Thursday, August 29, 2013

So, You Think You Want to Blog (and What the Heck is a Radical Centrist?)

As those of you who know me are too well aware, I enjoy getting off onto tangents and going on at length about things that pique my interest.  So, someone suggested some time ago that I write a blog - as  if enough people weren't doing that already.  Well, I finally said to myself, "Why not?"  And here we go.

First item, choose a name.  I have been calling my political views "Radical Centrist" on Facebook, so that sounded O.K. to use for a blog  Apparently, there are a few other people enough like me to have a bit of a logjam at the domain selection point, so I ended up appending my age.

So, to explain the apparent oxymoron of  a name - I am radically passionate about getting past our extreme polarization in today's political arena and making things work for America.  I simply have no use for the ideologues on either end of the spectrum.

It seems to me that the Republican Party is in the complete control of modern day robber barons, who have very cleverly co-opted religion to pad their numbers from "the 1%" to a working majority in the Bible Belt and a few other states by continuously pushing a few key hot buttons:  2nd Amendment Rights, Right to Life (except for criminals), anti-gay, minority voter "fraud", immigration, anti-labor, small (read overworked, underpaid, incompetent, and ineffective) government (except for the defense industry), and low taxes (for corporations and the aforementioned 1%).  Not that they have a lot of  real intention of doing anything about most of those, except the ones involving keeping them in office (voter "fraud") and the fiscal issues (labor, government, and taxes).

The Democratic Party, on the other hand, is controlled largely by the entertainment industry (the deranged minds that give us a constant flood of moronic adult (read adolescent) cartoons, horror films, super "heroes", fluff, "pro" wrestling, and Gangsta rap), big labor, and (increasingly) gay activists, and pad their numbers with the lunatic fringe of dopers, layabouts, and other free-riders.

Have I ticked off enough people, yet?  Let me just say that there are also a lot of good, hardworking, highly moral, and very religious (in the better sense of the word) Americans in both parties that resent the extremists in their parties, but are powerless to do anything about their situations, because the party machines don't allow viable options.

In roughly the first half of my life, the parties were far more attuned to the will of the people.  If the GOP started drifting too far right and lost an election, they would self-correct and move back toward the center.  Same with the Dems.  Move too far left, lose an election, and self-correct.  And the term bi-partisan still had some meaning.  Compromises were hammered out - albeit a lot of times in smoke-filled back rooms, where political capital was spent and amassed and a lot of backs were mutually scratched.

All that started changing along about the 1980's.  Politics became more and more about sound-bites that played well back home.  The anti-tax movement  picked up a lot of steam.  Ronald Reagan waged war on labor in the government (Who can forget the fear we felt flying after the air traffic controllers were replaced?) and tried to insure that the federal government would not be competitive in the professional labor market, in order to make it less efficient and capable, in order to justify eliminating large segments of it.  Compromise was shortened to a four-letter word.  The ideologues began to stake out their claims at the poles of the parties.

The first Bush had sold his soul, in order to become Vice President, and never reasserted himself as President.  (But he did know when to stop in Iraq.)

Bill Clinton missed his chance at being one of the greatest  Presidents of all time by pushing his health-care reform too early in his administration and failing to consolidate support within the Dems.  He was too moderate for the fringe lunatics.  (Then there was that little matter of not keeping his pants zipped and then lying about it, too.)

George II was the epitome of the true-believer, which became his downfall, when the only qualification that he required of his rebuilding team in Iraq was that they also be true believers.  That beautiful military victory all for naught.

Then Obama upsets Hillary for the Democratic nomination.  Amazing?  No, it's that too moderate thing, again.

2016 will be interesting to see if either party blinks and moves toward the center.  Will Hillary finally get her chance?  Will a moderate emerge out of the GOP?  My guess is - neither!  I sorrowfully predict that the pole-sitters will carry the day in both parties.

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