37 Jonathan Rauch Quotes on Public Policy, Culture and Economics

Jonathan Charles Rauch is an American author, journalist, activist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

He has written extensively on public policy, culture, economics and is a strong proponent of same-sex marriage and a critic of U.S. government policies, including those related to LGBTQ+ people.

Openly gay, he has also written about his experiences as an introvert and describes himself as an atheistic Jewish homosexual and a ‘radical incrementalist’, favoring revolutionary change over geological time scales.


He coined the term ‘demosclerosis’ to describe government’s progressive loss of adaptability.

He is critical of communism, utopianism, perfectionism and American atheists who seek to evangelize.

I have collected the most insightful quotes by Jonathan Rauch.

Top 10 Jonathan Rauch Quotes


Many actors, I’ve read, are introverts, and many introverts, when socializing, feel like actors. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


If money does not necessarily increase life satisfaction, what does? ~ Jonathan Rauch.


In science we kill our hypothesis instead of each other. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


Whether one likes this or that person is less important, finally, than whether one likes oneself with this or that person. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


Voyage set, there to be encountered by millions, one of whom was me. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


The only thing a true introvert dislikes more than talking about himself is repeating himself. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


Donald Trump didn’t cause chaos. Chaos caused Trump. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


In a liberal scientific society, to claim that you are above error is the height of irresponsibility. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


I’m okay, you’re okay – in small doses. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


To get people to compromise, you have to give them stuff. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

Famous Jonathan Rauch Quotes

Transactional politics is not always appropriate or effective, but a political system which is not reliably capable of it is a system in a state of critical failure. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


Parties and political systems used to be about excluding renegades who would never play well with others in government. Now it’s actually systematically screening them in. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

Are introverts arrogant? Hardly. I suppose this common misconception has to do with our being more intelligent, more reflective, more independent, more level-headed, more refined, and more sensitive than extroverts. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


People think that politics just somehow magically organizes itself. It doesn’t work that way. You need to assemble these huge coalitions of 535 politicians on Capitol Hill, and tens of thousands of interest groups, and tens of millions of voters, and assemble all those in government to get stuff done. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


How satisfied are you with your life? How does your life compare with the best possible life you could imagine for yourself? ~ Jonathan Rauch.

Fundamentalism – the intellectual style, not the religious movement – is the strong disinclination to take seriously the notion that you might be wrong. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

People don’t always understand their own true desires and feelings, and, even if they do, they might not give a straight answer. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

We started tearing down the seniority system on Capitol Hill. All of that begins in the ’70s. It accelerates and continues in the ’90s, and it’s going on to this day. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


The plural of “anecdote” is “data”. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

What the country faces is not a crisis of leadership but a crisis of followership. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

If every negotiation is conducted in public, then the minute one person says, well, what if we try this, next thing you know, the interest groups have piled all in, and the political opponents have shot it to pieces. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

Best Jonathan Rauch Quotes


After an hour or two of being socially on, we introverts need to turn off and recharge … This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

Indeed, one modern President abjured God altogether, ending speeches with a chaste ‘Thank you very much.’ This was Jimmy Carter, the most genuinely devout President of the postwar period. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

Those who claim to be hurt by words must be led to expect nothing as compensation. Otherwise, once they learn they can get something by claiming to be hurt, they will go into the business of being offended. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


Minorities are always better off in a culture which protects dissent than in a culture which protects us from dissent. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

A liberal society stands on the proposition that we should all take seriously the idea that we might be wrong. This means we must place no one, including ourselves, beyond the reach of criticism; it means that we must allow people to err, even where the error offends and upsets, as it often will. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

There were big problems with every system, and there always have been. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

Compromise is what it’s got to be all about when you’re governing, because no one is ever going to have a big enough majority to just do what they want to do all the time. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

Popular Jonathan Rauch Quotes

Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially on, we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: I’m okay, you’re okay-in small doses. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

Society, not science, determines what is normal in the lives we lead, and that, right now, is the problem. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


There will be more coming afterwards if we don’t re-empower politicians to get organized and work together. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

In times of stress, psychological pressures compel us to deny or dismiss inconsistent evidence, pushing us to perceive certainty and clarity where there is neither. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

It is no solution to define words as violence or prejudice as oppression, and then by cracking down on words or thoughts pretend that we are doing something about violence and oppression. No doubt it is easier to pass a speech code or hate-crimes law and proclaim the streets safer than actually to make the streets safer, but the one must never be confused with the other… Indeed, equating “verbal violence” with physical violence is a treacherous, mischievous business. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

More non-fringe, non-radical homosexuals emerge into public view every day. As the stereotype of the homosexual as antisocial deviant crumbles, a (political) party or faction that tolerates gay-baiting rhetoric in the name of ‘family values’ makes ‘family values’ look more and more like common bigotry. ~ Jonathan Rauch.


We don’t have a crisis of leadership in Washington. We have a crisis of followership. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

What we have done over the last 40 or 50 years is systematically attacked and weakened the parties, the political machines, the professionals, and insiders, and hacks, and all the tools that they use to get politicians to play well together. And with those gone, you get chaos. ~ Jonathan Rauch.

So these were the 37 powerful quotes about Jonathan Rauch.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Winona Laduke quotes and Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes.

Share with others!
Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar