In our rural upstate town, Progressives and MAGAs peer warily at each other across New York Route 66, while hoarding their oat milk and bullets for the great war in 2024. We see far more danger lurking in the radical middle. Those truly undecided voters who will determine the outcome.
Not the 49% that recently told Gallup they were Independents. Bullshit. Most of that plurality (greater than the total who declared themselves Democrats or Republicans) virtually always vote for the candidates of one major party and will again next year. They lie to surveyors (and often themselves) that their minds and trigger fingers are uncommitted. No, we fear the far less numerous true independents in the radical middle.
Radical because one really needs to be to remain independent and undecided given what we have experienced during the last 76 months. And radical in advocating that what we need is a third candidate from the middle. Someone other than Biden or the Republican Peanut Gallery comprised of Trump, DeSantis, Haley, Scott, Hutchison, Ramaswamy and Elder.
Depending on who that third middle candidate would be, they will turn an otherwise closely contested 2024 election into a landslide for one major party, with massive down ballot ramifications for the Senate, House and state races. If the middle candidate was a Joe Lieberman-type that would guarantee a Republican landslide. A John Kasich-type would result in one for the Democrats. With zero chance this time, though not never, that the third candidate will win. And since some think maybe RFK Jr. – no – he’s not from the middle, except possibly the middle of Tralfamadore, where vaccines are not needed and Oswald and Sirhan live happily retired on their CIA pensions.
We have been listening intently and with growing concern to those who identify with, glorify, speak to and for the radical middle. One is the aforementioned former Senator and Democratic veep candidate Joe Lieberman, who is active in “No Labels.” That avowed centrist and bipartisan organization is already a registered polical party in Arizona, Colorado and Oregon, has ballot access in Alaska and is trying to mount a “Unity Ticket” third option for the 2024 presidential election. The most buzzed about potential Unity candidates are Joe Manchin and Larry Hogan, with the former guaranteeing a Republican avalanche and the latter one for the Democrats.
Media mouthpieces for the radical middle, though not employed by them, include Dan Abrams, a POTUS and NewsNation commentator and Michael Smerconish, prominent on POTUS and CNN and in the Philadelphia Inquirer and many other publications. Smerconish, an increasingly powerful force in American “journalism” luxuriates in his neutrality and daily serenades his radio audience with Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle” and numerous atrocious covers. Smerconish is the best apostle of the middle because he really understands their radical nature and uses his extraordinary communication skills to advance their belief that those left of them are “clowns” and those to the right, “jokers.”
He’s also the worst in failing to recognize that the current Republican Party-cult did not spring from Donald Trump’s forehead but was born during the Reagan Administration that he proudly served. And Smerconish is very bad in frequently equating Republican toxic mountains with Democratic noxious molehills.
At the polls in Fall 2024 we will think hard on all that our electeds have done for and to us since January 20, 2017, and cast our vote for one of the major party candidates, while praying that one day there is an alternative – a better one – “Next year in Jerusalem.”
 See numerous Vonnegut novels.
 A former antitrust client of ours.