Where is the Middle?

  • Have we all chosen a team and are we are going to pull for it no matter what?
  • Both parties have succeeded in manipulating their “followers”.
  • We, the people, have everything to gain and everything to lose.

Enough is enough. It is time for us to come together as Americans. I’ve had enough of Trump and the Republicans that support and enable him. And I’ve had enough of Pelosi and Biden with their corporate interests and rich influencers. I beg to ask the question—where is the middle? Where is common sense? Have we all chosen a team and are we are going to pull for it no matter what?

Neither side has a claim to patriotism, although the right, for some odd reason, touts it more. The left is plenty patriotic.

Have we been swept up in the brainwashing powers of the media, or of both party’s leadership? Have our own brains been disabled? Both parties have succeeded in manipulating their “followers”—like cult leaders leading their flock to slaughter. The majority of followers really mean well. I sincerely believe that. For the Republicans, the leadership has actually preyed on the good nature and manipulated their constituents. For the Democrats, the leadership has ignored large portions of the underrepresented—mainly poor, rural white males.

I consider myself a left leaning centrist. But rather than label myself, I try to use common sense and human dignity as a guidepost to values and taking a stance on issues. I sincerely believe the left and the right want the same thing. We just have two different viewpoints on how to get there. Assuming you are not a radical—either from the left or from the right, I sincerely believe we can come together.

So it may not be a matter of the left and the right getting together to join on the issues. Maybe we have been divided. The problem is not with us as Americans. The problem is with the system. The problem is with the plutocratic government vs. democracy. The plutocracy of our government is pro wealthy vs. the rest of us. They have successfully divided “we the people” with left vs. right issues while they sneak away with the treasure chest.

For example, 82% of the last stimulus money has gone to people with income over a million dollars a year. And over the past five months, billionaires’ net worth has increased by 20%. These are the real issues. The majority of the other issues have become politicized—when, in fact, there is more common ground amongst the people than not. But we have been forced to “pick a team” and to disagree vehemently with anything that comes from the other side. We have been polarized. Our eyes have been taken off the ball.

I’m here to make the case for the middle, or maybe even make the case for common sense. But the majority of the issues should be looked at and become depoliticized.

Patriotism—neither side has a claim to patriotism, although the right, for some odd reason, touts it more. The left is plenty patriotic. Patriotism means having in your mind and heart the best interest of our country. The problem with that definition is we all have varying views of what is best for our country and how we fit in to the equation.

Peaceful demonstrations are good. Rioting is bad.

My personal definition of patriotism is what is in the best interest of all of it’s people. So in this definition, the self is secondary. It is about the whole and the greater good—outside of the self. This includes equality and justice for ALL. This includes all races, all sexual orientations, all religions etc. If you are a person, you deserve equal rights and equal access to the vehicles to become successful.

Black lives matter. Brown lives matter. Blue lives matter. If those on the right are tired of hearing about Black Lives Matter, support policy and leadership that will make people of color have an equal chance at success, justice, education, safe neighborhoods, and so much more. They do not want to take from you. They simply want to join with you. Patriotism isn’t about the self or about one race having dominance. We all come from immigrants. We all are people. We all are the same. The current leadership in Washington, on both sides, is about the self—especially the President. Ignore them. Whatever you need to know is in your heart. Don’t let your insecurities be fanned by others’ self interests.

Guns—To the right: nobody wants to take away your guns. But people do want to make gun ownership safe and responsible. Everybody can still hunt and protect themselves and their family. Gun ownership is a constitutional right. It’s really a non issue. But the NRA is a powerful lobbyist and makes a ton a money off of the fewest regulations possible. They want the right to fear the left. The middle ground is—guns for those who want to protect your family and to hunt, but no assault weapons to where a criminal can wipe out people at will. If you are for law and order and are pro police, you should be for limiting weapons for the bad guys and mentally unfit. Problem solved.

