The “center” is not where you left it. It’s not that warm place where bi-partisan compromise was king and Wall St. advisory jobs waited. There is no “reasonable” GOP anymore. The right is so far right that by embracing Eisenhower-era economic policies the left seems radical. But it’s not. The GOP labels as “socialist” people pushing for health care and clean environment and women’s rights and tolerance and humanity at our borders and an end to economic inequality and better jobs. But that’s not radical, it’s basic decency.
And none of these issues are really enhanced or served by “compromise.” We can’t and mustn’t compromise on the environment, on basic human rights, on fighting racism, on fighting corruption. And on some issues–like inequality–the old “center” collaborated in making it worse.
So don’t fall for those old labels. So-called progressive positions are supported in poll after poll by the majority of Americans (on these issues, on guns, on foreign policy, etc.) That makes them mainstream. That makes them “center.” And seeking to dilute those views by compromising with a scorched-earth GOP that has been coopted by the hard right and the 1% is not a business-like or “old school” approach, it’s selling out the majority, selling out the center, negotiating the non-negotiable and is woefully out of touch.
If you believe the center in America politics is where the majority lives–not what they call themselves, but what policies they support–then progressive is center, left is center…and “old school” compromise, like the hard-right, is just wrong.