The posts in this blog are excerpted from my forthcoming book, also titled My View from the Middle.

The purpose of My View from the Middle is not to lecture (not too much, at least), though there will be a fair number of barbs directed at the Extremes and the Political Machine that uses them. I’m also not trying to issue a wake-up call to the American people. We’re all aware that something’s amiss—even if we can’t agree on what that something is.

I’m also not trying to be an advocate for either Extreme or the Middle.  I am aware that my single viewpoint will not represent the diversity of opinions that constitute the Middle. And I fully expect the Extremes will not appreciate anything I have to say and will decry it as partisan. That, by the way, is what the Extremes do. Take just one step away from the ledge of ape-shit crazy (a.k.a., either Extreme) towards the Middle, and the Extremes suddenly classify you as being “them” instead of “us.”

My View from the Middle presents my views (from the Middle, of course) on issues that bother me about the state of our politics and our social discourse. My intent is not to take sides on any specific issue, but to present my understanding of us as people, the issues impacting our ability to address our problems and to govern, and my thoughts for how we can pull ourselves out of this mess.

I consider my views to be neither definitive nor exhaustive on any subject presented herein. I am keenly aware that there are millions of words previously written about each topic, words written by smarter people, more eloquent people, people who have dedicated their lives to understanding each issue at its deepest level. These people, some of whom we’ve known for thousands of years, have a profound understanding of our struggles beyond any meager analysis that I can bring to bear on the issues. I cannot do better than they have done.

But I can pay homage to them. And perhaps where I can’t be better, I can at least be different. Maybe different is what we need to connect with one another, or to feel that we’ve been heard, or to gain inspiration to be better people.

Or maybe my simple blathering will motivate a few of us to reflect on those great people with their wiser words. You see, for all their brilliance, for all of they’ve contributed to humanity, guiding us forward towards a better world (yes, I do believe this), we, as a country, seem to have forgotten the words and hard-fought lessons of the best of us. We’ve left behind our prophets, philosophers, saints, civic leaders, scientists, and other great minds. People who weren’t perfect, but whose strivings for virtue far exceeded their lapses into vice.

And to what end have we abandoned our better selves? Simply for another chance to take a shot at our “enemies?” People we don’t know but whom we’ve labeled in a way that makes it okay for us to forget ourselves.

My View from the Middle is me saying that we are better than what the Political Machine has made us. We are not perfect people. We are not a perfect society. But we are a great people and a great society. Not through the maneuverings of the Political Machine, which only wants greatness for itself, but through the exertion of the political will of the masses—the masses who dwell somewhere in the Middle.

Panel 1

About Me

Hi there. My name is Kevin Sutherland. I’m an engineer-turned-fiction writer. I’m also, like many Americans, frustrated by our current political climate and lack of constructive public dialogue.

I believe that on any given issue, the loud, divisive voices showcased daily by the media reflect only the very extremes of potential positions. I believe that most Americans truly hold views that, to a greater or lesser extent, lean away from either Extreme toward the Middle. However, for a variety of reasons, the voices within the reasonable Middle are overwhelmed by those of the chaotic Extremes.

I consider myself about as Middle as they come. This is not to say that I’m not passionate about my beliefs, or that I don’t hold an opinion or two near to the Extremes on a few issues. But I want to understand both sides of a debate so I can try to plot a course toward some meaningful resolution. That’s the engineer in me.

However, being in the Middle doesn’t mean I consider myself a representative of the Middle. Its diversity of opinions makes it so deliciously awesome that it cannot be represented by a single point of view. And I’m most definitely not here to represent a political party or either of the Extremes that dominate so much of our public discourse.

I’m just an average American citizen who’s grown tired of not having a voice in a political system that seems more interested in perpetuating its dominance than it is in governance. I’m tired of a Political Machine populated by people who don’t truly represent us and who have a track record of ineffectual governance—people whom we continue to let speak on our behalf.

Panel 2


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