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Finding a centrist voice in the American political system

Finding a centrist voice in the American political system


Finding a centrist voice in the American political system

Daniel Patrick Moynihan was an American public servant with characteristics all too rare today — integrity, intelligence, wisdom. Moynihan was a Democrat who would find a hard time being at home in today’s Democratic Party… or Republican Party.

He was a policy adviser in Democratic (Kennedy) and Republican (Nixon) administrations and went on to serve four terms as a Democratic senator of New York.

Here are two of Moynihan’s many famous observations that are particularly relevant in today’s chaotic times: “The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change culture and save it from itself.”

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts.”

And that, sadly, is where a moderate centrist like Moynihan, would find himself on the outs of either political party in the 21st century world of politics.

You’re either “over here” or “over there” now. There’s no middle ground. And as the far left and the far right pull at the nation’s middle — whether it’s middle-class, middle-minded ideology, or Middle America — we get further and further where the moderate American has a voice in the political process.

It is the cultural war that fractures our country today: whether we are a nation of culture, facts and a Constitution that draws the line where government stops and individual freedom begins; or whether America is just about politics, where political power brokers write the script of our lives.

We see on a daily basis what it means when a country detaches from reality and any sense that there is something called a fact.

In such a world, any individual with an unsubstantiated charge who appeals to someone with political power can wind up sitting as a witness in a Senate hearing and hurl charges that can destroy the reputation of a fine man.

In such a world, little boys and girls can arrive at school and claim their sexual identity is different from the biological reality that defined them at birth.

And the idea that there is law that precedes politics is out the window. Ambitious politicians can claim they know what is just and use their power to expropriate wealth and property from whom they choose and redistribute to whom they choose.

This is what divides America today, not what happened in a conversation between President Trump and the president of Ukraine. It is not President Trump whom Democrats want to impeach but 63 million Americans who voted for him.

Trump is crass. Trump is arrogant. Trump is skirting along the edge of what is his duty and what is abuse of power.

But… Trump managed to do what two previous Republican candidates failed to do: win back the White House for the GOP and for Americans who want a nation where culture and the Judeo-Christian ethos matters, where facts and law and a constitution exist. It is all this that enables our freedom.

Yes, he’s an odd sort of savior, but he was the best that the Middle was going to get, so they went with it. The president’s own party is really all that cool with it. Sen.

Mitt Romney, whose bruised ego from his own political failures is more important to him than the great issues at stake in the culture war, violated President Reagan’s 11th commandment — “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”

We’re still a long way away from Election Day 2020, but it’s getting to be about that time. Already, the Democrats are falling all over each other trying to be heard in a crowded field.

And Trump is just sitting back and watching it happen.

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