Many disagreements in politics and public policy come down to differences in “fundamental principles and priorities,” according to Andy Smarick, senior fellow at Manhattan Institute. That is a natural feature, not a flaw, of America’s civic fabric. “It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about tax policy, school choice, welfare programs, the Second Amendment, trade, or something else – people will see such debates as reflections of values they hold dear. This isn’t a problem. This is what it means to live in liberty and to be able to self-govern.”
The problem, he argues in a recent American Purpose essay, is not our disagreements. Rather, it’s how “today’s political discourse is misleading us about our state of affairs, making us believe that things are far worse than in fact they are.”
“The people leading our public discussions need to better understand and reflect public service in America,” concludes Andy. In our Q&A with Smarick about his essay, he offers various additional prescriptions for our civic problems.
Photo by franckreporter/iStock