I have a question for my fellow viners, especially those of you who, like me, have political viewpoints on either the right or the left. Can any of you see that people on the other side of the political spectrum could have viewpoints that are actually correct and that the positions that you hold are possibly wrong? Can any of you see that what you think is the logical and moderate position in a debate is actually a position outside of the mainstream of national politics? Can any of you believe in the concept of true compromise in order to move the process of government forward?
I ask these questions as a follow up to an article I wrote a few days ago about finding a reasonable center on problems facing this nation. What I tried to do was establish positions that I thought were a reasonable middle ground on the issues and then compare them with the left wing and right wing positions on the same issues. The article was not written to attack either the left or the right, but to establish a discussion about movement to the middle as a process by which this nation has functioned.
What I got instead was a fairly united group defending their positions on either the left or the right and stating that the middle position was, in fact, extreme. It got me to think about how stuck in the quicksand of our beliefs we have become. We are a nation that is and always has been dominated by those in the middle, but has been and always will be influenced from those on the left or the right. Those of us on the left and on the right have recognized that and accepted that. What we are threatening to become, however, is a nation where the extremes think that they are the mainstream. We are becoming a nation that talks only to like minded individuals.
Conservatives live in the land of Fox News, The American Thinker, and the World Net Daily while liberals live in the land of MSNBC, the Huffington Post, and the Daily Kos and our worlds become mutually exclusive. We exist to argue, to fight for our position, to plant our flag steadfastly in the ground of stubbornness. All the while the majority of the country is looking at us in disgusted amazement. They don't understand why we can't move to the middle or find some issues where one side is right and other issues where the other side is right.
We've become so vociferous, so active in the defense of extremism that politicians are afraid to act. They think that they must vote in line with their most extreme constituents. They are afraid that they will primaried out if they are too moderate. Thus a 9% approval rating for congress, but a group of congress-persons who are beloved by the extreme in their party.
So back to the original premise. Can we understand that we are on the extremes and should be trying to influence rather than unilaterally drive the agenda? Are we willing to work together to find solutions outside our own comfort zones for the good of the country? Are we patriots that can come together or seditionists who insist on tearing us apart?