by Chris McGinty
Nathan wrote a short blog post explaining that, because it’s an election year, them dang liberals are magically moving to the center with their beliefs to get reelected. He’s correct, mostly. I’ll get into the problem with what he said as I go on (I’m sure he sensed it when he wrote the sentence) but I want to start off with why this is happening and why it’s ostensibly a good thing.
Let’s Start with Why, I Mean, Why Not? – I listen to a progressive on YouTube named Beau of the Fifth Column. I’ve often said he’s the Deep South version of me, because he definitely has an opinion and a bias, but 9 times out of 10 he’s backing it up with solid facts. That tenth time it’s usually so biased that I can see many holes in his argument. He did a video once about the Curvington Curve. It’s a scale… what? You’re going to make me look up the actual name, aren’t you? The Overton Window, I think.
The point is that the US tends to actually lean conservative on a lot of things. These things don’t tend to be social issues very often, but the US as a whole leans conservative. This means that in an election year, if you’re in a state where your political party isn’t more or less the given winner, you have to appeal to the public. These states don’t tend to have extreme left or extreme right winners anyway, so we’re not going to see AOC acting centrist, because she doesn’t have to.
Why This Might Be a Good Thing – I believe there are authoritarian actors on both extremes of the political left and right. These are people who realize that their beliefs are so extreme that they’ll never get most people to agree with them, so rather than waste time convincing people it’s just better to shout them down or force them to comply. These people, if elected, would represent their own power and their own ideology rather than what the average voter wants.
I’m cynical enough that I believe the two-party system keeps out people who the one-party system in the US doesn’t agree with. It’s framed as a battle of good vs. evil rather than a means by which to represent the will of the people. Yet, in many cases the will of the people does get represented whether we agree with it or not. If this isn’t part of the charade, then it means we have a healthier democracy than my cynical mind believes. If you get elected in a battleground state, you don’t do anything crazy California or fucked up Florida, because you’ll be fired next election.
We’re supposed to be a representative democracy. We don’t vote on every little thing to get a majority opinion, but rather hire people to run things the way we vote. If they don’t, we don’t elect them again. For partisan voters, this will only matter when choosing between two or more people in their own party, but that does happen sometimes. Arguably, Jill Stein spoiled Hilary Clinton getting elected, and in spite of what has happened since, that’s ok. No one liked Clinton. There should be no reason she should get elected, other than voting for the lesser of two evils. In my opinion, we need to move away from that thinking and elect people we respect.
Where Nathan Went Wrong – It’s simple. The more absolute a statement, the more likely it’ll cause problems with your position, depending on the truth. Gravity clearly exists, so you can state that as an absolute… or you can float away into space. Either way. The statement, “Conservatives never do this.” It doesn’t work quite so well as an absolute statement. It may need a more passive sentence, something more like, “This seems to be a thing that liberals excel at.” or “Conservatives don’t tend to shift their values so far center.” The idea that conservatives never do this is wrong. I’ll give you two major examples that happened in the mid-terms.
In 2020, President Donald Trump lost his bid for reelection. There were some conservative politicians who were in favour of going against state’s rights and using the court system to change existing election laws to throw out certain votes. I wrote a blog post* that showed that this was mostly for show, because they would have had to have violated state’s rights in 10% of the US states (5 is 10% of 50 if that sounds wrong to you) to even put Trump into a position where he might sway the election in his favour, and even then, it probably wouldn’t have happened. There were some very vocal people in battleground states who chilled out on the false election rhetoric when it came time to be reelected in 2022.
* It looks like I never posted the blog post in question. I may need to find it and post it as a “Hey, look what I wrote before” feature.
In 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Roe vs. Wade decision. The result was surprising for anyone who didn’t know a little bit about how people felt about the issue. As it turned out, a significant number of conservatives were partisan about many issues, and this wasn’t one of them. In those battleground states, and some which weren’t generally thought of as battleground states, the conservative candidates acted like they were never for the overturning in the first place, either by saying so or avoiding the topic.
In the end, it sucks that so many politicians are lying hypocrites and will do anything to get elected because the payday is so good, but there are bad actors on each side of the aisle. One side is not righteous and noble while the other side is tricksy hobbitses. In a nation where public opinion can push an elected official to act as representative of the larger body of people, it’s a good thing that political promises are in line with what the people want. It shows that they at least understand what the people want, even if they ignore it. I’m going to write a blog post in the near future where I explain why woke Hollywood is failing, and I’m going to be consistent in my opinion because that’s what capitalism leaning toward a free market does as well. It gives the people a voice and a choice and that’s probably a good thing.
Chris McGinty is a blogger who will end up against the wall if either political side goes full authoritarian, because people on the left believe he’s right leaning and people on the right believe he’s left leaning. He’s actually neither. It’s more like slouch on the couch. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that those words rhyme.