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The Concerns of a Moderate

Updated on November 26, 2014
Feeling tired of politics?
Feeling tired of politics? | Source

Ambivalence is just the beginning

Politics in the United States are dominated by the extremes. This statement is not meant to imply that all politicians are extremist, leaning heavily right or heavily left. In fact, I believe that most politicians start off believing that they can compromise, make changes and better the United States for their constituents. Once elected though, things change. You have to choose a side - Republican or Democrat. Right or Left.

With the current political climate in the United States, choosing a side means conforming to the extremes of your side. Don't believe me? Earlier this year both Republicans and Democrats broke their previous records of voting along party lines, 92% for Republicans and 94% for Democrats. What this means, is that whether or not every member of their party agreed on a bill or law, our elected officials voted with the rest of their party just to be in disagreement with the other side. If the percentages were lower I might draw different conclusions, but as it stands our leaders are playing a dangerous game of extremism and inaction.

Because of these issues I find myself, as well as many other moderates, become ambivalent to the system. We still vote. We research candidates and issues to try to make the most educated choices, but ultimately I end up feeling like nothing I've done, none of my effort has made any difference and that our political system has no desire to change and become greater than it is.

The problem

As a political moderate I generally disagree with our elected Republicans and Democrats and am consistently disappointed by the inaction that I see and the inability to work together to solve real issues. The two party system is a proving to be a complete failure. Republicans and Democrats that would normally be moderate, open to negotiation and compromise, are stifled and forced to follow the lead of their party.

Another problem is that as a political moderate I don't subscribe to either doctrine. I believe in science, facts and taking all situations into account when making a decision. With parties that refuse to compromise and to look at situations from all angles, or who refuse to take facts into account and only believe their own opinion, our political system becomes broken and we become a joke to our international counterparts.

Because of my inability to relate with our floundering political system, I feel myself drifting toward ambivalence. It shouldn't be this way, I should be more charged to make change, but when my voice is unheard, how can I strive to make change?

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Media

Media has a huge affect on how the moderate views politics. The media rarely focus' on issues that promote compromise and shows parties working together. Compromise does capture readers or viewers, so instead the focus on the extremes. Since new media is the most common way for the everyday American to get the information on political matters, people begin to believe that our nation is so divided. As the common man begins to believe this our politicians begin to live up to it. They have to in order to continue on. Expectations have been set and if the constituents see their representatives agreeing with the other side, or often parting ways with the bulk of the party, then they will be viewed as weak and potentially fall prey to a more truly extreme candidate in the next election.

And so our politicians stick to voting along party lines, which gets the American people nowhere. No compromise, no change, no progress. A recent Gallup poll put our Congress's approval rating at 14% (http://www.gallup.com/poll/175676/congress-approval-sits-two-months-elections.aspx) one of the lowest ratings ever recorded. In the recent election though, this massive disapproval did not show. Incumbents were reelected to continue doing what they did in their previous terms - nothing. The Republican's won both houses of Congress, but this won't change anything. With a Democrat as President anything they might want to pass that is controversial will just be vetoed at the white house.

For the next two years we can expect to see even less progress and compromise than we saw previously and doomed bills are slammed through both houses to only be vetoed by the president.

Important issues like climate change, education and immigration reform will be largely ignored by congress because these issues require minds that can listen to both sides, form opinions based off of facts and compromise.

Social Media

If you don't believe that the average American is buying into the extremist of either political side visit any social media form that people can discuss politics on, or read the comments of a political news article. It's frightening the anger and hate that people have for those that disagree with them. Intelligent discourse is not about sticking to ones guns and attacking the other side. Both Republican's and Democrat's are guilty of doing this. They attack each other in ways that destroy any chance for compromise. They state opinions as fact. They discard obvious facts for opinion. The regurgitate what their party says to the media and the media says to them.

I have witnessed political social media destroy friendships and cause rifts in family. It because online there is a buffer between you and the other side. You remove your filter and let loose anything you can to disprove or simply anger the person you are disagreeing with. This same discussions face to face might be different. Understanding for the other persons point of view and why the believe what they are saying could help you to form a new opinion. It could allow you to compromise.

Social media doesn't work that way, especially with topics that are so emotionally charged. When you take an emotionally charged topic and detach emotion through social media, it generally just turns into hate.

Compromise

You've seen me type it over and over: compromise. As a political moderate this is what I want more than anything. Politicians who are able to compromise. There are times in life where you need to stand up for your beliefs, but that is not on 92-94% of the time. Just think of what our Congress could have accomplished if in only 25% of those instances they had talked about the situations, kept and open mind and compromised to help better the lives of the people the represent.

