Matt Cauley: The extremist road to losing an election

Once again, both parties’ platforms show how out of touch they are with the American people.  Consistently, according to, the American people list economic, fiscal, job-related and health care issues as most important, garnering around 80% of the vote collectively.

Emotional, extremist, fundamentalist issues such as the right-to-choose, same-sex marriage and immigration either don’t rank at all or only garner a few percent votes individually.  Yet these button-pushing divisive issues continue to find their way onto party campaign platforms.  Why do candidates continue to cater to extremists on the social front?

Take abortion for example. Only 15% of the American people believe abortion should be illegal in all cases while a solid majority favors abortion in most cases. So the real issue is not the right to choose but when the choice is made. Late-term abortions are abhorrent to most people and rightfully so.  Conversely, first-trimester terminations are objectionable to only a small minority of people.

So the democrats’ stance that abortion under any circumstances is acceptable and the republicans’ stance that abortion under any circumstances is unacceptable will cost each party votes and probably the election for republican candidates. Many of my independent or left-leaning friends would gladly vote republican in this election except for these divisive issues they view as overly intrusive in people’s lives and disenfranchising to certain groups of citizens.

So to all the wanna-be and will-be leaders of the American people, I say wake up and listen. Stop making extremist, do-gooder non-issues into issues.  We need social unity in this country, not social wedges.  This divide and conquer approach is not working, wastes valuable resources in time and money, is contrary to our motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” and is offensive to the majority of the American people.

Matt Cauley is the author of “Unwrecking America.” More online at

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