Home / General / “My Views Are Not Mush. They’re A Radically Centrist Pilaf.”

“My Views Are Not Mush. They’re A Radically Centrist Pilaf.”


Tom Friedman has a column about our political moment. You will be surprised that he has examined both sides and found to his dismay that they both do it:

The American body politic has experienced two big — and enormously revealing — shocks in the past month.

The first was political, administered by the Democrats’ first debates, which revealed a party whose leading presidential candidates were considerably farther to the left on some key issues — borders, national health care, treatment of illegal immigrants — than many mainstream Democrats, not to mention independents and moderate Republicans looking for an alternative to President Trump.

The second big shock was moral, administered by Trump’s supporters at his North Carolina rally last week. As Trump trashed Representative Ilhan Omar, who immigrated from Somalia, his supporters broke into chants of “Send her back!”

“On one hand, the president gave a fascist speech. On the other hand, some Democratic candidates for president recently advocated for the kind of healthcare system roughly comparable to that of every other major liberal democracy in the world. In conclusion, both sides are equally irresponsible.”

But don’t call his views mushy!

I’m in this group, but I prefer not to call myself a “centrist.” That label implies someone whose views are mush, situated between two clearly defined poles of left and right. My views are not mush. They just emerge from a different approach to politics.


Trump just threw complexity out the window and went full dog whistle on race to hold and expand his base. Democratic candidates are being more serious, but their need to win primaries tugs them back to the old binary checklist — even though the real solutions require a left-wing wrench, a right-wing hammer and all sorts of new tools and combinations we’ve never imagined.


The accelerations we’re now going through in climate change, technology and globalization have made that checklist approach to governing obsolete. This era calls for a different approach — one best articulated by Linton Wells, the defense analyst and expert on resilience. Wells argues that to find the solutions to today’s wicked problems you should “never think in the box and never think out of the box. You have to think without a box.”

Come up with a new nonsensical metaphor every year or three, and you to can keep your sinecure by writing the same useless column over and over again for 20 years!

So what are these WITHOUT A BOX solutions?

The right response has to be a mix of policies: to mitigate climate change; to help improve governance and policing in Central America; to tighten U.S. border security so people cannot just walk in; to tighten rules on who can seek asylum; and to send back those who don’t qualify for asylum. We also need an immigration policy that embraces the desperate who qualify for asylum and welcomes high-energy and high-I.Q. legal immigrants.

So, in other words, this totally proactive new paradigm is the same policy deal Democrats have been offering for years and Republicans have rejected for years. If only Republicans understood that the WORLD IS NOW FLAT so you need to THINK WITHOUT A BOX! Which is also a perennial feature of this one column Friedman has written what must be now hundreds of times. Suck on this, America!

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