May 2, 2012

Kudos to the April 29 Outlook section for its enlightening discussion of our hyperpartisan political divide. The main piece, by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, provided a sober and scholarly analysis of the devolution of the GOP into a party in thrall to its most extreme elements. As if to validate Mr. Mann and Mr. Ornstein’s indictment of the media for seeking faux balance, there was Jonah Goldberg’s more shrill and condescending look at “The cliches liberals use to duck debates,” which, deservedly, received second billing.

Most interesting to me, however, was Frank I. Luntz’s piece debunking of “5 myths about conservative aoters.” As a centrist Democrat and proud American longing for compromise, I found the conservative majorities described by Mr. Luntz to be common-sense people with whom I can often agree. I wondered, “If this is the majority of conservative voters, where are their representatives?” The obvious answer, provided by Mr. Mann and Mr. Ornstein, is that they have been run off by extremists.

Only when mainstream conservatives reassert themselves can the United States hope to be again “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

Mark von Keszycki, Great Falls