Disagreement isn't the problem. How we disagree, is.
Jacquelyn Martin / AP
The true center of American politics isn’t found where most of us agree. We fiercely disagree. That’s not a problem. Democracy assumes disagreement.
The true center is about how we resolve those disagreements. Most of us believe we should work them out respectfully.
We don’t believe in winning political arguments through bullying, name-calling, lying, intimidating, or using violence.
In other words, the political center isn’t about what we decide It’s about how we decide. A central tenet of American democracy is a commitment vigorous debate, done honestly and civilly.
That’s why some of what we’ve been witnessing recently is troubling.
Consider the foot-stomping incident in Kentucky by Rand Paul supporters, just outside a Senate debate. Or Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller’s security detail handcuffing a reporter from a liberal-leaning website.
Consider last year’s congressional town hall meetings where members of Congress were shouted down, a Tampa town hall meeting turned violent, and gunshots were fired at Democratic campaign headquarters in Arizona.