The dramatic events of January 6, 2021, when the U.S. Capitol was stormed by a mob incited by the 45th president of the United States, have steered America into dangerous, uncharted waters. And yet, for all our existential political uncertainties, we may also find reasons for cautious optimism in light of a few promising signs. Most notably, in some important respects, the November election marked a victory for political moderation, even if not necessarily for moderates.
Building upon the work of scholars affiliated with the Niskanen Center, IU Professor of Political Science and Niskanen senior fellow Aurelian Craiutu and Constantine Vassiliou (Kinder Institute, University of Missouri) reflect on what might be done to recalibrate our politics using the principles of moderation, which have kept America on an even keel during previous crisis points in its history. This task, they argue in a white paper “In Search of a New Balance” published this week by the Niskanen Center, requires a bold balancing act and a novel form of political eclecticism as an alternative to the present ideological style of politics. The moderation and eclecticism they discuss, however, does not preclude bold responses proportionate to the daunting challenges we face today.