I AM THE MIDDLE: Pratically anything you read about the state of American politics these days will use the words "polarized" and/or "polarization" at least once.
And it's true that the American electorate seems to have morphed into two camps of roughly equal sizes. There is the modern-day GOP, which has devolved from the "neocons" of George W. Bush's day into a nasty fever swamp of Koch-funded oligarchs and robber barons, alt-right ultranationalists and neo-Nazis, anti-government teabaggers and secessionists, Jesus-challenged evangelicals, and the large bloc of Trumpists--mostly blue-collar white people who feel that they've been screwed by the power structure (and they have). Then there are the "progressives," which include, in addition to the various identity-bloc cartels and appeaseniks of all stripes, a new group that includes anyone in the country who refuses to pledge allegiance to the GOP. Nowhere is that seen more clearly than in states like Wisconsin, where for six years now anyone who dared speak against the all-GOP regime is either completely ignored or (if they get too vocal) tagged as an enemy of the state. I now find myself in the "progressive" camp, but that's not because I'm really a "progressive" so much as a citizen who refused to drink the WiGOP Kool-Aid. There's a lot of items on the progressive agenda that I won't carry water for. For one thing, I refuse to subscribe to identity politics; as far as I'm concerned we Americans are all in this together and I lose respect for you when you feel the need to put a descriptor and a hyphen in front of "American." In essence, that implies that you're just a little bit better than the rest of us, or that you require special attention.
And I'm tired of hearing about "white privilege." I have, as a white man, the same target on my back as anyone else in the "other 99%"--and I've got decades of financial torment to prove it, courtesy of our ruling class. Ask your neighborhood Trumpist what a great privilege it is to be white these days.
Then there are "microaggressions," a term I hadn't even heard until last year. Actually the term implies its own definition--these are slights so small or so unintentional that the pre-Millenial generations would not have even registered them. Remedy? How about growing a spine.
This blog is a pretty thorough document of how I became disillusioned with the conservative movement over the course of several years, but I still cannot find a home with the progressives except inasfar as they are fighting the WiGOP along with me.
And here's the reason why: I am the center. Remember us? We were the Americans who tried to see wisdom on both sides of the fence, and who voted accordingly. Those people don't exist in places like Wisconsin anymore--the last public figure was State Sen. Dale Schultz, who was basically run out of town on a rail.
And then there are a smattering of people like me, but we don't talk politics to anyone anymore because chances are excellent that we will arouse the ire of one or the other extremist camp.
Welcome to today's America. Thanks a lot, GOP. And thanks a lot, Dems--you had a hand in it too by playing to all the lowest-common-denominators listed above.
Posted by Alois on