Good Governance trumped by Election Anger

img_0154“How can working class Americans vote against their own interests?!?”

Sound familiar?  This was just one twist on the voting results from the 2016 Presidential election posited by Democrats whose candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost despite polls that gave the appearance of an impressive lead.  The query was a vague attempt to rationalize the loss by suggesting a short-sighted view by those working-class/middle class voters who supported Donald T. Trump.

Given the Republican leadership’s inability to control their own herd of cats, it’s too early to determine whether that rationalization is an accurate reflection of the 2016 vote.  Parsing all the Winners from the Losers, when it comes to the 45th President’s administration, may take years.

Separating Winners from Losers does not take nearly that long when one looks at most Local Elections.  By now, some of the unabashed Moderate‘s regular readers may be tiring of my favorite political bumper sticker slogan, courtesy of long-time Democrat politician, Tip O’Neill

All politics is local!”

Now certainly, I cannot speak for the quality of all local political administrations; and for sure some of those that changed hands last week ago did so for legitimate cause.  But I can state unequivocally that one local Pennsylvania upset was nothing more than the expression of Political Anger and Frustration on the part of Democrats.  A state of fury clinging like a bad taste in the mouth for a Party misguided by their own leaders, who felt compelled to give Hillary Clinton just one more shot …


We can all understand their anger and frustration.  We just wish they would come to terms with their anger in more productive ways than punishing local leaders doing good work and building strong, productive communities.  In the case of township elections in Horsham, PA – my own little slice of suburbia – the ranting Group Think did nothing more than punish local officials for decades of efficiency, foresight, and quality governance!

Witness the facts as they relate to last week’s results in Horsham, PA:

  • Local Democrats – a committee in varying forms of disarray largely due to past election failures  – ran the exact same slate of candidates – save one – that figured prominently in their most recent unsuccessful election history.
  • Said Democrats likely spent the same – if not less – than prior elections in money and political groundwork.
  • Republican leadership has successfully piloted the Township through a daunting Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, fraught with implications for future Township growth and economic health, all the while …
  • Maintaining a favorable property and municipal tax position, relative to surrounding townships, which – among other things – allowed the School Board to replace an aging elementary school without tax increases to cover the costs.
  • School Board successfully replaced an outdated elementary school with a state-of-the-art facility without raising school-funding Property Taxes!
  • All of this accomplished without controversy, scandal, or subterfuge.

Certainly Life in Horsham is not always a bed of roses.  Opponents will point to an exasperatingly long BRAC process and the discovery of PFA pollution (perfluorinated compounds) in groundwater resulting from contaminants from the BRAC’ed  military base.  But none of those problems were caused or controlled by local Leadership.

BB6ED508-9B63-4AD2-A8D9-2E3CB166824ALastly, Horsham has been routinely listed in Money Magazine as a “Best Place to Live” community.  And recently was cited by a local NBC affiliate for the dynamic business and employment opportunities and municipal-provided amenities that make the Township a quality environment in which to live and work!

Despite that very favorable reputation and their own personal choice to remain in a township that undoubtedly meets their own definitions for Quality-of-Life, last Tuesday many Democrats chose to bounce two-thirds of a candidate slate whose legacy made much of the above a budget-friendly reality!

We get it!  Democrats are angry, depressed, disillusioned, and looking for Republicans to blame.  And apparently that anger and desperate need to “send a message” was done at the expense of elected officials guilty of nothing more than doing a good job!

“How could you vote against your own interests?!?”

Indeed …







Thoughts on National Anthem protests

It’s a shame we can’t have nice things anymore.

Nice things like symbols of our American heritage (both the good and the bad).  Heritage is heritage … Something to either exalt in or learn from.  Sometimes both …

Nice things like a healthy appreciation for Free Speech, as set forth in Amendment 1 of the United States Constitution, and the challenges its practice presents.  Nice things like being able to veg in front of the dumbbox on NFL Sunday afternoons, not having to listen to pontifications by sports and social/political talking heads and in-depth analysis as to who will or won’t – and why or why not – stand, kneel, sit, etc. during National Anthem protests.

My first reaction to the notion of professional athletes protesting social injustices through protest during The Anthem was reluctant acceptance.  After all that is what Free Speech is all about.

Did it annoy me at first?  Certainly … But it bothers me much more now that the displays have dragged on and on, with pre-game speculations becoming a regular part of every Sunday.  Still it does not bother me nearly as much as flag burning.

