Will pragmatism win out? July 1, 2005

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 3, 2005

I read an interesting political analysis earlier this week I want to relay here today. Unfortunately, I've had so much going on this week I can remember where I read it or who wrote it; it could have been Thomas Friedman at nytimes.com or Brittney Spears at huffingtonpost.com.

The piece was based on President Bush's sinking poll numbers, caused mostly by Iraq and despite recent strong indicators, continued uncertainty over the economy.

While many people deplore the polarization in politics today the writer said recent polls show that we're seeing a shift. He or she likened the current state of American politics to the era immediately following World War II.

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That's when Americans turned away from ideological New Deal dreamers toward pragmatists like Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, two veterans who captured House races in the late 40s.

The New Dealers had been in control then for roughly 15 years. Now, polls are showing that Americans could be turning away from the ideological right wing neocon extremist dreamers who have dominated the country's political scene pretty much since Ronald Reagan's election in 1980.

The writer sites a new Zogby poll that shows people who describe themselves as moderates and independents turning away from president Bush in droves. His approval numbers among those groups hover in the 30s.

Things are presently looking so bad for the president that in every area of the country outside the south, Zogby's poll shows that Americans support impeachment of the president if it turns out he misled the country into the Iraq war.

Even the News-Herald's Web poll shows more people think going to war in Iraq was the wrong thing to do. That amazes me.

So who benefits from this turn of events? The writer says it's good news for people like John McCain, Joe Biden, Mark Warner (?)

and possibly even Hillary Clinton (who has been trying hard for five years to present herself as a moderate) in their presidential bids. It's bad news for ideologues like Bill Frist, George Allen,

Howard Dean and the entire moveon.org/Michael Moore extremists wings of both parties. On the state level,

let's hope this trend bodes well for Russell Potts, the independent who is the only responsible adult running for governor.

And that's good for the country. I believe Americans are for the most part pragmatists at heart. Matters of economy, fairness and war and peace are those that are the most important for national politicians to deal with and the ones that most Americans care about the most. And we want responsible, levelheaded, experienced leaders dealing with them.