A friend of mine who lives on the West Coast recently asked me if it was difficult living here as a non-Trumper, and I found the question hard to answer. Over the past four years, people I love and respect have said and done things that feel at odds with the person I know them to be. I’ve done a lot more listening than talking.

What troubles me most is the ability of a news outlet or pundit hundreds of miles away to alienate people from their neighbor living just down the street. They do this by making people seem off the rails and unreasonable. I don’t really like having words put in my mouth any more than you probably do. As such, I dread the upcoming election year. I can only speak for myself.

So here it is: what a left-leaning moderate wishes you knew.

I’m so tired of the word “socialism” I could vomit. Socialism as a concept simply means a group all pitches in to fund something everybody uses. Though we all benefit from socialist institutions within our country – from public education to public transit to insurance – no reasonable person is advocating for a socialist state.

No reasonable person is demanding free college education. However, the student loan industry needs to be re-thought. It is predatory to push teenagers into taking on massive debt when, just a few months before, they had to raise their hand to go use the bathroom. This is especially egregious considering the lack of financial education we provide our children, but that’s a soap box for another column.

The human-to-gun ratio in this left-leaning moderate’s house is 1:1. No reasonable person is advocating a gun recall or gun ban, but we lack a large-scale culture of responsibility around gun ownership. How I wish that folks across the country treated gun ownership and gun safety the way we do in Mississippi, where most young people are raised to treat a firearm with care and respect as a tool that commands a lot of power.

No reasonable person is advocating free, open, lawless borders. A transparent, consistent, dignified immigration and citizenship process is all this left-leaning moderate asks for. It doesn’t seem to be the biggest task for the country that put the first person on the moon, and it doesn’t have to come at the expense of national security.

This left-leaning moderate doesn’t have the answers to the Kafkaesque medical provider complex, but in the best country in the world, it seems like you shouldn’t go broke treating cancer, right? A good country, you could say, is made up of healthy, smart citizens – so why are our medical and education systems among the most broken of all our institutions?

As for the impeachment, suffice it to say that it is a national disgrace, as was Clinton’s impeachment in 1998. I say investigate ‘em all – the Clintons, the Bidens, the Trumps – they all reek of political nepotism, and they neither represent nor care about the average American.

I’m not telling you how to vote, or even trying to change your mind. I’m just a left-leaning moderate somewhere in the middle of a silent majority, probably not so far from where you’re standing yourself.

RILEY MANNING is a fiction writer, former religion reporter for the Daily Journal, and a copywriter at Mabus Agency. Readers can contact him at rileymanning19@gmail.com.

Recommended for you

comments powered by Disqus