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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/27/22

Will the Democratic Party of "What?" Heed the Cry from the Center?

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Back in 2017, I wrote an article "Abandoned and Deserted, a Cry from the Center." In it I discussed the plight of "centrists," most of them hoping for some sort of dialogue to somehow "break out" between the country's various warring factions. I also could not understand why the majority of influential Democrats had ignored Joe Biden as their preferred presidential candidate. After all, Biden's political history, similar to that of his Republican colleague, James Baker, had always been to try to make the Washington political process actually work! To me he seemed like the only hope, however "desperate," that we had of bringing the country closer together. Instead, both parties ran what turned out to be extremely divisive candidates, Trump purposely sowing discord and Hillary seemingly unable to avoid it. Meanwhile, what appeared quite clear to me was that neither the MAGA crowd nor the so-called "Progressives" (whatever the term is supposed to mean) seemed particularly interested in legitimate "dialogue." Instead, each camp simply "wanted what they wanted" and as is so often the case in Washington, neither camp tried seriously to secure what their constituents actually needed. In fact, many on the left had chosen to follow what turned out to be worthless, selfish third-party candidates.

Then, before the last presidential election, South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn, realizing that for precisely the above reasons, Joe was, indeed, the best hope for both party and country, basically cemented Biden's candidacy for the job. While centrists were generally relieved, after suffering four years of seeming autocracy, those on the more extreme left, bought into his candidacy with some reservations. In an effort to appease them, President Biden seems to have "changed his spots." It is one thing to be a believer in climate change and advocate for the necessary regulations and promotion of renewables. It is quite another to give in to classic "naà ve idealists" who typically want overnight change at the dire expense of others. It seems totally out of character for the Joe Biden that we elected to turn down an actual "dialogue" with oil companies and replace it with negotiations with Saudi Arabia! Who are the "Progressives" (psychotics?) advising him? Under normal circumstances, reasonable arguments over pipelines and unnecessary drilling, burning of natural gas and reasonable regulation of the oil and gas industry in general are, of course, legitimate issues. Given the war in the Ukraine, impending world hunger, cold weather only months away, not seriously talking to the oil and gas industry and not compromising seems truly foolish, but something extremists might actually suggest.

Again, though even the most extreme "Progressives" cannot compare to those on the far right in their selfishness or their penchant for immediate gratification, they seem to suffer from something far more dangerous. It is their refusal to learn from their mistakes. Even the most ardent extremist on the right respects the wisdom of the words "It's the economy stupid!" It is obviously not the case with those Progressives who seem to be dictating so much of the president's agenda. Despite the history of certain American businesses enjoying special, undeserved privileges, I believe that the American "businessman," pragmatically regulated, is ultimately not only the "saving grace" of our country, but also of the entire free world and, ultimately, even of the citizens of oppressive governments. The current administration, head in the clouds and seemingly anti-business, is, likely, doomed in the midterms. Admittedly, much of this is the residual effect of the last few years of the previous administration pampering businesses and pouring excess money into the economy. However, Progressives trying to actively stifle those businesses they dislike will not lead to better wages or benefits for workers. Generation of wealth and its distribution are like two hands trying to clap and missing by at least a foot or so! They must be addressed by "spitting on the hands and rubbing them together" so to speak. It takes ingenuity and hard work, not wishing and not tariffs.

I have been a liberal Democrat for my entire adult life. It has been 57 years since I was taught by Prof. Conroy who said that the concept of the two-party system was for individuals to make each party the best and strongest possible in an effort to make their country the best and strongest possible. For a few decades after WWII, this seemed to be the case, but not today. Both parties' followers seem to be torn apart by the individual issues and crippling biases of various extremist factions. Mr. Biden, it is time to broker a temporary deal with the oil and gas industry, to supply Europe with natural gas and oil and fight for the Ukrainians and against world hunger at the same time!

Al Finkelstein 6/19/22

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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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