The Way Forward for the American Center

Why the Fringes Are Winning, And How the Tides Can Be Turned

Understand What Resonates and Why

Many pitfalls await a center trying to reclaim political relevance, and the first to consider lies in appreciating what stands against it. To the moderate-minded, the ideas of the Progressive Left and Trumpian Right may seem crazy, but to dismiss them as such, to credit their success solely to misinformation and naivety, is to terribly underestimate them. After all, these ideas offer a lens not only into what resonates with the sensitivities and sensibilities of our most vocal political tribes, but also into what it takes to really spread a message in the current communication paradigm.

Acknowledge the Faults of Centers Past

For all that the mess of politics today has done to foster longing for friendlier times, relying squarely on that nostalgia is not a likely recipe for popular or electoral success. The phrase ‘politics as usual’ will still elicit wariness and disdain, evoking at best a lesser and more distant evil. For the center, likewise, banking on the brand established by perceived centrists and moderates of yore is unlikely to yield the needed results.

Bring Some Ideas to the Table

What the center stands against is clear enough. Authoritarianism, blind tribalism, illiberalism, identity politics, cancel culture — all have been decried in excellently articulated pieces across multiple media. But, other than some broad notion of enlightenment liberal values, what does it stand for?

Defy the Duopoly

Once upon a time, moderates and centrists flourished within the ranks of the major parties, using mainstream appeal and a perception of general electability to conquer primary conquests. Those days are likely gone, but the opportunity for electoral success remains, if the center is willing to think outside the box.

Get Going

If the center is going to correct its course and move from a disparate bloc of heterodox thinkers into a formidable political force, then there is no better time than now. Faith in our legislature is crumbling, trust in our politicians is shattered, and our sense of urgency as a nation — even among those who usually refrain from political action — is boiling.

Once a highly unsuccessful Independent Congressional candidate, now a humble man on a quest to bridge divides.

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