I live in a supposedly deep red state that is actually more purple if you bother to look. I’ve become accustomed to being accused of being a left-wing liberal by the much too vocal extreme right-wingers that you can’t help but run across now and again. I’ve always known my politics were more middling and probably in line with more of my neighbors than the right-wingers would ever admit. So when I learned Esquire has a new article out with the results of a major bipartisan polling effort they just completed that identified a significant political center I had to read up on it. I was even more pleased to discover they provided a link to an interactive where I could answer the questions and see where I stood relative to everyone else. The methodology of the polling was intentionally different from the usual left-or-right political polling that we’re familiar with while still covering the hot-button issues of the day our political factions are currently warring over. I won’t go into detail on the methodology or results, they provide enough and you should read it, so I’ll just talk about my results.
My “classification” ended up midway between the center and the right, so I guess that makes me center-right. I think the #Whateverman classification goes along with the Texan ideal of live-and-let-live, especially if you’re doing it in your own house. But the result showing that I’m not the flaming liberal my family and some of my friends accuse me of being speaks to just how extreme their views are when compared to the general population. I’m sure they’ll stick to their guns and religion and proclaim the righteousness of their cause but this would hopefully give them a little pause or myself a little ammunition when it comes to making them realizing that they live in a democracy and they are the lunatic fringe. I’m definitely a member of the Silent Majority and if they weren’t such jerks about it I would be more inclined to speak up and make them realize why most of us think they are a bunch of nut jobs.
There was a line in the article referencing a quote from Jeb Bush that his father and Reagan would not have a place in today’s Republican party. I registered as Republican when I registered for the draft during Jeb’s father’s only term. Since I registered the Republican party’s image has been hijacked and dragged right-ward by extremists, far more than anything that has happened with the left. Those of us left behind, the ones that have refused to follow them down their divisive path, have been left to do a lot of explaining and apologizing while our right-wing brethren accuse us of being RINOs, Republicans In Name Only. But the name calling and the “rise” of the Tea Party faction is really just the result of rank-and-file moderate Republicans’ refusal to embrace their extreme views and tactics. There are a lot of politicians jumping on the extremist bandwagon but they are doing it to get elected in their heavily gerrymandered districts where they have more to fear in their primaries than in a general election. They made their own bed so I would expect them to have to lie in it. I haven’t left the Republican party but if they are so intent on leaving me it’s nice to know that the walk to the other side won’t be such a lonely path after all.