America’s Political Center – Part 1

In a 09/01/1996 article for the Brookings Institution, Sarah A. Binder writes, “In a political system that demands compromise and accommodation to bring about change, the center is considered vital to the moderate, bipartisan public policymaking generally preferred by the American public. Absent a political center, increased partisanship and ideological polarization are inevitable and sure to feed public distrust of and distaste for politicians and the political process.”

In his 05/22/2015 column for the Washington Post, David Ignatius writes, “The disenfranchisement of the center is a fact of modern politics. That should be worrisome even if you think the center is an ideological muddle. As we’ve seen in recent years, in a world dominated by the political wings, the compromises necessary for passing any legislation become difficult. As the center disappears, so does governance.”

In his 03/28/17 commentary The Political Center Is (Almost) Dead, psychology professor Dr. Gary L. Welton writes, “America has taken yet another step toward intolerance, as the left cannot tolerate the right, and the right cannot tolerate the left.” Dr. Welton concludes, “Let’s practice a more reasoned and tolerant dialogue. Let’s quit polarizing America. We desperately need a stronger input from centrist America.”

In his 06/22/2017 commentary for Real Clear Politics, retired Roll Call executive editor Morton Kondracke sounds a clarion call to strengthen the center of American politics. He writes, “Before our savagely polarized country rips itself apart with violent language and violent deeds, it’s time for the nation’s adult leaders to rally and fortify the political center. I’m not talking about national Republican and Democratic leaders. They’re hopeless. They’re momentarily talking up bipartisan unity after the near-massacre of the congressional GOP baseball team last week. But otherwise they’re doing everything on a divisive, partisan basis—as usual.”

The above-quoted writers are correct. America needs a strong political center.

So, just what are the moderates who are in America’s political center? That question will be answered in Part 2 of this topic.

America's Political Center - Part 2
Reflections on the 241st Anniversary of American Independence
  • Things fall apart
    The Center cannot hold…

  • jim_m

    Let’s be clear. It is not the right that cannot get along. After the baseball shooting incident it was the right that stepped up and said that it would tone down its rhetoric. It was almost uniformly met by democrats on the Hill and in the media saying that the GOP asked for it and in some cases that they wished the GOP congressmen had been killed.

    The right can tolerate the left, but we will not sit idly by while the left attempts to exterminate us. The left accepts the actions of Antifa and is happy to make gains based on the violent intimidation of their political opposition. While the left has not yet gradated to outright celebration in the streets and passing out of candy when a conservative is murdered, I expect we are less than 6 months away from it.

    • America’s Left is an active threat to the rights of the rest of the citizenry.

      • jim_m

        Yep. And it does not stop at our border which they refuse to recognize.

    • Did you also see that the tired gray crone of Gotham just recognized that the CPUSA were the stooges of the Soviets? Walter Durante remains un-available for comment.

      • jim_m

        Yeah, but they still have Duranty’s Pulitzer and are unwilling to give it up. They are complicit in genocide.

  • Par4Course

    David is much better at drawing clever geometrical shapes than at discussing politics. In the US, the Democrat idea of bipartisanship is the GOP acceding to their party’s ideas and programs. The idea that we need more “centrist” or “moderate” politicians is just a concession to the liberals. What we need is more conservative politicians – so that, for example the replacement for ObamaCare won’t be just another government entitlement program like both the House and Senate GOP proposals.

  • Retired military

    Show me a man who wont stand for anything and I will show you a man who will fall for anything.

  • Hank_M

    Political center? You mean the part of the democratic party that was purged years ago?

    Political center? You mean the racist, homophobic, islamophobic, misogynistic, transphobic privileged cultural appropriating middle often called nazi’s by the left?

    As Jim correctly points out, the right can tolerate the left. The left cannot tolerate anyone.
    They’re perpetually aggrieved and outraged. Reacting to them with reason, tolerance and debate simply pisses them off more.

    America’s political center is now the no-man’s land of politics.

