Editor's Note: This blog was written by a guest writer and the views expressed here may not represent The Centrist Project.
The Centrist Project’s main goal is to elect independents to Congress and statehouses who will enact sensible policy compromises. You know, like those delegates at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.
Well—you might wonder—how would a centrist party be any different?
The Centrist Project was founded on six principles:
1. Fiscal responsibility;
2. Functioning government;
3. Economic opportunity;
4. Solving problems;
5. Social tolerance; and
6. Environmental responsibility.
Not your typical “party platform”, eh? That’s because the Centrist Project is not a political party; we provide political infrastructure to help independents run competitive campaigns and enact moderate, nationally-supported policies.
Just like the US Constitution, we support guiding principles over specific policy prescriptions. We believe incorporating a diversity of political perspectives can produce policies that are better for all.
That said, we exist because we are tired of politics as usual. We want 21st century governance, not today’s gridlock and polarization. And we won’t compromise on that.
Part of the reason our government is so broken is that our political institutions are so old. Just like our economy is constantly being disrupted by innovation, so should our political system! Competition is good. Innovation is good. That’s what we aim to create in politics.
Imagine a truly modern political organization—one that really utilizes technology, one that has never stood for racist ideologies, sexist laws, or discriminatory voting restrictions.
We are a project for our era.
George Washington once warned in his farewell address,
However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled [politicians] will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
Our country’s founders never got to setting up a political infrastructure so that any American could run a competitive campaign against the powers that be.
Instead, generally only the well-connected and well-resourced can mount winning campaigns. And generally they’ll only win re-election if they satisfy their donors’ or party’s interests, even if those run counter to their constituents’ priorities.
That’s why we exist. To combat historic polarization in an era of economic inequality, Citizens United campaign financing, political action committees, and fake news.
There’s never been a time so ripe for disrupting the status quo, for using modern technology and lessons from our political history to make necessary innovations that will ensure a new era of 21st century governance.
Here at the Centrist Project, we believe actions speak louder than words. Now that you know something about us, we want you to read about what we’re up against.
Our biggest advantage over political parties is our independence: our independence from 1800s political norms; our independence from shameful policies of past eras; but most importantly, our independence from history.
As a brand new institution, we have the ability—just like our country’s founders—to apply the lessons of political history and our current era in an objective manner.
If you don’t learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it. Well, that’s what we have right now. Two parties too stuck in history to actually govern.
The book Political Order and Political Decay provides a contemporary perspective on the last 300 years of political development. It looks at how political corruption in today’s developing countries is similar to what took place in developed countries a few centuries ago. It recounts how America purged itself of clientelism during the Progressive Era. And it also examines our current trend of what the author calls “political decay”.
I’ll repeat: If you don’t learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it.
If you’re tired of political as usual, start by understanding the larger trends going on. Learn more about the Centrist Project and check out this great book with lessons we can apply to reform our political institutions and depoliticize governance.
It’s time to breakthrough politics!