Which brings me this accidental American sports heroes from 1976 …

That – to me – is much more egregious insofar as disrespect to Country is concerned.  But one must realize – even when it comes to such horrendous displays – that Tolerance for such behavior is precisely the essence of Free Speech.  That one willingly manages what offends them to their core as the expression of another American’s Right to air their views and feelings is paramount to the Constitution’s protection of Speech

No one ever suggested that American Citizenship should be easy!  The challenge is in the bystander’s response to expressions of Speech with the potential to enrage them.  Do you respond in an ever-escalating cycle of counter-attack?   Do you turn a deaf ear?  Or does one try to engage the opposition in productive, non-threatening discussion of the topics?

The problem with the NFL players’ ongoing displays is that the original intent of those early and limited protests have been twisted beyond recognition by the emotional reactions that have resulted.  Assisted largely by the MainStream Media’s exploitation of the protests to generate viewing interest and on-line click bait, the displays have become weekly events.

What was largely a carry-over from the Colin Kaepernick self-immolation during the 2016 season, has now morphed into either protests of the American social strata or a desecration of Country, its Institutions and icons … depending on which side of the divide you reside.

In my humble opinion, protests like these fade away the LESS attention and outrage is directed at them and the participants.  Attention not only tends to harden the resolve of those involved, the heat can attract other tangential movements.  Unfortunately muting the spotlight is generally a hopeless expectation, especially given the attention of The Media; but others – be they private citizens or Presidents (hint hint) – would be better off not making such a fuss over the expression of Rights we should all hold dear.

No matter how much it makes one’s blood boil …






Hate is Hate … period!

The Unabashed Moderate has a very difficult time making any sense whatsoever from the events in Charlottesville, VA last weekend.  There is no question that the message pushed by white supremacy groups must be countered; shouted down; challenged intellectually at every opportunity.  America has no room for – and certainly should show no tolerance for – the morally corrupt message such groups cling to for whatever misguided and hateful reasoning.

Of that there is no question!

But what does one make of the hate demonstrated by the so-called anti-fascists?

I am an old-fashioned white guy.  I readily admit that.  I will readily admit that our race relations are not where they should be.  I will own up to the fact that racism still exists in this country, although I firmly believe that the actions, speech, and behaviors are much improved over where they stood in the 1960’s and ’70s when I was a much younger white guy.

We aren’t there yet, as was so aptly demonstrated last weekend when the concept of “white  pride” was trotted out under the guise of preserving American History.

Yet the hate we all saw in Charlottesville was hardly one-sided.  Under similar circumstances I do not have a problem with hating the “white pride” message, and the people pushing that message.  To be honest, it’s perfectly understandable that anyone in this day and age could hate white supremacists.

The problem in my mind is that Antifa demonstrated that they are not all that different from the white supremacists when it comes tactics.  Antifa has demonstrated this on numerous occasions.  What happened Saturday was just the latest occasion that their own brand of hate was on display.  They have provided us examples all over the country under the guise of various political, economic, and social causes.

How is WHAT Antifa does any different from that which white supremacists do?  Intimidation, invoking fear and violence, equipping for warfare in the name of protest …

The tragic, unnecessary murder of Heather Heyer was the obvious answer in Charlottesville.  But killing is not generally a tactic of white supremacists in this day and age.  (Please, do not take that as a defense of that heinous act.  It’s simply recognition that in the context of this discussion, what happened on that street in Charlottesville was an aberration of sorts.)

Or put another way … Will anyone be surprised when – not if – Antifa actions, given their current trajectory, result in a death?  I know I will not be surprised.

I must be old-fashioned, because I can remember a day when white supremacists and neo-Nazis were met face-to-face on the public square with nary a punch being thrown.  Arrests and perhaps a scuffle or two, but not wild, pitched battles with pepper spray, human waste as weapons, flame-throwing aerosol cans …

Hate is hate.  Violence is violence.

I do not believe the legitimacy of your stand or the difference in your objective makes the hate any more palatable or acceptable.

It’s easy to spot a white supremacist.  You know what their objectives are; who they hate; and how they will go about expressing that hate.  They want to impose a social order, long rejected by American values even if we still struggle to completely right that boat.

