Third Pole, Follini: “No to hasty archiving of the centrist project”

Marco Follini’s point of view for Adnkronos

“Too easy (and perhaps even a little ungenerous) to pick on Calenda and Renzi. Of course, neither of them have a good character. A fuzzy, nervous, all too reactive character. That character that perhaps suits those who interpret more extreme political positions, but are not suitable for those who would rather be placed in the middle of the field, in a place where the virtues of patience and mediation are mainly exercised.

It is also too easy to curse the electoral law. A mechanism that favors the two wings, and pushes them both towards mutual radicalization. So that today everything seems to be reduced to the duel between the two ladies who govern the right and the left, and they do it in the name of clear, resolute, even thorny identities. Identities that do not leave too much space for those more complicated and problematic characters that refer to the virtues (and tricks) typical of the middle ways of the past.

Now from the sad chronicles of the last few days one would like to draw the conclusion -almost a dogma- that for those middle ways there is no future. Neither as cunning nor as virtue. Thus the very idea of ​​the center is now banned. After fifty years in which a large centrist party was the unmoved engine of republican life. And after another twenty years in which the heirs of the centrism that was did their utmost to dilute the excesses of a bipolarity that had taken on almost wild traits in the name of reciprocal delegitimization. Berlusconi against the communists, and nothing and nobody to act as a watershed in that rustic duel which seemed exaggerated even to those who practiced it with a sort of mutual and almost complacent fury.

In fact, the space that remains halfway, in the interstices between the government and the opposition, between Meloni and Schlein, at this point seems reduced to little. Tribute to a public opinion that can’t stand getting by, taking one hit at the hoop and one at the barrel. One could conclude that the argument is concluded, and that any attempt to cultivate those territories which for many, many years have been the places in which the country’s political wisdom has given its best is in vain.

The fact remains, however, that this hasty dismissal of centrism has not done any good either to the lateral protagonists who have, at least so far, benefited from it electorally. It’s true, Meloni has gained more than conspicuous numbers and seats. And Schlein in turn is perhaps climbing the slippery slope of recent months. Furthermore, their mutual antagonism, so proud, almost indomitable, their very cult of their opposing identities can bring luck to both. But both appear to be grappling with a bigger problem than themselves. And that is with the fact that at each election the number of voters decreases visibly. Although the percentages may be relatively generous, voters seem to have embarked on a silent vote strike which in the long run represents an alarm bell that should be taken into greater consideration.

It is here that the meaning of a centrist project is perceived. Not in the equidistance between two extremes – which maybe aren’t that extreme after all. Rather in the cultivation of those political characters that the two dominant blocs are unable to understand or represent. The center is not the alarm for the drifts of others. If anything, it is the place of patience, of temperance. It is an attempt to make the political dispute less agitated and agitated. It is the search for a more relaxed, more reflective, more farsighted time. It is the awareness that no problem has the privilege of too immediate solutions before it. If anything, it is the effort of having to prepare elaborations that have more to do with the history of our country. The ancient one, and the future one – if you can focus on it.

Renzi and Calenda are impulsive leaders, and they have been very impulsive to each other too, to each other. They have qualities that the dispute of these days has certainly not brought out. But their natural dimension is real time. Here lies, if you like, their modernity, and at the same time their limit. In reality, the center above all needs to present itself as a bridge between a past that is not so outdated and a future that cannot be so frenetic. Here lies its usefulness and perhaps even its residual possibility.

It will never be a return to Christian Democracy, even I recognize that. But it will have to be the recovery of that wisdom, that tolerance, that capacity for mediation which was the best legacy of the DC of his time. And that is the reason why that ghost is so often evoked, even today.

The center is not current events. So, it has to try to be the story. Or at least, a piece of history.”

(Of Marco Follini)