Sunday, July 21, 2013

Needed: Moderates in Congress, ASAP!

Many people have bemoaned our increasingly partisan Congress, with representatives from both parties clinging to the party line and refusing to compromise with the other side. I'm hoping that the 2014 elections would help fix this problem. During the past presidential election and now into 2013, I noticed something that really bothered me. It caught me by surprise, but when I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that it actually might be at the core of all the problems we have faced, now face and will continue to face in the future.Like the White, Southern Democrat, the political moderates are a dying breed.....or are they?

I'm the type who believes we have to take into consideration all ideas, including the nuts and wackos on both sides of the median ground? Then, in the end, put all those ideas out on the table, make conscious decisions that will positively impact as many people as possible and move forward with a view on truly improving society? I have found when a politician opens his or her mouth, when your neighbor starts spouting diatribes about his right to carry 300 high-powered Bushmasters in his trunk or when you get accosted by a PETA fanatic, who screams at you to protect dogs and cats but believes in abortion, you quickly are hit with the present and sad state of America.

We are being driven to exist in either a far-right conservative dungeon or a far-left liberal haze. I find very few, if any, of the above characters who make any effort to listen to anything but the voices they hear in their own heads and that makes many, including me very uncomfortable.

Most of what they allude to has no ultimate basis in fact. It all revolves around their EMOTIONAL stake in the argument presented.

Now a moderate is defined as a sane person; someone with a political belief that sits between the two extremes of liberal and conservative, usually combining aspects of both; someone who seeks compromise on political issues and, as such, gets insulted by the two extremes who just don’t get the idea that this form of government survives by compromise; someone whose political beliefs seem quiet and mild, and, as such, is always ignored by the media, which seeks out people from the screechy left and shrill right because they make for better sound bites, like Congressman John Barrow (D-Augusta) who is a moderately conservative democrat who is neither a loony liberal nor a rabid right winger. And although she is not a candidate, I suspect Michelle Nunn (D-Atlanta), likely candidate for the U.S. Senate is in that mold as well

If there is one thing the far-right and far-left have in common, it is that they refuse to listen and shut you down if you try to ask a question or, even worse, question their beliefs. Both sides also unequivocally believe they know best about every issue presented, whether it be recycling, abortion, birth control or gay marriage.  If you ever want to get in the middle of a vicious fight, disagree with a member of either side and try to get your ideas across. You might as well scream at the moon and beat your head against the wall. So, if you stop for a second and think about the current state of affairs, it is relatively easy to follow the above statements. The leaders of both houses of government make little, if any, effort to listen to each other because as they tell you, “We believe in Republican ideals! We believe in Democratic standards!

I just wish for once they actually believed in America, the land where you and I live and suffer under the bondage of the left and the right. They don’t speak for you and me because, come to think of it, maybe there are a lot more moderates than one might believe. When you listen to the far-right and the far-left, one would think they don’t speak the same language when issues come into the light of day. No one can compromise on gay marriage because marriage was instituted by God and given to a people who enter marriage only to call it quits at a failure rate of probably 50%.

We are told living in moderation will make us healthy, so we exercise and eat the right foods. We get a good night’s sleep and we practice breathing deeply and correctly. We cut back on the sweets and try to eat a few more apples and peaches a week. I think it is time to refute the comment that moderates are dead or dying, and scream that they are far from dead. They are very much alive and ready to take back the country. If the far-right and the far-left can’t do the job we sent them to do, let’s come up with a good name for the moderate party and return Washington to a form of sanity we haven’t seen for decades.

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