While glancing at the mirror the other day, I had the feeling that my hairline and the current state of American politics have a lot in common: hairy on both sides and empty down the middle. Yeah!--Huh? Follow along.
The real Left and real Right are angry and looking for leadership to help them coallesce. In the meantime, like my hair, they fire shots across the bow of each other. The central point of agreement is that it is all Obama's fault--either for not using taxes for the right things or for taxing them at all. In both cases, they are missing the point--left/right division doesn't get anything done, the Middle does. However when it comes to nominating politicians, the Left and Right know that's where they have a significant say and are actively pushing from the grassroots (or the hairline, if you will).
The Middle knows that there is something going on but, with trying to hang on to the job, the marriage, and taking the kids to assorted activities, who has time to pay a whole lot of attention? What they are paying attention to is the feeling that their lives may change--or not, depending on what happens in 2010--for reasons they don't quite get yet. They don't know for instance whether Obama is a "Radical Socialist" or if Republicans are the "Party of No," but they do worry whether they will be okay and their kids will be okay. The Tea Party Nation doesn't speak to them, but neither does Noam Chomsky.
Typically during the election cycle, the Middle does what I used to do with my hair, push it to the right or left for maximum coverage. I wonder if a real Independent Movement would be to go after the Middle, find out what it cares about and form a party around it? A real populist movement, not one formed by anger on the edges, but based on practical politics--a chicken in every pot sort of stuff. If this movement should happen, I wish it more success than my hair. But, I do know that my right and left hair-mispheres will not be coming together anytime soon.