Midwest Voices

America needs more moderates now

Updated: 2013-11-13T23:52:50Z

By G.D. GRANGER

Special to The Star

In my youth, I used to think that love could solve just about any human problem, tangled mess, undeclared war, poverty, injustice or human folly that human beings could create or invent. Now I am not so sure.

When I look around these days I see too many people who are angry, and they all seem to be saying the same thing, “We have had it.” And so, many people are ready to throw away kindness, charity, forgiveness, tolerance, justice and love because they believe the world has wronged them, their government has wronged them, and the poor, minorities, undocumented workers, women and gays have all contributed to a government and a society that has betrayed them.

Any social cause, government program or charitable campaign that attempts to balance justice and opportunity along with the belief that all people should be given the tools necessary to reach for the American dream is a direct attempt to dismantle their hopes and dreams. It is as if there is not enough of the American pie to go around. So, why share with others who don’t look like you, don’t believe in what you believe in, and don’t wear the same cowboy boots you wear?

It seems the 99 percent has declared war on itself.

Because we are offended, we are bullying, name-calling, using threats of violence, demanding people lose their jobs, and issuing threats of retaliation. Simply put, if something doesn’t directly benefit us it will not benefit anyone, not even children.

I have oversimplified this national rage. Recently someone explained to me that people are tired of being left out, feeling deserted by their government and society. They feel that they must work harder, longer, faster and still they are always behind. I think that many middle class Americans are feeling the squeeze. Now it is hard to keep what you have, and it’s hard to keep your dreams alive. Many middle class citizens worry their children and grandchildren will not fare well in the future and this makes people angry.

I believe that all Americans have the same dreams for themselves and for their children, and increasingly the poor and working class are losing out at a faster rate than the middle class. Too many Americans are in low-paying jobs with no benefits, and no real opportunity for advancement. These jobs were supposed to be stepping stones to better careers, but those careers never appeared.

I can’t help but wonder if the rage volume could be turned down just a notch. If the hate speech, intolerance and fist pounding could somehow be tempered, we might find a way out of this national mess. I think if we lower our voices and stop demanding that it’s one way or no way, we may start to lessen our national rage along with our national problems.

We must stop believing that a self-inflicted head wound to our national interests is better than finding common ground.

I would like more moderates in our society, our government and in our collective souls. I am not asking anyone to stop having opinions, but I am asking to stop screaming our opinions at each other, that we try to move toward a common good. Let’s find a way to co-operate and to temper our national rage.

What America needs now are more moderates and maybe we can stop being at war with each other and find a little love and peace.

To reach G.D. Granger of Kansas City who works in corrections, send email to oped@kcstar.com or write to Midwest Voices, c/o Editorial Page, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108.

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