08 Jul 2010

Is a ‘Mad as Hell’ Moment Coming Among Centrists & Moderates?

Just out of curiosity, I did a quick search to see if my site was listed on Google yet. Not surprisingly it is, as I set up my Adsense account just the other day and saw that Google had crawled my site, but I came across a very nice article, by David Ignatius at the Washington Post, literally titled ‘Rise of the Center’.

It would make for a good story if I said that I read this way back in November of 2005, and have been looking for the right time to start a blog called this ever since. Its not true, but I might say it at dinner parties just for fun anyway…really though, it almost perfectly explains what this blog is about.

For example:

“With Tuesday’s elections, you could sense a small shift in the polarities that have been tugging Republicans and Democrats toward their bases. All of a sudden the center doesn’t look quite so lonely or inhospitable. In fact, it may be regaining its status as the commanding heights of American politics.”

He was wrong about this… that the two parties were going to shift away from their extremes and move towards the center. But in another sense, he was right that the momentum was indeed heading to the center. It was just doing so without the two major parties.

Ignatius continues:

“The American public may finally be getting fed up with partisan politics, enough so that it will reward politicians who refuse to play that game and instead campaign from the middle. In that sense, Tuesday’s results may have been a harbinger for the emerging governing majority I like to call the “party of performance.””

Both parties have been so aggressively pushing out their moderates in the primaries, that we don’t know if they’d be doing well in general elections or not. But this phenomenon has been playing out in general election campaigns, with centrist candidates, both independents and centrists who do survive the primaries, doing well all over the country.

One last quote:

“Right now neither Republicans nor Democrats can lay coherent claim to being that party of performance. They are both still captives of the old conventional wisdom that the route to victory passes through the base — the true believers on the right and left wings who are the activists in both parties. That logic works until the big majority in the middle finally says: Enough!

I think we’re nearing that “mad as hell” moment.”

He got all this stuff right, he was just wrong about the timing, and that the special interests, and more ideological factions within the parties, would lose out to moderates, instead of pushing them out. I think we are nearing a “mad as hell” moment… I’d put that off until somewhere between 2012 and 2016 though, if I had to bet.

With the pendulum swinging back and forth between the parties, people no longer forget how bad the other party did when they were in power, so when the party in power again over promises, and under delivers, more and more are dropping them and declaring their political independence… joining the ranks of the rising center.

Author Details
After a few years of blogging on other sites, Solomon launched ‘Rise of the Center’ – the precursor to Uniters.org, leading to a number of interviews and freelance opportunities, most notably covering the 2012 election cycle on WNYC.org – the website for the largest NPR station in the country, in New York City – and reported from the floor of the 2012 Democratic & Republican National Conventions. After a hiatus from politics, the horrific circus of the 2016 election, and more generally increasing extremism and corruption, brought him back to this project.
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After a few years of blogging on other sites, Solomon launched ‘Rise of the Center’ – the precursor to Uniters.org, leading to a number of interviews and freelance opportunities, most notably covering the 2012 election cycle on WNYC.org – the website for the largest NPR station in the country, in New York City – and reported from the floor of the 2012 Democratic & Republican National Conventions. After a hiatus from politics, the horrific circus of the 2016 election, and more generally increasing extremism and corruption, brought him back to this project.
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