The man that Tim forgot: How Jeff Johnson’s victory changes the 2018 governor’s race

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Tim Walz and Jeff Johnson shown following a forum in Mankato on July 26.

Tim Walz mostly ignored Jeff Johnson during the primary. He had more immediate problems to occupy his time, like getting past DFL-endorsed rival Erin Murphy and responding to the late entry of Attorney General Lori Swanson. 

If Walz allowed himself to look ahead to November, the assumption was that it would be Tim Pawlenty — not Johnson — standing in the way. And when DFLer needed a Republican foil to make a point or raise fear of defeat it was Pawlenty, not Johnson, that Walz used. 

It isn’t that he didn’t have his chances. With Pawlenty and Swanson skipping most campaign forums and debates, Walz, Erin Murphy and Johnson shared many venues over the summer. Yet Johnson rarely drew  Walz’s, or Murphy’s, attention.

Then Tuesday happened. And now it is Johnson, not Pawlenty, who will lead the GOP ticket in November as the party’s governor candidate.

In the wake of Johnson’s surprising primary victory, Walz has shifted his attention to the Hennepin County commissioner, while also trying to salvage the talking points DFLers had been using against Pawlenty since even before the former governor formally entered the race. “I would make the case that you could pretty much plug-and-play anyone in terms of policy,” he said of the GOP. “It’s the same old playbook. It doesn’t make that much difference to us.”

He complimented Johnson for working hard during the primary, saying he would often see him walking out of “an obscure radio” station as Walz was walking in. “He and I get along well onstage,” Walz said. “We just have two fundamentally different visions for this state, two fundamentally different visions of governing.”

And he reciprocated a pledge made by Johnson, that the general election campaign could be both spirited and positive.

Johnson also expected a positive campaign. “I like Tim. I think most people like Tim. I think most people like me,” Johnson said this week. “I hope it won’t turn into a mud-slinging contest. I think our personalities are pretty similar. But I think there are stark differences in where we want to bring Minnesota.”

A Trump-ier candidate

Of course, candidates can run positive campaigns. Going negative is what independent expenditure campaigns are for — and both candidates will have help in that regard. Alliance for a Better Minnesota, for example, had already created a campaign to remind voters of Pawlenty’s terms in office (dubbed “Meet Tim Pawlenty”), and quickly pivoted to going after Johnson, with a digital ad on health care and a new website. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Action Network, which until Tuesday had been all-in for Pawlenty, has begun emphasizing messages claiming the Democrats were too liberal and too ready to increase taxes and spending.

Pawlenty might have carried more baggage into the general election than Johnson, given the former’s two terms as governor and stint as a Washington lobbyist for the nation’s largest banks. But the reason Democrats targeted him was simple: They expected him to win.

Johnson was an afterthought. He also didn’t invite criticism because while he would often dissect the failings of Democrats in general, he didn’t use his time at joint appearances to directly attack Walz, Murphy or, on the rare occasions that she joined in, Swanson.

The tactic meant that he was often left free to follow their statements with his own, usually contrary positions. “I suspect I’m going to stand out a few times today,” he said at a candidate forum in Mankato featuring himself, Walz and Murphy.

While Walz and Murphy supported increased gas taxes, for example, he did not. While they promised before a local government audience to increase local government aid, he said he would make no such pledge. While they attacked those who seek to divide the state over immigration and refugees (not naming Johnson), he said it is an important issue that he would keep talking about.

Tim Pawlenty
MinnPost photo by Craig Lassig
Tim Pawlenty might have carried more baggage into the general election than Jeff Johnson, given the former’s two terms as governor and stint as a Washington lobbyist for the nation’s largest banks.

Now, however, Johnson might be a better target for Democrats, at least if they — and not Johnson — are reading the polls correctly. To get the party endorsement in June and to win the primary in August, Johnson had to be more conservative than Pawlenty. While Pawlenty had started to pivot toward the middle as the primary drew closer — particularly on issues such as guns and even abortion — Johnson did not.

And then there’s Trump. Pawlenty’s endorsement of the president was always less enthusiastic than Johnson’s. And while both said they would be happy to have Trump’s endorsement and have Trump appear in the state on their behalf, Johnson seems to need it.

