When was the last time you picked a candidate? And I mean truly picked, in that they represent everything you believe, not that he won the party’s nomination, so, “Hey, he’s gotta be better than the other one.”
Unless you’re a party chairman, you probably can’t name a time. And it may not even have bothered you too badly before, because you’ve been told the perfect candidate doesn’t exist. The odds of a politician running that shares your stance on every major issue is almost impossible. Or so you’ve been told.
In reality, today’s candidates only share a couple base issues with voters, not because doing any better is impossible but because neither major party reflects the will of the majority of Americans. 57% of Americans believe that there ought to be an alternative to the Republicans and Democrats. Even more believe the government is corrupt.
More than half the country disagrees with the major party tenets, so no wonder we don’t always agree with who they run! Yet we fervently support one over the other because she is the lesser of two evils. That’s like only “kind of” liking Taco Bell, but vandalising McDonald’s on its behalf and denouncing that new Asian-fusion place down the street.
But what if you didn’t have to pick the lesser of two evils? What if you had a politician who believed wholly what you believed, in something realistic and not absolute, so much so that you see yourself in them during the debates.
The Centrist Project runs candidates that make that experience possible.
In 2016, The Centrist Project endorsed Margaret Stock for Alaska’s senatorial seat. Stock seemed like the natural choice: after all, she’s an immigration lawyer with a MacArthur Genius Grant for her work in the intersection between immigration and national security. Can you think of anything more pertinent to Washington? She’s also a veteran of 28 years and a former professor at West Point.
The Centrist Project endorsed Margaret not only for her relevant experience, but because her stances were based around common sense and pragmatism. They were ideas that a Republican or Democrat would be ostracized from their party for, even though they could bring the nation forward.
Stock is a proponent of gun ownership and an NRA member, yet understands the dangers of gun deaths and firmly believes that we need stronger regulation.
She supports oil and gas because they are crucial to Alaska’s economy, but wants to explore alternative energy and take realistic steps to prevent climate change.
“Although I support a strong national defense, I do not support rubber-stamping military spending requests. Runaway military spending, particularly on questionable weapons systems, ultimately results in less national defense and a less robust economy.”
As an immigration lawyer, Stock believes that we must firmly enforce the laws that are already in place, but work toward immigration reform soon. Immigration of skilled workers is great for the economy, and it is impossible to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Notice, none of these are very radical ideas. These stances are tempered with reason and based in reality. The beauty of a Centrist candidate, rather than from another third party, is that their stances aren’t those of people on the margins; they’re something the average American can get behind.
In fact, you probably nodded through those examples and thought, “Well duh!” These notions shouldn’t be so difficult to come by, but instead Republicans and Democrats deal in absolutes: absolutes that alienate many Americans because your average rationalist doesn’t see the point in taking so extreme a stance.
Unfortunately, Margaret Stock did not win the U.S senate seat. But Margaret did draw attention to the Centrist cause, and that certainly is victory in itself. As the idea becomes more widespread, and as more and more Americans see the Centrist Project’s Fulcrum Strategy to bring common sense back to our politics, well… I have high hopes for 2018.
Editor's note: This guest post was written by Andrew Hicks, blogger for youthinmoderation.org, and the views expressed may not necessarily represent The Centrist Project