John Zaring | The Rational Center: I’m Baaa-aaaack!
Hey there Proclaimer readers, The Rational Center is back!
To be honest, after the 2018 midterms, I was burned out on politics. With Rep. Katie Hill headed to DC and Assemblywoman Christy Smith off to Sacramento, it was the perfect time to take a temporary break from covering the political scrum. So, I put the column on ice and did my best to stay out of the teeming echo chamber of social media.
I was only sort-of successful with that last one.
In the year or so that’s gone by, we took our youngest daughter to college and adjusted to this whole empty-nesting thing by binge-watching the entire Game of Thrones series in less than a month and discovering new shows like Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I listened to way more U2 than Pod Save America while on my daily runs, and even upped those runs from three to five miles, because, well, I had time.
Folks, I enjoyed being (mostly) politics-free so much, that what was intended to be a temporary hiatus became a luxury hard to give up. More importantly, the longer runs allowed me to eat an occasional plate of pesto pasta with three (okay, five!) garlic sticks at Stonefire.
Admit it, we can all agree how yummy the garlic bread is at Stonefire!
Even while looking away, I’ve been alternately amused and horrified by so many things President Donald J. Trump and his enablers in the U.S. Senate (yeah you, #MoscowMitch McConnell) have said and done, that it just feels wrong to carry on living in such blissful apathy while dark forces work to undermine nearly everything that I think actually makes America great.
There were Muslim bans. Kids in cages. Nazis in Charlottesville. Puerto Ricans abandoned. The departure from the Paris Accord. Cabinet corruption. Emoluments broken. Money stolen from the military to pay for Trump’s wall (which is actually a fence). A weather map altered by Presidential Sharpie. Dictator love! The Mueller report!! And, near-weekly mass shootings leaving too many Americans felled by AR-15s!!!
I could go on and on and on and on and …
Most Americans are overwhelmed and exhausted, but with 2020 on the horizon and the madness in full bloom, looking away is no longer an option. So here I am, hoping you’ll welcome back my center-left policy perspectives – a space I prefer to call “the rational center” – with open arms. Or, at least, welcome back the opportunity to call me a “snowflake” or some other Trump-ish slur in the comment section.
You know who you are.
My first new column runs Wednesday! See you then…
John Zaring has lived with his family in the Santa Clarita Valley since 2000. He describes his politics as center-left, as in “the rational center,” and while initially a college Republican, has been a Democrat since 1992. The LA County Democratic Party named him the 37th Assembly District Democrat of the Year in 2010.