Winning politicians are those who seek out middle ground | PostIndependent.com
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Winning politicians are those who seek out middle ground

Dale Shrull
Write Angles
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

It’s hard to think of a more exciting presidential race than this year’s White House quest.

With no incumbent, no vice president making a bid and the fervor surrounding Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the 2008 race is like none other.

To imagine that a woman or a black man would ever make a serious run at the Oval Office was as farfetched as time travel.



As a country we will always have many obstacles to overcome, but this race is a clear demonstration of how far we’ve come.

Change is the buzz word of every election. Obviously, the definition of change depends on the individual. For many, change simply means a Democrat. For others, change simply means a different direction or philosophy.



For me, politics has always been like an irritating rash. Politics, to me, is a frustrating and diabolic act of ego and arrogance. Specifically, the blatant tunnel vision that is party politics.

To be a moderate or an independent is unacceptable in the minds of many who are passionate about their allegiance to the Democratic or Republican party. However, as polarized as party politics have become, it remains the independent voter who will have the most profound impact on the presidential election.

These voters will indeed be the difference makers in November.

But in primary season, the candidates must never waver from the core beliefs of the party.

John McCain is constantly bombarded with accusations that he’s not conservative enough. Clinton and Obama are too liberal, and Mitt Romney is too conservative to some.

I completely understand why voters need to know the liberal or conservative beliefs of candidates, but what I’ve never understood is why a total liberal or total conservative platform should be completely embraced.

Independent or moderate voters are looking for balance.

For a voter to want a candidate strong on issues that transcend party politics should be very appealing.

But politics usually comes down to one or two main agenda items to many, possibly most voters. Abortion, gun control, economy, defense … etc.

And those one or two issues will dictate their allegiance.

Obviously, conservative or liberal strengths are vital to any presidential election. The party primaries make sure of that. To make it into the home stretch of the race, a candidate must win the approval of the Democratic or Republican voters. To do that they must strongly embrace those party platforms.

A candidate must first be a strong, obedient and loyal Democrat or Republican to get the nomination; then they must woo the independent or moderate voter.

This is the political machine. It’s a game.

A politician who would embrace views from both parties would never be elected. How dare a candidate believe in traits from both parties. As much power as the independent voters have, a candidate must still depend on the voters from their party to position them for the victory.

I fully understand and appreciate passion. And that’s what party supporters have. They believe in what their party and their candidate stands for. The candidate must be passionate about what the party stands for. They must be passionate about their beliefs.

For all the independent and moderate voters in our midst, the waiting game is the only game right now. Once the party selects its candidate, then the nonparty passionate voters will see how the candidate adjusts or doesn’t adjust their views in the home stretch.

For any election, we need a candidate who’s passionate about this country and believes in making a difference, and making our country better. It’s their core beliefs that dictate their passion.

For all the independent voters and moderate thinkers in the U.S.A., there’s nothing wrong with believing that there’s good to be found in both the conservative and the liberal thinking.

The middle will decide this election, and the far left and the far right will continue to scoff and ridicule those who fail to openly embrace their beliefs.

A moderate is nothing more than someone who needs to be recruited or convinced that the Democratic or Republican party is only way to think.

The middle ground will always be the most important piece of the political puzzle.

The middle might be the most rational piece of the political puzzle, too.

Dale Shrull is managing editor of the Post Independent.


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