Surfing Bob Crabb’s blog, I tarried on his 6apr12 post ‘The haunting question’ which invites the reader to abandon their left/right extremes and seek the political middle ground. Bob is a master cartoonist of the soci-political genre and an astute observer of the Human Foible. His graphic talents are augmented by his able lexicographic fare. Mr Crabb has long made his cache the careful threading of that illusive center of American politics. In this IMHO he succeeds more often than most. But when the really turbulent issues require him to lean this way more than that, it seems he does take greater comfort from a tack to port.
Upon reflection, what intrigued me about his 6apr12 post was the now obligatory standard for characterizing both ‘extremes’ that he used to summarize the political poles. The American Left as “environmentalists, …, tree-hugging, frog loving communists” whose unifying goals are “gutting the Constitution and surrendering to UN authority”. The American Right are predictably “property rights people and greedy opportunists” who desire to “pave every acre of (an) earth” that is to be ruled by multi-national corporations and the almighty dollar”.
The illuminating part of this oft-imbibed screed is that the Left freely admits to its goals in its many publications/speeches that call for a re-interpretation of the Constitution so that it is not seen (per Obama) as a “document of negative liberties”, of restrictions and inhibitions on the role and power of government. And the Left’s public promotion of a global government that does away with sovereign nation-states and equitably redistributes wealth across the globe is now over a century old.
On the Right we find no one who wants to “pave every acre of earth” or to have a government by hegemony of global multi-nationals to rule over us. (In capitalistic free markets competing corporations can only profit and prosper by growing the wealth of their customers and the economies in which they live.) So the Left’s characterization of the Right continues to require ridiculous hyperbole that may catch an anecdotal extreme here and there.
And that is the nature of the debate that those seeking the center-line regurgitate to both sides. But those who think, on either side, will reject such kumbayahs to the middle. Even President Obama, who wants to make FDR look like a raving capitalist, this week cemented his stand on the futility of leaving his progressive pole.
Peggy Noonan in the 7apr12 WSJ reports on Obama’s polar outing last Tuesday to the nation’s mainstream media editors who are his constant supporters and long-acknowledged friends –
And yet the president rapped their knuckles for insufficient support. In the Q-and-A he offered criticism that "bears on your reporting": "I think that there is oftentimes the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing, then they're equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle." An "equivalence is presented" that is unfortunate. It "reinforces . . . cynicism." But the current debate is not "one of those situations where there's an equivalence." Journalists are failing to "put the current debate in some historical context." That "context," as he sees it, is that Democrats are doing the right thing, Republicans the wrong thing, Democrats are serious, Republicans are "not serious."
It is clear that when the brass knuckles come out in this election year, this man wants no compromise about where the both sides should meet to do battle. This is not to be hand-to-hand, close quarters combat in the middle, but a long range artillery exchange fought from both extremes of the political landscape. And guess what, I think that both sides are right on the mark on their stance.
Nothing will make it more clear to the dimly lit electorate than highlighting the differences as much as possible. Everyone knows that the so-called center of the road is where the business-as-usual takes place which has gotten us to where we are, where all principle winds up as putrid roadkill. And in taking these clear positions Bob Crabb’s haunting question, ‘What if both sides are right?’ is already answered – no mushy, muddling middle for voters in 2012.