George Graham

Tell President Obama There Is No Middle Ground in America


Someone should tell President Obama that – for all practical purposes – there’s a two-party political system in America. There’s the Republican Party, which believes the federal government should stay out of citizens’ lives (and pockets), and the Democratic Party, which believes a central government should look out for all of its people.That’s why it was the Democrats who gave Americans Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, a Minimum Wage – and civil rights legislation.

Left to the Republicans, the aged and the poor would have to bum off relatives, depend on a church or charity, or sell pencils by the side of the road. And, without the help of relatives or a church or charity, when they got sick they would just have to die. Unless, of course, our state government stepped in.

And the white majority would be able to run roughshod over the rights of minorities, as they did – especially in the South – for so many years.

A major problem with the states’ rights approach is that there’s free travel within the union. That means sick people would tend to congregate in states that offer health care, jobless folks would move to states with unemployment insurance, old folks would try to find some state that would give them a hand-out, and minorities would have to seek refuge in any state that offered protection from oppression.

(It’s like the homeless shelter fuss. Cities are reluctant to provide shelters because they don’t want to be a magnet for the homeless. So a lot of derelicts are left out in the cold.)

You can see how unfair this would be, and how untenable. The more”progressive” states would be overwhelmed and probably go bankrupt, while cold-hearted states (with lower taxes) would attract rich people and Big Business. There would not be much incentive for states to be “progressive.”

The Democrats see that the only hope for progress is a strong central government that can ensure an even-handed approach across the 50 states. They want to provide a safety net for all Americans.

There’s no room for bipartisanship here. You can’t have a government that stays out of people’s lives and looks out for them at the same time.

If I vote for candidates with an R next to their names, I am opting for a hands-off central government (except in national defense; Republicans are always eager to go to war). If I fill in the oval next to a D, I am saying I want centralized policies – with a humanitarian flavor.

bipartisan2Those muddle headed Americans who grumble about lack of cooperation in Washington should form a Bipartisan Party. Their party would stand for the push-you-pull-you style of government that America has drifted into.

Lawmakers would enact a grab bag of conflicting policies. And the country would continue spinning mindlessly from stimulus spending to deficit reduction like a pendulum gone crazy, or more accurately, like a political weather vane reacting to each gust of popular sentiment.

President Obama should realize there is no logical middle ground in American politics. He needs to act like a Democrat and stop currying favor with “the Party of No.” Those Republicans know something that he obviously doesn’t: Left is left and right is right, and never the twain shall meet.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for