The Political Center Is Gone

In a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll, President Joe Biden’s approval is down to 38%. This is quite a difference from Vice President Kamala Harris who has 28% approval.

Democrats have just been reprimanded by voters, with the upset victory of Republican candidate and political novice Glenn Youngkin in the governor’s race in Virginia, an almost upset victory in New Jersey by Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli, who came within 2% of the vote of winning, and revolts in school board elections nationwide, pushing back against critical race theory and COVID-19 government interventions.

It’s not rocket science that Biden and his party have lost touch with the voters who elected them. Large percentages of these Democrats did not vote for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and the “squad.” And they are unhappy with Biden’s capitulation to the far-left elements of his party.

Mark Penn, a respected Democrat strategist has written a piece in The New York Times urging Biden get rid of these progressives and to reconnect with the moderates within his party. He reminds readers that Bill Clinton did this to save his presidency in mid-1990s.

Former Louisiana Governor. Bobby Jindal (a Republican) offers a similar message through an op ed in Wall Street Journal. Both parties, after victories, tend to relinquish too much influence to the “extreme” elements in their party, he says. Statemanship, he says, is understanding the need to move towards the middle.

This wise advice has its problems. One, voters are moving away. The reality of culture in the country and politics is that things continue to move left. It is the speed at which it happens that makes the difference between Republicans being in control and Democrats being in control.

Yes, it’s true that Clinton saved his presidency by turning to the middle. Gallup found that 25% of Democrats identified themselves as liberals, 25% as conservatives, and 48% as moderates in 1994.

Today, per Gallup, the percentage of Democrats identifying as liberal has doubled to 51%; the percentage identifying as conservative is half what it was in 1994—12%—and the percentage of moderates has dropped from 48% to 35%.

Gleichzeitig, Republicans are now more conservative than in 1994.

In 1994, 58% identified themselves as conservative. Today, it’s 75%.

Statesmanship and compromise are only realistic when most voters—of both parties—are generally on the same page regarding our core values. What happens if core values are lost?

I began writing a few years ago. I was struck by the similarities between the current state of affairs in our country and the situation in 1850s when slavery was devastating the nation’s soul.

There is no compromise in the matter of slavery being accepted or rejected in a country that is supposed not to be about freedom. Some people insisted yes, while others insisted no, and the whole thing exploded into civil war.

The current situation is similar.

In a Pew Research survey from last November, 80% of Biden voters and 77% of Trump voters agreed with this statement about voters from the other party: “Not only do we have different priorities when it comes to politics, but we fundamentally disagree about core American values.”

Culturally, there’s no room for compromise regarding differences of opinion regarding those who accept and those who reject biblical, traditional values about marriage, family, and sex.

Fiscally speaking, government involvement is out of control. Already in 2020, 43% of our GDP was spent by the federal, state, and local governments. With the Democrats’ spending blowout, government will be headed toward taking half our economy.

The challenge today is not to find a middle that doesn’t exist. The challenge today is for Americans to choose who they are and what kind of country they want—free or not.


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