So, if Trump is not as popular in Minnesota now than he was in the fall of 2016, when he lost the state by just a percentage point and a half, Johnson may have miscalculated. An Emerson College poll of 500 Minnesota voters between August 8 and 11 reported that the president’s approval rating in the state is 35 percent. His disapproval rating: 51 percent.

That same poll asked if voters would prefer Walz or Johnson. Walz led 40 percent to 33 percent, with 27 percent saying they were undecided. Had Walz faced Pawlenty, however, his lead would have been even bigger, according to the poll: 44 to 33 percent.

Johnson said he was asked on election night how he would pivot away from Trump now that he won the primary. Johnson responded by saying that is what people hate most about politicians: saying one thing to one group of people and something else to another group.

“I have said from the start that I support the president and that I think he’s trying to take the country in the right direction,” Johnson said.

Walz, for his part, said this week that his positive campaign pledge might not extend to Trump. “The only thing is, when your first endorser uses the language that we’ve seen, there’s gonna have to be, at some point in time, to call that out,” Walz said, in reference to Trump and his Wednesday morning endorsement of Johnson on Twitter.

Comments (33)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/17/2018 - 05:30 pm.

    Very punny!

    All these Tim jokes in the article titles! Who’d a’thunk?

  2. Submitted by Zack Smith on 08/17/2018 - 05:47 pm.

    2 parties same owners

    We all watched in 2016 when the DNC, Hillary and her minions disenfranchised Bernie Sanders , voters and admitted in court they do not need to follow their own rules.
    If people think this political skullduggery only happens in Washinton they are mistaken.
    It appears Martin and DFL party hacks have “chosen” our candidates in MN.

    The notion that democrats are so different from republicians is deranged. The only difference is republicans tell you what they are going to do and democrats do similar things behind closed doors.

    MN democratic congressional delegation votes for “war” funding, with chemical companies (Dark Act), pharmaceutical giants, foreign aid that sponsors genocide, ignored the will of the voters to achieve Medicare for All and much more. Most take PAC money from the very corporations they say they are fighting against.

    I am left of Senator Sanders on many issues. This election season I am voting for the people who tell me what they are going to do to me and not lie straight to my face while they bring their checks from corporations to the bank.

    • Submitted by Solly Johnson on 08/18/2018 - 02:26 am.

      Agree

      Democrats on the national level seem to have opposition to Trump and Russia, Russia, Russia as their platform. Just recently most Senators, Klobuchar and Smith included, voted in favor of an 87 billion dollar increase in the war budget, which the news media ignored. Younger people in large numbers are leaving both political parties, and it is very easy to understand why.

      • Submitted by Zack Smith on 08/18/2018 - 06:58 pm.

        Correction

        717 BILLION …. but we can’t afford Medicare for all!?!?!?

        https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/115-2018/s128

        Only 10 democrats voted against.

        If Minnesotans looked up how their congressmen voted on vote tracker on issues important to them before voting maybe they would wake up!

        It is about time we spend OUR tax dollars on the American people.

        • Submitted by Solly Johnson on 08/18/2018 - 09:19 pm.

          Increase

          As I stated in my original comment, 87 billion was the increase, not the total amount. The increase alone is about the same as Russia’s total military budget for one year.

      • Submitted by Darryl Carter on 08/20/2018 - 11:15 am.

        Independence

        Leaving the two Establishment parties is understandable and wise. Not voting at all, is not wise.

  3. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 08/17/2018 - 06:43 pm.

    I’m curious

    “To get the party endorsement in June and to win the primary in August, Johnson had to be more conservative than Pawlenty”

    Can this statement be validated with facts or is it just opinion? Did Mr. Pawlenty show up at the endorsement convention and actually pursue endorsement?

    • Submitted by Darryl Carter on 08/20/2018 - 11:20 am.

      “Conservative”

      What does that term actually mean today ? Not fiscal responsibility, obviously. And, there is certainly no connection to conservation. So, has the term been degraded to signify only membership in a cult of personality, pledging obeisance to a man named Trump ?

  4. Submitted by Kathleen Castrovinci on 08/17/2018 - 08:14 pm.

    Tim Walz is an honorable man.

    I have known Tim for over 13 years. He is a man of great integrity and solid principles.

    Since first running for Congress in 2005, I have seen Tim grow. He debates based on the facts and leaves his opponents in the dust. Nor does he suffer fools. One does not rise to the rank of Command Sargeant Major just for the heck of it. There are many tests and attributes for Leadership that earns one that rank.

