It’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe/
Maybe this year will be better than the last/
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell my myself/
To hold on to these moments as they pass
— “A Long December,” Counting Crows
The year 2020 will be remembered for the drudgery where death and illness that isolated us from our loved ones and friends for stretches previously unimaginable in the midst of a Presidential election that too often looked to divide us more than bring us together.
There are many proclamations and hopes of what 2021 will bring. Let us add ours: the rise of the political center in both parties to unite us again as a nation.
We go back to our mission statement from when North-JerseyNews.com launched March 5, 2020, a day after the first case of the coronavirus was reported in New Jersey. We promised the site would not deal “with conspiracies and rumors, radical viewpoints from either side of the aisle having little impact on the work done on a daily basis by those working for you in Washington and Trenton.”
The news on our site since we launched 10 months ago was dominated by two stories: the coronavirus and the 2020 elections. We strove to offer viewpoints based on facts as we knew them, not far-flung theories from the internet whose main goal was to cause division. We looked to offer different points of view in politics as that is healthy in a democracy—as long as it was based in truth.
Disconcerting is the continued fanning of the flames by President Donald Trump and his acolytes promoting baseless conspiracy theories—the latest being why he lost the election—and making legislation priorities and decisions on personal grievances. Unfortunately, this is the continuance of the GOP’s embrace of the far right that is not just hurtful to the Republician Party but to the country as a whole.
This is why the election of President-elect Joe Biden and actions by members of Congress in December shows signs of the reemergence of America’s political center.
The President-elect recently declared the political center is where he has and plans to govern from, stating “I believe that the country, in both parties, the center of gravity has moved to the center and center-left. Part of it is that Republicans are beginning to realize that there is a center that has to be responded to.”
The President-elect was proven to be right, as the coronavirus stimulus bill that was finally passed was the result of framework agreed to by Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s Problem Solvers Caucus that count 50 members, equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, and a group of bipartisan U.S. Senators lead by Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Susan Collins of Maine.
It is the type of coalition President-elect Biden needs as he prepares to take the reigns later this month, getting enough Republican lawmakers prepared to meet him in the middle in an evenly divided Congress where he won’t have the kinds of Democratic majorities some of his predecessors enjoyed.
And as the President-elect noted, it’s not just Republicans who need to cater to the needs of everyday Americans.
“Democrats are beginning once again to pay attention to our base…working-class folks, Black and white, people who are busting their neck, and all they’re looking for is just a shot,” stated Biden.
This is all that American’s want from their leaders—whether it in the White House, the C-Suite, the classroom, in the courtroom—the fair opportunity to improve their lives. Government does have a role in that and both sides of the political aisle need to make efforts to work with each other to obtain this goal.
If that happens, 2021 will be a year that was definitely better than the last.