The Political Center is Dead

Written by Redfern on 09/11/2016. Posted Under: Rantings.

Like much of the world, I’m writing this in a sleep-deprived haze, an orange phantom haunting my dreams and walling off sleep. This isn’t a surprise, it’s been creeping in plain sight, stalking the borders of our conscience. The latest dreaded signpost to something increasingly difficult to avoid:

The political center is dead

And its death cries have been echoing for years, ever since markets crashed and the pockets of the poor were picked for their rebuilding. they’re in the rattling gasps of Brexit, in the wheezing demise of the British Liberal Democrats and the German FDP. They’re there in Francois Hollande’s zombie approval ratings. The flatline echoes across the Atlantic, because

The political center is dead

And I’m spelling this the American way, which will soon be a way of guns and walls and shouting at your neighbor. Not for everyone, not even for most, but for too many, the angry chorus crying that

The political center is dead

And while we were talking about black issues, and gay issues, and trans issues, we forgot to talk about the poor as well. Especially in America, progressives have been hammering out all privilege but class. Now the issue erupts in a mass of seething white anger, foaming over established principles. You called them stupid, but they won the election.

The political center is dead

And it’s died before. And the same mistakes were made then, as now. And then, like now, the media dressed and propped up the corpse and announced everything was fine. Because the only alternative is one they would never admit to, one they would never look in the face. The sad farce was maintained, all to avoid the fact that

The political center is dead

And you can’t just call people stupid. You can’t just blame millennials and third party voters. You can’t continue with the status quo. No blaming everyone but yourself, no sticking your fingers in your ears and hoping for the best, not when

The political center is dead

Because if we’re to defeat fascism, we have to face another fact which may be hard to swallow: the only way we can win is by giving people an alternative. We need to learn from our mistakes, and remember once more that those who survive are those who adapt.

The political center is dead

And it’s not all cause for terror, the horizon holds more than just doom. Every crisis is an opportunity, and the silver linings on dark clouds might just reflect a bright new dawn–one far away, but one no less real. We just need to listen, we need to provide a positive, hopeful alternative. We can show that fairness and equality hold just as much promise as blame and division. Our own brand of populism, because the left can appeal to the working class as well. If only we stop the hand-wringing, if we make ourselves more than anthropomorphized gloves for corporate interests. We need to show the unhappy and disaffected that we can build a better world than the one we have now. Because we can. We really can.

The political center is dead.

But maybe in the midst of it all our ideals can be revived.

In love, hope, and solidarity,

Redfern