“There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos,” said Texas politician Jim Hightower. His comment is humorous, and may be accurate as far as Texas highways are concerned, but it misses the mark when it comes to American politics.
In truth, the middle of the road — or political center, if you will — is where people come together to get things done. It’s where deadlocks are broken.
Centrists once determined the fate of big issues. Ronald Reagan inspired Republicans with his conservative principles, but also made deals with Democrats to get his programs passed. More Republicans than Democrats voted for the 1964 Civil Rights bill proposed by Democratic President Lyndon Johnson.
Today, few members of Congress operate from the middle. If more did, it’s likely…