IF ONE were to be returning to planet Earth from an extended stay on Newt Gingrich’s imagined moon colony, he or she would be surprised at the current level of political discourse.
We have serious presidential candidates arguing that it was “a matter of principle’’ to oppose our government’s bipartisan efforts to keep our banking system from collapsing or its actions to avoid the loss of millions of middle-class jobs in the auto industry and related fields.
We have reached the point where the worst accusation a politician can level at another is to call him “moderate.’’ Isn’t being moderate a good thing? Similarly, the recipient of that jibe insists that his political philosophy is “severe.’’ Isn’t being severe a bad thing?
It is no wonder that an outstanding senator such as Olympia Snowe of Maine has chosen to step aside in this frightening “atmosphere of polarization,’’ as she terms it.
Leonard F. Clarkin