This summer, I watched Michael Bennet declare from the debate stage that “children belong in classrooms, not cages.” It was a powerful moment from a senator I had mostly known for his intellectual rigor and swing state appeal — and his blistering takedown of Sen. Ted Cruz.
That’s a very different Michael Bennet than the one Lyz Lenz described in her recent column, “Moderation is moral ineptitude,” Oct. 22. In that piece, Bennet’s strengths — his instinct toward deliberation, his willingness to work across the aisle and his ability to meet voters where they are, not where the social media hordes think they ought to be — are cast as weaknesses.
Lenz goes even further, accusing Bennet and some others as unwilling to fight for equality and unable to stand up to the Trump administration’s worst abuses — including the same child separation policy Bennet thundered against this summer. But Bennet, who’s as serious a thinker on health care, child poverty and immigration as anyone in this race, isn’t too timid to stand up to Trump. And he isn’t afraid to call for big ideas. He just also believes there’s nothing progressive about not making progress.
Bennet is proposing an agenda that meets Americans where they are and can make real, lasting change. If we make our politics a series of purity tests — and tell people they have “strayed from God’s light” if they fail — then we will remain what Lenz fears: a nation too divided to achieve its highest aspirations.