Malcontents in the Middle?

It is axiomatic that the middle of the political spectrum is where electoral majorities are made. The middle is where the independent voters who decide elections reside. The middle is where both parties spend the bulk of their time assessing and seducing. The middle is what both parties claim to be trending their way—or, risibly, becoming permanently “center-left” or “center-right,” depending upon one’s partisan affiliation.

What distinguishes the middle from the ideologues is their lack of ideology. Independent voters, even those who lean one way or the other at any given time, are not ideological. They are practical. Their primary concern is which candidate, party, and policies will make things better or, alternately, do the least harm? 

While political circumstances temporarily can rankle the ranks of independents, by and large there are no malcontents in the American middle. They love America and want the best for their families, communities, country, and the world.

This moderate practicality can grate upon partisans who, by virtue of the fact that they are partisans, have already answered the question of what is best for America in adopting their ideology. Thus, it is also axiomatic that the hardened ideologues of the Left and Right share a contempt for the middle and for those candidates who appeal to and, when elected, govern from the center. These “true believers” privately and publicly decry their party’s moderate members and often primary them. 

Then, when their party loses seats in November after ideologues weaken or replace the incumbent with a more hardened ideological fellow-traveler, they rationalize the loss of a majority as the necessary short-term ideological purging of the party for its own long-term good. This, of course, overlooks the fact the other party can now implement their legislative agenda, the rolling back of which is never easy (see Obamacare, circa 2017). 

For its part, the Right views moderates as an obstacle to the swift  reversal of the Left’s radical agenda and protecting America. For its part, the Left views moderates as an obstacle to implementing a radical agenda and transforming America. 

Thus, while it is not always the case, the Right tends to have less animus toward their moderates and the middle who elects them—for conservatives are more inclined to support a deliberative government with delineated powers and oppose radical swings in public policy, even when endeavoring to repeal laws they loathe (again, see Obamacare circa 2017). 

For the Left, the imperative to purge moderates is omnipresent because centrists are not ideologically predisposed nor elected by the middle to radically transform America. Consequently, akin to the Bolsheviks annihilating the Mensheviks, be it through primary elections or “cancel culture,” Leftists such as the Democratic Socialists target Democratic moderates as the first enemy to be destroyed.

The Left’s purge is proceeding apace; however, there is a growing, gnawing sense that the purge is imperiling their party’s pending electoral prospects.

The Left’s political and cultural purge is occurring while it holds a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and during a presidential election. In 2012, the Right tried something similar during the Tea Party movement. It did not end well. 

Interestingly, in 2012 the GOP nominated the least Tea Party candidate one could conjure, Mitt Romney. In 2020, the Democrats have nominated the least Democratic Socialist one could conjure, Joe Biden. The lesson is that those power brokers who control their party’s funds and infrastructure can circumvent and/or co-opt the more populist elements within their ranks when it comes to the most expansive and expensive campaign in their purview, i.e., the presidential nomination. 

Not surprisingly, if ironically, Democratic power brokers and party opinion-makers have used the cancel culture-driven media to urge a truce during the purge because it is beginning to impact their party’s electoral chances. The only argument these leftist opinion-makers can offer to their equally Trump-deranged fellow travelers is to cynically pause the purge and the accompanying regressive street violence in Portland and Seattle because, you guessed it: “This helps Trump.”

Why? Because the middle of the electorate loathes violence and disorder even more than it hates radical shifts in public policy. The fear among the Democratic power brokers is that their party’s moderate mask is slipping too low and endangering their electoral objectives, such as retaining their House majority; gaining a Senate majority; retaking the presidency; and securing a host of state and local offices. While the apparently few in number centrist voters and their justified concern for their lives, liberty, and property in Portland and Seattle can be dismissed by left-wing elected officials during these riots, the tens of millions of Americans in the middle cannot be so easily dismissed, endangered, and abandoned by the Democratic Party. 

Having spent over four years creating chaos and, through the collusion media, amplifying it so as to project it onto Trump and orchestrate his defeat, the polling shows the Left is close to completing its seditious mission. Such polling is a boon and a curse, for it allows them the overconfidence necessary for the cancel culture Left’s riotous purge to continue unabated, heedless of the electoral consequences. 

But a further surge of the purge and street violence will not secure the Left’s political aims. It is gaslighting and stealth abetted by our complicit media. The Left cannot afford to be outed as the cause of the chaos. The middle would not reward them; and, instead, would reelect Trump.

Such would not be the political purge the Left seeks, but it is the political purge the republic needs.

Get the news corporate media won't tell you.

Get caught up on today's must read stores!

By submitting your information, you agree to receive exclusive AG+ content, including special promotions, and agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms. By providing your phone number and checking the box to opt in, you are consenting to receive recurring SMS/MMS messages, including automated texts, to that number from my short code. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help, STOP to end. SMS opt-in will not be sold, rented, or shared.

About Thaddeus G. McCotter

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003 to 2012 and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars, and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show" among sundry media appearances.

Photo: KeithBishop/Getty Images

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.