Letter: When moderates rule, extremists beware

Posted 11/19/20

It was interesting to watch the Bristol election season unfold from afar, with all the back and forth between the progressive local Democrat Party and this new group of Bristol County Concerned …

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Letter: When moderates rule, extremists beware


It was interesting to watch the Bristol election season unfold from afar, with all the back and forth between the progressive local Democrat Party and this new group of Bristol County Concerned Citizens.

There certainly were a lot of Letters to the Editor that voiced pro and con of the progressive agenda and moderate positions. I think it was informative and helpful for people to understand what the progressive movement is about, or not about. There were also a lot of misinformation and conspiracy theories voiced by some of those writers, which confused the voters, or so it seemed at the time. 

As most are aware, I walked away from the local Democrat Party after decades and having served as a Town Councilor and State Representative of District 68.

To their credit, the progressives took control of the local party in 2016, and I resigned soon after. I resigned not because these are not good people, but because I am much more moderate in my positions and am used to compromising with Republicans to get things done for the people we served.

The progressive side of the party, I found, was much more intransigent to compromise. It is their way or no way. The righteousness of their arguments is palpable.

We have all witnessed the state of the national political stage, which gets nothing done, because of a lack of compromise between their differing views. Voting strictly along party lines is the new brand of politics in America and encroaching locally on Bristol County. I long for the days when Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain worked together and reached across party lines to best serve the people and solve their problems. Our unique democracy is predicated on compromise.   

The voters of Bristol made a loud and clear statement in who they elected to the Town Council and the order in which they voted for them. Nathan Calouro, Tony Teixeira and Mary Parella, moderates all, were the top vote-getters. The last two in order of votes were Tim Sweeney and Aaron Ley, both fine gentlemen, who I agree to disagree with on their progressive views, and the voters apparently agreed.

On the national stage, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the darling of the progressive movement, was swept under the rug by the Democrat Party during the Democrat Primary in favor of the much more moderate, now President-Elect Joe Biden. While the elected democratic team will have to consider the progressives agenda in forming policy and appointments, his past record indicates he favored moderate positions his entire career.

So I am heartened to see that the voters walked a moderate line this year. The Democrat Progressive movement, I believe, will follow the Republican Tea Party movement, which after multiple election cycles disintegrated under its extreme rightist views. Both movements share the common thread of “my way or the highway.”

As my mother told me growing up, you can do anything in moderation, but excess of anything will get you in trouble. It was true when she taught me that lesson, and the voters have demonstrated they agree — they voted in a moderate slate, both locally and nationally, regardless of party affiliation.

Doug Gablinske

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