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America's Worst Nightmare Right Now

Business guru Michael Porter and his colleagues at Harvard Business School released their latest annual report on the state of the U.S. economy's health and its ability to created shared prosperity for all Americans. A critical finding: the failing U.S. political system is the number one constraint on our economy. It's an astonishing development that America's political system - in particular, the partisanship preventing anything from getting done to address the real issues at the core of our economy - is the top threat to our country's long-term economic success. Porter called this "America's worst nightmare" right now in a recent interview.

Election 2016: The Senate, Wal-Mart Moms, and Centrists

It's been a whirlwind few weeks. ICYMI: new developments in the 2016 elections and implications for our political future.

Food for Thought: Constitutional Convention 2.0

Reflecting on the party conventions, Centrist founder Charlie Wheelan ponders how a Constitutional Convention in modern times could help our political system. In this US News piece, Wheelan notes that “A new Constitutional Convention may be fantasy, but making the system work better is not. One good way to begin restoring our faith in politics is to improve our political institutions so that they more accurately reflect the broad will of the electorate.” And we thank you – our Centrist Community – for your dedication to the cause. Onward! 

3 Of The Craziest Moments in Political Fiction (That Actually Happened)

In college I took an Art History class in which the Professor asked “Does art imitate life or does life imitate art?” It’s a interesting question to consider because often in life, especially in politics (and especially this year), truth is stranger than fiction. Here are just three examples of times in political fiction when the line between art and life got a little blurry:

 

Why Aren't We Innovating Government?

Many years ago, a graduate student in the public policy program at the University of Chicago asked to meet with me about an idea he was mulling over. The Internet was relatively new, and he reckoned it could be harnessed to bring together communities of civic-minded citizens to improve our public decisions.

His idea was called Policy Tree. I told him I did not think it would work. In particular, if I recall correctly, I was skeptical that the political process would respond to communities of wonks sharing good ideas online.

The student was Andrew Mason. He abandoned Policy Tree and founded a company called Groupon that would eventually go public and earn him hundreds of millions of dollars.

Steak, Chicken, or Lobster?

This year’s primary season is all but over. Earlier this this week Sen. Cruz and Gov. Kasich dropped out of the race making Donald Trump the de facto nominee of the Republican party. On the other side of the aisle, Sec. Clinton’s commanding delegate lead over Sen. Sanders makes her the presumptive nominee of the Democratic party barring anything unforeseen.

Unfortunately in a Trump vs. Clinton race the winner will not be the candidate who inspires the country with their vision for the future but rather the candidate the American people decide they dislike the least.

Independents Are the Answer

America's political system is going to change. The last nine months have been the political equivalent of Pearl Harbor. Voters are still in shock and denial, but we know something very different must lie ahead.

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.