Lately I've been thinking that my progressive views are actually quite moderate, maybe even slightly to the right of center.
In some areas, I know I straddle the middle. For example, I'd like to see health reform that gives people a public option, paid for by taxpayer dollars, while preserving whatever private insurance anyone might wish to buy. In the realm of public education, I'd like to see many more (and smaller) charter schools, so long as they are effectively overseen by the Department of Public Instruction.
In other areas, I'm very conservative. For example, I'm against deficit spending by the government. I don't think companies should be allowed to pollute our air and water. I don't think Duke Energy should stick ratepayers with the costs of cleaning up their coal-ash messes. I don't support government bailouts for property owners who choose to live in flood-prone areas or on barrier islands.
But there are also areas where you might say I'm liberal ... or perhaps libertarian. I support the right to bear arms as codified in the 2nd Amendment. I support repealing laws against marijuana use. I don't think companies should have to pay for employee health insurance. And I don't think the government should intervene between a woman and a doctor on any health issue, including reproductive choices.
Taken together, these positions put me in the mainstream. And, as it turns out, most people in North Carolina seem to agree with me. In last week's Democratic primary, for example, Biden and Bloomberg, who most would say are centrists, garnered 56% of the vote, while Sanders and Warren totaled only 34%.
On the flip side, those on the extreme right, as represented by today's Republican Party, seem to be badly out of step with what most people think. Only right-wing extremists think taxpayers should be paying millions upon millions of dollars to support Trump's golfing fetish. Only the most deplorable of voters believe the amount of federal debt Republicans are amassing is a good thing. And no one, except for pure red haters, thinks it's okay for politicians to lie to the people they represent. Even GOP "leaders" like Thom Tillis and Dan Forest condone the ugly spread of deceptive propaganda.
Many conservatives don't think these things are healthy, but they put up with them because (1) they're bigots and/or (2) their main political agenda is to repeal Roe v. Wade. I don't think it's any more complicated than that.
This year, I'm hoping that the vast, mostly silent, majority of voters rise up and say "enough is enough." The damage being done by right-wing extremists will require generations to fix. And for now, that means crushing the Republican party into oblivion. That's what I'm voting for.