Posts Tagged ‘centrism’

Just yesterday (or today in America), Democratic Senator Evan Bayh announced his retirement from the Senate. His reason?  Bayh argues that “Congress is not operating as it should,” citing a lack of bipartisanship causing a legislative gridlock.  Bayh has made it a point to note that he is not fed up with public service as a whole, but specifically with the current state of Congress.  According to political analyst Jennifer Donahue, the left-wing members of the Democratic Party in the executive branch and in Congress are putting a large strain on the Democratic centrists.

Similar criticisms of centrism are facing the Republican Party, with former Arizona congressman J. D. Hayworth challenging John McCain for his Senate seat, claiming, “You could say they are two John McCains.  The one who campaigns like a conservative and the one who legislates like a liberal.”

From the perspective of this European correspondent (tongue-in-cheek), American politics is largely a centrist playing field.  In the UK, for instance, the ‘centre’ is much farther left than in the US, but there does exist a sizable neo-Fascist party (BNP), something nearly unthinkably right-wingéd in the United States.  From this perspective, the ‘far-right’ and the ‘far-left’ Americans are actually not as far apart as we might immediately suppose.  Though Barack Obama has been accused of being a socialist, it would be difficult to find a Labour Party member who would consider him such.

Still, in the heat of American partisanship fueled by the fierce rhetoric of newscasters and politicians (and those posing as politicians), the center is no man’s land.

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