Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 16, 2013/ 12 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774

A brave new centrist world

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


JewishWorldReview.com | This just in from a new Esquire-NBC News study: There are more Americans in the vast middle than on either the left or right.

Who didn’t know?

Certainly those Americans who dwell in The Great Big Center have known this for some time. They bump into each other all day long in the great big country we call “outside the Beltway.” Yet, judging by current events in Washington, you’d imagine reality to be a clash of titanic proportions. More accurately, it is a clash of titanic distortions.

This is not to say centrists always agree with each other. But overall, disagreement is by degrees of difference rather than ideological chasms. They are diverse in spirit and political leanings, if not so much in pigmentation. Most, according to the study, are “pretty white.” They are Democrat, Republican and independent. But what they share is greater than the sum of the extreme parts. Mostly they share a disdain for ideological purity.

What they lack is organization and perhaps self-awareness. There really are enough of them to change the political climate — if only there were someone to harness and channel what I would call their normalcy.

By “normal,” I mean that centrists like to keep as much of their hard-earned cash as possible, but want to help the helpless. They tend to prefer a laissez-faire attitude toward their neighbors, assuming no one’s making child porn next door or beating up the spouse and kids. Want to get married? Please. Need an abortion? Fine, but three months is plenty of time to figure it out. People who want to smoke pot in the privacy of their own home do not belong in jail.

Would this be such a strange world?


To the harder-core constituents both left and right, such people have no convictions, hence the derogative “squishy middle.” But lacking the desire to participate in million-something marches, or stacking barricades in front of the White House, or waving some symbol of self-anointed righteousness does not necessarily make one squishy or uninterested. It might make one too sane for politics. It might make one too mature for rabble. It might also mean that you no longer believe you can have a positive effect on the insanity.

Two words: critical mass. There is power in numbers.

So who are these centrists? This is the real news from the Esquire-NBC News poll, which was conducted by pollsters from the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns. The surveyors identified four pods of individuals who share a patriotic view of the United States, believe in meritocracy (not affirmative action) and are largely libertarian: Pickup Populists (as in “Duck Dynasty” fans); the MBA Middle (highly educated); Minivan Moderates (busy with kids); and WhateverMan (the cynical young who can’t stand any of us).

These are folks, in other words, one might not invite to the same dinner party. Yet they are constituents of a grand, gray base — neither red nor blue nor even purple but vaguely reminiscent of a time when everyone was more or less on the same page.

Centrists would rather not discuss guns or God. Thirty-four percent reported owning a gun, compared with 62 percent that does not. A plurality — 45 percent — thinks background checks are fine. Only 29 percent of centrists say that religion and prayer are important to them. Even so, these folks are not heartless. Forty-four percent strongly supports increasing the minimum wage and only 8 percent strongly opposes doing so.

As for our current shutdown/spending dilemma, the center is clear: The federal government should spend less and go light on regulation.

For now, more trust Democrats than they do Republicans, hardly surprising given circumstances. Fully 58 percent is pessimistic about politics in this country, but the group trusts Democrats (and Oprah!) more than Republicans. Of all the GOP leaders, only New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie received more than 1 percent (2 percent) in the trust sweeps. Oprah got 6 percent, and Jon Stewart and Colin Powell each got 1 percent, as did Billy Graham. Rush Limbaugh got 0 percent. Obama won with 9 percent.

The takeaway from this poll — and others showing that more Americans self-identify as independents than Democrats or Republicans — is that the country is not as divided as one would imagine. The challenge for the moderate middle is to create an organizing principle — all things in moderation? — and produce a centrist, non-ideological, pragmatic leader, preferably one un-indebted to billionaires or radio babbleheads.

A dream, perhaps, but wouldn’t it be marvey?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2013, WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast