I have a conservative friend who I often take hikes with on weekends and occasionally stop at a bar, or two, along the way.
We discuss politics a bit en route, but when we do he often shuts up and I notice a subtle Cheshire cat grin emerge, implying he doesn’t agree but doesn’t want to argue about it. It seems to me that if he and I can’t have good political discussions, I wonder who can….that is, can have discussions with those who differ fundamentally on various issues.
I keep trying to find a common ground opinion maker to read and discuss, people who consider themselves conservative, but these days tend to be seen by their party as RINOs – Republican In Name Only, just in case you aren’t familiar with the term.
In contrast, I like to think of them as C. C.’s, Conversational Conservatives, those I imagine being able to have good conversations with, columnists and/or bloggers like David Brooks, Kathleen Parker, and Josh Barro.
However, none of them suit my friend enough to read more than a paragraph or two, so I asked for a suggestion and he came up with Megan McArdle. I vaguely recalled reading something by her that seemed thoughtful, so I did some investigating and found, among other things, she has a blog and in reading a few of her posts I was impressed.
McCardle seems a moderate libertarian, more thoughtful than ideological. In fact, she seems as comfortable in criticizing Senator Rand Paul as she does President Obama. My friend tells me that David Brooks called her the most influential conservative blogger of 2012, which to me is another feather in her cap.
And most importantly, I hope she opens up some better discussions with my conservative friend who I don’t think will read this post unless I ask him to. I have added her to my Blogroll (to the upper left). She will replace the Nate Silver 538Blog, which has become dormant (as far as I can tell) as he seems to be in the process of establishing his own web site separate from its previous home at the NY Times.
Wikipedia has plenty about her if you want more on her background.
If you haven’t checked out the other blogs on my Blogroll, you might find them interesting, too. Actually, with the loss of Silver (a liberal but a researcher not an advocate) and the addition of McArdle, there is now a preponderance of right leaning views on my Blogroll, which I think of as a counterbalance to my left leaning biases.