Even Liberals--here, Matthew Iglesias--can sometimes have a good idea. I like his diagnosis and I'm pretty convinced his solution is something that should at least be tried.
The United States of America has become a country with low and falling levels of social trust. This is in some ways a rational response to elite failures, in some ways an inevitable consequence of the public becoming better educated, in some ways an unavoidable side effect of better information technology, and in some ways a deplorable thing that we should try to reverse.
But something I’ve become increasingly convinced of is that policymakers need to acknowledge that it’s a real feature of the landscape and adjust their decision-making accordingly.
In particular, they need to adjust it in an appropriate way. A very large share of the people involved in politics and government are lawyers, and their lawyerly instinct about the problem seems to be that you need to layer on more layers of process. If people are worried about the discretionary use of power, you need to make sure the decision-makers go through an elaborate compliance checklist. But as Princess Leia tried to explain to Grand Moff Tarkin, “the more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”