Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Center Does Not Hold

by Maggie Gallagher - February 16th, 2010 -

Evan Bayh is tired of being the middle patch of ground in a culture war that never seems to end, never seems to get anywhere.

Culture war is not a term we hear that often anymore because, well, the crucial center of American politics is sick and tired of the very idea of culture war.

But author and professor James Davison Hunter's concept still best explains where we are today in American politics, where the vast center of America is stuck in a tug-of-war between two deeply competing visions of reality.

Very interesting article. I have long thought that part of the problem with the concept of the "center" in American politics is how rarely it represents a middle ground between the two dominant ideologies. Progressives (actually statists of various flavors from socialist to fascist) war constantly against conservatives (an amalgamation of capitalists and cultural stabilists). Ironically populists, communists, anarchists and libertarians have never found a long term home in the two parties these progressives and conservatives have dominated.

I have a little difficulty with the premise of the article since I am not sure that the independents (often referred to as moderates) who are being fought over really constitute a "middle" most of the time. Certainly libertarians and anarchists are to the right of conservatives - and communists are to the left of progressives. Populists are frequently in the middle but not always.

Perhaps this has much to do with the fact that the "center does not hold" since the center has little consistency that would allow it to retain any long term stability. As such it will always be drawn in to the battle between the two largest factions... drawn in against their will but drawn in nevertheless.


Post a Comment

<< Home