Recent events in Washington D.C., culminating Wednesday in the collapse of Trump’s Presidency, have shocked Americans regardless of politics. In an astonishing act of hubris run amok Trump tarnished our country, destroyed his legacy, and laid waste to the Republican party. It’s enough to make a moderate Republican long for President Carter.

The keyword above is “moderate,” defined as the “…rejection of radical views” or to “make or become less extreme.” If this country ever needed moderation, it’s now.

Trump was lucky to win the White House. Democrats had ignored working class middle Americans for too long. Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” faux pas revealed the disdain with which she and many other Democratic leaders viewed millions from the heartland. Sadly, you almost could chart the rise of the far right, with extremists plotting revenge based upon hate, not debate.

The political pendulum having moved right, Trump and his supporters, giddy with power, ran roughshod over responsible governance and decency. In return, Trump was blindsided by the Russian “collusion” investigation, a three-year low for Democrats, the FBI and the liberal media. Trump’s escalating assault on the media may have seemed justified but his abusive manner dragged everyone down to the lowest common denominator. My stomach churns when national correspondents refer to any sitting President as a liar and cheat, especially when it’s true.

Throughout the last Democratic primaries, candidates scrambled left to appease liberal activists. There were no limits in the extremes of social and political policy, and no ceiling on the trillions of dollars for one federal give away after another. Even Bernie Sanders was under fire for not being sufficiently liberal and “woke” to pass muster! I wondered whether this was because the Democrats had a great foil in Trump or if they truly wanted to throw aside responsible fiscal policy and governance.

Despite his manifest failures Trump gets credit for a pre-pandemic economy that lifted employment among young Blacks to record highs. Three unparalleled agreements were signed between Arab countries and Israel. Most important, Operation Warp Speed facilitated astonishing success in bringing vaccines to market a full decade faster than normal.

The pendulum just swung left again, what lies ahead? Will Pelosi and Schumer pursue a liberal agenda, ensuring even more partisanship? Will AOC’s outrageous Green New Deal become the law of the land? Will Democrats pack the Supreme Court and drive statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia? Across the middle of America, from moderate Democrats to centrists to moderate Republicans (probably 80% of the population), an extreme liberal agenda is no more acceptable than an extreme conservative agenda, especially in our current circumstances. If Democrats ignore this truth then in two more years, we will see another ugly swing of the pendulum to the right.

The critical question is whether President-elect Biden will allow the left wing of his party to override common sense and his good judgment or will he genuinely try to bring Americans together by leading from the middle, building consensus rather than sowing dissension? Will Republicans reply in kind? I fervently hope that Biden will prove to be the great moderator we so desperately need.

Ed Robinson is a writer, photographer and lecturer on the natural world. He lives on Orr’s Island in Harpswell.

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