Conventional wisdom says that the middle is disappearing from American politics: The Republicans have moved far to the right, the Democrats far to the left, and woe to any moderate voters looking for politicians to represent their views.
Well, the conventional wisdom is wrong. The Democrats have not actually become radical leftists, or anything close to it.
David Leonhardt offers a very pithy rebuttal to the absurd bothsideism that says both sides are moving to polar opposites. Anybody who can read should know by now that Democrats have not moved nearly left over the last 10, 20, 30 years as the right has moved right. Starting with Reagan in 1980 Republicans nominated someone considered too right for the GOP just 4 years earlier. They’ve been drifting further right ever since with big movements in 2010 and in the Trump era with actual fascists and racists being nominated. Even with so called “socialists” like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez being nominated in dark blue places like New York, and a general left movement among Democrats, there is no commensurate left movement on the whole by Democrats to compare to how far right the Republicans have gone.
I write this as I’m listening to a debate on radio wherein someone tries to say that both sides have gone off the rails. The speaker hates the right for the obvious reasons. But also chides the left for… what for it… toxic PC culture.
Yep, toxic PC culture. That’s how the bothsidesers justify their a pox on both houses. It’s not a policy, not a plank in the party platform, not even something that can or should be attributed expressly to Democrats, progressives or liberals but “toxic PC culture”. And what constitutes toxic PC culture? Well, don’t you think Roseanne Barr got a raw deal? No. How about Louis CK? um, no. Should we be treating Al Franken the same as Harvey Weinstein? Of course not, WHO IS??
The citation of “toxic PC culture” as a left movement is bullshit.
Let’s stick with actual policies and the metrics that can judge where the public is and where the politicians are on said policies, because it’s tough enough to intellectually assess that in any concrete way without having the entire debate weighted with cultural issues that do not emanate from legislation. If people are less accepting of asshole behavior, that’s not a right or left issue except that the assholes need someone to blame for their downfall and blaming themselves is not an option.
In the real world this still controls:
For the most part, though, the Democratic agenda remains decidedly center-left: Raise taxes on the rich, and use the money to help the middle class and poor. Protect civil rights. Expand educational access. Regulate Wall Street, and fight climate change. Expand health insurance using the current system. And compromise with Republicans when necessary.
The radical agenda is the Republican agenda: Make climate change worse, unlike almost every other conservative party in the world. Aggravate inequality. Sabotage health-insurance markets. Run up the deficit. Steal a Supreme Court seat. Keep dark-skinned citizens from voting. Protect Trump’s lawlessness.
If you consider yourself a moderate — whether you lean slightly right or slightly left — your choice in this year’s midterms is clear.
Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty clear. If you think, as these bothsidesists do, that some people agree with Democrats on many of the above issues, but are turned off by the “me too” movement, so they will vote for Republicans instead, I can’t help you. Nobody can. Medication likely can’t. There is no Trump Derangement Syndrome because there is no unacceptable level of anger at the threat he and his party present to our democracy. However, if you have “Toxic PC culture” derangement syndrome, the cure is to get your head out yer ass.