“Where’s the Center”
Imagine going to the local doughnut store and seeing a beautifully powdered doughnut and you bite and keep waiting to feel the jelly on your tongue. You want to taste that lovely sugared strawberry jelly, but that never comes. There is just a hole of air where the best part of that doughnut should be. Sure there are plenty of people who don’t like jelly inside of their doughnuts. The texture isn’t for them; they may not like strawberries; they may not have a soul. By and large though, that jelly at the center of the doughnut sure tastes good to a lot of people.
It seems to me that our political system is starting to taste a lot more like that jelly doughnut. There used to be a battle for the center. The moderates were the battleground that candidates fought for. The candidates would assume they had their own base that could be relied on for votes and campaign contributions. This worked pretty well for a while. The candidates were moderate enough that they could garner enough votes from the center to get elected while still maintaining either a conservative or liberal base to support their ideas.
Unfortunately for those sitting in the center that model has been scrapped for something that has been found to be much more feasible for electorate success. That is the empty jelly doughnut. Now both sides of the aisle have realized that the groups most likely to actually vote are those whose fervor is the greatest which tends to be those on the outer edges of the political spectrum. As a result the key to winning an election now is not to court the moderate but to instead court the extremes.
So what can we do? As I have said before VOTE. VOTE in an election and make your voice heard. I am from Chicago so VOTE early and often. But the only way for the moderate voice to be heard again is for us to vote and show the politicians that the center still exists. There are people who still like the center of a jelly doughnut.