Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is sounding the alarm about the state of American politics, arguing that the country is “not designed to be this divided.”
In an interview with radio talk show host John Catsimatidis, Manchin said that the two major political parties have become so extreme that they have left “average common-sense people” feeling “politically homeless.”
“The country was not designed to be this divided,” Manchin said. “The people in New York aren’t divided, or in West Virginia.”
Manchin’s comments come as the country is increasingly polarized along political lines. A recent poll found that only 10% of Americans believe that the country is headed in the right direction.
Right-wing commentators have long argued that the two major political parties have become too extreme and that this has led to a decline in civility and an increase in gridlock.
“The two parties are so far apart that they can’t even agree on what the problems are, let alone how to solve them,” said conservative commentator Ben Shapiro.
Manchin’s comments suggest that he is open to the idea of running for president as a centrist independent. However, he has not yet made a decision about his political future.
“I’m here trying basically to save the nation,” Manchin said. “I’m concerned more now than I’ve ever been concerned in my lifetime.”
“The people of America aren’t divided. The people in New York aren’t divided, or in West Virginia,” Manchin said. “It’s basically the political parties in Washington with their business model that they get better returns and their business does much better when you’re fighting and dividing each other versus uniting each other.”
Manchin, who is a former governor of West Virginia, argued that Washington is tainted in part by party division and insisted that he has always felt “very comfortable” in the middle.
“The extreme left and right cannot continue to be the only two choices you have,” Manchin said. “You should have another choice to where it makes them understand and realize they might not be in the majority — even though they think they are — they might not be.”
“The political parties have become so extreme — going to the extreme left and extreme right — that the average common-sense people don’t have a home. They’ve been left politically homeless,” Sen. Joe Manchin (https://t.co/waPScvTtbT.) said. https://t.co/9GOL0ek74Z
— The Hill (@thehill) July 23, 2023