He gets right to the issue of his political leanings (he's a Republican with a Libertarian bent, and he founded Americans for Tax Reform), and how they shouldn't be, and weren't, an issue at Burning Man.
Some self-professed “progressives” whined at the thought of my attending what they believed was a ghetto for liberal hippies. Yes, there was a gentleman who skateboarded without elbow or kneepads or any knickers whatsoever. Yes, I rode in cars dressed-up as cats, bees and spiders; I watched trucks carrying pirate ships and 30 dancers. I drank absinthe. But anyone complaining about a Washington wonk like me at Burning Man is not a Burner himself: The first principle of Burning Man is “radical inclusiveness”, which pretty much rules out the nobody-here-but-us liberals “gated community” nonsense.
He was deeply impressed by the "leave no trace" ethos, and by all the art, saying that it's not like a museum but "more like Petra, the lost city in Jordan, which I found more impressive than its advance billing or reputation."
One night he gave a one-hour talk after a series of speakers his topic was "freedom," everyone else had been discussing psychedelics and, he says, "The questions lasted two hours. We had a ball."
Also, I take it, apart from the sip of absinthe, he did not partake in any drugs, but nevertheless he loved the place with abandon, and without cynicism, and sounds like he's still high.
You hear that Burning Man is full of less-than-fully-clad folks and off-label pharmaceuticals. But that’s like saying Bohemian Grove is about peeing on trees or that Chicago is Al Capone territory. Burning Man is cleaner and greener than a rally for solar power. It has more camaraderie and sense of community than a church social. And for a week in the desert, I witnessed more individual expression, alternative lifestyles and imaginative fashion than .... anywhere.
Imagine, Grover, if you did not have to wear suits all the time and had not gone down this road of wonk-dom in life. You might be amazed to know there are towns outside of D.C. where people live lives that aren't driven by election cycles or arguments about taxes.
I'm not sure that he came away with quite the vision of Libertarian perfection he previously imagined that Burning Man was, however Libertarians aren't exactly known for giving each other the shoes off their feet, as he saw one man do for another at the Reno Airport, or go around building enormous pieces of art, for nothing, and then burning them down. They're more just about telling the government to leave them alone in their well armed rural compounds, right?
Burning Man's not really like that.