Move the center of gravity by being extreme (November 1, 2006)
One of the platitudes that irritates me the most is the one that goes something like "American politics are increasingly characterized by extremes as the middle has disappeared, yet the best way is always somewhere in the middle." I've heard the politician that grates my nerves the worst (Jack Danforth), use this on three separate occasions over the past month or so.
While such an airy statement is supposed to bring ideologues in from the extremes, rationally it should do the exact opposite. If the correct position is in effect an averaging of the total opinion, those on the extremes should be as radical/reactionary as possible.
Initially, you're far-left and I'm far-right. The moderate view is thus the right one. Responding to Danforth's advice, you shift to a moderate-left stance. I, on the other hand, in inebriated zeal, move even further right. So now the view somewhere between that of the moderate-right and far-right is the best one.
No wonder the GOP was in the minority while this guy was in charge.