The RP: The Myth of the Myth of the Middle

Responding to an article written about No Labels in the prestigious online magazine, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas — “The Myth of the Middle” — The RP sent in a Letter to the Editor that clarifies some of the common misperceptions  about the grassroots movement.

Here’s an excerpt:

In his provocative harangue against what he terms the “fantasy” of third-party independent movements [“The Myth of the Middle,” Issue #23], Mark Schmitt critiques our political system as having “too many veto points and too much entrenched power… It’s a system that can be reformed in ways large and small, but a third party or independent candidacy, absent other reforms, won’t do a thing to the system.”

Hear, hear! As Schmitt suggests, to address the polarization and hyper-partisanship that has driven public confidence in our institutions to historic lows, we don’t necessarily need a new partisan force from the center…or from the left or right, for that matter. What’s required is a broad-based effort to fix the two-party system from within. And what’s even more critical is the development of a national grassroots movement to advocate for those reforms.

Fortunately, in this winter of our political discontent, an organization that poses such a solution has emerged: No Labels. Full disclosure: In my first act as a recovering politician—I’m the former state treasurer of Kentucky—I helped co-found No Labels. Unfortunately, No Labels’ purpose, direction, and agenda are still misunderstood by some—including wise, well-meaning, and well-connected intellectuals such as Schmitt. Contrary to Schmitt’s claim, No Labels is hardly a creature of Georgetown salons and K Street lobbyists. Our 300,000 members come from all walks of life, reside in every congressional district, and represent the broad generational, ethnic, gender, ideological, religious, and racial diversity that gives our country its strength.

Click here for the full Letter to the Editor.



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