Saturday, September 04, 2004

Militant Centrism 

Soapbox Alert: The following may transition into abject ranting.

Jeff Jarvis put a post tonight about the militant middle, which naturally strikes a chord with me. I like the term "Militant Centrist" myself. I've been giving it some thought, and I think being in the middle isn't so much about being in the center of every issue, it's about having different views about different things or "depends on the issue."

I see nothing wrong with being pro-environment and pro-defense. Being in the center isn't about waffling on each issue, it's about taking stands that don't match up in all cases with either party platform. Arnold is a great example of how you can be a strong leader without having to be at either extreme of the political spectrum.

If John Kerry were smart, he would give a speech in the next couple of days that could be summed up as "What just happened in Russia can and will happen here if we don't act to prevent it. Here is what I plan to do to keep if from happening here." Many voters are very interested in job creation, health care reform, and other issues of the left. Nobody will listen to any of that if they think you don't have a plan to defend the country and their loved ones.

He can present himself as a more nuanced candidate, more thoughtful and less stubborn. But if he doesn't convince more people that he can forcefully defend America against its enemies, looking for consensus but not bound by it, Bush will eat his lunch with the remainder of the undecideds.

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