November 28, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
There is this idea that a "centrist" position is a good thing, that we should take policy positions that are something in between the "extremes." This is "moderation." The thinking is something like, if the left is mad at you, and the right is mad at you, you must be doing something right.
OK. So then doesn't it make sense for progressives to sponsor lots of far-far-far-out extremists? These extremists could call for things like actually eating the rich (maybe have recipe blogs), literally dividing up companies by having the police go in and take the desks and chairs and computers and hand them to the homeless, forcing Baptist ministers to have sex with their infant daughters, imposing the death penalty for driving, requiring LSD use in elementary schools -- all the things the conservatives already say liberals do... And maybe we could buy a TV network to put them on the air in front of the whole country like the Republicans did.
This way the "moderate center" becomes somewhere between eating the rich and whatever the right is advocating? Clearly that is why the Republicans sponsor Ann Coulter to write things about killing journalists, etc. Maybe we should try it.
But seriously, when are we all going to grow up, anyway? It's time to start actually thinking again.
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The Center can only be approached through an in place and correctly functioning system of checks and balances. The Right has done a "heckuva job" of usurping and dismantling the only such system we had; our Democracy.
Campaign finance and voting reform movements, along with media ownership reform are top of the "to-do" list. Everything else, from health care reform to minimum wage hikes, would naturally occur were we to focus on those prime issues...
But, what the fuck do I know?
I just came back from a mini-peace rally downtown in response to the "peace sign incident", nasty weather and short notice only saw about 12 or so of us, and the local rag, The Pagosa Sun, didn't cover it, though we marched right by their window with our peace signs and saw 'em scowling. Another local media outlet, pagosa.com was there with cameras though...
Disappointing was the smaller percentage of people driving by who honked and/or flashed the two fingered peace sign (there were a couple one-finger salutes fired at us freaky peaceniks, of course)
We stamped an huge peace sign into the local park, below and therefore visible from the main road.
I feel like such an activist now....lol.
Posted by: The Cosmic Fluke at November 28, 2006 10:55 AM
Considering that at the moment the "center" lies somewhere between right wing fascist and deeply conservative, I don't even want to think about that. I like your suggestion that it's time to grow up and start actually thinking much better. Far too many of us are simply reacting to what we're told.
Just had to add that they mentioned our cheesey little peace march in the NY Times online; http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/29/us/29wreath.html
"On Tuesday morning, 20 people marched through the center carrying peace signs and then stomped a giant peace sign in the snow perhaps 300 feet across on a soccer field, where it could be easily seen."
and there's some pics and a video here
I'm the guy with the glasses and greenish hat holding a small black and white peace symbol sign, there's only a couple flashes of me in the video, you can best see me in the group photo underneath the bell tower, my face looks like I'm saying "woo-hoo!" (I probably was, I'm one of those kinds)
I was sick as a dog and it was a crappy day, but I'm stoked on it now. I sent a letter to Lenny, the producer of INN World Report, which airs on FSTV (and I'm hoping we somehow make the Jon Stewart show or Colbert...)
IT'S TIME FOR MY 15 MINUTES, MAN.
What I want to know is, who gives a damn what the 'center' is, anyway? Sounds like a recipe for making sure everything winds up with only one buttock, like Iraq. This war is the ultimate 'centrist' project. One side wanted to go in, the other didn't. Splitting the difference, we went but didn't plan, budget, provide adequate troops or get our facts straight before getting in up to our necks. Which was supposed to be a sop to the other side because it could be claimed in the beginning that it wasn't going to be a big deal and to prove it, we didn't need no stinking plan, just as if we really weren't going to go in at all.
If you have a goal like keeping your citizens generally healthy (or something) so that they can get on about their business, figure out the best way to get that done and then do it. Don't put the components of your options in a salad tosser, spin 'em up, then pick half at random. Why does it seems to matter more what things are called than how they work?
Posted by: natasha at November 30, 2006 10:39 AM
checks and balances, Natasha.
compromise is the best we can hope for.
and, to end my off-topic comment thread here (I promise), I wrote Democracy Now! and our little story (with mention of our little peace sign snow stomping party) made it on the air! WAY cooler than the New York Times!!
The Democratic has discovered a new modua operandi, one that is not immediatly and intuitively obvious, but which can lead it to become the majority party for the next 100 years. Republicans can campaign on ideology. Democrats have proven that they can campaign on reality. A fact-based, objective, pragmatic group of people that represent their constituencies is a true winner. The idea of policies based on truth is one that is unargumentable and if Democrats quickly sieze this as their platform, the Republicans will be "also rans" (Democrat-lites) forever.
One could argue that this is the true "Center" of American politics. The people reacted strongly against the Republican Party, simply because they saw liers who ruled according to an ideology that destgroys rather than creates. Democrats need to rule based on truth and justice. They need to exemplify American ideals and strongly enforce the law as well,
The Democratic has discovered a new moduas operandi, one that is not immediatly and intuitively obvious, but which can lead it to become the majority party for the next 100 years. Republicans can campaign on ideology. Democrats have proven that they can campaign on reality. A fact-based, objective, pragmatic group of people that represent their constituencies is a true winner. The idea of policies based on truth is one that is unargumentable and if Democrats quickly sieze this as their platform, the Republicans will be "also rans" (Democrat-lites) forever.
One could argue that this is the true "Center" of American politics. The people reacted strongly against the Republican Party, simply because they saw liers who ruled according to an ideology that destroys rather than creates. Democrats need to rule based on truth and justice. They need to exemplify American ideals and strongly enforce the law as well,
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