On the other hand, Antifa looks to push several social and political objectives, using not only very similar tactics, but certainly a similar brand of hate as those they purport to reject and work hardily to oppose.  The BIG PROBLEM is they do not hate only white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Antifa – through their very actions – have shown that they also hate Conservatives, Republicans, and people who simply exercised their personal political freedom by daring to vote for and support President Donald Trump.  We have seen this at political rallies, speaker events, world organization meetings, even at local festivals!

In Philadelphia, antifa elements vandalized property simply because they do not like the concept of gentrification.  This despite conventional wisdom that major urban centers depend on the improved tax base to fund important programs like inner city education and municipal services to the benefit of all city dwellers.

Antifa hates people for the way they vote.  They hate people for the way they think.  They hate people for simply assembling in the manner in which they identify themselves as the Portland example demonstrates.

Antifa hate is not limited to those with ancient notions of the relation between the races.  They hate even those with conventional, mainstream political thought.  They hate people simply because they disagree with them.

Their hate is corrosive, violent, and frankly quite deliberate, a political methodology.  And in that regard is no different than racist hate at its basest, most disgusting level.  Antifa may hold higher ground than the racists, but it’s not much higher.

It has always been easy to spot hate grown from the beliefs of white supremacy.  Now we have to be mindful of those whose hate is so easily expressed with violence simply because they disagree.

Tribute to those killed in service at Charlottesville

False Outrage: Presidential Leisure

Truman’s Little White House, Key West, FL

The unabashed Moderate is truly sick and tired of the fake outrage expressed by any Opposition Party at certain presidential activities and benefits our duly elected Presidents are inclined to use to their personal advantage, specifically Presidential vacations.

Those who take note of such things might recall much being made of presidential respites dating as far back as Ronald Reagan (POTUS40), as I certainly do.  Used to be Presidents could enjoy regular escapes from the Machiavellian energy of Washington, D.C.

Harry S Truman (POTUS33) enjoyed “The Little White House” in Key West.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt (POTUS32) enjoyed Hot Springs, AR.

JFK at Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard was a favorite spot for several Presidents, mostly Democrats for some reason (John F. Kennedy, POTUS35; Bill Clinton, POTUS42; Barack Obama, POTUS44).  Richard M. Nixon (POTUS37) loved Key Biscayne, FL.  Both Lyndon Baines Johnson (POTUS36) and George W. Bush (POTUS43) preferred their personal ranches in Texas.  George H.W Bush (POTUS41) frequented the family vacation compound in Kennebunkport Maine.

The venues are as varied as are the personalities who have served as Chief Executives.

Unfortunately, where and how often a President takes a vacation has recently become an outlet for opposition frustration and anger, veiled behind so-called concerns about Costs, compromised National Security, even Global Warming.  In reality, they have become nothing more than another opportunity to toss darts at a President simply because you did not vote for them.

As the unabashed Moderate, my take on Presidential Vacations takes the Politics out of the equation.  And once you do so, you quickly realize the only ones with sufficient cause to complain about such things are those concerned about deficit spending and ballooning National Debt levels.  Assuming – of course – that such complaints are consistent across both Republican and Democrat Administrations.

Bush43 biking his Crawford, Texas ranch

Fat chance, right?

Witness the outraged defense of President Bush43’s habit of enjoying his Crawford, Texas spread on a regular basis morphing into merciless howls of criticism over President Obama’s preference for Hawaiian vacations.  One might have a point arguing the footprint of a presidential junket to speak on Climate Change using a fleet of military planes and helicopters, armored limousines, etc.  Not so much though when it comes to presidential vacations; and here’s why:

  1. Presidents do not get paid a lot of money.  Now before you toss your computer monitor through that nice picture window, consider the economic impact of the US Government vs. that of the largest corporations.  As the ultimate CEO The President is paid but a fraction – a very small fraction in some cases – of the compensation poured upon Fortune 500 Chief Executive Officers.  This despite the fact that the fiscal responsibilities and economic impact of the Executive Branch far outpaces the financial influences of most (all?) large corporations.
  2. Another example …  As a lowly mid-level Subject Matter Expert in the Federal Government, I earn a low six-figure salary.  (That’s LOW as in LOW for a six-figure salary, not that a six-figure salary is “low”.)  My responsibilities cover roughly $13 million in direct expenditures I oversee, among other duties. I also participate in the approval cycle for $2 billion in expenditures controlled and executed by others.  By contrast, POTUS will manage a FY18 budget estimated at $3.6 trillion dollars!  The annual salary for POTUS is $200,000., or roughly just double mine. In matters entirely fiscal that comparison is whacked, even if you also make allowance for the non-monetary benefits to which all POTUSes (POTI??) have access.
  3. The Stress of being POTUS (Commander-in-Chief, Chief Executive Officer, de facto Political Party Godfather, etc.) has to be exhausting, draining, deafening, and generally debilitative to any POTUS’ ability to focus, be circumspect, commanding, decisive, etc.  That’s not an ideal recipe for successful performance and decision-making, particularly in times of crisis.
  4. The White House is a fishbowl, hardly the place where any POTUS gets to totally discharge the cumulative aggravation and recharge without the prospect of 3 AM sessions in crisis management and disaster mitigation.
  5. Family life and the Joys of Parenting can suffer significantly in The Fishbowl.  Suggesting a POTUS’ family does not deserve its own escape from White House Suffocation is simply a cruel expectation.