  • Paul Hooson

    One person that I deeply admire who is close to my own views is David Gergen. There’s a true political centrist who loaned his immense wisdom to the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton Administrations. – To me the best test is whether someone is competent and can make the trains run on time or not. Ideology is not as important to me as the ability to be a competent manager and make government run smoothly.

    Today, Donald Trump’s failed Taj Mahal Casino is holding a liquidation sale. The con man financed the failed casino with junk bond sales leaving investors with near nothing. But, we only have one president right now and are challenged by North Korea, Russia, and face issues with other nations including trade at the G conference. This is the time for competent managers to wisely guide this president, despite his serious weaknesses to act wisely in many areas right now.

    • Sky__Captain

      You realize that your last two sentences applied to 0bama for his entire presidency.
      Unfortunately, 0bama was far too narcissistic to believe he had serious weaknesses.
      Trump’s weaknesses are minor in comparison to those of the SCOAMF.

    • Retired military

      “To me the best test is whether someone is competent and can make the trains run on time or not. Ideology is not as important to me as the ability to be a competent manager and make government run smoothly.”

      You realize that this was one of the hallmarks of Hitler’s Germany don’t you.

      “The con man financed the failed casino with junk bond sales leaving investors with near nothing.”

      Investors in GM come to mind when Obama screwed 100 years of bankruptcy law.

      • The processes of our Federal Government were designed to be inefficient (at worst, slow at best) and the Federal Government was never intended to be a provider of services (such as transportation) to the populace. Efficacy in circumventing the system to deliver that which it not the government’s to provide are not virtues.

        • Vagabond661


      • jim_m

        The process of loading millions of Jews into stock cars, transporting them to death camps, gassing them and incinerating the bodies was extraordinarily efficient.

      • Paul Hooson

        The government has historically sought to protect the major portion of the automobile industry from economic ruin. During the Great Depression, the Roosevelt Administration kept the Cord-Auburn-Duesenberg company alive with kitchen cabinet contracts for homes that were to be built with a federal housing program. During WWII, Studebaker was given massive contracts to provide small trucks to the Soviet Red Army as part of the Lend-Lease Program. In the 1950’s during the Cold War, President Eisenhower didn’t want Studebaker to collapse because of fears the Soviets would ridicule the U.S. over this, so once again Studebaker was given some government help. During the 1970’s, the long struggling American Motors Corporation was awarded contracts to build thousands of stripped down Jeeps for the United States Postal Service. The government twice sought to help the ailing Chrysler emerge from financial problems as well as helped to rescue General Motors. For economic as well as national security reasons, the American government has historically sought to protect the American automobile industry.

  • Wild_Willie

    The thesis of your argument is incorrect. The problem is not finding the center, the problem is entrenched politicians owned and operated by lobbyist’s and special interests, neither of which want to compromise. President Trump is obviously two things: Not part of the establishment and has both center right and left stands. This is the basis for the uproar by the MSM, and both parties either out in the open or covertly.

    Trump is for healthcare, fair trade, infrastructure investment which is more center left. Immigration control, foreign funding, tax relief and enforcement of laws is more center right.

    This is why President Trump tweets. He not only gets his stance out but by doing so manipulates the press to act and demonstrate their true selves. Partisan hacks.

    Overall I think history will be a fair judge of him and I think it will be good. Hating him like the left is doing (and Robertson) only strengthens his support. ww

  • See also Revelation 3:16

  • pennywit

    The American center barely exists anymore. Among politically aware voters, the “leaners” — people who ordinarily would be part of the center — are now sorting themselves into the Republican or Democratic camps. And most Americans … just aren’t aware of politics much at all.

  • Retired military

    To me being a centrist politically means you don’t want the left to say bad things about you.

    • jim_m

      Centrist Republican means that you are critical of the GOP while you are still a member of the Republican party, and you will work to screw conservatives over at every opportunity (qv John McCain).

      “Centrist” democrat means that you are lying about what you stand for in order to get elected but you will vote with Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time no matter what once in office.

  • Idahoser

    there is NOTHING “liberal” about the Left.