These days, it’s hard to find politicians who are moderate.

They’re almost extinct in the Republican Party, where most of them march in lock-step to the Trump beat, no matter how off-key, dishonest or outrageous it is. That’s why I respect former Massachusetts governor, businessman and lawyer, Bill Weld, the only Republican, so far, with the guts to run against Donald Trump in the primary. He’s fairly moderate on many social issues, but fiscally conservative.

So why haven’t more people heard of him?

As usual, the Republican Party stalwarts are proving their cowardice. Although a few Republicans have spoken out against Trump’s childishness, lies and ignorance, most of them stay silent and support him because they’re getting the right-wing judges they want as well as generous tax breaks for their biggest donors, 86% of their tax cuts went to the richest 1%.

On the Democratic side of the presidential primary, there are liberal, progressive and moderate candidates, all vying for prominence. There are so many of them that two debates are scheduled; one on June 27, the other on June 28. Most people haven’t heard of a lot of them and it’s no wonder, since there are 20 of them who met the requirements needed to be in the debates.

Most Democratic voters haven’t made a decision on which candidate they’ll vote for in the primary. As happened during the 2016 campaign, many progressives are already attacking Democratic candidates who don’t meet their purity tests—something that cheers the Trump camp immensely. All they need to give him the win is to stay home on Election Day, or find another Jill Stein to support.

As a moderate, I and others like me have been called a “corporate Dem” by some on the far-left. We realize that capitalists in this country have taken almost all the power from average working people, but also realize that the same imbalance occurred when labor unions took advantage of the power they had in years past. As extreme capitalists are doing now, the unions shot themselves in the foot. They demanded exorbitant wages that forced companies to move overseas or lay off employees and they hurt small, local businesses that couldn’t compete for workers because they couldn’t afford to pay anywhere near what union shops paid.

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Today, the imbalance overwhelmingly favors big corporations and their rich owners. Republican-dominated states have passed laws that deny unions the right to collect dues from their members, thereby crippling any power they had to fight for fair wages, safe working conditions and decent benefits. Republican legislatures have eliminated regulations that protect consumers as well as our air and water. They repealed prevailing wage laws, appointed judges that rule in favor of the most powerful, made it harder for low-income people to vote and gerrymandered voting districts to guarantee their dominance even when there are more Democratic voters in those states.

It’s time that voters look at the candidates and realize that, today, most Republican lawmakers don’t care about real, hardworking Americans—they care only about their biggest donors and their profits. It’s also time for the American people to demand an end to private money in political campaigns and the corrupt practice of gerrymandering. Republican candidates don’t want to change a thing; they like it just the way it is because that’s the only way they can win elections.

I voted for Republicans when they represented integrity and fairness, and when they cared about our air and water and worked for a balance between labor and management. Those days are gone.

But I also realize that many of the far-left goals are unrealistic and divisive. I know their intentions are based on compassion, which is much better than greed, but paying for everything they want isn’t as easy as some of them claim. That’s why I will support a moderate in the primary, someone who would protect the environment and balance the needs of all businesses, large and small, with those of workers.

But, if a more liberal candidate wins, you can bet I’m not going to stay home or vote for a non-entity like Jill Stein. Anyone with a pulse would be better for this country and its working people than the immature, narcissistic, dishonest person who’s in the White House today.

So I’m going to watch the debates and follow the candidates until the primaries. Then, I’ll decide which one would best represent the values of most Americans, fight for the issues that are important to us, and be able to heal the divisions encouraged by hostile governments and the current president. If every voter does that, we’ll all win.

Pat Nash has lived in the Baraboo area, off and on, for more than 35 years. Contact her at patnash5149@gmail.com.

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