A reformed leftist—that is, an older leftist—now stakes out an extreme position in the middle as he attempts to restore a lost spirit of compromise in the national discourse.
Can former radical Satin and like-minded political philosophers recruit the essential blue-collar and white-collar caring persons, those who embody “the norms of knowledge: workers and the creative class,” from the resentful, surly, militant extremes? That remains to be seen, but it may take a little more than this self-helper addressed to the entire country to win over the special interests and those who operate on special instruction from the Almighty to the cadre of caring persons in the middle. Here’s another kind of public policy, not learned from Washington or Jefferson, but in the mode of Ben Franklin. As earnest as the politics of any other stripe, the bipolar radical middle purports to take the best from the left and from the right. Basic tenets would give each of us a fair start in life, more choices, a chance to maximize our potential and help develop the world too. Satin offers suggestions to solve knotty problems of health care, our legal system, petroleum dependency, education, affirmative action, unemployment, corporate clout, biotechnology, national service, economic globalization, military intervention, and terrorism. (Other concerns may have to wait a bit.) The radical middle offers a theory of everything political, with outlined rules and talking points to fix all the malaise and malevolence. It makes a lot more sense than, say, Dr. Phil or the many braying pundits at the edges of the national parties. Preacher Satin provides chapter references to texts and organizations in furtherance of the cause.
A handbook that leaves lots of room for dissent from all sides. To make a utopian vision a reality, what would Poor Richard do?