I know that finding solutions to public problems means compromise.
I know that liberals like myself are too prone to spending money because it feels good to help people, and we probably need some more conservative folks around to make us prove that our projects will actually make things better.
What I don’t know is how I could ever be in the same room with Libertarians and work out a solution to children’s health, education, or practically anything else. A New York Times article on the Libertarian Free State Project contains the following quotes:
Ms. Casey advocates eliminating entitlements because “then you’d only attract immigrants who are hard-working people.” She said: “I radically oppose public education. It’s demeaning and it creates criminals.” And she says “the thing that hurts poor people is they don’t know how to think of themselves as rich.”
Mr. Somma doesn’t argue against public schools, but maintains that they get too much money, which is good only “if you have to have nice school buildings and computers and all that.” “Back in the day,” he said, “they didn’t need all that to teach kids. Back in the day, you were sitting around on rocks and listening to a guy talk.”
I would think these had been exaggerated, except we did have a Texas state rep this session who swore that free public education and health care were ideas generated by Communist Russia and Satan. (Yes, she said this in public. No, she wasn’t joking.)
Where is the common ground? If you’re a liberal, how do you work with these folks in a sincerely respectful way to build consensus on solutions? Or do you just have to outnumber them and ignore their input?
And while we’re at it, how far back do you go to find sitting on rocks as a common practice in education?