    Tim Walz will prevail and keep Minnesota moving forward. What Tim Pawlenty did to this State was erroneous. If Jeff Johnson desires to follow Pawlenty’s recipe, Tim Walz wil have a lot to say about that.

  5. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/18/2018 - 08:19 am.

    Well…

    He wasn’t my preferred candidate but as long as Walz runs on the progressive narrative of representing everyone and addressing the needs of the majority he’ll do just fine. I’ve noticed that unlike most MNDFL candidates over the past few decades Walz actually appears to be a talented campaigner with an ability to connect with voters. He has a compelling message, a popular agenda, and a decent media presence. My only complaint is that his promise to bring Minnesotan’s “together” is delusional if THAT means getting cooperation from legislative Republicans. THAT cooperation is simply not in the cards unless and until extremists practicing magic instead of rational policy lose control of the Republican Party.

    If Walz is smart, and I think he is… it doesn’t matter who he’s running against and he didn’t tailor his campaign around opposing Pawlenty as much as it should be about promoting his liberal (issue based) agenda. Let Johnson fall flat on HIS face with attack campaigns.

    I don’t think Walz is the progressive we need, but the MNDFL doesn’t seem to have pulled it’s head out of backside yet and I don’t see a coordinated effort to take back the legislature on the horizon. Any scenario wherein Republicans run the table with the executive AND legislative branches in MN is too awful to contemplate.

    • Submitted by Zack Smith on 08/18/2018 - 06:47 pm.

      Voting for the Less of 2 evils

      “Any scenario wherein Republicans run the table with the executive AND legislative branches in MN is too awful to contemplate.”

      America is like an alcoholic some times you need to hit rock bottom to heal and change. The current corporate DFL party and DNC need to listen to what the people want or loose again and again.

      Many people are sick of voting for a candidate because the other one is worse; supposedly. It is about time politicians support the progressive agenda or get the heck out of the way.

      ANY BLUE WILL NOT DO.

      • Submitted by ian wade on 08/18/2018 - 11:49 pm.

        This “rock bottom” analogy is troubling.

        The SCOTUS and federal judge appointments that Trump has made should be enough to blow that tired meme out of the water. I’ll make it really simple. In order to enact Democratic policy, you must elect Democrats. Every environmental protection regulation, every law that protects workers and minorities, every social and educational program that benefits the disadvantaged, the entire social safety net and marriage equality has come from the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party set the “progressive agenda” before you and I were ever able to cast a vote and my first one was cast back in 1976.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/19/2018 - 09:30 am.

          Dude….

          Those judicial appointments have been ongoing for decades, and Democrat’s JUST figured out the fact that ideology is as important legal competence. Roe v Wade is toast because “blue” has been sitting on their hands for decades.

          The Democratic Party has been opposing and containing the progressive agenda since 1968. That containment regime solidified in the 80’s when the “New” (i.e. neoliberal) Democrats like the Clinton’s consolidated their power and control over the Party. Since then progress for the constituencies you mention i.e. women, workers, people of color, the poor, and even the middle class, have stalled if not rolled back. The one exception is LGBT rights, and the Democrat Party had to be dragged into THAT fight kicking and screaming because they thought gay rights was too “leftists”.

          The Democratic party has been instinctively and reflexively opposing progressive agendas, defining them as Leftist, or beyond reason in some way for decades. Democrats have promoted and agenda that has been tilting the political landscape ever more rightwards for decades.

          Whatever. We need a Party that actually leads this country into a better future and solves problems, not just a party that manages to win elections once and while and trades power with a more conservative alternative. If Democrats want to win elections and thrive as a party, they need to become THAT Party. voters will not vote for candidates that won’t represent them if they get elected just because those candidates AREN’T Republicans. If Clinton’s defeat didn’t teach you that fact, I don’t know what to tell you.

          • Submitted by Zack Smith on 08/19/2018 - 05:20 pm.

            Exactly

            Well said Paul.

          • Submitted by ian wade on 08/20/2018 - 12:50 pm.

            Look…

            if I want to remodel my house, I’m not going to set fire to it.

          • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/20/2018 - 09:51 am.

