Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Can the Center Hold?

 Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland (R)  

Centrists and moderates are usually considered the middlemen,  occupying an unglamorous position historically. They’re neither the resistance nor the reactionary right who wants to maintain the status quo. But centrism has now taken on a more radical and even subversive tone. It’s the plat du jour, the mountain Americans must free solo.  Centrism involves the control of passions and emotions and hence requires forebrain activities that employ the executive functions, in particular reason. A centrist might be enraged by the silent response on the part of Republicans to Trump's shenanigans. However, if he or she wants to create a coalition they’re going to have forget the sins of the past. Will Joe Biden be able to forgive Mitch McConnell in the name of the greater cause which is to bring the country together? Figures like Joe Manchin, the conservative leaning West Virginia Democrat are now playing an almost heroic role as regards the stimulus bill which has been stalled in congress. Partisanship has its place and once the pieces of the current debacle are picked up, the population gets vaccinated and the economic recovery begins, Bernie Sanders and AOC can then proceed to provide the Hegelian antithesis that's responsible for the evolution of politics. At present, however, congress and the country are in a survival mode. It’s the less swashbuckling centrist types like the Republican governor Larry Hogan who are the heroes of the current  war against a pernicious disease and an inflammatory despot. Yeats famously intoned, “the centre cannot hold.” That remains to be seen.

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