THE COMMUNITARIAN CHALLENGE….Perhaps I should have stuck to my original plan, which was to recommend this Noam Scheiber column on “an emerging Democratic split between social libertarians, who emphasize privacy,” and what he calls “communitarians.” (Small disclaimer: Noam Scheiber is not just a writer I admire, but also my boyfriend.)

What Noam outlines is a better-articulated version of what I tried to communicate via a few tossed-off blog posts: The common good, the idea that members of a society have shared interests (including moral interests), is not a concept owned by conservatives. Liberals can–and should–disagree with both the diagnoses and prescriptions that conservative have offered for what they say ails our society. But that shouldn’t prevent them from putting forward ideas of their own based on the belief that we have some obligations to each other. We already do that in the areas of economics and health care and the environment. It’s just time to expand the lens a little more.

Read the whole thing.

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Amy Sullivan is a Chicago-based journalist who has written about religion, politics, and culture as a senior editor for Time, National Journal, and Yahoo. She was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 2004 to 2006.