I'm 49 and I live in Jacksonville, FL with my wife and two children (15,14). I've lived a little more than half my life in Florida and the rest in Philadelphia and Baltimore. I'm a hybrid American.
From crisis comes opportunity. Trump and the American tantrum that led to his election constitute a crisis. A crisis to norms, to civil discourse, to good governance etc, etc.
It's not an exaggeration to say that there has never been a better time, a better opportunity for Americans who bother to be informed, who are sane, who are not led exclusively by emotion and televised news and absurd news sites but by respect for reason to identify our common ground and demand a reasoned approach to governance and discourse.
The parties have failed. The far right controls the GOP and the Democrats can't land on a cohesive agenda. There are plenty of politicians and Americans who would embrace a tenable middle.
The Centrist Manifesto and the Centrist Project are a great launching point.
Citizens United must be overturned and campaign finance overhauled. We must limit (or, hey, maybe halt) the ability of PACs and large special interest to have outsized influence on how laws are written. Today - they donate, they get access and they provide actual templates of written legislation. If we want to incent the right behaviors in our politicians, it begins here. It is also an absolute pre-requisite to enable any third party to have a chance (hint). Every other policy issue is impacted by this. Every single one.
Conservatives have some good ideas.
Liberals have some good ideas.
Culling the best from both and finding effective, implementable compromise is how we get out of this mess. It's hard. We've had certain politicians telling us for years how easy it is to fix things. He/They are wrong. They conned America and they have failed. It's time we let the adults back in the room.
I love the Centrist project approach to starting with the US Senate.
It's a launching point and a great one. I also think it's about more than just attaching ourselves to independents and impacting legislation.
- It is about achieving a voice that rises above the partisans.
- It's about making compromise cool and demystifying it while also disabusing people of the notion that it will be or should be easy.
- It's about being a translator between the Reds and the Blues, between the Fly-Overs and the Coastals. Finding literal and figurative common ground.
It sounds dramatic but that's where we are.
This is our opportunity.
We fix it one community and many conversations at a time even before we fix it at the Federal level.
If you are in Florida, particularly North or Central Florida - let's brainstorm, let's figure out next steps to make things better here. Let's engage others in the Centrist Project to find out what's working and what's not where they live.