Saturday, July 23, 2011

Opinion: Silent majority fed up with D.C.

Editor's note: Lou Zickar is the editor of The Ripon Forum, a centrist Republican journal of political thought and opinion published by The Ripon Society.

(CNN) -- The brilliant but disgraced President Richard Nixon once gave a speech in which he spoke of the "silent majority" in American politics.

These were the people, he observed, who didn't wave signs or march in the streets. Rather, they were the people who quietly went about their lives, going to work, raising their families and giving back to their communities.

Nixon gave this speech in 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War. But more than four decades later, his basic observation still rings true. For if there was ever a time that a silent majority existed in American politics, it is today. The current debate over raising the debt limit is a good example.

The debate is dominated by the political extremes. Those on the far right would rather have the federal government default on its financial obligations than give ground on what is anathema to most conservatives: raising taxes. Those on the far left would rather risk default than give ground on what is anathema to ...

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