it is a "defensive mechanism." They’ve been so disappointed in the past that they simply can’t believe they’ll get real inspiration, so they pretend they don’t really want it so as to avoid the disappointment. But Brooks is probably right to suggest that the current crop of candidates avoid playing that card as it doesn’t seem that any of them is good enough to quite pull it off. See what you think.