There once was a somewhat principled -- even if selfish and objectionable -- movement in America called Conservatism. But that is no more: as much a victim of the public relations-named "Reagan Revolution" as are America's middle and working class and the once robust economy of the United States.
The modern "conservative" movement is nothing more than a massively funded and highly effective communications strategy to shift America into an oligarchy that functions for the super wealthy through tax cuts and for corporations through the elimination of safety regulations for the public good and the privatization of government.
That's not conservatism; that's highway robbery. It's a crime.
All this came about through the organized strategy and financing of wealthy financiers and corporations to build a network of think tanks, media-owned outlets, reporters toting the oligarchy line on the "benefits" of unrestrained "free trade," public relations initiatives, and front organizations to move America from an evolutionary society relying on the strength of innovation and a dynamic educated middle class to a relatively static society in which those at the top are in a members-only club growing obese with wealth while kicking others down from the ladder to the top and demanding tithes from them.
The most vital cudgel used to achieve this economic and social imbalance that stultifies the American nation and is immoral to its founding principles is the notion of "centrism." It is beat into us by Republican and Democratic politicians (Rahm Emanuel and the White House being current exemplars), the corporate mainstream media, and, of course, the relentlessly effective GOP echo chamber.
What is "centrism" other than an artificial metaphor, given that America is confronting so many issues and that the vast majority of society wants to move forward, not backward. What most Americans want is not static "centrism," but movement ahead. That is the conundrum that corporate journalism, subject to the goals of its owners can't explain: how a society that allegedly is "conservative" is fed up with the gridlock in Washington that won't produce change.
After all, so-called "Conservatism" is the opposite of progress. It is moving backwards instead of forwards. The world, however, doesn't stop -- and the immoral assertion of "centrism" as the trope that politicians use to stifle America's advancement is allowing other nations like China, India and a United Europe to catapult past us.
To prevent the continued development of a prosperous society that benefits more than a privileged few, the GOP developed a massive propaganda machine of everything from think tanks, to publishing houses, to "stalking horses" in whom they invested -- like General Electric and some California plutocrats did in Ronald Reagan. The Republicans lured -- primarily through television and radio -- millions of financially threatened working and out of work Americans through fear and scapegoating to blame liberals and alien "hordes" for their plight instead of the global corporations who were stealing their jobs and shipping them offshore in the middle of the night.
Then the corporate media and timid Democrats in D.C., who get their share of corporate pay-offs to do the bidding of companies loyal now only to gross profiteering and risk taking and not to the U.S., created the notion that somehow all this pollster labeling of political positions indicated that we were a "centrist" nation as if it were some sort of marker you could find in a corn field in Kansas. The profound problem for the ruling elites in D.C. and their corporate mainstream cohorts is that when you ask Americans on individual issues what their preferences are, they lean decidedly toward government involvement in advancing the interests and achievement of the nation.
America prided itself on breaking away from the fixed and stultifying inherited upper class rule of Europe, only now to have an interest group with such massive amounts of funds to create a "natural order" of winners and losers; in essence, to reverse the American Revolution.
That's not "centrist" or "conservative"; it is immoral, even treasonous.
Ask the South American nations who threw off governments that the U.S. supported because they were, in essence, subsidiaries of American corporations. Now, the majority of South America is ruled by populist leaders responsive to the needs of their people before the needs of wealthy magnates and U.S. companies that span the globe.
Ask the people of the Iberian Peninsula who long ago threw off dictatorships and elected populist governments.
No, the "center" is what "we the people" make of it and what true leaders can mold in the way of vision and persuasion. It evolves; it mutates; at its best it reaches for our highest aspirations, but it takes inspiration, understandable language, and the strength to vanquish with hope the fears evoked by demagogues.
The created fiction of the "center" is used as an excuse for inaction on behalf of America's obscenely wealthy interests.
If you look at how phony the concept is, just think what the Republicans did with a post World War II society that saw most of America (with the exception of minorities) move forward and the development of a broad middle class. The "Reagan Revolution" moved that "center" to the far right, stealing from the working and middle class through completely unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthy and using propaganda techniques to poison people against government, while giving a free pass to corporations who acted with callous and pre-meditated indifference toward their U.S. workforces and obligations to the common good.
The "center" is ever-moving, if only we had the leadership that was unbought to move it toward our aspirations and dreams, and to take advantage of the great skills of the American people, instead of sinking, for instance, our public education system so that the gluttonous rich can fatten themselves up even more as the Republicans shift America's wealth from the middle to the top through manipulation and myths of "the center."