Are Libertarian Friends the Key to Fixing American Democracy?



Jessica Hische/Washington Post

Bursting your personal political bubble is important, but hard. It's so annoying to talk to people who totally disagree with you, amirite? Today in a forum on fixing democracy in The Washington Post Magazine, I argue that libertarians are the gateway drug to transpartisan understanding:

On the left and finding that Trump fans turn your stomach? Consider chatting with someone who will give you a hearty amen when you grouse about his immigration restrictionism and warmongering over a craft cocktail or a joint, but can still offer some insight into why a sane person might think environmental regulatory rollback or Social Security privatization is a good idea.

On the right and struggling to figure out how you'd connect with a blue-haired Occupy Wall Streeter? Find a libertarian: We'll grab some burgers and cigars. We can talk about repealing Obamacare and cutting taxes before easing into a conversation about why it might be time to seriously consider reforming our criminal justice system.

Innovative solution for repairing America's broken civic institutions, or shameless bid to make new friends? You decide.

Read the whole forum here, including entries from Kareen Abdul-Jabbar, Yuval Levin, George Takei, and more. Of particular note, ProPublica's Alec MacGillis, who very sensibly suggests allowing garage rental units, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, who likes instant-runoff voting.