Here's a great interview with a friend whom I also greatly admire as a writer and thinker: Jon Rauch. This exchange helps explain why he's been on my favorites' list for a very long time:
Reason: Let's talk about your politics. At various points, you've described yourself as libertarianish but not libertarian. A few years back in an essay for reason, you called yourself "a soft communitarian." How do identify yourself or characterize yourself politically and how does that guide or affect or influence or get in the way of your work?
Rauch: Well, it doesn't get in the way because I spend no time thinking about how I categorize myself politically. I don't even bother.
Reason: Isn't that strange in your line of work? Most people in your position have a political identity which is not only fully articulated but is very central to who they are.
Rauch: Now, that's strange. Why would anyone want a political identity? I understand an ethnic identity, a cultural identity, a [sexual] identity, but why would anyone want a political identity?
Reason: As the editor of political magazine--of a libertarian magazine--I have no fucking idea why anyone would want such a thing.
Rauch: I hope that was on the record. Put that in there. I'm completely mystified by the mindset that judges one's moral character in life by how well you fit in some political party or other. It makes no sense to me at all.
Reason: Many people would say that it is part of a cultural identity--of being on a certain team, or being a certain type of person.
Rauch: I think that's right. There is the team aspect and there is also the member of the club aspect.
Reason: Do you vote?
Rauch: Oh, yeah.
Reason: Do you vote Democratic or Republican? Do you vote on candidate-by-candidate basis or something like that?
Rauch: I don't tell my vote, my specific vote, but over time, my votes have been pretty much esoteric, like my writing. I feel very much emotionally like part of the marginalized middle. That isn't to say that all my views are wishy-washy and that I'm halfway between Republicans and Democrats, but I do feel myself to be one of these independent voters who is kind of left behind by a political system biased in favor of people who fit into neat boxes and have extreme views. And I vote like an independent.
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