The center must hold

To the Editor:

The election of 2012 is thankfully over and now maybe we can have a civilized discourse about how to address the economic, geopolitical, social and environmental issue that face the United States rather than the partisan and quarrelsome discourse that we have endured for the past four years. In reading our local, regional and national papers I am demoralized by the vitriol from both the left and the right. Both political parties demagogue the issue and paint the opposition as wild extremists when in reality Americans are really more centrist as a whole and would prefer less diametrically opposed choices. It seems that the far right and the far left have hijacked the political process and this can't be more evident than in the primary process where no candidate who wants to be on the November ballot can take a moderate position because of the beating they will receive from their own party's extremist wings.

Both parties have adopted scorched earth winner take all election practices that have the effect of poisoning our political process. Shame on both parties for fostering this abhorrent behavior. Shame on each of us who follows their lead and take extreme political positions and carries on in vitriolic and mean spirited fashion during campaigns. I was disappointed by many of the letters published in our local papers that were extreme in their positions and denigrating to anyone who held a contrary view. It seems that many small papers and individual letter writers follow the lead of the Op Ed pages which have become so polarized as to be rendered as nothing more that soap boxes for the extreme ends of the major political parties. I sincerely believe that the vocal few do not represent the broader community. Let's have the moderate majority bring back common sense to politics and promote an open minded and civil discourse on the issues rather than focusing on extreme political ideology.

Let's hope for something better in 2016.

William T. Ziegler



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