            Excepting of course

            One would need a country to bring back from “rock bottom”. It seems many of you “burn it down to save it” folks haven’t really thought through the implications of your decision. I have kids, I’d like them not to grow up in a militarized prison camp. My own ideological proclivities will always take a back seat to their chances for s successful future. You can say that progressive ideal is the best chance for that, and you’d probably be right, but the carnage that might be necessary to get there with your approach is not something I’m willing to have them endure.

          • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/20/2018 - 10:46 am.

            Except…

            The “carnage” we’re experiencing flows out of the defeat of Clinton, not the progressive candidate. You can keep trying to blame progressives for this spectacular centrist/moderate failure but reality betrays the denial. It’s not the Progressives that are burning it down… twas the centrist/moderates who lit the fire. Progressives tried to warn you… for decades.

            And WE voted for Clinton by the way… she didn’t lose OUR vote, she lost white women, and Obama voters. I don’t know why you guys keep blaming progressives for “burning it down” instead of the people who voted for Trump, or the people who put the candidate who lost to Trump on the ballot.

            At any rate, those who brought us this fiasco don’t get to complain about progressive “morality”. When you try to explain all of this to your kids I hope you have the courage to admit your own contribution, it wasn’t someone else who burned it down. And centrist/moderates aren’t the ones putting out the fire, it’s the progressives who are stepping up to do that, so if you really want the inferno extinguished, you might want to stop attacking those who are manning the barricades.

        • Submitted by Darryl Carter on 08/20/2018 - 11:32 am.

          Revisionist history

          Abe Lincoln, as I recall, presided over some rather significant changes for the better. Likewise, Teddy Roosevelt, and even Dwight Eisenhower. The first woman on the Supreme Court was courtesy of Reagan. Civil rights legislation was enacted by a coalition of northern Republicans and Democrats, though the latter had for decades kept their southern brethren comfortably ensconced in Congressional leadership posts.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/20/2018 - 11:15 am.

        Skid Row?

        “America is like an alcoholic some times you need to hit rock bottom to heal and change.”

        And in the meantime? What’s going to happen to the environment? How about the people who are denied any level of medical care, because we’re waiting for Medicare for all? What’s going to happen to the children whose education is taken over by corporate hucksters? Do we all get a “do over” when things finally go exactly the way we want them to go?

        I know that the contradictions aren’t going to heighten themselves, but we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, or of the achievable.

      • Submitted by Darryl Carter on 08/20/2018 - 11:27 am.

        Any blue will not due

        True. Nor any red (has anyone else noted the irony of “red” being synonymous with “Republican” in today’s world ?) Those two choices were ordained by neither God nor the Founders. You have made an argument for universal Ranked Choice Voting and/or “Top Two” non-partisan primaries. Also, repeal of the Presidential primary as currently PARTISANLY designed for MN in 2020.

  6. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 08/18/2018 - 09:49 am.

    20% vs 15%

    Johnson got 20% of the total vote – Pawlenty 15%. The media didn’t understand how despised Pawlenty is – a two term failed record – but he still took nearly as many Republican votes. How does 20% and 35% in a primary look promise promising before a general election, in the face of DFL unity? Giving Johnson and Trump for holding onto the most extreme Trumpites is no accomplishment.

  7. Submitted by John Ferman on 08/18/2018 - 02:16 pm.

    The Thesis is Ho Hum

    That Walz barked Pawlenty instead of Johnson is a non-issue. I expect any candidate to tell what are the main problems, how they should be solved, the things ze will work to acheive. In other words, a candidates words are all about ‘you’ ‘you’ ‘you.’ Mentioning the opposition is useful for drawing distinctions. Anything further is just saying what ze ‘is not’ – I want to know what ze ‘is.’

  8. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 08/20/2018 - 10:09 am.

    On Purity

    One would think that we have enough appreciation of history to be able to look at those proud Nader voters in Florida in 2000 that enabled GWB to beat Gore.

    Switch those votes to Gore and we, the US, save 3 trillion dollars and 400,000 soldiers, civilians, journalists and others are still alive.

    Those 400,000 would likely agree:

    “ANY BLUE WILL DO”

    If they could….

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/20/2018 - 11:04 am.

      Please… give it up

      Gore actually won that election, he just blew it by requesting a partial instead of a statewide re-count. And multiple analysis have shown that Gore lost more Democrat votes to Bush than he did Nader, the count was that close because too many Democrats didn’t vote for their own guy, not because too many people voted for Nader.

