Sunday, April 22, 2012

The problem in America right now is not lack of a center

That people can agree on. A Washington Post editorial today suggested that was the problem with current politics. What's happening right now in American politics is that we're deciding on whether we want to be a mostly right-wing country or a mostly progressive-liberal one. The center of gravity doesn't lie in a literal center that's a mean between the beliefs of the two dominant parties. Instead, the true center of gravity is the center of accepted public opinion about political, economic, and social issues, that changes position all the time. During the Reagan years, that center was further right, during the Kennedy and Johnson years, it was further left. After 9/11 the center made a radical move to the right,  trashing the literal neo-liberal centrism of Bill Clinton and casting people further to the left as traitors, and now we're seeing a move to move the center back leftwards. But today folks have an increasing awareness that we just can't go back to Clinton's centrist ideology to defeat the radical Republicans, but that we need a Progressive alternative if we want to win. People who want no more extreme right wing ideology are trying to confirm once and for all that the center of established public opinion in the Untied States is located further towards liberal-progressive ideology and farther away from the Tea Party, even though the Tea Party makes a lot of noise about representing the 'Real America'. 

No comments: