Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 4 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/28/17

Can Centrism Be a Movement? The Answer May Surprise You

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   No comments
Author 77715
Message Richard Eskow
Become a Fan
  (14 fans)

From Our Future

Differences Between Republicans And Democrats
Differences Between Republicans And Democrats
(Image by YouTube, Channel: sciBRIGHT)
  Details   DMCA

Astronomers tell us the stars we see in the night sky died many millennia ago. Their light has spent eons crossing the emptiness of space. To us, they still seem to glitter and shine, but were extinguished long ago.

Last week, the Washington Post ran an op-ed about the political framework known as "centrism." The name is derived from the from the fact that its ideology draws equally from leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties. The Post's headline in the Washington Post last week asked the question, "Can centrism be a movement?"

The answer may surprise you.

Whose Centrism?

The kind of "centrism" described in the Post's op-ed has been peddled to the American people for decades, by members of a political and media class -- some undoubtedly well-intentioned, others less so -- who believe that the center lies in their own midst.

They want decisions about the nation's future to be made in quiet convocations of the powerful, far from the messy and contentious disturbances of the popular psyche that give rise to memes, demonstrations, and voter insurrections.

You know: democracy.

This brand of "centrism" brought us "responsible" plans to cut Social Security, a rhetorical fixation on deficit reduction, an unwillingness to prosecute crooked bankers or break up too-big-to-fail banks, and at the same time a drive to involve ourselves in military misadventures across the globe.

It's a global phenomenon, taking in the liberal leaders of social democratic parties in Western Europe, as well as U.S. Democrats with last names like Clinton and Obama. It gave us Obama's Deficit Commission fiasco, his misguided attempts at a grand bargain, and Congressional Democrats' fixation on "pay-go" programs.

This kind of centrism has been rejected by the voters over and over again. Obama was forced to retreat from it, at least rhetorically, in order to win re-election. But it contributed to the Democrats' loss of the Senate, the House, two-thirds of governorships, and some 900 state legislature seats.

This brand of centrism also played a major role in Hillary Clinton's 2016 loss. Even after attempting to adopt a more populist pose, Clinton could not resist return to her old ways.

"I get accused of being kind of moderate and center," she said at an Ohio campaign event. "I plead guilty." Ohio, like many swing states, had already been decimated by job-killing, "centrist" trade deals. Clinton's record, along with comments like these, made her vulnerable to her pitchman/opponent's phony promises.

This brand of centrism gave us Trump.

The Light of Dead Suns

There have been many attempts to keep this vision of centrism alive, all funded by Wall Street tycoons and corporate CEOs. Still it shines, burning as bright as so many dead suns, fueled by the incineration of Wall Street money.

Not that I don't understand its appeal, especially if you travel in certain circles. Political debate is messy and angry and frequently rude;. Members of Congress don't beat each other senseless with canes as in days of old, but that could be making a comeback.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Richard Eskow Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How to Fix the Fed: Dismiss Dimon, Boot the Bankers, and Can the Corporations

The Top 12 Political Fallacies of 2012

Pawn: The Real George Zimmerman Story

What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way

"His Own Man's" Man: Jeb Bush and the Return of Wolfowitz

"F" The Bureaucracy! The White House Can Help Homeowners Right Now