What does it mean to be a centrist?

An awful lot of us are pissed off at partisanship coming from politicians — and our friends. center, ideals of democracy where we talk to each other and are all trying to make this country better, with different views of what that means, the center is not holding.

What does it mean to be a centrist? Are you roadkill on the yellow line, getting nothing done? Equivocators who think every party at every time in history is equally half-bad, unable to discern? Should you be pissed at the partisans? Do you make it your job, while conservatives should be balancing the budget and providing for the common defense, and liberals are looking out for people who have more than their share of struggles, to hold the center, to hold the country balanced and demand fair play. To call out lies and corruption, to actively hold the center and punish politicians who bring in the swamp?

Personally, I'm frustrated with the centrist movement, overall, in the US, who I think have been AWOL. Overall, too many people are playing false-equivalence games, instead of calling out each civility-rule-breaker proportional to how much they break the rules.

Centrists are needed to hold the center: to get pissed when one party gerrymanders or pushes real voters off the rolls, to stand against that, to block it from the center. To have an idea of what is going on in DC and state capitals, so they can call bullshit. Not to get their news from facebook and have even-sized lists of indiscretions from both sides. To know which Democrats lie often and which don't, and which Republicans lie often and which don't, and hold them to the same yardstick, whether it turns out the one party lies more than the other or not — "false equivalency" leaves centrism spineless and powerless.

If you are not furious at Wall Street money, that's not centrism, that's corruption.

If you are not as upset at racism or sexism as the left, that's not centrism, that is a failing.

Where is the centrist McCain or Sanders — people with really strong views who nonetheless were generally respectful to their opponents? Many Republicans the right called RINOs and Democrats the left sees as Wall Street stooges are still hyper-partisan, selling out to Wall Street while making a big deal of gun control or abortion as a vote-getting to cover their swampiness.


it is only recently that the parties have separated so much.

There are really ***two*** “third way”s between left and right.

One is to be a total corporate and Wall Street stooge. The “swamp” that Trump talks about (and so far hasn’t cleared) is clearly a “third way” between people like Sanders and McCain who had strong views and an ability to work together. There are a whole lot of politicians who stand up against people like Sanders and McCain, who prevent campaign finance reform so that money can rule from the center. This “third way” often enjoys the wedge issues: we all fight about immigration or abortion or guns, while Wall Street wins quietly in the background.

Another “third way” would be to stand strong: to call a lie a lie whether it came from left and right, to work against gerrymandering, to be furious when voters are kicked off the voter rolls. Is that you? A movement here would try to drain the swamp while encouraging us not to hate each other over different views on abortion or guns even if we strongly disagree.

That second “third way” barely exists today. Gerrymandering in particular is vital: without gerrymandering, many more seats would be centrist. People volunteer on the left and on the right: there’s nothing stopping a million centrists from demanding an end to gerrymandering. Get organized, make it happen.