No moder­ates left in pol­i­tics

The Daily Herald - - OPINION -

I read with great in­ter­est Mr. Shouse’s let­ter on Mon­day, “We must vote and look for­ward to bet­ter choices,” as I am in agree­ment with his thoughts. I will be vot­ing in my 12th pres­i­den­tial elec­tion this Novem­ber and am ap­palled at my choices. It is hard to be­lieve that our next pres­i­dent will be Mr. Trump or Sec­re­tary Clin­ton.

I have won­dered of­ten how we have ar­rived at this po­si­tion, so I sought out an­swers. There is a book called “It is Even Worse Than It Looks” by Thomas E. Mann and Nor­man J. Orn­stein, two po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tists that have, for the most part, ac­cu­rately de­scribed how our po­lit­i­cal sys­tem has de­volved to its cur­rent state. I do not agree with all of their premises, but it is a good over­view.

Es­sen­tially, both par­ties have be­come ide­o­log­i­cally ex­treme, un­will­ing to com­pro­mise, ig­nor­ing facts, ev­i­dence and sci­ence, and dis­miss­ing the le­git­i­macy of the po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion. Ev­ery can­di­date is in eter­nal cam­paign mode leav­ing lit­tle time for ac­tual gov­ern­ing. In this en­vi­ron­ment, it is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to en­act poli­cies re­spon­sive to the coun­try’s most press­ing needs.

Ap­par­ently there are no moder­ates in Congress any­more, as the most con­ser­va­tive Demo­crat is to the left of the most lib­eral Repub­li­can.

I have to be­lieve there is a vast group of the elec­torate that wants our elected of­fi­cials to work to­gether to solve this coun­try’s prob­lems, but I fear that will not be hap­pen­ing any­time soon.

Steven Ep­ple Mill Creek

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