My fake news interview with a Mushy Middler was first published here in August, 2017, one year after the US presidential election of 2016. With the 2020 election less than two months away, I wondered whether the mythical “mushy middle” is as powerful today as it was four years ago or whether our current climate of increased political unrest has caused this group to dissipate. American voters are either “for” or “against” with no room in the inn for a middler. True or false in 2020?
The mushy middle – and I’m not talking Hostess Twinkies here. No, the “mushy middle” and the “soft center” are names given by politicians and pollsters to the highly sought after mostly silent majority of the electorate who have never attended a rally other than a pep rally at school, never written letters to the editor, regularly watch both Fox and CNN for their news, don’t give a tinker’s dam about confederate statues, and pal around with friends whose major topic of conversation isn’t politics. Holy Smoly, life must be much less stressful in the mushy middle, or is it?
Inquiring minds want to know, so I’ll Call It took to reality blogging and found a card carrying member of the Mushy Middle who agreed to be interviewed as long as she could remain anonymous in order to avoid “outing” any of her middling friends. The interview was conducted two days before the Eclipse.
I’ll Call It: For the record, is it true you identify as a member of the Mushy Middle?
MM: Yes, that’s true. I am a proud member of the Mushy Middle and I’ll tell you why – I am always Undecided until the very last moment before I step into the voting booth. I vote for the person – not the party because I don’t like either one of those behemoth political machines that are 100% responsible for the mess we’ve made in our country. Basically, I think all politicians are crooks. 100%.
I’ll Call It: I see. Well, do you mind telling me the name of the person you voted to elect President in 2016?
MM: I voted for Donald Trump, but I didn’t tell anybody…not even if they asked, and a lot of those pollsters called me to ask. I thought it was nobody’s business if you care to write that down.
I’ll Call It: Hm. Yes, I’ll definitely put that down; thank you for that bit of information. I really appreciate it. Do you mind telling me what characteristics of Donald Trump appealed to you?
MM: Certainly. For one thing, he wasn’t Hillary Clinton. Everybody knows she’s a crook and a liar – they’ve already proved that with those emails of hers, haven’t they?
I’ll Call It: Well, actually no. But surely that wasn’t the only reason you voted for Donald Trump?
MM: Of course not. Are you calling me one of those women haters who don’t want other women to succeed – is that what you’re trying to say because if it is, I’m calling off this interview right now. I’m beginning to get a sneaking suspicion you’re trying to trap me into saying something I don’t mean, and I don’t like it one little bit. As a matter of fact, I don’t like you. Period.
You’re one of those elitist bloggers running around putting words in people’s mouths and making up phony photos showing KKK members with machine guns, for God’s sake. I have friends in the KKK, and they are super nice people who wouldn’t hurt a fly.
I’ll Call It: No, that’s simply not true. White supremacists and KKK groups aren’t the good guys really. They go against everything America has stood for since we got started. They don’t believe in equality and justice for all. Their beliefs are the antithesis of our core beliefs in a democracy.
MM: Oh yeah? Well, who else cares enough about our country’s history to try to preserve these beautiful statues we’ve had everywhere for two hundred years? What are we going to do with all the holes where the beautiful statues were? Has anybody thought about that?
Furthermore, I get it. I see you are not anything but a fake news reporter, so I am terminating this interview. Don’t ever let it be said that a Mushy Middler can’t smell a skunk a mile away. Adios. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
I’ll Call It: But I wasn’t done – we never got around to why the Mushy Middle is apathetic to the political happenings in America today or what you thought about Steve Bannon’s being kicked out of the West Wing.
MM: I am sick to death of jerks like you who think you’re so smart and know everything. I don’t want to be on your side or their side. I just want to go my own way so leave me alone! Who’s Steve Bannon?
P.S. Okay, so maybe the interview wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped, but I learned one thing for sure. Clearly the Mushy Middle isn’t as apathetic as advertised. Holy Smoly.
Stay safe, stay sane and please stay tuned.