This represents my biggest problem and fear as a moderate: I don't see a time in the near future where this will change. The only real option to change this is change how campaigns are funded. I won't delve deeply into this, but let it suffice to say that when a decent, well-meaning, candidate enters their name, big money buries them in ad propaganda. It is sickening. It is the reason why decent, well-meaning, candidates do not enter their names in politics.

Eliminate the money and greed and things might change.

A note on comments

As you can probably gather from this hub, I am not emotionally charged, and do not abide my emotional out-lashes. Please keep your comments topical and make them to further intelligent discourse, not to fight with me (which you will not) or to troll others who choose to comment. I will do my best to monitor and eliminate comments that do not further the conversation but degrade it.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing what folks have to say!

Comments

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    • profile image

      Sanxuary 3 years ago

      The need for a third party is long over due. If you our a numbers guy and a person of wisdom you our voting for the one who is less stupid. Sadly all the decisions being made are not being decided by anyone's vote, how come people do not get that. I see all these people fighting and arguing about some topic that they really get no choice in. Latest news stories. Cuomo mayor of New York is dead. If you do not live in New York who the hell is he? Jeb Bush leaves three board positions to avert a conflict of interest so he can run for president. Why was it not a conflict of interest in the position of Governor of Florida? Nova exposed how big money has forced all Republican to deny that Global warming is happening. That seems like a rather foolish thing to deny what if the numbers just don't add up? Kind of like how the numbers did not add up into the trillions of dollars when the recession hit. There is no way that are leaders can be this stupid for so long and not know these things that are happening, long before they go my bad. If you always come out richer then before I guess it really does not matter what happens to those who make no decisions. The only real decisions made by anyone is if they decided to protest or not. When people realize that they are wasting there time arguing about nothing then maybe they will find someone other then these two parties to represent them. Everything is already bought and paid for, we are just determining who wasted their money so that they can waste our money and make more money for the ones who bought them their ticket.

    • profile image

      SassySue1963 3 years ago

      exactly correct, depending on how they'd chosen to divide their investments. which is why I said I'd want some guarantees within any such move to privatization. Not even sure if it could be done or if it would be too complicated to work within the system.

      it would work like a 401K - and remember there would be plenty of time for recovery as well because you wouldn't be selling anything off after a downturn. Like I said, right now it is just an idea with no real details. For me, a lot would depend on how it was structured.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 3 years ago from northeastern US

      with soc sec privatization, everyone would NOT be pretty well off if there were a stock market downturn around their retirement time. the folks who would benefit most from privatization/ dismantling soc sec are the stock brokers.

    • profile image

      SassySue1963 3 years ago

      Not dismantling, privatizing. There is a very big difference. I've only done preliminary research on how privatizing would work - so I can't say where I stand on that right now. What I do know is the following: if the Government were to invest $2000 for every baby born, into an account that worked much like social security, but the investments could be divided up how the parents chose, something like a 401K (the heart of privatizing as it stand right now) everyone would be pretty well off, depending on their choices & even allowing for losses during that time, by the time they are ready to retire. Naturally, I'd like to see some guarantees with any program like that - in case there is some huge loss (saw it happy with one of 401K accounts) but on the surface it does not seem like a bad plan. It would also eliminate the government's ability to "borrow" from social security.

      Bush did direct stimulus monies to the middle class - better than tax cuts - and it had a small short term effect on the economy. Bush did corporate tax cuts, but also tax cuts for the middle class. The combination did work but then - the housing bubble burst and I'm not sure anything could have prevented the fallout from that.

      I don't know why you say they've been proven not to work - the economy was booming and everyone was doing better than they had been. To me, that is pretty much working. If by working, you mean closing the income gap - that is a different discussion entirely.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 3 years ago from northeastern US

      have you been in a bubble? right wingers have been talking about dismantling social security for years.

      trickle down (tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy) has been shown not to work over and over since reagan. most recently, bush gave tax cuts and the economy imploded.

    • profile image

      SassySue1963 3 years ago

      So you're a mind reader now? You know that is what they're going to do? Dismantle Social Security?

      You're correct about the corporations. They are holding their money right now. There are a lot of reasons for it but the CEOs all say the same thing: this Administration does not encourage business, uncertainty about the effect of Obamacare on the bottom line, uncertainty about tax rates, further restrictive regulations. So yes, they're holding their money and not reinvesting it into the economy. Tax breaks, a more friendly corporate environment all ends that and begins to get the economy rolling again.

      Tax cuts do not really do anything to stimulate the economy. Direct stimulus payments to middle class does help some but there is no big benefit to tax cuts themselves to the bigger picture of the economy. That doesn't mean I don't think there should be tax cuts for the middle class. Just saying they do not have the same impact on the bigger picture of the economy.

      Well if you're going to say something is wrong, then you need to find a place to start and provide actual facts to dispute it. Because all of that is fact. I'd like to see your argument against each point and some evidence that it is not fact.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 3 years ago from northeastern US

      correction above: "in" = "on".