Protests—Again, look no further than the constitution. Peaceful demonstrations are good. Rioting is bad. Don’t bully the peaceful protesters to show dominance. Arrest the rioters. It’s not complicated.

Religion—Nobody has all of the answers. If they say they do, that should be a red flag. I personally believe that all religions have some truth to them. God and Allah might be the same. I don’t know a lot, but I do know that the Supreme Being is LOVE. So true religion is all about love. So whatever we do that is not out of love, is not in step to whatever religion we have chosen to follow.

A woman’s right to her body ends when there are two heartbeats.

It is about loving thy neighbor—even if your neighbor is another race, another gender, another sexual orientation, or another religion. Again, we are all equal. We all have hopes, dreams, fears, and we all bleed the same color. And separation of church and state is a good idea. You are entitled to your religion no matter what the government in power is pushing at the time.

For example, the current government in America is pro Christian—at least on paper. But what happens, if you are a Christian, if the “state” religion changes? What happens if another religion is pushed by the government and wants to make the Pledge of Allegiance something other than your beliefs? You would have a problem with that if you are a Christian, right?  So please see the bigger picture and allow for a “if the shoe were on the other foot” scenario.

Health Insurance—Since when did trivial things such as health and staying alive depend on how much you make per year? Having access to affordable health insurance shouldn’t depend on what job you have or how rich you or your family is. If living is a “right” then count me in. Again, I point to patriotism and religion as fundamental values I believe most of us have as humans. So having access to a universal healthcare system is not a big ask. If your family member needed it, would you support it? If the answer is yes, then you just voted for universal healthcare. Again, I think we have all been brainwashed to equate basic human needs to our financial standings.

Abortion—Personally, I lean right on this one. A woman’s right to her body ends when there are two heartbeats. But, as a society, we need to make it more conducive for a woman to carry the baby to term and to safely turn the baby over so that the baby has a decent chance at a good life. The current polices of the Republican party aren’t so much pro life. They are pro birth. After birth, the policies pretty much do not support the ascension of the baby. If we are going to be pro life, we need to be pro life throughout the life of the individual. We can’t be pro life, then punitive, judgmental, and insensitive to the baby’s plight. Either we are all in or we aren’t. You can’t be pro life but stop your stance the minute the baby is born.

National Fiscal Responsibility—Whichever side you are on, this is the biggest issue. Both parties “in control” are out of control. One of the main goals of the current “leadership” is to make the rich richer and the poor and middle class poorer. Just look at the line items in nearly every bill of Congress, Senate and the Executive branch passes. EVERYONE is missing this point.

The income inequality between the classes has grown larger over the past five decades and is getting worse. The leadership has pitted us against ourselves and has distracted us with some of the above issues. This is by design. The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer.

The right is pro work, pro pull yourself up by the bootstraps, pro you can make it if you work hard enough etc. That used to be accurate. But nowadays, the situation is pro who do you know, pro do you have enough money to influence lawmakers, pro are you born in the “correct” family.

Again, just look at the line items of the bills passed by the current legislature. And if the right is upset about government subsidies to the poor, consider this—corporate bailout funds are approaching the amount, if not surpassed, the “handouts” given to the hundreds of thousand of people that need the money to do crazy things like eat and to have shelter. And by the way, this is by design—to have a lower class to do things most upper class people wouldn’t do, such as to clean their houses, serve them food, and, yes, to fight their wars. The rich will only survive with a working class that is able to do the dirty work for them.

Whatever you believe, please come back to common sense. Err on the side of love. Imagine if the other person were you. What would you do? Empathize. Understand the struggles. Don’t listen to the politicians who have everything to gain and nothing to lose. We, the people, have everything to gain and everything to lose. But if the status quo continues, we will have nothing to gain and nothing to lose. Let’s come together. Come to the middle and use our common sense.

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Greg Hood

Greg Hood is a freelance writer, a social work professional and a proud father currently residing in Charlotte, NC.

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