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The Pragdealist Alternative: A Declaration of Independence

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Pragdealists seek neither right nor left, but the "sweet spot."-  Our prejudice pulls us away from extremes, our tug is towards the reasonable, the workable, our philosophy is downright hostile to extremists of all colors.  In the blood of a Pragdealist run antibodies that reject the virus of extremism.

Pragdealists of a conservative bent don't have to worry about being seduced by a Hitler or a Franco, either one would be anathema to a Pragdealist.  Pragdealists with liberal inclinations don't run the risk of falling in love with a Lenin or a Castro, either one would be revealed for the frauds they were when judged by Pragdealist standards.

I'm a Pragdealist who is somewhat more liberal than conservative.  But I've been told I'm as liberal is it gets.  That is so blatantly untrue I don't think the person who said it even means it.  I can think of a hundred writers and politicians more liberal than I, without breaking a sweat.  But pigeonholing me as a member of the other side is a reflex not limited to Conservatives.  On liberal blogs I've been called a neo-con, Zionist thug--and worse.

So, why do true believers of either camp want to glue me to the pole of the opposite camp when I disagree with them on some particular issue or attitude?

Because that's what they do.  Liberals demonize Conservatives and Conservatives return the favor.  And anyone who wants to see the world independently, come to his own conclusions, who dares to declare his right to think for himself without reference to the ancient, exhausted ideologies is a demon to both camps.

The Pragdealist thinks we have demons enough.  He will not demonize the right or the left.  What he will do is declare his independence, exert his inalienable right to try to use his reason, illuminated by his idealism, to make the world a better place.

The Pragdealist knows he doesn't have all the answers, but he's still looking.  If the problems of today could have been solved by the Liberals or the Conservatives they would have been.  Each has had ample opportunity.  Yet neither has had a new idea in ages.  Are they still looking?

I believe most American are, at bottom, Pragdealists. Pragdealist principles and achievements are all over our history of compromise and progress.  We are a nation of the middle, when extremes like the Weathermen and the Ku Klux Klan arise, they may flourish for a while, but ultimately we reject them.

But we have lacked the words to ennoble our moderate impulses, we have let ourselves be defined by other, hotter heads.

No more.  There is a Pragdealist alternative.  And this is our Declaration of Independence.

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San Francisco based columnist, author, gym rat and novelist. My book, "The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie" is the best memoir ever written by a cat. Available on, or wherever fine literature is sold with no sales tax collected. For (more...)
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