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UCOMM

Erikson: Left, Right, and Center

Labor's civic responsibility to a functioning democracy requires education

Chris Erikson's picture
Oct 29, 2021
All or nothing. It seems that is the state of politics in America, and it really is sad. The Republican game plan is to deny President Biden any support for the programs that he proposed to the American people when he ran last year. Biden was elected by a majority who supported his agenda and now want to see those promises kept. With the slim majority for the Democratic Party in the House and a 50/50 split in the Senate, nothing is guaranteed. It’s politics, and people want to get re-elected, so they’ve made promises too. Without super-majorities in either party or actual compromise, which has been unlikely, you have gridlock. And gridlock means the pressing problems that affect all of us remain unsolved, only getting worse.
 
The progressives on the far left and the Democratic Socialists will never support the far right Trump agenda and vice versa. Left, right, and then there is the center, where lie the moderate Democrats and the moderate Republicans. The question, however, is whether they are willing to move one way or the other in order to move this country forward. The extreme left and right will never compromise with each other, and unless either one wins an outright majority, they’re stuck. It takes real leadership to forego things that are important to you and to the people who elected you, but if you can still get some of what you want then you are making progress. That, though, would mean accepting the other side may have gotten something they wanted or that you didn’t get everything. Kind of like “live and let live.”
 
Citizenship responsibility is critical to a functioning democracy, and education is the foundation. Immigration, voting rights, free speech, and a free press are cornerstones of a democracy and must be protected. The ‘all or nothing’ mentality we are seeing now will drag us down. January 6th was the wake up call. When people only care about themselves and we are deadlocked, it leaves too many important issues unresolved and all Americans suffer. The polarizing issues divide us and money in politics grows the divide. Strong views on abortion rights, religious freedom, race, economic disparity, and climate change all divide us. Remember that we are all AMERICANS. This is our country and it belongs to all of us. The threat to destroy it from within is real, and I wonder if we will ever be strong enough to stand united when the real threat comes from our enemies. It seems this sad situation is exactly what they want.
 
We need leadership, we need to examine the damage already done, and we need to find the path to a middle ground that moves America forward for all of us. It appears that the path is going to have to start in the center of both parties.
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