As I listen to the debate surrounding the nomination of Samuel Alito, I hear a mantra being repeated over and over, “We need a nominee that represents mainstream America”.
The more I hear this phrase used, the more I begin to think that “mainstream” is synonymous with a definition I once heard of “scholar”–someone who agrees with you.
In its strictest definition, mainstream refers to the philosophical and ideological characteristics of the majority. It seems, however, that those who keep using the phrase to oppose Alito have the idea that mainstream means a central position between the extreme left and right. If this is the case, one need only proclaim loudly enough and long enough, a position that is actually in excess of their actual belief. Doing this moves the ideological center closer to their own belief.
The polls that I have seen all indicate that the majority of those surveyed think Alito should be confirmed. Doesn’t this seem like a mainstream position to you? In democracy, we are governed by majority, not extremes.
The fact is, the liberals are still in denial about how they are perceived by the majority of the country. They are shocked to find that the tenets they hold dear are actually much further to the left of “mainstream” America. If they wish to be in the mainstream, they either need to change their way of thinking, or convince more Americans to adopt their view. Maybe if they keep shouting loud enough, long enough they will do just that.
What do you think?