Susan Collins. Joe Manchin. Kyrsten Sinema.
These politicians are just some of the individuals notorious for their political views. Not because they are radical or crazy-thinking, but because they fall on the center of the political spectrum.
Moderates in Washington are seemingly alone. They’re outcasts. By the looks of it, no one likes them.
Take Susan Collins (R-ME) for example. Virtually anyone who follows politics knows she’s as moderate as they get. I would say she’s the face of centrism, but this comes with a downside. It is hard to appeal to either side of the aisle.
On the Republican side, she is called a “RINO,” an acronym meaning “Republican In Name Only.” She came out in opposition to Trump’s 2016 candidacy, supports abortion and gay rights, voted for liberal judges including Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, and has opposed two of Trump’s cabinet nominees.
She was watched closely during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process. She ultimately decided in favor of Kavanaugh’s confirmation. This sparked outrage from liberal activists. She was called a “rape apologist.” This is a frivolous accusation, as Sen. Collins is a stalwart supporter of women’s rights and combating sexual assault.
Sen. Collins receives hate from both Republicans and Democrats. Does she deserve this? Certainly not.
Moderates, in my opinion, are the ones actually getting the job done for Americans. I don’t agree with Sen. Collins on every issue, but we need people like her in Congress. She exhibits her commitment to her constituents and the American people. She refuses to give in to the dirtiness of politics.
Partisanship has reached an all-time low in the United States. I find myself frustrated with both parties. I am not even old enough to vote, yet I can see the ridiculousness of Washington politics. That’s why some of my favorite politicians are “mavericks,” as the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was described.
Independent thinkers are very beneficial to everyday, working-class Americans. They are willing to compromise to give citizens the benefits they deserve. Sen. McCain once said in a floor speech, “The Obama Administration and congressional Democrats shouldn’t have forced through Congress without any opposition support a social and economic change as massive as Obamacare. And we shouldn’t do the same with ours.” Legislation pushed through on a party-line vote is probably not going to be as effective or as beneficial to American voters as it could have been if it were approved by both sides of the aisle.
Americans need compromise in Congress to be happy. I listen in on my parents’ political discussions, and what I gather from them is that they are sick and tired of petty politicians playing partisan games.
Yes, moderates can get sucked into the ruthless world of politics. I can’t imagine anyone is immune to it. But moderates are much more likely to be putting the interests of Americans, not their own interests, as a top priority.
When browsing candidates’ websites, I often search for a few things. Education, healthcare, and the economy are, I am positive, really the major issues most voters care about. When I am old enough to vote, I won’t be a one-issue voter, but, if I were, one of those issues would most definitely be that issue.
Centrists are going to be more willing to make deals that will help Americans. People don’t want Republicans and Democrats fighting over some judicial nominee, they want to be able to pay their bills.
On a different note, 12 Republican senators opposed President Trump’s national emergency declaration. The Republicans that voted against the declaration showed loyalty to the Constitution, not their party. There was reason to argue that it was an act of Executive overreach, and 12 GOP senators weren’t afraid to say that. An independent mindset like this is how Washington starts to become effective.
I don’t consider myself a moderate. I support the conservative cause. Limited government, individual rights, and traditional values are important to me. However, the moderates are what keeps democracy healthy. Without them, bipartisanship would be extinct— even more so than it is now. Washington should be comprised of people with all viewpoints, not just solidly liberal and conservative.
The Lugar Center, founded by the late Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), tracks bipartisanship in Congress. To view how your senators work with the other party, click here. For your representative’s score, click here.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.