The Centrist, Institutionalist. (1 Viewer)

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    coldseat

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    This opinion piece in the Washington Post speaks a lot of truth to me. I'm probably thought of as very liberal/progressive on here because of some of the opinions I've posted. In truth, I am in some ways, but not in others. But I don't think that really comes across because of my frustration with some moderates and what I see as this preformative centrism. This article really illustrates that.

    In basically every major institution in America, there are powerful figures who I doubt voted for Donald Trump but nonetheless play down the radicalism of the Republican Party, belittle those who speak honestly about it or otherwise act in ways that make it harder to combat that radicalism. That needs to change. Americans desperately need leaders and institutions that are fully grappling with Republicans’ dangerous anti-democratic drift.
    ....
    It’s entirely possible for someone to like the legal positions of Trump’s Supreme Court nominees or think that Republican lawmakers were correct to vote to disqualify the election results in certain states. But there is no indication that those I list above actually hold those views.
    So why this posture? Some of it is probably about career and financial incentives. Since the media prizes neutrality and counterintuitive views, Democrats who defend Republicans or cast other Democrats as alarmists get op-eds published in major papers and land on big news shows. Facebook won’t make as much money if Republicans abandon the platform, creating obvious incentives to appease the right.
    ...
    In basically every major institution in America, there are powerful figures who I doubt voted for Donald Trump but nonetheless play down the radicalism of the Republican Party, belittle those who speak honestly about it or otherwise act in ways that make it harder to combat that radicalism. That needs to change. Americans desperately need leaders and institutions that are fully grappling with Republicans’ dangerous anti-democratic drift.

    It’s entirely possible for someone to like the legal positions of Trump’s Supreme Court nominees or think that Republican lawmakers were correct to vote to disqualify the election results in certain states. But there is no indication that those I list above actually hold those views.

    So why this posture? Some of it is probably about career and financial incentives. Since the media prizes neutrality and counterintuitive views, Democrats who defend Republicans or cast other Democrats as alarmists get op-eds published in major papers and land on big news shows. Facebook won’t make as much money if Republicans abandon the platform, creating obvious incentives to appease the right.A related explanation is that this approach distinguishes those who take it from their peers. The left-leaning figures who praised Trump judicial appointees, intentionally or not, communicated: “I am more thoughtful than my hyperpartisan liberal friends who just complain about all Republicans no matter what.”
    ....
    A third explanation is that, consciously or unconsciously, centrist institutionalists believe the radicalism of the Republican Party is overstated. Centrist institutionalists are often male, upper-income White residents of blue states. Such people did fine when Trump was president, and they aren’t likely to be directly affected if the Supreme Court makes it harder to vote or get an abortion. If the United States moves to one-party Republican rule, those Democrats who haven’t been all that critical of the GOP will fare best.

    But I think the most important explanation is simple elitism. Institutionalists worked hard to enter America’s bipartisan elite,and they value that status. Admitting that the Supreme Court has become highly partisan would diminish Breyer’s 27 years there. Admitting that the main divide in the legal world is between conservatives and liberals, not super-smart people and those who aren’t quite as smart, isn’t that useful for a Harvard law professor. Media outlets could lose influence if frank coverage of Republican radicalism cost them access to GOP officials.
    Here’s the big problem with all this performative centrism: Real harm is being done. It’s harder to push for changes to the Supreme Court when one of the liberal justices is playing down the danger. It’s harder to get political journalists to adapt to the radicalism of the GOP when some of the most prominent figures in the field suggest that covering Republicans honestly amounts to left-wing activism. It’s harder to prevent false information from reaching millions of Americans when the leaders of the biggest social media companies aren’t fully committed to that cause.
    Throughout the Trump era, a pattern has played out over and over: Those in the center or on the left, often women and people of color, warn that Republicans are about to take a radical step. They are cast as alarmist by institutionalists. Republicans take that radical step. The pattern repeats.
    ...
    I’m not calling for everyone who didn’t vote for Trump to fawningly praise President Biden. What I am asking for is the end of “let me show how not liberal I am” performances from powerful elites. They are disingenuous and lazy and, most important, they harm the real work so many are doing to defend the United States’ democracy in this perilous moment.
     
    I'm a fairy liberal Democrat who has a history of getting along with Republican individuals fairly well.

    What I see in the classic sense are not two parties that are diametrically opposed, more it is a case that one party is shifted to the left a bit, and other to the right somewhat, with a big expansive middle ground of what is largely all in agreement as to how things should be. Shades of the same color not a completely different color.

    Where I've lived has mostly been under Republican local domination and it's been relevantly speaking OK.

    I know individuals who didn't vote for Trump however they still are conservatives. So they're not going to surrender all because the rhetoric in the media and on the ground is so intense right now.

    I talk to Democrats that are insisting that that past is gone now, however I'm not so sure that I agree. I think one forth of Americans are running amok with Trump but that three forths are still acting reasonably sane as long as the further left don't lose their composure completely.

    I'm not as scared as many Democrats are right now. I certainly don't think a civil war is inevitable, or even very likely.

    I think the largest risk we face would be that Democrats on the left become as radicalized as that group on the right have become under Trump, both sides running in circles screaming and shouting unchecked by reason.

    Both the Trump and anti-Trump scare me insofar as I am scared, one side in dire opposition to each other, in effect adding to each other, rather than canceling each other out.

    The middle is getting run over by those who have come to live in fear, much of it fanned to unreasonable heights by irresponsible media rhetoric.

    Trump benefits by those who both support him ,as well as by those who vehemently oppose him about equally. If he gets a vicious cycle going they fuel each other. That's what we have to fear.

    I think a calm rational middle is where the most hope we hold is.
     
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