Lisa Miller smartly argues that polarization and gridlock may be worsened because most politicians no longer live or socialize in the District with their families:

Real legislatingthe compromises and dealmaking that distinguish politics from posturinghappens only among people who know and respect each other. Family life has always been crucial to that chemistry. During Lyndon Johnson's presidency, first lady historian Carl Anthony points out, gritty negotiations with congressional Republicans, led by Gerald Ford, were often smoothed over by Lady Bird Johnson and Betty Ford, cultivated during long years as congressional wives.

And actually knowing human beings tends to guard against demonizing them.

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