Free Minds & Free Markets

Americans Can’t Stand Each Other, So Let’s Stop Forcing Our Preferences on One Another: New at Reason

If you want to avoid conflict among hostile groups, decentralize power—preferably to individuals.

Emilee Mcgovern/ZUMA Press/NewscomEmilee Mcgovern/ZUMA Press/Newscom

As a display of Americans' seemingly growing intolerance for one another, last week presented something of a perfect storm, writes J.D. Tuccille. The flash career of a prominent conservative writer at The Atlantic, the seeming endorsement by several tech executives of one-party rule, and President Trump attacking Amazon to punish The Washington Post for criticizing him provide the latest evidence that some Americans just don't play well together and should probably withdraw to separate corners.

But why, asks Tuccille, must so many people treat every political preference as a collective endeavor to be imposed on the unwilling? This country started as a federal system, on the premise that each state should be entitled to indulge in stupid political experiments without dragging in the neighbors.

We could devolve decisions down even further, Tuccille ads. More local governance would minimize the number of unwilling conscripts into potentially contentious policies. And who knows? If power is devolved far enough—to individuals, by preference—we might even come to see our divergent views as harmless eccentricities rather than existential threats.

Photo Credit: Emilee Mcgovern/ZUMA Press/Newscom


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