You've basically got it there.
Originally Posted by bighead384
To win you want to be slightly left or slightly right. You'll get the votes of the moderates and some of the extremist vote simply because they have no better option to vote for. The rest of the extremists just won't vote at all or they'll vote for some party that has no hope of ever winning. Point is, you'll maximize your votes and minimize the effect of those who don't vote for you, thereby maximising your odds of success.
It creates the kind of two party system we see in the US where neither party really differs substantially because they both play it as close to the center as possible. This results in huge numbers of people becoming dissatisfied with the system and disillusioned with democracy in general. If you accept the idea that under democracy the people get exactly the kind of government they deserve then you end up disillusioned with the whole damn human race. Or, then again, you could use it to argue how comfortable and therefore good Western life has become since extremism always becomes more popular when people are miserable.
“Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.” – Bill Hicks