The Venn Diagram Is Useless!

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?

6 thoughts on “The Venn Diagram Is Useless!

  1. betsy

    the point at which i lost any further desire to work towards consensus with libertarians (and this is from a woman who used to consider herself a libertarian, mind you) is when one of them explained to me about how people shouldn’t be forced to buy health insurance.


  2. The Princess

    This post could also have been called “Why I’m Glad I Divorced My Libertarian Ex-Husband.”

    (I can say this safely because he told me he doesn’t read anything online unless it’s about computer games, which I would only discuss if guaranteed that it would increase vaccination rates or something equally good.)

  3. JPed

    Pretty certain even Socrates’s audience used benches, or at least sat on building steps while S held forth. So 2400 years is not far enough.

    Which libertarian is going to go far enough to say that money is an oppressive symbol which is forced upon us by a society bend on turning us into cogs for the great machine of Finance? That is to say, who is going to be so libertarian they’re Neo-Marxist? BTW, I’m certain that the new $20 bill is a plot to get us used to multi-colored money in preparation for joining the EU. Can you tell I’ve had too much coffee this morning?

  4. The Princess

    JPed, remind me to use body language or tone of voice tags in my comments in the future – it was supposed to be affectionate based on the 17 years or whatever it is that we’ve known each other. You’re not always like this. Often you’re calm and wise rather than hyper and wise.

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