The Centrist: A Groundskeeper for the Forgotten Middle
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)?
Seems Like Any Other Day Online...
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.
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.
The Centrist Party Website, and Their Core Values
- The Definition of A Centrist As Presented By Centrists
A link to the Centrist Party Website, where you'll find a list of core values, ideologies, and retrospectives on our current political climate, answers to frequently asked questions, and insight into how you may change your views as a Centrist.
© 2019 Nicholas Gallagher