Readers Write: You won’t find solutions in the center

The Island Now

Centrism does not reflect the ideological center of Americans, it protects the status quo, oppression and the patriarchy— and we need to talk about it.

When politicians talk about the need for bipartisanship, they are not referring to a compromise of American priorities, but the trade-offs they make to water down a bill so that it rarely does what it was originally intended to do.

We’re facing multiple crises — healthcare, the environment, housing, wealth inequality, education, systemic racism and the protection of our democracy. Solutions, watered down to half-measures for the sake of appeasing bad faith politicians will never, ever, lead to meaningful solutions. It will only allow these crises to get worse.

Halfway between ending systemic racism and systemic racism still leaves us with systemic racism.

Halfway between protecting our democracy and actively undermining it leaves us with a broken democracy.

Halfway between our right to choose and someone choosing for us leaves us without safe options and without autonomy over our own bodies.

Centrism and bipartisanship may sound great in theory, but in practice, have only reinforced a status quo that has long harmed working class families and marginalized communities.

Real change will come when we vote our values and center actual solutions while ignoring the bad-faith actors seeking to undermine progress and harm others. That’s how our country passed Social Security, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act and the civil rights legislation of the 1960s.

Centrism is not an ideology. It’s an agenda that time and time again, champions policies benefiting corporate America at the expense of the American people.

Progressivism is an ideology based on values— fighting to uplift everyone at the expense of no one.

It’s why I fight for equity and equality and policies like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal and repealing the Hyde Amendment. Some call these policies “radical,” while parroting the talking points of the Right and Center, but they are the ideological center. Medicare For All is supported by 69 percent of Americans, the Green New Deal is supported by 60 percent of Americans and 62 percent of Americans support repealing the Hyde Amendment. The political center is out of step and to the right of the American center.

How we move forward matters. No more half-measures. No more excuses. It’s time for bold solutions that match the scale and urgency of the problems we face.

Melanie D’Arrigo
Democratic Congressional Candidate NY-3
Port Washington

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