No, I’m actually not, but if I were, here is why.
The two parties have been taken over by their extremes, offering little to the majority of Americans who reside in the middle, who want a government that works for them. Both parties have been taken over by people who demand 100% compliance with a rigid orthodoxy that meets the needs only of the extremes and not the rest of America. And when they don’t get it, they yell, they rage, they stomp their feet, and drive out more and more reasonable people from the two major parties.
I spend way too much time reading three blogs. On the liberal/progressive side I read Kevin Drum’s blog at Mother Jones and Daily Kos. On the conservative side I read PowerLine. When I point out on Mother Jones that Elizabeth Warren is just as unelectable as Hillary Clinton was, I’m accused of being bigoted. When I point out my current first choice of the Democrats is Kamala Harris and ask how I can be bigoted, I get silence. But the next time I criticize the favored candidates of the progressives on one of those blogs, I’ll get the same charge. Anything less than 100% compliance means you’re bigoted, you’re a Trump supporter. You are either with them or entirely against them.
And it’s the same thing on PowerLine, just coming from the right instead of the left. I’m accused of being anti-semitic and when I point out that I married a Jewish woman and raised my children in the faith, I am accused of lying about my family. I am accused of celebrating the assassinations of police officers. Why? Because I don’t agree with the commenters on PowerLine.
I see a lot of evidence of this, not just on those three blogs, but in pretty much every other corner of our modern world. On social media channels, in the mainstream media, the right-wing media, other blogs. You name it, the intolerance of the extremes is everywhere and they are dominating the channels by which people get information and engage in debate.
The two extremes try desperately to keep the world divided between their extremes. They don’t want to acknowledge that there are shades of gray in the political spectrum. They want this to be a battle between two absolutely rigid ideologies and drive those of us in the middle either out of the debate entirely or to force us to pick one extreme over the other. Compromise is the dirtiest word in both of their lexicons. A close second is solution. Any moderate voice, any approach to real solutions is drowned out by the noise machines of the right and left.
Meanwhile, America continues to suffer. We grow more divided. Our government is more and more non-responsive to the needs of our country and its people. I’ve seen references to the idea that our country is engaged in a cold civil war. I’m beginning to think that’s an excellent way to describe our situation. Our leaders are focused on winning that nonsensical war instead of leading our country.
But amidst all of this noise and rage and anger, there are a lot of people who want something different. Something that they are not getting from either major political party. I see it on Twitter, on my blog, in my personal life in the people I know and get to know in my work and travels. People are so tired of our current politics and want this dynamic to be blown up.
The problem is that our system is entirely focused on the two major political parties. We have been indoctrinated into the idea that this is how it is, this is how it must work, these are our choices.
Well, I think it’s time to throw this system out. Blow up the boxes. It’s time for radical change. Yes, radical change led by the mushy middle. A revolution led by the quiet among us. One that demands that government pay attention to us instead of the noisemakers. Because there are actually more of us than there are of them.
So, if I were to actually run for office, that is why.