A case against centrism

Today, centrism is a step toward mediocrity. Photo: Eliska Merchant-Dest

A case against centrism

The views expressed in this article are the views of the author.

Two more candidates joined the caravan of Democrats eager to prove to the world that they belong in the White House over President Trump. Or, at least, on the debate stage with Trump. According to the Boston Globe, democratic elites are worried about the current crop of candidates. These elites are generally economically conservative and socially progressive. How lucky are we? Sure, they hold massive amounts of wealth and power, but I sure am glad they believe in climate change.

Biden is the main candidate pushing a centrist message. However, he hasn’t looked too strong lately, both in polling and on the debate stage. The runner-up in the race to the center, Pete Buttigieg, is far too young and inexperienced for the establishment’s liking. Every other centrist politician, like Senator Amy Klobuchar, isn’t likely to receive the nomination.

Meanwhile, democratic elites cower in fear of the progressive wing of the party. They fear that Warren and Sanders are too progressive to win the Midwest. Even worse, they demonize the wealthy and promise massive tax increases on the top one percent.

Instead of investing in candidates who share their ideas and beliefs to pull them up further in the race, the elites sent in two of their own to soften the image of the democratic wealthy. Their entry is patronizing. America is fine with the Democratic field, but the elites are determined to tell the public what they want. Even worse, the democratic elites’ race toward the center is useless.

In politics, the center is an ideological paradise where working together can solve any and every issue. The center is where working across the aisles solves every issue. Bipartisanship reigns supreme. There’s no red or blue. No Republican or Democrat. No conservative or progressive.

The political center is where everything is the same, but it isn’t so mean on Twitter anymore. Where Senators and Representatives can compromise on bills for months on end and make no progress. But after every workday, everyone heads down to the bar for a beer. Where politicians can vehemently disagree on moral and ethical principles but can remain best friends once the debate has ended.

However, the center is nothing but a farce. It is a fever dream, a catch-22 where no matter how close you get nothing happens. It’s a return to adequacy, a call to the status quo. The slogan is, “Don’t rock the boat too much.” The center is a world where nothing changes.

The main issue is that centrists don’t believe in anything. The center has no plans for dealing with climate change. What’s the centrist’s view of rising white nationalism in the country? Or voter suppression? What does a centrist believe about LGBTQ+ rights? Or abortion rights? What’s the rallying cry?

Bipartisanship cannot solve every issue. Compromise works best in situations where both sides want to work together. It works best where both viewpoints aren’t on the fringes. But in our political climate of denial and polarization, compromise, sadly, isn’t a viable answer. The game has changed. The rules of politics have changed immensely. However, Democratic elites refuse to change their game plan.

For Democrats, racing toward the center does nothing but pull the country to the right. While Democrats race toward the center, Republicans run their ideologies further to the right. The Overton window has shifted. What we see as acceptable has totally changed under this administration. Democrats must respond by doing what’s right, even if it makes the elites uncomfortable.

In no way am I advocating for political polarization or division. However, I am advocating for political authenticity. The center is nothing but a return to “normalcy.” But normalcy flew out the window once President Trump rode down the golden escalator to announce his candidacy. We are in uncharted territory. The center isn’t the answer.