Saturday, April 09, 2005

Ezra: the Imaginary Center riposte

The point is that they don't quite apply to my post. If the center is where the majority resides then, according to the American people, no such place exists. Or, more to the point, many such places exist, which is precisely the problem.

I agree, but I think that the impulse to centrism is actually reflective of the American people as a whole having more populist views, rather than, as most people who believe in centrism say, people being neither left nor right.

Centrist populism...I see two ways people could conceptualize that, one way being the Jesse Ventura style of centrism where you're a social libertarian and a fiscal conservative, the other being the opposite, where you're a fiscal leftist but maybe less libertarian socially.

I think the second option more accurately describes the quote-un-quote progressive movement in America right now, not in the sense that they don't focus on social issues or care about liberty but in the sense of not putting the overwhelming emphasis on them that traditional American liberals do.

Progressive seem to tolerate un-PC-ness because they feel that addressing social issues is more important than being totally, completely, in all ways, in all aspects of life, sensitive socially.

Or at least making a show of it by being Mr. or Ms. bleeding heart.

So...the multiple centerist views which are out there may in fact add up to something completely different from either liberalism or conservatism, which is may be why the trend doesn't show up in a simple way in the polling data.

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