The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

OnCenter—10 Years

On November 29, 2015, we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of this blog. Time flies.

My very first post went something like this:
On Center

The center is always a difficult position to occupy. If you think about it for a moment, you're surrounded in every direction by people with opinions, positions, and ideas that cascade toward you. You listen and evaluate, trying to make sense out of the noise.

Because you're at the center, those farther out -- on the left or the right -- accuse you of having no true convictions. Ironically, those on the left think you're a neocon, and those on the right think you're a liberal.

And yet, it's been my feeling that the further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

It's also been my experience that it's hard to hold a position at the center. You often hear a compelling argument (from the right or the left) and feel affinity with the position taken.

"I guess I'm right (or left) of center," you say to yourself.

But then you hear an idiotic or irrational position coming from the same source ... you shake your head in dismay ... and move back to the center again.

The intent of my occasional musings here will not be to support any position on either the right or the left unless it makes sense in the real world, not the fantasy world that ideologues imagine. I suspect there will be times when I side with the right, and other times when I side with the left. That's okay, I respect rational arguments, regardless of the source. Hope you enjoy my humble contribution to the blogosphere.
As the years have passed and 1,388 posts have been written, my commentary and positions have moved decidedly to the right of center. The reason is relatively simple. In observing the Left and the Right in action over these 10 years, I have come to two important conclusions:
  1. The Right is often strident and wrong on social issues. Their positions alienate far too many centrist voters and a significant percentage of younger voters. These positions make the Right look reactionary, rather than forward-looking. But the Right is more often correct than wrong when it comes to taxes, debt, the economy, jobs, the dangerous growth of big government, radical Islamic terrorism, foreign policy in general, and many other issues that have a significant impact on the health of our nation. In the long run, being right on all of those issues can lead to the "social justice" that so many Leftists talk about, but do almost nothing to achieve.
  2. The Left is more right than wrong on most social issues (but not necessarily the solutions that would "fix" them) but often approaches those issues with an obnoxious level of moral preening (think: the typical "social justice" warriors) that can and sometimes does alienate centrist voters. In recent years, the Left thrives on a victimization culture which purposely divides rather than unites. And on other issues that truly do matter, the Left's message is deeply flawed, it's rhetoric is deeply divisive, its attempts to stifle free speech downright dangerous, and the domestic and international policies it proposes (and sometimes enacts) generate results that are at best, ineffective, or at worse, destructive and chaotic.
In my view, the center has shifted to the Right, if for no other reason than the Left has ascended with the help of a largely complicit media (print, broadcast, and entertainment) to hold sway over the public consciousness. Memes like "income inequality," the  "war on woman," endemic "institutional racism," and "climate change" (elevated to a religion rather than scientific inquiry)—to mention only four examples—have become accepted by many as conventional wisdom.

It's necessary to provide a reasoned counterpoint when extreme positions on the Left or the Right attempt to distort our lens on life.  OnCenter will continue to do that in the years ahead.