Friday, June 29, 2012

Middle Ground


Studies have shown that Dems/Libs have pretty much been even on their views for the last decades -- in some cases even moving more conservative. Based on policies, votes, etc, we really haven't moved further left or gone extreme.

On the other hand, the GOP/Cons have gone drastically farther right in that time frame.

So, when Dems are consistently representing their views, we appear as extreme as the right just because the debate itself has become so divided. So, when we say that it's hard to find middle ground, or that both parties yadda yadda, it's not always true. In most cases, the left is stating what they've always stated. The right has moved so far away that they changed where the middle is. In some ways it's created a framing problem that implies the left hasn't been cooperative, either.

But we have been and going anymore toward the middle would be us going off the consistent path we've been on.

I will always admit there are times when Dems (whom I know personally and whom I see on the teevee) do or say things that make me cringe and think tit-for-tat or hypocrisy is as unbecoming of us as it is of the right. I refuse to pretend we never do stupid shit that blows our credibility. To ignore when we do stupid shit makes us lose even more credibility.

But overall, the level of extreme stupidity and hypocrisy and dangerous rhetoric and stunting of progress falls wholly on the right.

So my frustration always rests on the passive or the folks who just don't like all the conflict. They pretend it's as much the left's fault as it is the right's. And it's not about sharing blame or properly placing blame or running to mommy and saying, "but they did it, too". What it's about is acceptance of reality. We can't get anywhere if even the sideliners don't accept that the left isn't being extreme. We are being consistent. The left isn't being difficult. We are being fair. The left isn't being combative. We are defending what we have always defended. The right has changed the rules even on those within their own party. The right has forged a new path that changes where the middle is. Just because Dems aren't moving to the new middle does NOT mean we're extreme. We're right where we've been for a long time. People need to stop pretending we are playing a role in divisiveness simply so they can play a responsible role in society.

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