Opinion/Barham: Moderates have no one to vote for – The Providence Journal

Posted: November 17, 2021 at 12:57 pm

Lonnie Barham| Guest columnist

Lonnie Barham, of Warwick,is a retired Army colonel and lifelong Republican who voted Libertarian in the last election.

Whats a middle-of-the-road American to do?On the left, the average, hard-working American sees the progressive/anarchist mob.On the right, this quietly patriotic American sees the narrow-minded Trump mob.With the two bookends growing, pushing the political middle into the most narrow slice of the electorate in decades, wheres the refuge for this weary American?

Unfortunately, this bewildered American has looked at centrist Democrats and centrist Republicans for refuge but remains adrift.Political expediency and self-preservation have caused previously centrist politicians in both parties to move toward their parties extremes.Theyve heard the mobs and they're frightened.Rather than fight for whats good for America, these so-called moderates have been cowed into silence and blackmailed by the mobs into voting with their extreme colleagues.

This exhausted American is becoming jaded.He cant pick and choose among the myriad political positions espoused by todays politicians.Some may claim to support certain middle-class values such as fiscal conservatism, support for necessary social programs, individual rightsand military strength but none of them hew closely to the range of political beliefs that define the ever-narrowing political middle ground.And none seem to embrace the Jeffersonian idea that the government that governs best, governs least.

Thus, this perplexed American may sit out the next few elections.If only there were an option on the ballot to vote none of the above.

How can this be fixed?What has to change to widen the middle of the political spectrum so that the two extremes no longer practically meet in the center?

Politicians who call themselves moderates in both parties have, in essence, become members of their parties extremes because of their silent acquiescence to the screams of the mobs and their consequent votes against whats good for America.They must somehow regain their faith in themselves and in their country and, once again, speak up for what they truly believe and vote accordingly.

This is not likely to happen on its own, however.Most politicians got to where they are because of what many Americans believe were unlawful, unethical,or mean-spirited actions theyve taken behind the scenes.For the most part, they simply arent trusted.

What two-word phrase would accelerate the growth of honesty among politicians and return to them their fealty to the best interests of America?Term limits.

If those in the U.S. House of Representative were allowed only one four-year term and U.S. senators only one eight-year term, there would be no reason for them to suppress their beliefs or to cast votes inimical to the best interests of our country.Even keeping the current term lengths but limiting representatives to three terms and senators to two, would greatly lessen the influence of the party extremes and restore backbones to our elected leaders.It would also greatly lessen the influence of money on political decisions.

Until Americans see term limits or see their elected representatives start to display through their votes loyalty to the ideals that made this country great more worn out, middle-ground voters will refrain from trudging to the polls in 2022 and 2024.Right now, theyve got no one to vote for.

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Opinion/Barham: Moderates have no one to vote for - The Providence Journal

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