Soucheray: The most urgent task of the 21st century? Claw back to the center

As the mob scaled the walls of the United States Capitol, some of them expertly scaling, they were to be heard bellowing, “This is our house!”
Yes, most certainly, then why the attempt to scuttle our grand building with your heartless intrusion with intent to brutalize the place and theoretically hold the Senate in, what, your contempt? Because you didn’t accept the outcome of an election? Every four years there are quite a few of us who don’t like the outcome of the election.
What a dreadful and embarrassing scene it was. Embarrassing because we have always, until now, been spared such dangerous tantrums. The good fortune of our founding guaranteed that while we routinely witness such criminal behavior elsewhere in the world, we knew it could never happen to us. Our Constitution is too sacred. Our civil contract with each other is too explicit. Our boundaries are so perfectly defined.
The president should have stopped it. No, better, of course, a president would never have incited such violence in the first place, but Donald Trump did and for those among us who still believe in Trump, he cost you the House, the Senate and God knows what else as this plays out. Such petulance he displays, such darkness. He has blood on his hands. This failed coup resulted in deaths.
We have gone to a dark place. Trump’s appeal, presumably, was his coming into the world of politics as an outsider, that he was one of us, which was preposterous on the face of it. Most of us don’t own golf courses and hotels. If he was the messenger to shake up a permanent political class and the savior bent on preserving American convention and stability, he was the wrong one.
He has left us a terrible mess, precisely because our American conventions — the peaceful transfer of power! — and our stability have been traumatized in ways we have never experienced.
We need to face this darkness. There is no getting around it. This is exactly who we are now. Onlookers watching the attack on the Capitol kept saying, as though to reassure themselves over the sound of breaking glass, “This is not who we are.” Yes, it is. This is who we are now, hopelessly divided, adrift and confused.
The center has not held. This is who we are now, a people hollowed out in the middle. These are not the Republicans of Eisenhower. These are not the Democrats of JFK. The left has gone too far left and the right has gone too far right.
If our republic is to survive, then the most urgent political challenge of the 21st century is to claw back to that middle ground which has sustained us for so long. Most of us don’t want a Green New Deal and most of us certainly don’t want a Confederate flag walked through the Capitol.
And for the love of God and our nation, most of us would never storm our Capitol.
Who will hear us, the so-called silent majority? Who will acknowledge us and act on our behalf? Trump was most certainly not the answer.
It’s now Joe Biden’s turn and God help him.
The vast center built this country and continues to. The vast center wants out of this darkness. We don’t want extremes.
Joe Soucheray can be reached at jsoucheray@pioneerpress.com. Soucheray’s “Garage Logic” podcast can be heard at garagelogic.com.
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Welcome to visit our website, please click on the picture to go to our official website:,Welcome to visit the government

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