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Tue, Apr 28 2009

Republicans and Democrats: When middle ground becomes a decisive place to be

Arlen Specter surprised at least a few of us when he annouced plans to place his allegiance formally with the Democratic Party. Love his move or hate it, it says something about the way things have been going lately on Capitol Hill.

I don't really fit in with either Democrats or Republicans and have generally gone more for an individual candidate than their party line. I lean heavily toward the Libertarian way of thinking, but I don't quite feel enough of an alliance to join the party in an official manner. I'm not terribly fond of the two-party system and would love to see things opened up for other parties to participate more fully. It is nice to know that one can "jump the line" now and then, but I have to wonder how this makes those feel who voted for Senator Specter as a Republican. Will they follow his lead or will they feel betrayed by his move?

I rather suspect Senator Specter won't be the first Republican to declare at least a tentative allegiance with the Democrats party. In recent years I've heard more than a few somewhat conservative voters express discomfort with the cold pronoucements given by Republicans who lean heavily to the far right. If thoughtful politicians are finding themselves examing their own positions, it might actually be a good thing for both the Republican and the Democrat parties in the bigger scheme of things. I hope so. There's always that danger that those who take the middle ground are seen as flip-flopping on the issues. Personally, I like someone who recognizes that the more we learn in life, the less learned we often feel. Even those hard-line, far-right leaning Republicans have to have noticed that Jesus saved some of his most scathing rebukes for the brothers in the fold who thought they already had all the answers to the questions.

It seems to be a self-correcting mechanism that makes one of those two major parties come to power, make mistakes, lose favor with voters and then be abandoned for the other party. I don't know if the swing from left to right is a healthy correction, but it does seem to be a very repetitive process throughout our human history. The question is always how long the pendelum will swing one way before being weighted in the other direction.

posted at: 14:46 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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