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Centrist Project Blog

TWO PARTIES. ZERO RESULTS. IT'S TIME TO FIX THE EQUATION.

When I wrote the Centrist Manifesto in 2013, it was hard to believe politics could get worse. Boy, was I wrong. 

The presidential election is the most dysfunctional we've had in our lifetimes. It should not be a surprise that the majority of voters are fed up by partisan extremists and a system that has pulled the parties so far left and right they agree on nothing. Our nation’s vast challenges are left unsolved. That’s not right. You know that – that’s why you have found us.

How A State Can Prevent 3.2 Million Registered Voters From Voting

On a chilly April day over a hundred protesters gather on the steps of a City Hall and repeatedly chant “Let us vote, let us vote”. You can hear the passion in the protesters voices but you can also sense a silent acknowledgement among them that they will not be able to cast their vote in the immediate future.

This may seem like a scene from a pre-Civil Rights era or a 1920s suffragette rally but, amazingly, it is not. I watched this happen yesterday in New York.

Mitch McConnell, the Anti-Lincoln

Last week I attended Civil War night at my son's middle school. (It's like a science fair, only all the exhibits illustrate some facet of the Civil War.) While examining a display on the election of 1864, I had an epiphany: Mitch McConnell is the anti-Lincoln. He has presided over the demise of the "party of Lincoln" in part because his behavior is so non-Lincoln-esqe.

The Supreme Court Vacancy: Another Example Of How The Parties Hurt Our Country

        2016 is almost certain to be a year that political scientists and historians will study for decades to come. In a presidential election season where one party’s front runner has made forcing Mexico to build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants out a core component of his campaign while a competitive candidate in another party is advocating for free healthcare/education it is clear that deep political fault lines have formed. The death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia may be what causes an actual political earthquake.

What We Learned From Iowa

On Monday residents in Iowa were able to cast the first votes in the 2016 presidential primary race. At the end of the caucus we learned that Ted Cruz defied the polling leading up to the caucus by defeating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton clinched a victory over Bernie Sanders by the skin of her teeth. This week I wanted to take a look back at the strengths and weaknesses exhibited by the leading campaigns:

 

 

Worst Kept Secret In Washington

Earlier this week President Obama delivered his final State Of The Union.  His speech touched on the successes and shortcomings his administration has had on issues ranging from national security to the economy. However, the President said that one of his biggest regrets was “that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better.”

The President argued that there are good people “who would like to see more cooperation, a more elevated debate in Washington, but feel trapped by the imperatives of getting elected, by the noise coming out of your base...It's the worst kept secret in Washington."

Centrist Project: What We Have Learned

The end of a year is an important time for reflection. In order for a person or organization to grow they need to continually ask themselves: What has gone well for me so far? What can I improve on? As the new year approaches we here at The Centrist Project wanted to take a look back at our experience thus far so we can take the lessons learned with us into 2016 and beyond. Here are a couple of the big ones:

The Wedging of America and the Suppression of the Center

The United States is made up of about 1/3 moderates and has more Independents than any other party affiliation. As a reader of the Centrist Project blog, you likely already know this.

Even within the Republican and Democratic parties, and among liberals and conservatives, there is a wide spectrum of policy opinions on issues ranging from economics to abortion.  It may seem obvious that Americans’ multifaceted and surprisingly centrist perspectives aren’t reflected in party candidates, but there is more afoot here.

3 Times Leaders Went Against Their Party For The Greater Good

The 113th Congress was rated one of the least productive congresses in history, and the 114th is not shaping up to do much better. Things have gotten so bad that we consider it an achievement when our elected officials just agree to pay the bills instead of shutting down the government.

But things were not always like this. There have been points in U.S history when our leaders put down their party label and walked across the aisle to get things done. Here are just three examples:

The Bumper Sticker Party

Last week's debate was an inevitable clash between two institutions in crisis: political journalism and the Republican Party. (The Democrats are stuck in the 1960s, so let's leave them aside for now.)

The embarrassing performance by the CNBC moderators is what happens when the "gotcha" journalism inspired by Watergate (and subsequent scandals) intersects with the "news as entertainment" genre born of the 24-hour news channels.