In politics, extremists have taken over, drowning out the voices of moderate citizens and leaving a bustling cacophony of heated debates instead of constructive conversations. Former Senator Ben Sasse exemplified this growing divide in a recent forum hosted by the Carolina Partnership for Reform in Raleigh. Sasse called out the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans are largely disinterested in politics because the extremists holding the reigns refuse to acknowledge the importance of compromise and the value of considering alternative perspectives. Even within either major political party, a majority of voters find the politicians’ ideological rigidity to be far too extreme.
According to Gallup, a record high of 50% of Americans identify as independent in January 2022. This independence is now the largest sector of the North Carolina voting populace, surpassing that of both Democrats and Republicans. It is unsurprising, therefore, to see why this is the case; more people are disenchanted with the status quo.
Fortunately, former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker offers up a solution. During a meeting at the Institute of Emerging Issues at N.C. State University he emphasized the importance of government simply accomplishing its tasks, such as providing effective services like treatment for opioid addiction and improving public transportation. Baker went so far as to suggest that simply getting stuff done could be a unifying force and lead to a resurgence of moderate politics in the United States.
Baker makes his case in his newly published book, “Results: Getting Beyond Politics to Get Important Work Done,” which he co-authored with Steve Kadish, his former Democratic Chief of Staff. In it, they urge leaders to put competent people in key government roles, build trust through transparency, and measure progress so that they can ensure results.
Centrist candidates offer hope of a more muted middle in American politics. These citizens are not swayed by media theatrics, but are keen on competency, collaboration, and resolution. Such the importance of their voice can not be overstated and it is time to give it the platform it deserves. Whoever leads the charge in truly bridging the divide and allowing moderate citizens a fair hearing will have the full support of disenchanted moderates everywhere.