Or Why We Hate Labels……….
College of Political Knowledge
Subject: Political Science/Political Theory/
We hear daily, especially if you are a political junkie, that the country is a centrist country, wither center right or center left, and that we all are that with a few exceptions of those lunatics on the far right and far left…..most media pundits say that we move to the center after each election, because that is where most Americans are located…is that true?
Centrists are fence sitters……most Americans are fence sitters….ergo, most Americans are centrists
You may think about it for a long time, but the answer will always be the same……yes we are….we are a centrist people…..but why are we a centrist people? It is NOT because of the thinking of the people….but rather the political system that forces us to be centrist….yes I said forces…..why?
The two party system comes to mind first……the voter has NO choice beyond Dem or Repub….any other choice and it is marginalized by the media so that the two parties may continue their strangle hold on the electorate….
Rhetoric may be Left or Right, but action is almost always center….very few exceptions…….and then there this new movement of centrists or moderates, if you will….No Labels, they call themselves…..they do not want to be put into a certain ideologue camp………they are CENTRISTS!……..but think about that for a moment….(pause here for reflection)…….
Here is Nolabels.org statement of purpose:
- Americans are entitled to a government and a political system that works – driven by shared purpose and common sense.
- Americans deserve a government that makes the necessary choices to rein in runaway deficits, secure Social Security and Medicare, and put our country on a viable, sound path going forward.Americans support a government that works to spur employment and economic opportunity by encouraging free and open markets, tempered by sensible regulation.
- Americans want a government that empowers people with the tools for success – from a world-class education to affordable healthcare – provided that it does so in a fiscally prudent way.
- America should be free from discrimination and should embrace the principle of equal opportunity.
- America must be strong and safe, ready and able to protect itself in a world of multiple dangers and uncertainties.
Holy crap! What novel ideas! Sounds like every other party and their statement of principles…..where is this any different than the crap we live with now? Just looks like another PAC that is seeking money to advance their ideas and their candidates….none of it sounds anywhere near a new idea…..
A new organization of centrists that will NOT be labeled…..fine, but first…..
Sorry guys….that is a LABEL!
You may call yourself a conservative or a liberal (present day progressive)….but that is all it is a title that bestowed on yourself to explain, to try to explain, why you feel or believe the way that you do. Below the rhetoric, we all are centrists….it is NOT a special movement afoot….it has been that way since the beginning in 1787 and we just enforce that center path with our choices…….
These so-called centrists want us to believe that there is another way of governance, other than the two party system….there is Not…why? Because we are all centrists…….we have always been a centrists country……
This effort kinda remains me of another con job, Unity ’08, it was a “movement” of moderates to find a better way than the two parties….but it was mostly to raise money and to try and get Bloomberg to run….nothing about issues other than some vague concept of working together…….a con job will always be a con job…..smells more like a money scam…….
From the VOMITORIUM
Remember the day the Scott Brown won the special election in Massachusetts to replace the dead Sen. Kennedy? He was the Tea Party candidate that was gonna change Washington….he was this new style politician….a true moderate that would do what he promised and in turn would change the way business was being done in Washington….
The media was all a flutter with his election to the Senate, especially the conservatives on the air….he was a new God to be worshiped because he bucked the system and won the election……
That was then…this is now!
When Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown addressed supporters after his upset victory in January, he declared there would be “no more closed-door meetings or back-room deals by an out-of-touch party leadership.”
After private talks with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd and other top Democrats, Brown scored a series of exemptions from the “Volcker rule” — which would bar certain forms of proprietary trading — a provision pushed by big Massachusetts banks and financial firms, including State Street Corp. and Mass Mutual.Brown insists the changes he sought that would benefit Massachusetts firms were also national in scope, so they would not amount to a carve-out for a special interest back home.
More than a few of his colleagues grumbled at the freshman Republican’s outsize influence over the final stages of the financial reform talks. And several suggested that Brown’s deal making wasn’t very different from what Republicans had lampooned during the health care debate.
Note: This is a reprint of a piece written by Chris Ladd on the site….http://republicansunited.us….I decided to publish the whole article because there are not a lot of clicks on other sites from Info Ink….this piece is worthy of a good read and not to depend on a click to have it read in its entirety……I hope that Chris will understand….
This is a re-print of Mr. Ladds’s piece…….http://republicansunited.us……or go to my blogroll……..an excellent site….visit often you will not be disappointed………
As near as I can tell from the speeches and signs, any institution that existed prior to the crisis (except fundamentalist churches) is destroying America, and any institution which is trying to use government power to solve the crisis, whether a capitalist bastion like the Federal Reserve, or those dirty commies in Congress, is also destroying America.
