Saturday, October 19, 2013

No Better Time to Unite our Centrists

The shutdown is over -- for now -- but we know it won't be the last time, not for this Congress.  It has become a tired cliche, but the Republican Party did take our federal government, and our nation, hostage.  The broader problem is, a portion of that party had no preference whatsoever whether the ransom was met, or the hostage killed.  This is a level of extremism that I know is abhorrent to most Americans... at least, I HOPE it is.

I've put this call out to some of you before, and so I have decided I will continue -- albeit politely and rationally -- to do so until the needle gets budged.  Here it is:  We need to start stitching our collective tents together to cover the growing number of voters who, I sincerely believe, are ready to change parties if there were a centrist alternative.

We not only would be able to offer a place for voters who see things as we do, but we could also offer cover for policymakers who agree with us.  Moderate Republicans are not only being targeted in primaries by the Tea Party, but even conservatives are now, if they are as far to the extreme as TP groups want.

I was reading this morning these groups actually have the nerve to call themselves "real Americans," and while completely offended, I realized this is the kind of partisan propaganda that we have seen expanding for a few decades now.  No party has a monopoly on patriotism in this nation, and any group who call themselves "real Americans" don't understand the Real America, they only grasp their own narrow, myopic viewpoint,

Someone in the middle of a crowd can scan 360 degrees and see everything and everyone around them.  Anyone standing toward the outer boundary cannot see the whole picture.  So they have to shout louder to be heard by the other far side, and that's exactly what members of extreme groups are literally doing in public and on the airwaves.

This places an obligation on us, I believe, to link our voices and our efforts.  We H-A-V-E to start pushing back, because right now they are the only one's doing the pushing.  Whether or not you conclude that the Tea Party and conservative Republicans got anything out of the shutdown, this ransoming is only going to continue unless a voice from the center begins to speak, so voters know there is place for them.

"Compromise" is not a profane word.  In fact, it is a concept that is rooted into the very foundations of our nation and government.  The Declaration of Independence was unanimously after edits were suggested and approved by opposing viewpoints.  As was the Constitution.  As was every piece of significant legislation approved by Congress -- and it's arguable every piece of legislation ever approved by that body.

So just what exactly would this new tent look like or consist of?  That is for greater political minds to debate and decide.  I'm just a rational voter wanting to see rationality, honesty, objectivity, and leadership brought back to our federal government.

I will, however, offer what I believe could be a basis of agreement for this group.  Centrists are those voters who choose pragmatism over dogmatism, practicality over ideology.  We prefer ideas that work, no matter which party proposes it.  We prefer policies that have been proven to be effective.  Of course we believe in Freedom, but we also understand that no freedom is absolute, nor does it come without responsibility.  We believe in effective, efficient government, and competent, compassionate leadership.

If you agree, then let us begin to get together, as drops of water collect into a puddle.

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