So let’s address the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

The Reagan Ranch at Santa Barbara, CA

The REAL reason most critics hammer away at a President’s proclivity for solitude and isolation from the pressure of Washington is – nowadays – always political.  Even those who criticize behind veils of fiscal responsibility or climate change do so because the meme is a quick, easy shot.  But the complainant’s  goal is still the same … throwing a cheap, no frills political Molotov cocktail.

You see it now – too much – whether the President is a Bush, Barack Obama, or Donald Trump.  It’s a silly, entirely lazy reason to disagree with any President.

Claims of limiting greenhouse gases and strains on the U.S. Budget ring hollow when one accepts that Presidents have no control over the costs or the methods for getting them to their preferred vacation spots.  Security – a lot of security – preps and accompanies any presidential trip.  Add atop that the weight of critical National Security equipment, redundancies in methods and tactics, and the support personnel and equipment necessary to make everything hum properly and you get quite the load – both literally and figuratively.  And none of that truly lies within the realistic control of any President.

Security – the overarching requirement – is not negotiable … not even for great deal makers.  Security actually becomes a fairly good argument for any President to have a regular, established (i.e. one favorable to pre-staging equipment, materials, etc.) leisure address whether it be in Texas or Hawaii.

Certainly, a few Presidents have made regular use of such amenities as Camp David.  But as President Trump recently remarked, “Camp David is very rustic, it’s nice, you’d like it. You know how long you’d like it? For about 30 minutes …“.  If you are the active, cosmopolitan, and/or adventurous type, you might need a little more to shed the weight of being The Leader of The Free World.

Let’s just give that false outrage a break … and The Presidents – all of them – one too!






Politics and the Internet: Virtual pogroms of the Unpure

pogrom (noun) – an organized massacre

That word – pogrom – is loaded with emotion, horror, danger.  It’s not a word I like to use, even hyperbolically as I do here to make a point.  But when trying to describe the movements afoot in some corners of the Internet, where profiles are systematically removed (i.e. killed) solely for threatening ideological purity, the words “virtual pogrom” seem to fit.  My apologies to anyone who might find the word offensive.

Our story …

Some day perhaps, I will learn my lesson.  Some day perhaps, I will accept the fact that Politics changes people … especially when they are disappointed for not getting their way … and sometimes even when they do get their way.

Some day … perhaps …

My sullen mood is the result of losing a favorite and – at one time – an all-welcoming “discussion” website where The News was the stated objective, and political discussion (i.e. arguing politics) its true driving force.  It was a crushing turn of events, where the toleration of all views – expressed respectfully – degenerated into a Safe Space for those unable to grasp the fundamentals of a democratic republic (i.e. the Electoral College) nor the results of its freely exercised elections.

internetcensorMy first exposure to WHAPS (Web-based Hyper-Active Political Sensitivity) occurred in the months between the first election of Barack H. Obama and his ensuing Inauguration.  It was December 2008, where after allowing almost eight years of Bush-bashing that a favored hobby site decided it was best for their WHAPS-afflicted egos if all Political discussion be banned from their rather extensive blogging and discussion forums.

The webmaster was completely fine with creating an individual Political Forum for high-strung political arguments that blossomed immediately after the 9-11 attacks, and grew quickly into a hotbed for web clicks.  For seven years we discussed every Bush43 shortcoming and defense thereof, with a pledge from Management to stay out.  The members were left to police their own mess.

