I don't know, I'm having a mixed reaction to this.
On the one hand, I've long considered myself something of a centrist (though the word I've always used was "pragmatist") and yet I'm definitely drifting more left these days, largely in reaction to Trump. Part of me wants to believe Taibbi knows what he's talking about. And I can agree that we make too much of the Republican-Democrat divide. I still remember the early polls showing that Sanders would beat Trump by a greater margin than Clinton would. I also recall reading about some Trump voters saying they would have been glad to vote for Sanders, had he been nominated by the Dems. I find myself wondering "what if.." a lot these days.
On the other hand, I find writing (from the Taibbi article) like this to be so overly simplistic as to be almost nonsensical...
Even in the most conservative possible interpretation of economic data, a general picture of haves and have-nots in the voting population would still be something like 20/80 (20 percent of Americans own 89 percent of privately held wealth, while the bottom 80 percent owns just 11 percent).
The danger implicit in these numbers to the "broadly satisfied with the status quo" types is obvious. If 80 percent of Americans ever realized their shared economic situation, they could and probably should take over government.
Now, I'm totally on board with the notion that there is far too much income inequality in America (and elsewhere in the world, for that matter). Yes, the bottom 80 percent should
own more than 11 percent of the wealth. But it's obviously incorrect to say that this 80 percent of Americans have a "shared economic situation." They do not. There are plenty people in that 80 percent who struggle to pay their mortgage/rent/bills every month, and have few (if any) avenues for improving their situation. But many others are doing okay- they may wish they had more money, that they could afford to take a year off and travel the world, or they could leave a bigger inheritance to their kids, etc., but nevertheless they are "broadly satisfied with the status quo." There are also plenty of people who are currently struggling economically only because they are young and/or in entry-level jobs - but have good reason to be optimistic about their future careers in growing industries (health care, info tech, etc.). These folks too, on the whole, are not interested in any "revolution."
Needless to say, the article ignores the very real divides that exist in this country between those favor liberal ideals on various social issues (civil rights for gays and racial minorities, gun control, etc.) and those who do not. Anyone who has spent time reading comments in response to media stories or Facebook posts on such issues knows that these things divide us just as much, if not more, than the economic issue of who owns how much.
So the suggestion that anywhere near 80 percent of Americans could come together and vote for someone who promises to upset the apple cart and soak the rich in order to pay for free college and health care for all is just ludicrous.
The centrists may be wearing a black eyes right now due to the Trump election, may be struggling to see a more positive political path forward, but they still exist. In huge numbers.
Consider this: If Hillary Clinton had been a bit more likable, had not been the subject of a damned FBI investigation, and had thus walked away with the 2016 election (as I believe she would have), would people on the left now be bitching about centrists? I don't think so.