Wednesday, April 20, 2005

What do Democracies Want?

Kathleen Parker has declared herself a moderate or a centrist in her latest article. I'm not sure I buy that, but since I like the article I'm willing to let it go. Basically she provides a refutation of what Michael Barone was saying earlier in the week. If Mr. Barone is willing to accept ever-increasing partisan hatred, Ms. Parker is not. And she claims a growing number of Americans agree with her.
Apparently, I'm not alone. Indeed, given current trends, we may declare that we have reached a perfect storm of political backlash. Americans who cleave to neither extreme - some 50 percent of whom identify themselves as "moderate" - are fed up with the Ann Coulter/Michael Moore school of debate and are looking for someone to articulate a commonsense, middle path. They may have found their voice in John P. Avlon, chief speechwriter for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and a New York Sun columnist, whose 2004 book "Independent Nation" has just been released in paperback.

Avlon insists that centrism is the more patriotic political position because it adheres more strictly to American values and founding principles than to ideology. A balance between idealism and realism, centrism is a yin-yang proposition that rejects shrill extremes and embraces reason, decency and a practical perspective. To those who insist that centrism is the death of dissent, Avlon argues that centrism is dissent - from outdated political orthodoxies.
Certainly something I believe in as well. Those things which unite us are greater than those things which divide us. I firmly believe that, with all but the most partisan of conservatives or liberals.

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