      Whatever. Isn’t it time that Democrats learn from their mistakes and stop trying to blame someone else when their crappy candidates lose elections?

      • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 08/20/2018 - 02:06 pm.

        And…

        If Gore were to have been even more right leaning, much to the further disappointment of those commenting here, he would have won his home state of Tennessee and the Presidency.

        Go ahead and tilt at crappy candidate windmills and pull the lever for Ralph Nader and prove only that Rs know how to win elections a lot better than run a government: Mission accomplished 2000 and 2016. Rather than holding out for Nirvana we would have seen a big difference in 911 reaction and an 8:1 SCOTUS with Clarence Thomas as the lone dissenter.

        Tim Walz is exactly the kind of mainstream, electable candidate the Ds need to win. Erin Murphy was, sad to say, almost un-electable.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/20/2018 - 04:04 pm.

          Walz did run a better campaign, and I hope he is more electable. But Walz can’t win without a substantial number of Murphy crossovers, Trump supporters aren’t going to put him over the line. I’d keep that in mind since condescending to voters you need to win elections is a bad idea.

  9. Submitted by Solly Johnson on 08/20/2018 - 11:32 am.

    Democrats

    According to polls after the 2000 election as reported in Salon magazine, approximately 300,000 Democrats voted for George Bush rather than Gore in Florida, which cost the Democrats the election, not the Nader voters. Perhaps if Gore had selected a progressive Democrat instead of Joe Lieberman as his running mate he would have fared better.

    Corporate Democrats continue to blame Russia, Stein voters, progressive talk show hosts, and anybody but themselves for the most recent loss in 2016. Instead of looking at themselves, they continue with Schumer and Pelosi as the leaders of their party, a failed strategy that has cost them numerous races from the local to the national level. Most recently, Tom Perez, a corporate Democrat backed by Obama for the DNC chair position, announced that the Democrats would backtrack on their pledge not to take fossil fuel donations, which shows again their corporate ties.

    To claim that many American lives would have been saved by a Democratic administration is an argument that can’t be proven. More recently Obama and Clinton were responsible for the overthrow of the government in Libya, one of the most advanced nations in Africa, and now it is a nation in disarray with open slave markets. Clinton proudly said “we came, we saw, he died,” when speaking of the toppling of Gaddafi. She definitely was not a peace candidate.

    My vote has to be earned, I do not automatically vote for the lesser of two evils, which the corporate Democrats are. If the Democrats adopt a platform of Medicare for all, a livable minimum wage, free university tuition at public universities, reducing military spending, and other matters that the majority of Americans support, I will vote for them. If they continue with their strong ties to Wall Street, large corporations, and Silicon Valley, I will cast my vote for third party candidates. Voter shaming has no effect on me and many other voters.

    • Submitted by Jim Bernstein on 08/20/2018 - 03:28 pm.

      There Really Is A Choice

      Vote as you see fit, that is your privilege.

      Thankfully, many Democrats understand that bumper sticker policies like “Medicare For All” and “Livable Minimum Wage” and “Free Tuition” and “Reduce Military Spending” are much more nuanced and complex than the bumper stickers proclaim. One of the very real differences between Democrats and Republicans is that most Democrats are willing to consider and actually implement policies that move in those directions (if not immediately embracing them) while nearly all Republicans reject them out of hand.

      If indeed a “majority of Americans” support Medicare for all, free tuition at publican universities, a livable minimum wage, and reducing military spending (I am not persuaded that most Americans do in fact support all of that) it will not matter one whit to Republicans. It will be thoughtful Democrats who will look to incrementally move health care, minimum wage, tuition, and military spending in directions that “a majority of Americans” support. Democrats will have to decide the who pays how much and how do we implement, and what the end result will look like and how it ill work but they – not Republicans – will be the ones to embrace and shoulder that load.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/21/2018 - 09:04 am.

        Nooooo

        “Thankfully, many Democrats understand that bumper sticker policies like “Medicare For All” and “Livable Minimum Wage” and “Free Tuition” and “Reduce Military Spending” are much more nuanced and complex than the bumper stickers proclaim. One of the very real differences between Democrats and Republicans is that most Democrats are willing to consider and actually implement policies that move in those directions (if not immediately embracing them) while nearly all Republicans reject them out of hand.”

