Mapping our way back to the centre. Turn left, then right, then straight up the middle.

Written by Lisa Hrabluk

Best-selling author. Award-winning journalist. Purpose-led entrepreneur. Find me hanging out where culture, people and ideas collide.

February 15, 2017

World, I love you but I really need a member of the skinny-legged chinos developers’ brigade to create a Trump commentary filter for social media.
I get it. You don’t like him. I don’t either but seriously can we dial down the story sharing about back-stabbing in the White House and links to SNL bits and Samantha Bee rants?
I can’t believe I’m saying this but I miss those halcyon pre-Trump days when my social media feed was filled with food pics, weather pics and humble brags of self-promotion.
I need a break from the outrage. We all do because it’s not going to get us what we want.
That’s what we want, right? To live in a world where we are at peace with ourselves and the people around us.
That’s the moonshot we all need to set our sights on.
So let’s stop fixating on the Trump White House and turn our attention to understanding how he got there. And while we’re at it, here in Canada let’s dial down the Trudeau-swooning and pay a little more attention to the conversation Conservatives are having with each other over their current leadership race.
I am intrigued by the comment I have read in a few stories and have heard from some of my American friends about Trump voters. Not the angry bedazzled ones who were always in camera range at his rallies, I mean the ones who quietly voted for him. Who liked what he had to say about rebalancing trade agreements and bringing jobs to the parts of America that the Silicon Valley-led digital revolution skipped over. The ones who could never ever bring themselves to vote Democrat because they hate the morally-superior-we-know-what’s-good-for-you-liberally-minded celebrities, politicians, commentators and business leaders who populate the left side of the political spectrum.
They sound a lot like the Canadian Tories I know.
Quiet is the operative word to describe these conservative-minded voters.
Quiet and unsurprisingly a tad resentful of how the liberal point-of-view dominates our culture.
It is in our movies, in our popular music, in the literature we celebrate and yes, in our news.
This is unsurprising because artists and creative people are naturally inclined to exploration and pushing boundaries so are often ahead of everyone else in accepting and embracing new ideas and values.
But in our eager embrace of change we need to accept that not everyone moves at the same pace or along the same path.
As we travel through this period of deep social, economic and technological change we must recognize that the future of our domestic politics, beyond the ballot box, cannot be an either or proposition.
The choices we need to make are not the progressive way or the conservative way.
Rather it is how liberals and conservatives will shape our changing world together.
That is the definition of centralist politics: ideas and policies that are influenced by both the left and the right.
Our political ground is shifting. To make it back to the middle we must reach across the growing chasm and pull ourselves back together.
That’s the only route that matters – the one that leads us back to common ground.

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