There is no doubt that our country has become more and more divided politically. Rhetoric has become more intense, positions have gotten more rigid, and debates have become more heated, from both the left and the right. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to fit into either group. I seem to be, as some people say, “solidly in the middle”. I don’t think my views are wrong, but I seem to be part of a group that grows smaller each day. Many of my friends over time have moved further to the left, or further to the right, and they seem to have grown angry that others have not moved along with them. Being “in the middle” feels lonely.
What does being “in the middle” mean? Well to me, it means that I tend to be liberal on most social issues, but conservative on most fiscal issues. I believe in government spending to help people live better lives, provide safety nets for people when they need them, make investments in our future, and of course protect our country. But only to the extent that we can afford those expenditures. I believe in efficient government, but not forcing cuts in vital areas of assistance or investment by irresponsible reductions in tax revenues. It seems to me that efficiency in government should be achieved before cuts in funding occur. That means we have to work at it, not just try to force it.
Politicians on the left seem to believe that spending must continue, even though our tax revenues don’t support it. Politicians on the right seem to believe that spending must be reduced so that tax revenues can also be reduced. Both of these approaches seem wrong to me, and potentially dangerous to our country.
It seems obvious to me that we, as Americans, all own a part of this country’s present and its future. Therefore, we should all want to make choices and decisions that seem correct for all of us. However, the political left has moved too far left, and the political right has moved too far right, for the two sides to even discuss the issues with each other, and both sides seem to have lost interest in discussing the issues with people “in the middle”, like me. Maybe that is because there are no longer any people “in the middle”, except me.