If you try to make sense of these protests in terms of the old 20th century divide between liberal democracy and socialism you risk having your head explode. In spite of all the blather from the AM radio crowd, this is not about decent hardworking Americans working to protect their capitalist economy. This is about decent, hardworking Americans mistakenly flailing away to protect a dead, rural, notion of American identity against the growing power of global capitalism.
More than two centuries later, we still cannot get past the battle between Jefferson and Hamilton, between agrarian independence and the urban profit machine. The battle is made more comic/tragic by the fact that few of us know which side we are on. This battle is so old and has taken on so many forms that we have mostly lost track of its origins. But its shape is still the same.
Hamiltonian capitalism needs intelligent regulation in order to maintain transparency in markets and keep shirkers, moochers, and frauds from bringing down the system. It needs central banking, roads, airports, canals, environmental protections, and other infrastructure. Jeffersonian rural life just needs a national defense, a few courts, and a place to sell my cotton.
We Republicans who, at least according to our websites, are the defenders of free market capitalism, are doing everything in our power to cripple our financial institutions. We fought government efforts last year to avert the collapse of the financial system from a collapse brought on in large part by our refusal to use the tools of government to impose reasonable rules in the financial marketplace. We fought the stimulus package. We are fighting efforts at job creation, efforts aimed at using capital markets for small business loans, to foster business development.
We are fighting efforts to bring even the most limited transparency to the derivatives markets that brought our banking system to its knees. Now our Congressional leaders are waging a campaign to eviscerate the Federal Reserve, the last institution independent from Congress which can help rebuild the broken capital system. If there were any real socialists left in our political system, they would be cheering us.
We call ourselves capitalists, but act like 19th-century, populist, Democrats. Why? It is not nearly as much fun to face the difficult questions of how to protect Jeffersonian values in a Hamiltonian world as it is to hunt for conspiracies. When politics is entertainment, Beck and Coulter set the agenda. Plus you get to go to a (tea) party. How cool is that!
As a political party we need to decide whether we love capitalism or hate it. Sound, vibrant markets require intelligent regulation. When they work properly they provide the fuel for innovation and business growth that has made America a financial superpower. We cannot have the power of capitalism with a Jeffersonian attitude toward regulation.
Jeffersonian-style limited government is to capitalism what salt water is to your goldfish – not so good. A suspicion of central banks so strong you can taste it, resentment of capital markets, hatred toward those “fat cats, who run things; these are not Republican values. Marching through the streets right now to protest Marxism is like rallying against Monarchy. Great, sure, but not all that valuable. Are we going to be progressive, capitalist Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and John McCain, or wallow in an updated version of 19th-century Jeffersonian populism, guided by Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin?
The outcome will determine whether we have the flexibility to lead an increasing competitive world, or shrink into paranoia and weakness.
Note: to get to republicansunited go to my blogroll and click on it there are some excellent points of view on the site….once again I thank my friends at the site for their cooperation…..
With all the shenanigans this past summer and the economy’s slow pace to recovery…the country seems to be turning away form change and embracing conservative ideas….a recent Gallup Poll shows that 45% of Americans say they a conservative, 36% moderate and 20% liberal…so does this mean that the US is becoming more conservative? If you want it to…then by all means cheer…but the Gallup is the ONLY poll that shows conservatives in the lead…..all others show that Americans identify themselves as moderate, then conservative and then liberal.
Writing about this subject E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post:
It’s important to note that there is a debate over what these ideological labels actually mean to voters. And polls that give respondents the chance of calling themselves “progressive” produce a substantially larger number on the left end of the spectrum, since many who won’t pick the “liberal” label do call themselves “progressive.” A study earlier this year by the Center for American Progress found that when progressive and libertarian were offered as additional options, the country was split almost exactly in half between left and right.
To answer the question…..will conservatism make a comeback?……it never really was gone…it has been replaced with paleo-conservatism…real conservatism is always alive and well…it is just not in power right now….
When a party that calls itself conservative tries to eliminate all others wothout the “proper” set of “values”….is a dying party….if they cannot tolerate dissenting members then the party is doomed….just look at a lot of the “left” parties of the 1900′s…split after split after split until there was nothing left to make it as viable party.
Could the election in NY 23rd be a precursor to 2010? Will true conservatives have to run against paleo-conservatives in a third party? I do not see where there is much choice we either crap on real issues and vote solely on values or we just stay home….something Americans are famous for on off year elections…..
This could be the beginning of TAPS for an old party of conservatives….a once respected party….but now a much laughed at party….sad…it need not die like this…it deserves better…..
Note: Over the weekend, the GOP candidate in NY’s 23rd has bowed out of the race leaving the neo-con to face the Dem…..did she do this for the good of the Party or was she coerced?
As I wrote the title I could hear the 60′s folk song playing in my head……I digress…..there has been a lot of talk about moderate Repubs and their ultra right brethren….but who are the moderates in the GOP? (I will give you a time for thought)…..
Sorry…I can wait much longer…..Sen. Collins and Snowe…that is the story, but I doubt that they are that moderate….more like independent thinkers within the GOP….the Senate lost a great liberal Repub when Hagel bowed out….in the House about the only one I can think of right now is Mary Bono of California….there maybe some others but I am not aware of them…..
Okay, I know you are wondering why I am bringing up RINOs at this time?…..and a damn fine question it is……you do realize that taxes are the revenue of the government, right? We cannot keep cutting taxes and think that revenue for programs will go up……
Since the days of yore and Reagan the term taxes has been a major no-no…for the GOP lives and dies on tax cuts, but even conservatives, not the extremists in conservative clothing, see the need for the need of taxes at some point when handling the economy. Unfortunately, it was the moderates or liberal repubs that actually saw the need at times. But their voice of reason is usually drowned out by the clap trap from the far right, which is now the GOP.
Take health care …..please….in a piece written by Matt Miller for Fortune magazine:
suppose I told you there was a way to square this circle, courtesy of a $500 billion health-related tax hike that could save the economy? And suppose I added that conservative economists would actually be okay with the idea? Too good to be true, you say? Well, welcome to what I call the “opening of the capitalist mind.”
Start with the fact that business now spends a stunning $500 billion a year, or 4 percent of GDP, on health-care benefits. Let’s say we shifted that cost to government – that’s right, relieved business of it entirely – and, to make matters simple, combined it with other public funds to give citizens a voucher with which they could buy a private health plan.
To pay for this without boosting the deficit, we’d raise taxes by an identical amount – not on business, of course, but on taxpayers broadly, via various gas or carbon taxes that would have the salutary side effect of helping cure our energy and environmental woes.
And to seal the deal for skeptical capitalists, conservative economists declare that this brand of tax hike should have no impact on growth. “In one scenario we call health expenditures government, and in another we don’t. What does it matter?” says Kevin Hassett, head of economics at the American Enterprise Institute and an advisor to John McCain. “It’s hard to imagine that would have the negative growth effects” normally ascribed to tax increases in the economics literature.
If conservative economists do have objections to this health shift, Hassett explains, they will be based on ideological notions of what government should be doing, not on whether swapping a giant current business expense for a tax devoted to the same purpose has any economic consequence. When the dust cleared, though, taxes and spending as a share of GDP would officially rise in the U.S. by four or five percentage points.
The moral of the story? We have reached a moment in the history of American capitalism where business’s traditional Me-Tarzan-you- Jane-taxes-bad mindset is one of the biggest obstacles to pragmatically rethinking our health-care and pension systems.
And make no mistake: If business doesn’t help Washington fix these essentials before long, rising worker anxiety will produce a protectionist backlash that could wreck everything capitalists believe in. Instead of reflexively resisting the idea of government and taxes, therefore, business leaders must now do some constructive, nonideological thinking if they want to serve corporate America’s self-interest – and the country’s. As I said, welcome to the opening of the capitalist mind.
All in all, the article has a few good points and I think they are worth a look…
Now back to the original question…..where have the moderates gone? The moderates in the GOP had good ideas and were a necessity to the two party system…but they were replaced with name calling, lying and ruthless individuals that wanted not what was best for the country, but rather what was best for them and their addiction to power.
The good thing about the way Repubs are acting now is that the moderates of the party will wake up and take back the Grand Old Party from the worthless ilk that now control it. Well, I can only hope…….
If Republican John McCain loses the November 4 election as most polls predict, his party may be in for a rough period of soul searching.
Analysts and some party activists say losing the White House will highlight the pitfalls of relying too heavily on a narrow foundation of conservative Christians whose support has nonetheless become crucial to Republican electoral success.
But some social conservatives say a victory for Democrat Barack Obama, whom they regard as an “ultra-liberal,” will energize them for the 2010 congressional “mid-term” races and the 2012 White House battle.
Moderate Republicans say a McCain loss will show the limits of that strategy and demonstrate that the party may not be able to win if it just focuses on pleasing the base without reaching for the center.
“Focusing on social conservatism alienates moderate and mainstream voters and will consign us to 160 House seats in the South and the mid-west,” said Patrick Sammon, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay Republicans which stresses social tolerance and fiscal conservatism.
conservative positions have alienated more moderate voters.
And that is the name of that tune.