'Mostly, I was impressed that the British political system, both formal and informal, seems basically to work. In the US we can't agree on anything except ways to go deeper into debt. People in rival tribes barely talk to each other. But Britain seems to have a normal political culture--not Athenian democracy but basically functional. In this day and age, that's a wonder of the world.
People in London seemed less despairing than people in Washington, less obsessed with the prospect of national decline (maybe you got over that a few decades ago). I left rethinking my position on the American Revolution. Maybe not such a good idea. Maybe we let things get a little out of hand.'
David Brooks, Diary, The Spectator, 4 June 2011