There is much murmuration and grunching in the mainstream media about the current left-right polarization of our politics. “Why, WHY can’t the American people come together in the CENTER in a BI-PARTISAN way?” the Broders, Goldbergs and Cohens wail.
It appears to me that Beltway pundits are extremely disingenuous about their desire for centrism. According to their oft-expressed beliefs, those of us who consider ourselves left-leaning simply MUST move to the right in order to reach the “center”.
Yet most of America agrees on the issues that currently appear to divide the country. In almost all cases, such as allowing stem cell research, keeping abortion legal, acting to save the planet from global warming, and ending the occupation of Iraq, the people are squarely on the side of the liberals and progressives. So why do the Wise Ones of Washington never suggest that those on the right should be the ones to move to the left, since that’s where the center IS?
The Purity Pundits often claim that America is hungry for bi-partisanship. But what we are REALLY hungry for is for the conservative movement to admit its defeat. The Republics are a minority party for a reason: THEY ARE THE MINORITY, and getting smaller every day. They have been taken over by relentless ideologues whose tether to the reality-based community snapped a very long time ago. Those ideologues need to float away to Bushbotonia and never come back. Let their much-deserved marginalization become complete.
I say, let the Republics become who they once were; folks that were wrong about many things, but who would never push “intelligent design” over evolution, never try to impose their own rules on a woman’s body, and most of all, never cheer the destruction of habeas corpus and the imperial overreach of the Executive Branch. And let the Democrats allow the progressives in their midst to pull them gently over to the left, where most of the American people are waiting. Once that happens, we get universal health care, public financing of elections, no more wars of choice, investments in education, infrastructure and alternative energy, the re-elevation of science over faith in public policy, and oh, so many other wonderful things.
Now that’s a bi-partisanship we can all get behind.