Tuesday, May 24, 2005

John Avlon: The Center is Stronger than the Wings

Writing for The New York Sun, noted Centrist John P. Avlon describes Rudy Giuliani’s recent graduation speeches at Loyola and Middlebury colleges. At both institutions, activists from the right and left threatened to protest the speeches. As it turned out, the protests by both sides were miniscule and the support for Giuliani was immense. Avlon concludes:

As the over-hyped activists at Loyola and Middlebury indicate, the extremes may be deeply divided, but the vast majority of us would like to work together and focus on shared solutions. A nationwide poll released four days ago by Harris Interactive quantified this principled impulse, showing that "85 percent of adults believe we need more elected politicians who will vote independently rather than on party lines." If leaders can hear beyond the screams of the extremes, maybe they will listen to this unmistakable message increasingly in the future.

As the Senators who signed the filibuster compromise demonstrated, you don’t have to be an extremist to be strong. The partisans are loud, they are forceful but they are wrong. The Yellow Line is unabashedly Centrist and we believe strongly in Centrist principles and ideals. But what we believe in even more strongly is that we should be able to disagree in this country, even radically disagree, and yet refrain from anger and hate. Our political opponents are still our countrymen. We have many common dreams and common causes. We should be able to work for commonsense and common ground too.


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