I think I am not alone in growing so tired of Don Kennedy’s “rants” in the AFN. Surely there has to be a more productive and community-embraceable dialog than his extreme “right-wing” discourse and that of the opposing Nancy Pelosi-ish left. The best thing for our country is for those of us in the moderate middle to take back the discussion and elect public servants who will serve the interest of the vast (and too-often silent) majority of our citizens.

I am a life-long Republican of very moderate stripes: I would like to see our country be fiscally responsible, encouraging and socially tolerant. If I were in a position of influence in our federal government, I would be working toward balanced (or nearly so) budgets, improved global competitiveness (education, trade policy, tax code, etc.) and opportunity for all. I would be strongly supporting an environment of individual success based on individual initiative and access to the factors that support that (access to education, capital and mentoring). As a country, we need to fix our broken immigration system, deal with our “entitlements” and debt levels (yes, we will all have to sacrifice some financially to make that happen, but is it all really about “me” politics or is it about something bigger… and, maybe when the world sees us do that people will flock to live and invest here… our shining beacon gets a new polish… what a novel idea).

Why do we continue to let the extreme right and left dominate the political, economic and social discussion in this country? While we do so, the Chinese and others make plans, invest and chip away at our promise … to the detriment of our children, our neighbors and global friends and our own futures.

I would agree with one Don Kennedy statement: “It’s time for some soul searching.” There is a better way. To use a golfing analogy, it’s right down the middle of the fairway. The far right and far left are filled with hazards and ideas that are “out of bounds.” Most of us know this. We just need to be a lot more vocal about what we want and expect from our elected officials and community.

Please, people in the moderate middle, stand up with me and demand better from our media and our political system.

• Bob Beane is an economics graduate of the College of Wooster and an MBA accounting graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is also a bicycling advocate and has been a resident of Ahwatukee since 1992.

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