Does America Need an Integral, Yet Raging, Nougat-Filled Center?

Mick Zano

There’s a current bias toward moderates these days. It’s an essentially meaningless word, like the dollar. The Crank feels people are really in the middle of most issues and that the nuts portrayed in the media are nothing more than good entertainment. I don’t think if you take Spiral Dynamics seriously, which I do, you can so easily dismiss the different perspectives at work here. Nine states want to secede, and I happen to be living in one of them. I want to secede too, but not for the same reasons they do. Someone needs to do something about reality television and open container laws! See?

You can’t ignore that lines are being drawn, in some cases, battle lines. Folks are becoming more entrenched and polarized than ever. And if I secede after they secede…that is, if I secede too early, does the state’s secession void mine, or have I doubly seceded myself into something wholly other? Or, am I still an American trapped behind enemy lines? A series of secessions, or—dare I say it—a succession of secession might I succeed in seceding at all? People are choosing sides and, sadly, none of them are mine. Let me explain why you are all mind-numbingly bat shit.

People often mistake the moderate movement as wishy-washy and lacking any true principles. It’s a tough sell. I don’t know what Ken Wilber has in mind for his Integral Politics, but if it’s going to attach itself to an existing political party—which it won’t, but if it did—the party would ultimately be some variation of “moderate.” A moderate centrist tends to be more inclusive of other’s views, which is of paramount importance to any integral movement. The Constitution would also be championed, but the whole thing—not just the half of it the party in power is interested in defending at the moment to optimize their bank accounts.

Admittedly an integral moderate would look very different from any center point between wing nuts. But even your run-of-the-mill moderates understand that if we hand the keys to Rush Limbaughor to Michael Moore, we are simply going to crash this car called America into different trees. Currently, moderates in America are a joke (see: any Discord article). There is no strong, all-inclusive message (see: any Discord article). A moderate doesn’t stand for much, and rarely even leaves the recliner. What then is the angry middle? The angry middle is getting larger, which may have more to do with never leaving the recliner. I recommend Nexium and getting outside more.

But who are the raging moderates? How do you even define moderate in the first place, because the term is so blasted relative? Example, is a moderate Muslim one that condones lashing people caught kissing in public but will draw the line before decapitating them? In certain regions of the world that is sadly a ‘yes.’

Someone on NPR recently defined two main factions of U.S. moderates: 1.) Hamiltonian moderates (small but energetic governance, big banks, strong military), and 2.) Communitarian moderates (needs of the community as the theoretical model—a reaction to aspects of liberal devaluation of community). What? That sounds like anyone short of Ron Paul to anyone short of Barak Obama. It says nothing to me, like…(see: any Discord article). Ok, Ok…I’ll stop.

Is there anyone out there even close to an integral candidate? Hardly. Again, a moderate integral movement would not simply constitute some centrist, middle of the road vaguery. It would signify a Third Way or integral merger that transcends and includes the valid points of all perspectives (except maybe the Crank’s. I’m not a miracle worker).

The best example of integral moderate policy would be Bill Clinton’s approach toward social welfare programs,Opportunity with Responsibility. Clinton’s approach was designed to help only the truly disabled and those who deserved the help. His program fell decidedly short of liberal enabling. He said, sure Uncle Sam will help, if you do this, this and this. In other words, no free lunch. If you’re willing to become a productive member of society, some help may be necessary and warranted, but multi-generational welfare families…er, it’s time to get a job. Clinton, following Wilber’s lead, put forth the best idea in recent social service history and he managed to piss everybody in the country off in doing so. That’s the problem. You are all wing nuts. Two percent of the population has valuable answers and the other 98% won’t listen. 98% of the country is living in all-or-none thinking land. They are way too close to either the Limbaugh’s or the Moore’s of the world to effect positive change. So any honest to goodness good idea in this country doesn’t stand a chance (see: any Discord article).

The Crank told me this verbally once: the Democrat gets up to the mic and says, “we want this, this, and this program paid for by the government,” and then the Republican stands up and says, “I’m not paying for your bleeping this, this, and this.” He has just very accurately described the legislative branch of our government for the last several decades…and never the twain shall meet. If more people understood integral thought, this middle way could be achieved. Even Jesus, kind hearted as he was, clearly avoided enabling. Liberal green peeps are masters of enabling. They will—being too generous to the point of recklessness—tank any economy with the best of intentions. Right now, Vermont is spending $150,000 for a tunnel so that salamanders can cross one particular country street. They’re not even endangered salamanders and it’s not even a particularly busy street. Salamanders may not even like tunnels for all I know, but that’s our liberal stimulus money at work. I actually agree that we need to protect frogs and bees, because their demise will hasten our own, but we also can’t lose sight of the fact that we are broke. Besides, several salamanders owe me money.

The Tea Partiers of the world are way too selfish. They will not do the minimum for the most at risk among us. We need to limit taxes, but we can’t eliminate them. They are also completely programmed what to fear by those with their own agendas…agendas very different from their own. I hope they figure this out some day. The true test for the Tea Party will come soon enough. If Republicans sweep the midterms and win in 2012 and their movement collapses, they were and are a fraud. I don’t want to categorize everyone in this movement. It is, after all, an amalgamation of different disgruntled factions, but until they become something other than completely clueless, you can count me out.

We need to pack the best from each perspective and leave the rest. Watching Sean Hannity, Michelle Bachman, and Sarah Palin discussing the soul of conservatism on Fox News this week made me throw up a little in my throat. I recommend Nexium and getting outside more. That was the all important topic these ‘great thinkers’ were wrestling with. They ignored Andrew Sullivan’s attempt and probably never read his book The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back. He wrote this book in 2006. You know, when those three were too busy cheering-on the policies that would destroy us.

Dear Tea Party,

Don’t pick the stupidest kid in the class to write your book report. There’s value in conservatism, it just doesn’t have anything to do with Michelle Bachman.

Sincerely,

Reality

If you want true independent thought, you actually have to think things through, er…independently. Each shift up the spectrum of consciousness has inherently more independent thought. Tribal and feudal has little or none (follow me or suffer the consequences), fundamentalism has very little independent thought (follow the tenets of the contradictory holy book or suffer the consequences), orange (entrepreneurialism) has considerably more (follow the rules of the market and we’ll all get rich). Green (liberalism designed to cherish all perspectives and seek harmony) has a lot more independent thought, but it’s also like herding god-damned cats. Because they’ve truly reached this brand new, post-centric thinking, you’re just never going to get these folks on the same page anytime soon. The obscenely popular and gifted Transcosmetic Party is, of course, the answer. I implore Ken Wilber to use the massive numbers of registered voters amassed by this cutting edge integral movement, fueled by the Discord Nation. We even have a new mission statement. We have given up on: To Rate Every Brew Pub in the Galaxy. Our new mission statement is: To Boldly Purchase Ken Wilber’s Integral Politics and Let Someone Smart Deal with this Societal Shit Storm (SSS).

Damn. I almost made it an entire article without a lousy acronym joke (LAJ). Damn, I did it again…

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Mick Zano

Mick Zano

Mick Zano is the Head Comedy Writer and co-founder of The Daily Discord. He is the Captain of team Search Truth Quest and is currently part of the Witness Protection Program. He is being strongly advised to stop talking any further about this, right now, and would like to add that he is in no way affiliated with the Gambinonali crime family. 

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