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 3 years ago from northeastern US

      corporations have the potential to be job creators, but recently, they have been sitting in their money, rather than stimulating the economy. tax cuts for the middle class are a better stimulus, because the money is spent.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 3 years ago from northeastern US

      there is so much wrong with your most recent post, i don't know where to start. i will say that just because they aren't doing it in this bill, doesn't mean the right isn't trying to dismantle social security.

    • profile image

      SassySue1963 3 years ago

      Okay so here we go:

      This is what you said:

      "the far right, which is calling the shots right now, wants to destroy social security and other safety nets to give even further tax breaks to the wealthiest few. just today, congress is looking to pass a bill that raises taxes on the middle class and gives more tax breaks to corporations."

      1. It does not raise taxes on the middle class. The taxes you are perhaps speaking of are tax breaks that are not extended by this bill. They are not included because they are not expired and are not going to expire until the end of 2016. So they are not priority right now.

      2. I know it is trendy to hate on the evil corporations but here's a little factual info for you. They make the economy go round. They drive job creation in the private sector. And we have the highest corporate tax rate in the entire world. The Dems against this version of the bill don't like that there is no penalty for inversion. Well here's a newsflash: if we don't have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, you don't have to worry about inversion because it's done to pay a lower tax rate in another country.

      3. This isn't some great ethical stance by the President. It is political because he wants to use the corporate tax rates as negotiating tools to push his agenda later on and that has even been admitted.

      3. It does not include anything to get rid of social security or anything of your other fear mongering statements.

      4. It isn't a bill the far right had anything at all to do with. The negotiations have been going on long before mid-terms.

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      SassySue1963 3 years ago

      it's too funny really how you twist things. how are they forced into anything? they rewrote the rules of the Senate after all so they could play dictator in that Chamber. They have the majority. Again, explain to me why it is the DEMOCRATS in the Senate who are upset by the veto threat if they don't want the bill anyway?

      You are the one who claimed the bill was the product of the far right. It isn't and they aren't even backing it.

      I mean, those quotes are within the article. What you claimed it didn't say, but it does. you're counting on people just taking your word it didn't because you know people rarely read anything.

      You are the extreme this Hub speaks on. A far left liberal blaming the other side for anything and everything whether true or not. I just called you on it.

      You first say it is a far right bill. When I prove you wrong, now you say it is a bi-partisan bill. That is has two Democrat authors and one Republican author seems lost on you. Two to one is a majority. That the WH has been involved every step of the way on the bill is lost on you. You just want to blame people who aren't even supporting the bill.

      I haven't read the entire bill, have no idea if I like it or not but I know where it came from and where it didn't.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 3 years ago from northeastern US

      you can selectively quote all you want. let folks read the article. yep, club for growth wanted immediate tax breaks for corporations, not to start in two years as in the bill. they wanted something even worse than this bill, which is why dems were forced into this ugly compromise.

    • profile image

      SassySue1963 3 years ago

      lol

      "The White House resistance has confused some Democrats. And aide to one Senate Democrat said the administration had been included in talks between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp (R-Mich.)."

      soooo Senate Majority Leader D, FCC Wyden D ooooo but there is one Republican so it's the GOP! please.

      If Reid is heading it, it is something the Democrats have approved. Which was the point so it says exactly what I said it does.

      as for your far right welllll :

      "But some hard-line conservatives also oppose the selective nature of many of the perks in annual tax deals like the one currently being negotiated. In April, the powerful tea party group Club for Growth came out against the two-year tax extension package incorporated into the current talks, urging lawmakers to kill the bill and consider broader tax reform instead."

      ..they apparently don't even like it. lol

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 3 years ago from northeastern US

      put forth by bipartisan group, not democrats. the article doesn't say what you say it does, sue. i encourage all who read these comments to read the whole article.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 3 years ago from northeastern US

      put forth by bipartisan group, not democrats. the article doesn't say what you say it does, sue. i encourage all who read these comments to read the whole article.

    • profile image

      SassySue1963 3 years ago

      @cathlynn99 sorry to disappoint you, but that is a Senate bill put forth by the Democrats which has been in the works for awhile now. Below is a good read and explanation of how the Democrats don't understand the veto threat when the WH has been included in all the talks leading up to it. Not anything from the right.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/25/corporate...

      "the far right" as you call them (they aren't btw most elected are moderates) don't take over until January.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 3 years ago from northeastern US

      it's the right that is extreme and won't compromise. i am a liberal and obama is far right of me. he's an eisenhower republican. the far right, which is calling the shots right now, wants to destroy social security and other safety nets to give even further tax breaks to the wealthiest few. just today, congress is looking to pass a bill that raises taxes on the middle class and gives more tax breaks to corporations.

    working