The political attack ads are out and already starting to blur the lines. Both Republicans and Democrats, who have presented themselves as diametrically opposed, are vying for the middle in attempts to woo the centrist, independent voter.
CBS’s Bob Schieffer, on the Don Imus show, expressed his feelings: “What’s going on here, frankly, is you know, Mitt Romney, is not the robber baron that the Obama folks would have you believe any more than Obama is a European socialist as the Romney folks would have you believe.”
Hmmm…Obama’s not a socialist and Romney’s not a super capitalist? Most likely not, it seems. In fact, if you look at their past voting records, it is easy to discern. Instead, both parties are doing their best to paint the other into a corner. Of course, all this does is widen the gap and create a dissatisfied populous. With the “us or them” philosophy that has dominated politics over the last four years, there seems little room for compromise. So there is no wonder that middle feels as if they have little choice and no real voice.
However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel as we move further into the presidential campaign. Both parties – at least their presidential candidates – are moving back to the middle. They are starting to recognize that the campaigns need to find ways to appeal to middle, to show that their candidates are the best for all of America, not just the Democrats or Republicans.
It is hard not to be cynical and see this as simply an etch-a-sketch moment. If the candidates really do appeal to the middle, will they return to their poles after the election? Or will they find a way to work with both parties and legislate for the middle that they courted?