Wings and Mainstreams

It’s frustrating to be a “wing” of a political party.

And it’s frustrating to be the mainstream.

When you’re in the wing, you’re a minority part of the party. You may be powerful, or influential. You’re almost certainly driving the public perception because political reporting loves to report on the wings, far more than on the mainstream.

The wing is influential and powerful because the wing always calls itself the future of the party. The mainstream, almost by definition, is the old, stodgy, stuck-in-the-past part.

The mainstream is also, by definition, the majority.

Take the current daily reporting on House Democrats and impeachment. There is another headline, another interview, another opinion every day that features why impeachment is necessary and why impeachment must be pushed now. Another press report on the growing number of House Democrats who say “Impeach now”. That number is up to 63 now. Surely, the pressure is mounting on the House leadership and they will have to give in – if not now, soon!

Except that 63 is still a wing. There are 235 Democrats serving in the House. That means that 172 have not yet decided to “Impeach now”.

Yes, the pressure is mounting – but the nature of mainstream doesn’t lend itself to exerting pressure. And the nature of reporting doesn’t lend itself to covering the mainstream, at least not with the enthusiasm the press shows for the wing.

So when will the House leadership give in? It will happen when – and because – the wing becomes mainstream.