The problem that I believe that Centrists have and my question would be what is a Centrist, but the problem that I believe they have is exactly that. What is a Centrist? I believe that is a question that American voters tend to ask as well. And you can give you all you want about forty-percent of the country that are political Independents. Fine, but that doesn’t mean they are all Centrists. It just means they don’t like the Republican Party, or Democratic Party and perhaps the two-party system .
Americans as much as we get stereotyped as being divided politically tend to believe in similar things. We tend to believe in free and unregulated free speech at least in most cases. We tend to believe in the Right to Privacy and personal freedom as long as we aren’t hurting innocent people. We believe in the Right to Self-Defense as long as it is regulated. We tend to believe in the Freedom of Assembly and being able to associate with whom we please. We believe in property rights and the ability to make a good honest living and live independently. We tend to support the Freedom of Religion. And I could go further.
These aren’t centrist values at least in the sense they came from some centrist philosophy. These are bedrock classical conservative or classical liberal values that the United States was founded on. And I could add another one which would be Americans tend to believe in equal rights for all Americans. These are the liberal and conservative values that made America great. They didn’t come from Centrists, but Liberals and Conservatives who wrote the Constitution.
Where would a Centrist be on these key core issues? And if they believe in these things the way they are would they still qualify as Centrists? Since these are liberal and conservative values that come from the center-left and center-right in America. Not the dead-center or the mushy-middle. Or would they reform these key individual rights and make them less liberal or conservative and more moderate. Perhaps the Right to Privacy, but only on the first floor of your home and only inside of your home.
I wonder how the civil rights movement would’ve gone in the 1960s had there not of been a Progressive President in Lyndon Johnson who had served twenty-four years in Congress and eight in the leadership. And instead we had a Centrist Independent instead with no clear record when it came to civil rights because that person was perhaps stuck in the middle. Or if we had a Centrist President during the Civil War, or World War II. Maybe we respond to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but not respond to the Nazis in Europe murdering all of those Jews. Or perhaps just supply our allies with equipment and hope for the best. Or in the Civil War’s case Africans can be free in America, but just not in the South.
These might be slight exaggerations and poking too much fun at centrism (or not enough) and I’m not saying that centrism doesn’t have it’s place. I believe divided government is where it is useful to take the best from the Democrats and Republicans. Throw out the garbage from both sides and take what is good from both sides and put it in a final package that can work. But my point is there are times when right is right and wrong is wrong. Meaning those things are clear and that you need to take a stand whether it is the liberal or conservative thing to do. Which was my point about those examples I laid out in the previous paragraph. And you need to take those stances for the good of the country. Which is where centrism doesn’t seem very useful or evident.