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Abandoned and Deserted- A Cry from the Center

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If it sounds to you like a whiney child is complaining about being mistreated, then this article may never resonate with you. If you are proud that you consider yourself an extreme progressive, with nothing but contempt for extremists on the right or if you are extremely conservative with nothing but contempt for progressives on the left, then take a breath, cool off a little. Sadly, I have found that both right and left wing fanatics seem to hurt their own followers even more than those of their so called "political adversaries." Our somewhat feeble attempts at well meaning legislation need to be written by centrists, most of whom have common goals, but different views of "how to skin a cat." Instead laws are usually authored by extremists with little or no self control, let alone any skill in writing laws.

The best example of this seems to be "Affirmative Action," a program that was and is certainly necessary and "righteous." Why then would some lunkheaded group in Congress want to mandate the hiring of a lesser qualified minority member over a more qualified "non minority" member? Why would the incompetent authors violate the Fourteenth Amendment ("Equal Protection") in an attempt to somehow uphold it? Never mind that the precedent was already set, if not as obviously, by the inadequate way the "Civil Rights Act" seems to have been written. I don't recall meeting anyone on the "right" or "left" who will admit that the federal government actually has the right to tell someone whom he or she may or may not permit to enter a privately owned business establishment. This is something constitutional law professor Barack Obama appreciated, but wisely skirted as an issue when he eloquently explained how wealthy employers depend so heavily on not only their employees, but on the transporters of their products, the common citizens that pay for public utilities and public services, public roads, and the employer's day to day protection.

Perhaps I am asking too much of our legislators' questionable talents, but if the Civil Rights Act were written such that all of these publicly financed services were to be withheld from restrictive business establishments, that buses forcing minorities to the back of the bus could not use public roads, I believe that many true conservatives and libertarians such as Barry Goldwater would have voted for it. Furthermore, individuals such as Ron Paul would not have to criticise the act, while saying that flawed as it may be, we definitely need it. The same is true for "Affirmative Action." And, who were the fools who came up with bussing, anyway. I was a school teacher at the time and I can still remember my initial reaction. Not only did I consider the idea to be asinine and misguided, I called it counterproductive which it still is to this day. I immediately suggested that the best teachers be "bussed," not the students! If nothing else, paying them more and moving the teachers, who are employees of the local government, is at least legal! What's more, if the schools were good enough, a significantly larger number of middle class families might even move into areas with the best schools, contributing a good deal more natural assimilation of culture and race into neighborhoods than would government force.

On the other side of the aisle, even the "justices" of our Supreme Court can't seem to compose a cogent decision. We have conservative legislators and judges promulgating perhaps the worst ever violation of the First Amendment, masquerading as a phony attempt to save it. The Citizens United decision absurdly protects unlimited anonymous political donations as expression of opinion, but refuses to protect voting as an expression of the exact same opinion! No wonder that the Roberts Supreme Court is still the laughing stock of every judicial system in the entire free world, a fact that would actually be comical except that I can find no comic relief in the addition of Judge Gorsuch to an already corrupt Court. We are so used to accepting extreme views from both sides that we hardly realize when we have been hit in the head with the damned pendulum!

As I have written so many times, those in the center seem more likely to look both left and right to try to find out what people actually need as opposed to what they want! Meanwhile, their respect for an opponent's actual ideology no matter how much they disagree with it, very often leads to an actual dialogue. It is why even Bernie Sanders, as liberal as they come, dons his centrist mantle at his Town Hall meetings and is so popular, even with so many conservatives who did not, obviously, vote for him. Some of his solutions may be untenable, but he was the only candidate of either party who literally asked and still asks voters what it is that they really need. He simply did not consider their political leanings at all. He, unlike Trump or Clinton, pandered to no one. He alone portrayed "Obamacare" as a necessary stepping stone to a realistic national healthcare plan, leaving the door open for a dialogue about healthcare no matter how much he disagreed with Republican concepts. He alone actually asked people in West Virginia what they needed. Hillary didn't seem to give a damn and Trump lied to them by telling them what is they need and that the ultimate answer is to halt immigration and for them to die in the coal mines that he would soon reopen. Neither Hillary nor Trump ever asked them why they had actually lost their jobs. When Bernie actually did ask them, most answered that their jobs were forfeited to machines, not because of the mines being closed. Finding out what they needed, Bernie's solution was actually the same as President Obama's, to use federal funds already appropriated, to retrain coal miners in new, more permanent jobs, i.e. to address their long term needs, not just short term phony fixes.

Oh, and how much of his presidency did President Obama spend in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia talking with real people about real needs? How much time did he spend with the same people explaining why and how they might benefit long term by the TPP or any worthwhile policies for that matter. It's pretty much like the difference between a physician examining a patient via telephone or TV monitor instead of an actual face to face, hands on physical examination. Better to stay in D.C. wasting time and political capital, I guess, trying to figure out the advantage of marriage over civil unions or the pros and cons of a woman having a late term abortion because of a bad hair day. Why should we concern ourselves with the needs of a centrist population when we can raise so much more money worrying about wealthy extremists on both sides of the political equation? And, if that be the case, why not further vilify the opposition's ideas since more disrespect means more money in each party's coffers. Hell, legitimate dialogue might get some answers, but it puts bupkis in the party's pocketbook.

If Democrats want to be the representative party of the people, we must have candidates who actually talk to people in the center, whatever their party affiliation. I believe that considering the filthy mess handed to him by a world in turmoil and by his adolescent predecessor, President Obama deserves a great deal of credit for his accomplishments. He stabilized a worldwide economic crash and love it or hate it, he established the only form of national healthcare this country has ever had. What he did not bother to do, except on rare occasions, was to use his bully pulpit to talk to his actual constituents in the center, representing some 65-75 percent of our entire population. He rarely used his considerable talent to explain to the average person exactly what he was doing for them or what the opposition was doing to them! He never seemed to understand that what makes presidents really respected in their countrymen's eyes is standing up to your own party as well as the opposing party, nor did he seem to understand that what matters most to people is fairness and that no one in the center respected Eric Holder's unfair Justice Cartel any more than they could respect "W's" unfair pseudo Christian "Inquisition."

When I see people such as Joe Biden passed over as a presidential candidate, I wonder where the soul of our party lies. And now, even though we have no presumptive presidential candidates in the Democratic party this early in the cycle, we need to designate people like Adam Schiff, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, even old Joe Biden and other soft spoken and articulate statesmen as spokespersons to the heart of America. However, If they do speak honestly and actually explain the issues to "We the People," they must realize that they may have to sacrifice popularity among their more corrupt colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

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Dr. Allen Finkelstein, writing since 2006 under the penname “O’finky,” was born in New York, where he attended the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County as a boy. He continued his religious training in South Florida until his family, (more...)

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