        Democrats have been opposing these policies for decades… that’s one reason why NONE of them have EVER become law. Democrats have been denouncing these policies as “pipe” dreams for decades. Look, if Medicare, Social Security, and Unemployment benefits didn’t already exist… moderate Democrats today would be against creating them because their too “leftist” and radical. So no, Democrats who’ve been blocking basic liberal policies for decades don’t get to claim credit for progressive policies. Sure, the Democrats used to be the Party of the New Deal… that all ended in the 70s with the rise of New Democrats and neoliberalism. THAT’S what Clinton represented, and THAT’S why Clinton couldn’t connect with voters and win the election.

        Whatever, you guys want to be liberal now? Great, it’s about time. But don’t think you can take credit for the liberal agenda you’ve been blocking for decades.

  10. Submitted by B. Dalager on 08/20/2018 - 12:48 pm.

    This is a good article…

    This is a GREAT headline.

  11. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/20/2018 - 01:01 pm.

    What will happen?

    I hate to tell you guys this but… it’s happening, right now, look around. Not only IS this happening but it’s NOT happening because a progressive candidate promoting all kinds of “pipe” dreams got on the ballot and lost to Donald Trump. Whatever.

    My only real concern here is that too many erstwhile “liberals” and/or centrist/moderate Democrats are still too busy nursing their bruised egos and morning the loss of their privilege and bubbles of comfort zones to participate constructively. I know this is hard. I know this is a shock. I know this is spooky. I understand the impulse to blame someone else. Nevertheless, some sufficient number of Democrats needs to step away from their bubble of privilege and stop expecting EVERYONE else to move towards them. If too many Democrats stay in their bubbles waiting for or demanding a return of their failed status quo… we could lose this sucker. It’s not a question of everyone else joining you in the blue, it’s a question of whether or not you in the blue are going to join everyone else who want’s to move this country towards a better future.

    It looks like many Democrats like Walz are actually moving towards that progressive future, at least it’s in his campaign. The problem is we’ve seen this before and in the past when Democrats get elected they say: “thank you” and then return to their comfort zones while the nation collapses around them. We can’t afford to live on that kind of political landscape any longer, and frankly millions of Americans have been killed and damaged by that landscape already.

    So I’m looking Walz, but if I get a single wiff that he’s pulling the same bait-n-switch I’ve seen from Democrats all my life, I won’t vote him. So this isn’t just about keeping anything, or making anything blue, we’re way way way past that. We’re IN crises, not averting a crises, and moving the deck chairs around may look like a good idea to those in their bubbles of comfort, but it’s not good enough. I just hope that a sufficient number of Democrats have finally figured that out.

  12. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/21/2018 - 09:44 am.

    Anyways, Walz is running a progressive

    It’s kind of funny to see all these centrist bragging about Walz being the “moderate” that can win. In fact Walz is running as a progressive who can win. In this campaign video Flanagan calls Walz a progressive, and they claim a progressive agenda at least three times.

    https://www.facebook.com/WalzforGovernor/videos/10101102257449669/

    The central fact that moderates and centrists can’t seem to accept is the simple fact that progressive values, policies, agenda’s, and narratives are and have always been incredibly popular, Democrats just refuse to run on them, OR… they run on them and then walk it back when they get elected.

    If Walz wins THIS campaign it won’t because he’s a moderate denouncing progressive agendas as pipe dreams (like some other candidates we know), it will because he’s running on a progressive agenda that promises to deliver the kind of leadership and agenda people want.

    The central fallacy of centrism and moderation is that a majority always lay between the current status quo that the elite is comfortable with- and right wing extremism. The truth is that historically human beings and civilization have been moving towards liberalism for hundreds of years. If you REALLY want to promote resolution and unity, you go liberal, you don’t accommodate intolerance and try to meet it half way. Liberalism and progressivism have always been about resolving divisions by recognizing commonalities by enfranchising majorities. Centrism always ends up being divisive because they attack anything that falls outside their narrow concept of moderation- THAT’S what the partisan divide is about.

    The problem with centrists is that the position themselves so that future in front of them is the right wing extremists they want to accommodate… the actual majority is behind them, with the liberals and progressives.

Leave a Reply