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The Centrist: A Groundskeeper for the Forgotten Middle

Updated on June 5, 2019

Which Way Do You Lean?

Of the following recognized parties within the US political system, which do you consider yourself based solely on your political beliefs (NOT including religious or cultural affiliation/practices)?

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Seems Like Any Other Day Online...

Why aren't more people following these footsteps?
Why aren't more people following these footsteps? | Source

The Current State of Affairs

America's political landscape is becoming increasingly two-toned, with fewer shades of red, white, and blue to be observed, examined, and respected. It is distressing and outright infuriating to see how many people of all races are setting aside their own personal priorities and needs for the sake of affiliation with one of America's two "great political parties," as the late Senator McCarthy once adamantly deemed them. President Trump rallies to his side the radical right; a collective of conservatives, young and old (though more on the older side more often than not), who believe that change shouldn't be inevitable. Who take pride in wielding a Bible in their right hands, carrying a shotgun in their left, and believe that America always has been and always will be first in the world in every regard, and should stay there. That the elements rooted to the Earth are our best power source, and that they'll never run dry or cause us harm, despite innumerable medical reports to the contrary from doctors bound by oath to preserve all human life, not just those who identify as Democrats.

Meanwhile, there are the Democrats, who consist of the old guard fighting back against established old white men within the Republican Party, whilst youthful, vibrant, and open-minded adults between the ages 18 and 35 form the new tidal wave of equality for the Party and the eventually the country. Or at least, that's how they may be perceived by the public if they weren't busy wearing hand-knitted hats made to look like genitalia, carrying around flags of an incomplete rainbow (last I checked, indigo was still a color that belonged in that spectrum), and condemning the actions of our current President on Twitter while also dancing to songs encouraging behavior identical to what they're complaining about, presented in the form of TikTok videos and snaps on Snapchat set to a Top 40 rap single.


However, it is in this writer's opinion that if we as Americans are to survive this self-induced war against one another on social media and in our streets; if we are to maintain our status and reverence as one of the world's political superpowers (and be seen as less of a culturally bipolar, provocative villain with each passing day), then we need to rediscover civil discourse, patience for our fellow man, and emotional decorum. We need to be slow to speak, and eager to listen. We need to put down our pickets signs, pick up a shovel, and start tending to the blossoming ideas and revelations growing in the garden of the political middle instead.

Source

Where To Find A Centrist, and What They Might Say

It is with this endeavor in mind that this writer presents to you a rare, yet hopeful and enticing species of politician; the Centrist. He or she comes in many varieties of color, shape, and size; grows all across the countryside, and is nurtured by a collective of nutritional ideas that it sifts through and adopts as feed for the next generation of sprouting idealists. He also cuts down the raw anger and vitriol of weedy spokespeople from both sides of the aisle with sharp, keen intellect, yet soft-spoken and courteous language that welcomes the listening ear of the passer-by.

Now, setting aside the language of greenery, this may come as a surprise to some readers, but not everyone has to be a Republican or a Democrat, or a member of the Tea Party, or even the Green Party. When you first register to vote in your state, there is that often-neglected box that reads "Independent." And it is here where you will find Centrists. In fact, the whole point of identifying as a Centrist is taking and modifying ideas posed by both of the larger, more financially-prosperous parties, and manifesting them into purely beneficial ideas for the country as a whole. Centrism acknowledges the pros and the cons of both parties, and decides to drop all the rhetoric, shouting, and Twitter feud nonsense in favor of keeping ideas as pure and as viable as possible within the context of discussion and legal debate.

The exact definition of what a Centrist is can be found on the Centrist Party's official website, and while the idea of being a "Party" is tedious in this writer's view, their thesis statement and principal value is still to be respected, admired, and considered: "Centrism is about achieving common sense solutions that fit current needs; ensure the public trust; serve the common good, and address short and long term needs." It is here where we find what has been lacking in both the Republican and Democratic Parties in recent decades: common sense.
What does an American citizen need to survive? How much money will providing those things cost? How can we provide these things to every American - young or old, white, black, or Asian, rich or poor, straight or gay? And how can we get the American people to start asking themselves these very same questions about their own neighbors? These are the ideals of a Centrist - not to build dividing walls, nor shout about how useless they are while offering nothing as an alternative. Being a Centrist means looking at the wall, listening to the shouting, then offering to pull the wall down, and instead build a walkway from one end of the fighting to the other, and leaving space in the middle for a table to gather everyone around and serve one another.

© 2019 Nicholas Gallagher

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    • Nicholas Gallagher profile imageAUTHOR

      Nicholas Gallagher 

      5 days ago from Millersville

      Good afternoon/evening/morning!

      I appreciate you voicing your opinion without vitriol or profanity, and if I may, I'd like to offer you another perspective by taking your argument point-by-point rather than with broad strokes as most internet arguments and debates usually employ. If I happen to change your mind, great! And if I don't, that's just as fine, because at least civility and decorum will have been honored.

      First, you take the stance that Democrats of today (the Obama years and after) are different from pre-Obama Democrats, and are "re-engineers" of American government and society. To this, I would counter-argue: why is this a bad thing? Corporations, small business, friendship groups, and neighborhoods consistently restructure themselves to accommodate for the culture shift taking place every couple of years, be it in clothing, language, taste in entertainment, public behavior, etc., with examples including (but not limited to) the cultural tide of music towards jazz in the 20s, cultural militarism in the 30s and 40s, bell bottoms and rock music in the 60s, and so on and so forth. How is it any different when Democrats and Republicans shape their behavior to fit the mold of the people around them as they change with each passing decade?

      Your second point - declaring Democrats represent foreigners and "bend" the Constitution - is both a non-argument and invalid. Every Congressional representative represents at least one foreigner, because we live in a melting pot of a country. Not only that, but unless you or I have Native American or Inuit ancestors within your family lineage, you and I are descendants of foreigners ourselves; be they of the European variety as were the original colonists (of British, French, Spanish, and Dutch nationality), Middle Eastern descent like those who came here during both World Wars and our current influx of refugees, African ancestry as were the slaves our ancestors imported during the time of the international slave trade, Asian lineage from when we decided that a number of Pacific islands called Samoa, Hawaii, and Guam were our territory, and more recently, Central American and South American people.

      Your claim that the Constitution is being "bent" by Democrats could use a cited example or two, and with regards to "bending" the Constitution itself, we've been making Amendments to the original ever since the 11th Amendment (the first one to be ratified after the Bill of Rights) in 1794 to account for changing times and changes to American society. If we didn't apply changes to the Constitution, women still wouldn't be permitted to vote, African Americans would still be slaves in States south of the Mason-Dixon line, and Presidents would be permitted to be elected innumerable times over so long as they won elections every four years. Democrats are not "bending" the Constitution, so much as they are looking to see if we can use old language for modern interpretations and scenarios within American society and sociology.

      Third, your assertion that they want those within minority circles to be equal is both correct and valid. To which I want to say, why is this also a bad thing? There are innumerable sources - including the Bible, our Founding Fathers, modernists, and more - who state that all men (and by extension, women) are created equal. If this is to ring true, that must include all men and women regardless of race, color, religious creed (if any), gender, etc.. I fail to see how making into law that which has been established for centuries past is a bad thing, unless there is a specific reason why you feel certain classes of people should be considered "lesser than."

      Before I address your fourth point, I would like to suggest using less pugnacious language than "mutations," as that paints a rather disturbing picture of how you view your fellow human beings. Despite your disagreements with their beliefs, they are still owed the decency of common courtesy and respect as fellow humans.

      Now, with regards to your fourth point, having differing viewpoints across the political aisle from one another shouldn't prohibit Democrats and Republicans from setting aside pride to solve matters concerning the nation as a whole. The divide you speak of can be crossed if both sides were willing to lay down their phones and verbal pitchforks for one day and stop speaking about one another as though they were "lesser than" over differences in opinion and beliefs. The whole purpose of the article was to address the idea that common sense and practicality should dictate government action; not who you align yourself with within a party structure. By choosing political affiliation over common sense, both Republicans and Democrats are boastfully declaring that their individual pride as a member of ___ Party is more important than the needs of those whom they represent.

      Fifth, you say, "There can be no center view in what is now extreme left and extreme right." And this is perhaps where I both agree and disagree with you most. Extremes have become the norm, and this is both unacceptable and malfeasant. Both sides have chosen to adhere to the idea that the other must change before there can be progress, rather than suggest that they themselves must change. If both sides acknowledged their faults, and offered insight that was wisely-informed, followed common knowledge, and made an effort to cooperate rather than wait for the other side to concede, we wouldn't be seeing hourly news articles of slanderous name-calling and affronts to mutual respect.

      Lastly, your six and final point, you state, "the left wants globalism and the right wants nationalism." I mean this politely when I express doubt that you've spoken to every single person who identifies as a Democrat as well as every single person who identifies as a Republican. With this in mind, I would like to offer my observation, which is that the current Democratic party doesn't desire a globalist mindset for all people, but to stop the President and all future generations of Americans - regardless of party or political belief - from burning bridges and thinking less of people different than us, when we should be building bridges and finding common ground instead, making the world last for as long as humanly possible. As for Republicans, I agree with you - they insist on nationalism, but this nationalism has become twisted and grotesquely warped into something hateful, prideful, and spiteful. Instead of taking pride in America's growth as a country and all of the various aspects, people, and qualities that we've adopted from others that make it great, we instead take pride in awful things we've done, are currently doing, and are spitting on the graves of people who made things better for us despite who were as individual people.

      I refuse to be part of a system where it can be boiled down to two groups - yes, two, both Democrats AND Republicans - who blindly hate each other with little to no justification, and would let the whole country (as well as the world) burn before reaching out a hand to someone across the aisle and saying, "I like your idea, how did you come up with it?" Or, even more humanely, "how may I help you?"

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      NOYFOB 

      8 days ago

      Nicholas

      An interesting article and a fantasy.

      BTW, the democrats of 2008 -2019 are different than the democrats before them. These are Social ReEngineers that don't represent America or Americans.

      They represent Foreigners, and bending the constitution to change the sociology of America, and what it means to the people we call Americans.

      They not only want the minorities to be equal, but they want the majority to conform to them as if they were the majority. That defeats the whole concept of a democratic republic that was once America.

      Even before the mutations of the democrat party, the democrats and the republicans had political platforms that were directly opposite to each other. Both parties are 180 out when it comes on how to run America, and how to treat the people.

      There can be no center view in what is now extreme left and extreme right.

      The left want globalism, and the right wants nationalism.

      Since 2008 there has been very little that both sides agreed on.

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