College of Political Knowledge
Subject: Political Theory
As the 2012 election starts up we hear a lot in the media about the independents……we are told that most Americans are this and then we are told that most Americans are centrists, either center right or center left….but from a purely political analyst point of view, I do not buy into this concept. I believe that people call themselves centrists because it is easier than doing the research to pick a position and stick with it. By the media’s definition if you are a strong supporter of….say abortion but also one of Medicare (examples only) then you would be a centrist or an independent….being equated as one in the same. This is erroneous, at least in my mind…..it is just the mass media trying to drive the conversation by defining people in their terms, not in reality.
Let us go to the definition……a centrist, classically defined, as…..a political philosophy of avoiding the extremes of left and right by taking a moderate position or course of action….it can be said more complexly, but the simple definition works just as well…….
And then there is what the media is fixating on….independents, which means…….an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do not feel that any major party addresses. Other independent candidates are associated with a political party and may be former members of it, but choose not to stand under its label. A third category of independents are those who may belong to or support a political party but believe they should not formally represent it and thus be subject to its policies.
The last line in above definition is basically what the media wants us to believe is the definition of an independent…….basically a person who votes on issues and not party nor personality….I do not think that is so…..while people may answer the endless and continuous polls in an independent way, when it comes down to the actual act of voting then party or personality will once again be the deciding factor….I am NOT saying that everyone that claims to be an independent is lying, just that reality says they are NOT true independents.
Let us return to centrist….this is where many Americans are on the political spectrum….either center right or left……..personally, I think it is that they are concerned with the extremes of the left and right….so they opt out of the ideology in favor of a more moderate view of the issues…..the problem is that the people/voter may be of the moderate wing, the people they elect are NOT! Ergo……partisan politics where little is accomplished and government grinds to a stop.
Look at the American system…….if we are truly a centrist nation then that could explain the total lack of cooperation that is now prevalent in Washington…..PRINCIPLES! The lack of concrete principles is a death shot to the head of federalism…….one can possess principles without being an ideologue and we cannot have an effective government without debate and compromise…….
I say if you want to change things in Washington then let ALL the ideologues have their way and once the country is totally screwed then we can set about change things for the better and we Americans can have our country back from the abyss that we are slowly being sucked into……