Thursday, September 30, 2010

Right in the middle...

As we all know this country is a two-party governmental system. With the primaries sneaking ever closer, there are few illusions as to the voiceless middle's absence from any sort of campaigning or long shot chance at a victory in key races. Wandering through the myriad of news stories yesterday, I came across an interesting piece on CNN discussing the "Militant Middle" as they're coming to be known. If you follow politics, you'll know that most of the US is not made up of tea partiers and Greenpeace vegans. At least, at the very least, 1/3 of Americans are in fact moderates. That doesn't necessarily mean independents or Green partiers that like ruining the election for the terror twins. No, it just means that they don't necessarily fit the corporate status quo laid out by the left and right pillars of our government. I found it interesting when the article quoted Rep. Kathleen Curry (Colorado) as saying she left the Democratic party due to their demands she listen to them more than her constituents. It is a complaint too few politicians are making and far too few voters are acknowledging. However, according to the article, there is a growing middle "party" if you will, that is acknowledging this horrendous disconnect between voters wants/needs and what is actually getting done. I checked out one of the sites mentioned in the article, and found an interesting buffet of moderate styled news. Their key phrase at the top reads: "First, there was the conservative Drudge Report. Next, there was the liberal Huffington Post. Finally, for the rest of us, there is Moderate Voters."
While I joined the site and appreciate the growing forum for people who don't like being pulled left or right for the sake of a politicians career, I wonder if it's not unfortunately more lip service. Rick Bayan, a moderate who was excited about Obama and now complains he's more establishment than promised (sorry Rick, should've seen that coming) concedes that what this country needs is "extremist moderates." I don't really like that terminology. Extremist anything implies the inability to see anyone else's point of view other than your own. It smacks of arrogance, self righteousness and overall asshole-ishness that I don't think we need more of in this country.
I will however agree that if shit is going to change, the people who aren't loony tuned extreme left and right need to step up and do something, without pussy footing around issues or people's personal feelings. Bipartisanship my ass, it's called getting shit done for this country. You don't need to "cross party lines," you need to ignore party lines, lay down your ill-placed loyalties to elephants and donkeys and focus on the people instead. There is a growing middle and I think we've all noticed it. The Tea Party has certainly provided moderate Republicans a reason to start walking towards the middle a bit. Disappointment with Obama and really anyone else elected under a Democrat or Republican party flag is coaxing more and more people to head center. And contrary to popular belief, these are the people that are the most engaged in politics - again, what this country needs. Many people complain that moderates or independents just need to make up their mind. In fact, they have. Just like most atheists or agnostics are so because of their experiences in religion, most moderates chose to be so not because they're indecisive but because they dug past party propaganda and found nothing but empty promises and mud slinging popularity contests.
So, what's next? Well, as I said, while I'm excited about the new mutterings of moderates getting louder, I fear it may be more talk than action. The right and left history of this country is ingrained in more than just those who uphold it. If a third party were to be introduced would Americans (even those who are tired with the right and left) know how to handle it? Is the two-party system too tattooed in our political minds to break away from the choking comfort it brings?
Apart from the voters side, the terror twins are not likely to willingly accept another contender for CEO of the White House, particularly if that contender is more honest and less corrupt.
It's a long, hard road for an endeavour such as this. One thing is definitely for certain. If moderates are to rise to legitimately battle the right and the left for power, toppling status quo and the for sale nature of our government, they must rise above forums and the chic suffering of an alternative culture.
Another article I read today spoke of conservative activists crossing lines of custom, tradition and even the law to get their point across. Not to be a bad influence, but how come the middle isn't doing that? Why are the Ann Coulters the only ones who have a fire in their bellies? Grab hold of the average American psyche - the one that can't be explained with extremist left or right hectoring. Grab hold of it and change something, not hope for change or campaign for change, really change something. As I sit here writing this with no plans to blow up parliament, I realize the hypocritical nature of this post. So, I leave you to go write some incendiary lyrics to stir the pot...hope to see you on the other side.

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