In today’s post to Jack’s Winning Words, Jack used this quote – “Divide and rule is a sound motto. Unite and lead is a better one.” (Goethe)
Goethe’s words certainly offer a better solution than continuing down the destructive path of divisive politics that our country is currently on. What’s missing is someone charismatic enough to unite the country around a new direction and provide that leadership. I don’t see that person coming from either current political camp. Both Republicans and Democrats seem intent on solidifying their opposing positions and purging their ranks pf any who would dare to compromise with the other side. By focusing upon political purity they have silenced the moderates in either party who used to be able to work together for the common good of America.
Recall the words of the Stealer Wheel song – Stuck in the Middle with You –
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you
Perhaps that’s where we all are right now, with clowns to the left and jokers to the right.
It is well past time for a new, third party, positioned in the middle, to emerge from this political melee. There will always be those who gravitate towards the extreme right or left positions, but they need not hold the rest of the country hostage to their ideologies. Instead of the anarchist approach of “get the government out of everything”; or the “government knows best on everything” approaches of the two current parties, a platform based upon compassion, fairness, fiscal constraint and inclusiveness for all needs to be championed by a leader who can inspire people to rally around the cause of a better America for all. Right now I don’t see that leader within the current political environment; he he/she is out there somewhere.
While it would seem to be a very uphill battle to start an entirely new political party, I just don’t see the willingness within either of the existing parties to embrace enough change in their current positions to be able to occupy the middle ground. Perhaps that is just a leadership issue within both parties. Forming a new party would allow for the discarding of old positions and political baggage. There has already been one example of the ability of a single charismatic person to rally enough support to create a new movement and a new party – witness Ross Perot and his Reform Party of The United State of America. While that effort ultimately failed, it did prove that someone with enough financial backing and a strong message could make a significant dent in the American Political scene. Imagine the change that could occur if a really strong leader with the right message were to rally America towards the political center.
There will always be those who gravitate to the extremes on either political side and they will not go away, but both extreme would be marginalized into the disgruntled little camps that they deserve to be, if there was a strong alternative in the middle providing the leadership needed to get things done for America. I suspect that a good number of politicians, who now swallow their pride and compromise their own values in order to cow tow to the litmus tests of their parties, would break ranks and switch a strong and sensible middle party.
What can we as ordinary citizens do? One thing is to stop supporting the extremes from either party and start finding (and voting for) better people to represent us. Start making noise for things, instead of just against things. Start running for offices ourselves, if we don’t see those that we can support running. Start doing and not just complaining. There needs to be a new middle ground and that starts with all of us who are already there. Let’s find that new leader to rally around.
Have a great week ahead.