That changed with the election of the first African-American President.  Suddenly management was jumping into the middle of all sorts of issues dealing with the expression of political opinion.

twitter_cards_potusIt became obvious after a series of rule changes and standard tightening that the real issue was being critical of that particular President!  Where Bush-bashing had been a contentious and profitable enterprise, suddenly any political reference to his successor would reflect badly on the Web Product.  Political criticism became a dirty word, simply because of who was occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!

Needless to say, making hay from discourse over National politics no longer sat well with the webmaster.  Neither did pointing out his hypocrisy.  Many were summarily kicked from the forums for no reason other than correctly observing the trend towards restricting discussion.

Certainly this phenomena is not restricted to one political side versus any other.  I’m sure it happens on both sides.  But my experience has been limited to seeing this on Liberal web sites.

I will not share the web addresses for either site which showered opposing opinion with such “Acceptance”.  I simply will not give them a free plug! 

Flash forward 8 years and the same phenomena plays out to an entirely different level.  Another website where – for 3 years – the open and honest discussion of everyday news and politics was not only encouraged, but lauded …. and mightily.  A site that touted talented and fact-based contributors from all along the political spectrum.  A website with a tight set of rules to govern recognition, process, and behavior as a way of maintaining an even keel.

Then came the come-from-ahead loss of Hillary Clinton and the rise of Donald Trump and unconventional politics.

imagesThose of us, who find ourselves excluded from another web-based meltdown, may well have concluded their website development effort was simply prelude.  The ultimate objective a vibrant marketplace dedicated to discussing the rise and exploits of the First Female President of the U.S. of A!

It seems Dreams do indeed die hard!

Us Outsiders started to notice trends in the way posts and articles were being touted and publicized through the website’s cute method of rewarding creative and precise writing.  You could not find a Republican/Conservative voice that was highlighted, despite the suitable presence of non-Liberal thought, unless they were addressing red-light cameras!

That was the REAL gist of the problem … Hurt feelings over the way they had lost an election so many of them thought was a foregone conclusion.

Of course they used those wretched present-day excuses for their organized ridding of anti-Hillary, anti-Liberal, pro-Constitution (that sticky Electoral College thing), and pro-Trump voices.  They simply set out like any authoritarian fascist movement and eliminated profile after profile of non-conforming voices.  Those who did nothing to offend, other than to voice an opinion unwanted by the fragile psych of the website entrepreneur, were invited to leave.  If they chose to say, they simply saw their profiles removed.

That last part is what happened to my profile.

My sin was simply identifying the trend and predicting the future look of so-called all-inclusive political forum.  I called out the Management on their obvious singular focus, and then challenged them to simply be honest about their intent and future plans.

That was enough to get my profile killed.

The website now touts itself as a “Resist Trump” website, where “Trumpkins” are no longer welcomed!


Now pogrom may not be the most sensitive way of describing what happened there.  But it accurately describes the intent and actions of those who undertook what was essentially an intellectual cleansing!

Certainly, it’s enough to make you wonder why some website entrepreneurs even attempt to take on subjects like Politics when they really have no stomach for dissenting opinion.


A Moderate and a Cafeteria Catholic walk into a Bar …

A Moderate and a Cafeteria Catholic walk into a Bar … The bartender walks towards them, asking “What will it be …?”

They look around apprehensively as if searching for unfriendly faces; point to each other; and say in unison, “I’ll have what he’s having.”

A cafeteria Catholic is typically defined as one who picks and chooses what Catholic teaching he wants to believe. Catholics are not free to choose which teachings (on faith and morals) to obey.  Even when the Church has not spoken on a matter of faith or morals definitively (infallibly), the faithful must give “a religious submission of the intellect and will” to its teachings (CIC 752).  – Taken from

diners-at-a-buffetThe term “cafeteria Catholics” is one feared by those who love the Roman Catholic Church yet hold more liberal – or progressive – views of social issues vs. the expectations of their religious devotions.  Such Catholics are viewed by Church conservatives as weak in their faith for not being able to toe-the-line on every dogma-driven social proclamation made by Church leadership.  The term “cafeteria Catholic” is almost as harsh as “heretic”.

There are some parallels between the disdain of Catholic Traditionalists for the Cafeteria Catholic and that displayed by the Right and Left express towards Political Moderates.

If you think this is just “a Republican issue”, consider the reactions of many Bernie Sanders supporters when the DNC Establishment prevailed in the guise of dear Hillary!  Of course that reaction had a few layers to it, partly involving the DNC’s politics and Hillary’s less-than-transparent and outright dishonest representations.


