THE CENTRIST MANIFESTO: From debt ceiling standoffs to single-digit Congress approval ratings, America’s political system has never been more polarized―or paralyzed―than it is today. As best-selling author and public policy expert Charles Wheelan writes, now is the time for a pragmatic Centrist party that will identify and embrace the best Democratic and Republican ideals, moving us forward on the most urgent issues for our nation.
“The Centrist Manifesto has helped me understand the root causes of political gridlock and why it has only gotten worse. The book also puts forth a bold new idea for how to change this, that can work even as soon as 2016.”
—Reviewed by Michael Porter, Harvard Business School professor
A Declaration of Independents In 2014, Greg Orman made headlines with his historic Independent run for the U.S. Senate in Kansas. Voters gravitated to Orman’s campaign in unprecedented numbers, challenging the entrenched dominance of the two major parties over American politics.In A Declaration of Independents Orman describes how hyper-partisanship, division, and a win-at-all-costs environment in Washington have created a toxic culture of self-interest that has left average Americans behind. Orman makes a persuasive case that without fundamental change, our standard of living, our status in the world, and the very existence of the middle class are at risk. His withering critique of our ruling partisan duopoly explains why voters are choosing unconventional candidates in increasing numbers—from his own 2014 Senate race to the nation’s 2016 presidential campaign.Taking direct aim at the corrupt practices that keep the two parties in power despite historically low approval ratings, Orman argues convincingly that the system is rigged for the benefit of special interests who buy access to power. Drawing on his own journey to political independence, Orman lays out a plan for taking back our government by rejecting party politics and embracing a new Independent approach.
“"Orman argues, and I believe, that true change will come only with candidates who eschew both parties. Our current political tribalism is incompatible with good governance".”
— Charlie Wheelan, Centrist Project Founder
AN INDEPENDENT MISSION: An Innovative Campaign for the U.S. Senate: In 2013, the film American Hustle was released. Its 1979 ABSCAM-inspired plot created renewed public interest in Larry Pressler, the South Dakota senator who was the only public official to turn down the illegal FBI bribe. Capitalizing on the public's renewed interest, Pressler, who was disillusioned by the partisan two-party system, chose to get back in the ring. It had been eighteen years since he left office, but with an open Senate seat in 2014, Pressler felt a calling urging him to run. Despite serving his twenty-two years in office as a Republican, Pressler ran this time as an Independent--he was tired of the partisan bickering in Washington and was unwilling to submit to either party's special interests. An Independent Mission: An Innovative Campaign for the U.S. Senate tells the journey of this unexpected candidacy and instills hope that with some much-needed effort, we can achieve a political renaissance.
No Hope: Why I Left the GOP (and You Should Too): No Hope is for disaffected conservatives and moderates as well as liberals who are fed up with the political party system. Forty-three percent of Americans now identify as Independents. Many of them are right of center and used to be Republicans. In No Hope, former Republican Jimmy LaSalvia, cofounder of GOProud, which was one of the highest-profile gay political organizations, will share what he did to ignite change in the Republican Party. But ultimately LaSalvia determined there was no hope that conservatives would evolve on important cultural issues—revealing the party as an untenable coalition that includes the tolerance of bigotry. In early 2014, Jimmy announced his resignation from the Republican Party and changed his voter registration to join the new majority of Independent voters, receiving significant media attention. Now, in No Hope, he tells all and, in the most entertaining outing in political book history, breaks apart the current two-party system to energize democracy.