More polarizing choices on ballot

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In Senate race, candidates represent their party's fringe extremes.

ON TUESDAY, NOV. 6, voters in Wisconsin will be asked to elect one of their two representatives in the United States Senate.

Democrat incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin is seeking her second term in office. She was elected to the Senate in 2012, having previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 2nd District that includes Beloit.

Baldwin is opposed by Wisconsin State Sen. Leah Vukmir, a Brookfield Republican. She has been a highly visible part of the Republican revolution taking place in Madison since the red-tide sweep of 2010.

Obviously, both candidates are female - the first time both major parties nominated women to compete for a Senate seat.

Other than gender, though, the two candidates have almost nothing in common. They disagree on, well, everything.

AND THAT'S THE truly disappointing and overriding factor in this Senate election. It's a microcosm of what ails America, the broadening gap between true believers at the fringes of both major political parties, which often leaves a broad swath of America feeling under-represented and, basically, without an appealing choice.

Tammy Baldwin is an extreme leftist. She fully endorses the most polarizing liberal ideas and can be counted on to continue representing Wisconsin from that sphere.

Leah Vukmir is an extreme right-winger. She has been a key driver of the Republican bulldozer in Madison, showing no inclination toward working with people who might dare to see the world from a different perspective.

It's a cinch neither one of these candidates would do anything to lessen the tribal partisan breakdown in Washington, which prevents any sense of reasoning together in the public interest. Baldwin or Vukmir would be part of the problem, not part of the solution.

IT JUST DOESN'T seem to matter to the political party faithful that people are fed up with the partisan warfare, and desperately want politicians to concentrate on finding common ground so pressing problems can be addressed. Not to benefit the right. Not to benefit the left.

To benefit America.

Yet the parties have done again what they always seem to do in these troubled days - give us an extreme lefty and an extreme righty from which to choose.

Well, we can't do that.

The Beloit Daily News endorses neither Baldwin nor Vukmir. We wish there was a candidate closer to the center, someone who might strive to break the partisan polarization. There isn't.

So, voters, we wish you luck. Pick your poison, lefty or righty.

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