Yesterday my Tai Chi instructor, Warren, was talking about the importance of keeping your center. I’m looking forward to the Democrats doing just that tonight—getting this country centered again after too many years of right-ward tilting.
So far, it’s looking good. Eight House and three Senate seats picked up. If the trend continues, we’ll wake up to a much more balanced United States.
The Dems have learned from past leftist excesses. A lot more Democrats are running as moderates (or even semi-conservatives) this year. Nothing wrong with that. Bill Clinton understood the importance of holding onto the middle. That’s where the power resides.
In politics. And in Tai Chi. No matter what you do, or how you move, you’ve got to keep your center. Not always possible, especially in Tai Chi push hands where you’re matched with a partner who is testing your capacity to flexibly respond to force.
I’m often critical of the Democrats, who frustrate me when they skittle around like disorganized chickens rather than forming into a powerful wolf pack capable of taking back control from the neo-cons. But early returns from this election are showing hopeful signs that the Dems are running strong and howling again.
If they get a majority in either the House or Senate keeping their center is going to become more important, not less. When I hear fired-up progressives talk about impeachment proceedings against Bush, I cringe. That’s a sure way to make 2006 a one time Democratic victory march.
Bring Congress back to the middle. Okay, maybe a bit left of center. That’d be fine. But not a wholesale tilt leftward. Start some investigations into bungled Bush administration foreign and domestic policies. Hold Rumsfeld’s feet to the fire. Just don’t get carried away and forget what got you back into a semblance of power.
Centering. Staying balanced. Convincing voters that the Democrats have the steady hand needed to guide this country back on a moderate course.
Don’t blow it, progressives. Walk softly yet firmly. Remember the Tai Chi adage:
"A force of four ounces deflects a thousand pounds."
If, and only if, you stay centered.