Rebuilding the Middle Way

Dear Friends,

The last two weeks have left newspaper readers and television watchers whipsawed by events—from the GOP censure of January 6 Committee members, Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger to the potential for war between NATO, Russia and Ukraine.  Both crises, and what they represent, have dangerous transformational potential. And both are rarely cast in the longer arc of the events that preceded them and made them possible.

This is one of those moments in history when it is urgent to stop, reflect and evaluate what perspectives can shed “more light than heat” on our times. A similar period, in recent memory, was the 2008 financial crisis in our country. That is when I left my political party and became a registered Independent.  I wanted someone, anyone, to speak to me in moderate, unifying terms—consistent with the constructive way I had been raised to think about politics. The “middle of the road” is the place on the political spectrum, as my grandfather used to tell us, where ideas are developed with the entire country in mind. This enables all of America to be more responsive to the needs, aspirations and national security interests of our great country. It is the reverse of today’s “winner takes all” mentality.

In this interview with David Rubenstein, which appeared on PBS last week, I mentioned Dwight Eisenhower’s “Middle Way” as such a template for progress.

The Middle Way is potentially achievable.  According to the Gallup organization, the number of registered Independents in our country today (46%) is at an all-time high. It is larger than both the Democratic Party (28%) and the Republican Party (24%). This means there is enormous untapped centrist potential.  I hope you will join me in sharing your thoughts and helping us all make our Independent and moderate voices heard at this pivotal moment in history. 

With best wishes,

6 thoughts on “Rebuilding the Middle Way

  1. Totally wonderful – and your moderation is needed more than ever right now. Rooting for all moderates! May your voices be heard in these troubled times. Christopher

  2. This reminds me of Elliot Richardson’s excellent book “Confessions of a Radical Moderate.”

  3. excellent conversation on Ike -really need to build the middle way.GOP today is also fractured.


  4. Regrettably, Susan, moderates and their attempts at pragmatic solutions get annihilated daily by extremists from all camps. This is horridly compounded by a shamefully decayed information media that has long since discarded objective news journalism in favor of exclusively devising whatever media power brokers believe their paying audiences want to hear.

    I lay this scourge at the feet of academia for having abysmally failed in its signature duty to protect the right to and free exercise of free speech absent which all ideas of moderate compromise are assaulted with the rabid psychoses of zealots.

    Under the guise of some glaze-eyed extremist gospel or another, exceptions to the right to free speech are endlessly contrived by the conveniently tenure-insulated, self-anointed special as excuses to oppress any free speech seen by the special as insufficiently worshipful of their klannish socio-political convictions.

    Ideologically incestuous and thus intellectually stunted academia, once the bastion of free speech, has become its graveyard. Runaway politically correct censorship, more lethal to democracy than all other threats thereto, is America’s new greatest enemy, and its most toxic super-fund clean-up site is the American university campus.

  5. P.S……

    Last 5 ‘moderate’ Presidents were:

    I.) D.D. Eisenhower (Ur Grandfather = only 2
    full term-er of the lot)
    II.) JFK
    III.) R.M. Nixon (arguably MOST moderate
    Prez commensurate w/his time)
    IV.) G.R. Ford
    V.) Geo. H.W. Bush

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