This may well worsen for the Democrat Party with the radicalism Liberals are exhibiting in their efforts to resist the new political order in the U.S.  We may yet see a purging of Moderates from the ranks of Democrats in the interests of anti-Trump demagoguery.  To compromise on any approach to the Trump Administration may be fraught with political peril!

political litmus testing

As a Republican, I saw the purge of the Moderates in the GOP crystallizing with the introduction of the dreaded political litmus test a decade or so ago during early stages of the GOP’s primary season.  Many a well-qualified candidate were eliminated from the field after failing conservative litmus tests on social issues like abortion, gay rights, etc.

In my previous blog existence, I decried the lack of or underground nature of Moderates in the GOP.  Republicans have a unique method for outing and attempting to run off those with less-than-total-Conservative blood lines.  It’s the derogatory RINO label!

One’s Republican bona fides may well be properly aligned in areas of government size, national security, and economic policy; yet to support – or an open mind – on women’s choice, gays in the military, a softer approach to immigration, or any other touchstone issues could determine the difference between Insider and Outsider.  The same goes for Democrats when it comes to immigration, gender and women’s rights, and the classic example of climate change!

There is a significant difference however in the character of criticisms leveled at political Moderate vs. that used to criticize those cafeteria Catholics.  One the religious side Roman Catholic dogma, dictated at the highest levels of the Church define what makes a Catholic in good standing.

That’s just not the case when one speaks to political beliefs.

Neither political party in the U.S. defines a set of beliefs or positions required for membership or good standing.  Many constituents may believe there is such a standard, which is how their party ends up with a high proportion of extremists (Far Left or Far Right).

unknown-3This is not good politics.  Used to be you could have Conservatives in the Democratic Party and Liberals in the Republican Party.  Not so much anymore … Not so much for a long time now.

In my humble opinion, both parties suffer from the intransigence that takes root when you have little in the way of membership to balance out the extremes on balance board.  It also makes nearly impossible any attempts to “broaden the tent”; expand the voter base; and deny the other party diversity in positions and appeal.  This is how we arrived in time where obstructionism is considered a viable political tactic.

The result is NOTHING gets done.

Dogma, whether it be explicit and well-defined or implied through behavior, is not a suitable tool for maximizing an organization’s outreach.  It’s also a killer of compromise and progress (i.e. not progress as in “Progressive”, progress as in movement towards the collective benefit).  The anchor points of dogma – both Liberal and Conservative – contribute mightily to political polarization.


We see this obstructionism played out directly with the behavior of the U.S. Congress.  The inevitable change in political leadership now leads immediately to the mindset that EVERYTHING opposing leadership wants to pursue must be bad – in the political sense – as opposed to simply disagreeable with standards of governance.  Both American political parties have displayed this behavior by allowing the extremes to push a political goal instead of working within a loose cooperation to mitigate the disagreeable and gain political weight through prudent compromise.

The solution is both simple and daunting.

Simple in that the promotion of moderate political positions is as easy as giving greater voice publicly, particularly at the ballot box.  Daunting in that the extremes are more highly motivated; enjoy the attention of the Media that gravitates toward loud and controversial; and can be politically ruthless towards those lukewarm to their passions.

This may well be the most positive development from the Trump victory in November.  Trump is no Conservative.  He’s barely even a Republican.  But his election proves that more moderate political stances do have an attraction for voters, even if one can argue that it was Trump’s political-outsider status that was a much bigger influence.

Trump’s victory aside simplest – and most politically sensible – solution is for the major parties to embrace rather than shunning moderate views.  Yes, more extreme politics drives excitement (Remember the ends of the political spectrum are more motivated.) and fund-raising.  But when it comes to vote totals, the Middle is a much more fertile patch to cultivate.

The more difficult solution is getting the Moderate Middle to become more vocal.  More than voicing its preferences at the ballot box … They need to push for moderate political candidates.  Get involved in their local and state-wide political parties .  Make their views more pointedly and publicly at town halls, candidate forums, pushing a message that Cooperation, Pragmatism, and Compromise are more productive and not signs of weakness.

Yes … This prescription is anathema to the nature and political philosophy of the Moderate.  We tend to be complacent, too busy, or put off by the demands of politics and its dirty underbelly.  But without moderating influences, we will continue to suffer the dogma of political extremes.