“Sanity” Does Not Equal Moderation

by Will on October 30, 2010

I like Jon Stewart, but have always disliked the way he tries to signal Centrism by saying, in effect, “both sides are too extreme.” I get why he does that: it makes him appear reasonable to the guy on the fence who could go either way. But it’s a formula that has the huge drawback of disregarding the truth.

My big issue, and the reason I sink so much time into writing this blog, is this. The William Jennings Bryan/New Deal/Great Society tradition has a lot going for it. When it was in place, governing the country, we had much better outcomes than we have had since 1980 — more rapidly increasing incomes, greater social mobility, less inequality. And yet for the better part of my life, this tradition hasn’t been getting a fair hearing. Nobody will stand up for it. The Reaganites who have given us lower living standards, more inefficient government, more inequality, and worse business cycles are seen as the natural rulers, and those on the Left defer to them, and say, “yeah, agree with Reaganites, BUT!…” This is absolutely crazy and perverse. We should be proud of what Bryan and FDR and LBJ were for and what they did, and push for more of the same.

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