Sunday, March 3, 2013

Blog the Third: Just Call Yourself a Liberal, Already

The Villagers love to talk about Centrism.  I get the appeal of the concept.  In a tidy, sensible country, two powers from equal points away from the center push and pull against each other with equal might and vigor so that we as a nation would never move too far away from that sane, sensible middle.

But we do not live in that country. We live in a much much crazier country.  We live in a country where it is reasonable that people die from lack of health insurance and it is reasonable that corporate profits not be regulated in any meaningful way.  We live in a country where it is reasonable that a woman be forced to undergo a medically senseless transvaginal ultrasound before receiving a legal medical procedure and it is unreasonable to have any but the most toothless federal gun control legislation.  We live in a country where it is reasonable for 1% of the country to take home 24% of the national income and it is reasonable for 14% of American households live with food insecurity.

What I'm saying here is that the sane, sensible position is not smack in the middle of the current left and the current right.   What Bernie Sanders would do to America would make America a better place than what Paul Ryan would do.  Also, the area in the middle of what Bernie Sanders would do and what Paul Ryan would do is not a better, more sensible place than the Bernie Sanders place.  Also, our country is right now way more skewed to the Paul Ryan place than the Bernie Sanders place.

I get the appeal of the term: a centrist sounds like someone who isn't playing for a side, someone unswayed by talking points and soulless politicking.  But "centrism" has become a thing like electrolytes.  There are some scenarios, there was some time, in which it could be a boon to health (personal or social).  But now it's mostly used as a way to sell you crap.  And if you worship at the altar of centrism, soon enough all the plants will die: