Roundup of Centrist Parties

Many people have become concerned about what they see as the polarization of the American political system, characterized by vicious political dialogue. Others see the same lack of civility and conclude that the two main parties are in fact drawing closer together in all but rhetoric.  Here’s a quick review of three American centrist party efforts.

The Centrist Party proclaims that

Our hope lies in empowering the center. This gives Americans a more effective voice in government. Most Americans realize that our political system is becoming increasingly dysfunctional. Our nation needs leadership free of special interest control and long entrenched relationships. If we keep replacing the leaders and never fix the system, we are just putting new people in charge of a broken machine. We need checks and balances that are free of undue, or improper influence. We need political reform.

Their analysis of America’s political position and the role of a centrist party in it includes:

By giving the center a strong foundation we enable solutions for the nation that can reach across both sides of the aisle. We can present arguments and ideas that encompass the most reasonable views from Democrats, Republicans and Independents, as well as Centrist America, and form solutions that really work for the people and the nation.

The American people are asking why doesn’t our government use common sense? People can see it isn’t working.

Without a Centrist Party we are bound by the extremes. Even though many politicians consider themselves Centrist (usually only during election campaigns), they are still tied to their constituents, party platforms, special interests and personal agendas.

The Centre Party seems to emphasize it’s American-ness, possibly feeling a need to do so to counteract the English spelling of the word ‘center’. Its website offers a somewhat agrammatical, randomly capitalized, and logically tortured rationale:

Swing voters are the most feared electorate in the land. We are not controlable or predictable. We can see through Pandering. We vote our mind, We can see through the empty promises. We do not have reliable representation. That is why political parties attempt to appear Central to issues, or in the “Centre”
We know that they are just appealing to the masses just to get the vote. An once they are in office it is either: We are working on it, or they entirely forget about the promise they made on the campaign trial. You know why politicians promise big events close to near or end of their term? Because they will say they ran out of time, or they had opposition, therefore could not fulfil their promise.
The Centre Party is the Hybrid approach from taking the best the major Political Parties have to offer.
Finally, the newly-formed Center Party, an effort of founder/Chairman Jeffrey Vanke of Virginia announces

For twenty years, we Americans have watched the Democrats and Republicans gerrymander and entrench themselves in power. The two parties have largely abandoned the American center, American pragmatism, and much of the American population. The path out of this quagmire is a national centrist party. We therefore establish the Center Party of the United States.

The Center Party will cohere around a central platform. In 2010, we will contest more than 100 Congressional races and many state legislature races. Our candidates will have plenty of experience making our country run, but very little experience running the current Republican-Democrat system. We are necessarily newcomers to party politics, but some of us are not new to politics. In 2012, we will contest every possible Congressional and state legislature race, but no executive races.

The Center Party proposes a fairly detailed platform, with features including a detailed health plan, withdraw from Iran but maintenance of American forces in Afghanistan, and a border fence. The position on gun control seems to draw a functional equivalance, for regulatory purposes, between nuclear devices and automatic-fire weapons:

The right of law-abiding citizens in this country to keep and bear arms is inviolable. At the same time, gun manufacturers must ensure that retail sales of new weapons are only to background-checked individuals. All gun sales, new or used, must involve background checks. Just as we would not extend Second Amendment rights to atomic weapons, and as just about every police officer advocates, private ownership of automatic weapons should not be permitted.

96 thoughts on “Roundup of Centrist Parties

  1. Susan Hogarth Post author

    Centrist parties – or so-called ‘centrist’ parties – some of their positions are pretty non-center, it seems to me – seem like a bad misread of the American political scene. But I met Jeffrey Vanke this week at the NC State Fair and thought it’d be a good idea to give some ink to the various centrist parties. If anyone knows of others, please let me know and I’ll add them.

    Vanke, incidentally, struck me as a decent and thoughtful fellow, very committed.

  2. Don Lake, late at night

    Not an out and out political party:

    “MP James Ogle [Free Parliamentary]
    Subject: October USA Parliament Bulletin

    Greetings!

    This will most likely be the
    last Bulletin…I appreciate all
    the support over the years,
    but now after more than
    13 years of holding these
    elections, a pause is in order.

    Perhaps a complete ending,
    for now, it seems to
    all depend on if the
    USA Parliament elections can
    operate without my help.

    I am totally engulfed with personal issues.

    Although several of our members are
    interested in being state candidates,
    in the “real” California elections,
    including myself,
    the USA Parliament is
    grinding to a sudden stop.”

  3. d.eris

    I’ve heard that the Centrist Party is more or less defunct, having failed to really get a foothold in any state after its founding a few years back. But perhaps this is nothing more than a vicious rumor.

    There is also the American Centrist Party.

  4. Brian Holtz

    The relevant similarity between nukes and fully-automatic repeating rifles is that both are so clearly suited for indiscriminate killing that their mere possession arguably puts the surrounding community at risk.

    We geolibertarians advise thinking in terms of land. Weapons on the land you hold should only be judged by the risk they pose to those outside your property lines. Your right to carry weapons outside your property lines cannot be completely independent of the risk tolerances of the individuals or communities who hold the land you wander onto.

    Nukes are not the only poster child for this issue. We may soon see ethnically-targeted lethal designer viruses (as some blacks already think AIDS is). Susan, do you support a right to keep and bear ethnically-targeted lethal designer viruses?

  5. Robert Milnes

    Susan, the elections are coming Tuesday, November 3. Are you going to post an article about how you did nothing to prevent another mass loss by libertarians? Or are you going to perpetuate this ongoing Brian troll/Susan troll reform v radical thingie? The only thing I see possible at this late date is a press conference in Washington by LP & GP party officials, candidates & activists declaring support for the PLAS then a massive voter education campaign about vote coordination-vote for the Libertarian if there is no Green on each ballot. For the Green if no Libertarian. For example here in NJ, vote for the Libertarian for Governor as there is no Green candidate. I plan to. Now as it stands, if a press conference is called & I am invited, somebody is going to have to come pick me up & bring me because I can’t drive my vehicles-expired inspection & no gas $/bus fare. But hey, maybe Ron Paul can send a limo.

  6. Robert Milnes

    Whatever happened to UNITY08? AS I’ve said before evidently centrist parties can’t get enough inerta to break out of the dem/rep duopoly stranglehold despite their various rationales for existance. I would like to see one succeed. It would mostly take votes from the dems & reps, not the progressive & libertarian vote. That would create a four way race instead of a 3 way PLAS 34%/dem 33%/rep 33% race. That would make a PLAS plurality much more achievable./// Now, I notice paulie is back & had a few comments about me. No, I didn’t kiss Carl’s ring. & he didn’t kiss mine. I merely want to counter paulie’s ‘tude about me that I am a nobody v he is a hobo with more than one clipboard. As far as I’m concerned until paulie expresses regret for supporting Ron Paul & admits not realizing at least me, Tom K & Prof Phillies found Ron Paul to be a dixiecrat conservative/ constitutional theocrat not a libertarian last year, he is discredited.

  7. Ross Levin

    I think the problem with centrist parties (I mean, this is a generalization, but it’s still true some of the time) is that they exist based on a fallacy. Politics are not truly left/right/center as is often portrayed. Plus, the “silent majority” of centrist voters that some people say exists isn’t really there in a lot of cases. Sometimes a small minority of swing voters who might be characterized as centrist actually hold all the power in an election.

  8. Andrew Evans

    Robert Milnes, to answer your question about Unity 08. They essentially folded when the Supreme Court ruled they could had different campaign donation limits in comparison to the Dems and Reps. This hindered greatly the ability to raise money. The biggest problem is they put all their eggs in the 2008 Presidential election and did not plan to grow for the long term. They had a great shot as well. They could not decide on whether to become a party or basically a PAC.

  9. Andrew Evans

    I am the National Chairman of the American Centrist Party. We have been around since 2005 and have nearly 15,000 members in all 50 states. We are focusing on traning new centrist leaders to emerge and on reforming the ballot access system to give Americans a real chance at a representative political system. We also focus on what we can do now with Action Groups and our Member Forum. We also contact other like minded organizations to see if we can cooperate on any level.

  10. paulie

    Milnes

    Now, I notice paulie is back

    Not really, I’m still very busy and it will probably be at least a few more weeks before I post much of anything in either comments or articles. If you would quit talking about me when I’m gone, I’d pop up even less, since one of the very few things I allow myself to do online when I am this busy is search the comments for when I am mentioned. Keep my name out of your mouth/off your fingers and you will see less of me.

    I merely want to counter paulie’s ‘tude about me that I am a nobody

    It’s not an attitude. It’s called being in touch with reality. You are a nobody.

    he is a hobo with more than one clipboard.

    Hobo? LOL. That’s what you get for taking the alleged word of a hobo-ess with rich parents and a slightly famous husband (I withdraw the comment if she did not in fact make an equivalent one about me), transmitted through the very murky medium of a paranoid schizophrenic narcicist fucktard with delusions of grandeur and persecution who may or may not be an agent provocateur.

    I’m making several hundred dollars a day right now, with the potential to make over a thousand if I work enough hours. I’ve had years this decade when I made over 100k and four years a while back in another business and decade when I made over a million dollars a year, four years in a row.

    You?

    until paulie expresses regret for supporting Ron Paul

    My support was never unqualified.

  11. Andrew Evans

    Ross Levin, I totally understand where you are coming from. There is no real center. How can you define it? What the movement is about is balance and freedom of political thought and action. It is about being open to solutions that work regardless of where they come from. The best government possible is the goal, it doesn’t matter under what banner it comes from. Most people would agree with a lot of the centrist organizations stances they just don’t know that these organizations are out there or that the term for what they believe in is centrism. But then again what matters is the action not the term.

  12. Robert Milnes

    Just for the record, the quote about paulie being a hobo with a clipboard came from AK, not me. & This animosity is coming mostly from him. As far as I’m concerned paulie is a member of the Crazy Losers Club just like me. But I did check into his badmouthing ENM. I found her account & position to be to my satisfaction. She is my first choice for vp but declined for health reasons. She recommended Susan H., but as you all can tell, Susan is obviously ignoring me. Oh well. So much for my dream team Independent ticket with SkylerM. campaign manager & Tom K. media.

  13. Tom Blanton

    Centrists are people who believe in what they think most other people believe in. They show up to the polls on election day not sure of who they will vote for. That’s why the major parties work so hard so sway these swing voters as election day nears – even to the point of having volunteers pass out sample ballots and literature at the polls.

    It is not surprising that a centrist party would not do well as most centrists are not politically active, although many people like to be called centrists just as they like to be called moderates. They like being perceived as reasonable regular guys, fair and balanced, right in the middle.

    Raging moderate libertarians tend to pander to centrists as some sort of strategy, as evidenced by the little bit liberal, little bit conservative slogans, but there aren’t enough centrists to make much of a difference and they are generally too conventional to vote third party.

    The major parties own the centrists because to vote for a third party is in itself outside the mainstream. The rubes that call themselves centrists are also some of the most easily duped. They are among the most willing to compromise away your rights because of their obsession with splitting the difference.

  14. paulie

    the quote about paulie being a hobo with a clipboard came from AK, not me.

    Actually it came from Jim Davidson, allegedly earlier from Keaton, and they are both far from being reliable sources – especially Davidson. Also, she is alleged to have said it about all petitioners – that could be Dondero, Andy, Gary, Jake, me, and many other people. There was never any claim she made any specific comment about me. And you can go kiss her ring while you are at it; I suggest you use a dental dam.

    As far as I’m concerned paulie is a member of the Crazy Losers Club just like me

    You wish.

    But I did check into his badmouthing ENM. I found her account & position to be to my satisfaction.

    Shows how dumb you are.

  15. Yossarian

    I think Ross and Tom blanton are correct in their general assessment of “centrist” parties. I think the Modern Whigs have a slightly better strategy, at least in theory, by subscribing to the notion that people are not necessarily in the middle, but rather cherry pick across the spectrum.

    Are there any other “centrist” parties that are out there with any ascertainable plan? The American centrists seem alright, and it would be interesting to see Andrew Evans organize or unify some of these groups, although the (competing?) uscentrist does seem to be the proverbial “guy with a website.”

  16. Andrew Evans

    To Ross Levin, the ACP does run candidates and we have endorsed indpendents, Libertarians, Reps and Dems in the past. We have some city council persons who are members as well. We are very selective about where we run our own candidates due the cost and time. However at this point this is secondary because to make the change all of us really want regardless of affiliation, we need fair ballott access and to quite frankly get the word out that there is a better way than the Reps and Dems stranglehold. Essentially we a hybrid party/advocacy group. Although, I see a day where the ACP becomes an advocacy group in order to easily accomplish the goals of change and reform. Even though we are independent thinking and acting the term “Party” still scares off many people.

  17. Andrew Evans

    Yossarian, I have tried to contact the Modern Whigs several months ago about opening a dialogue about cooperation but have not yet heard back. I have talked with John Reisman of uscentrist.org a while back. I have not heard from him via email or phone for quite some time and according to Wikipedia ( take with a grain of salt) they have closed up shop for the time being.
    You are correct people do cherry pick across the spectrum and that is how it should be take all the info you can get and use it come up with a practical real effective solution. The ACP will soon be calling for a meeting in person or via the Internet of many different parties and organizations to work on supporting each others candidates when no other group has a candidate running and finding ground to unite on and work together with. Honestly, the change and reform we all want will take a lot of time and effort. The Reps and Dems are successful because they have the organization to gain more people and donations. That is what the ACP and other organizations need to work to develop. Where the Reps and Dems have failed is they have the organization but have lost touch with the American people. This is where the ACP and other groups MUST succeed.

  18. Andrew Evans

    Tom Blanton, I see your points and I can see you have thought about this before. I respectfully disagree about centrists though, for the most part. I do agree that centrists and all Americans need to get active and make their voice heard. If we don’t do it who will listen, no one. The ACP holds town hall meetings, and has Action Groups to lobby Congress, and passes out literature at polling places. Other parties and organizations must show and teach the American people that a vote for them is not a wasted vote and is just as American as baseball and football 🙂 and apple pie. Instant Runoff Voting could help with this to make this possible and viable.
    I disagree that centrists will fall for anything. While there is no set ideology for centrism, that is the beauty and freedom of it!! Many are fiscally conservative and socially liberal and believe in a strong military and strong diplomacy. Take a look at the ACP platform, we take sources that have been out there a while and incorporate them into our platform and have ideas that many have not heard of but are practical. I can promise you this while I am involved in the ACP in no way will we ever compromise the rights of Americans away. We want to increase citizen choice and power and have government provide you with the best education, tax rates and infrastructure for you to work hard and make your own American dream come true, whatever that may be.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    The problem with the “center” is that there’s really no such thing.

    The idea behind “centrism” is to overcome polarizing issues by meeting in the middle and splitting the results down that middle.

    Thing is, nobody’s a centrist on everything. They’re just centrist on the issues they don’t care much about. If they really care about an issue, they take a side on it, and they reject the party that doesn’t. So a party that’s splitting the difference on everything is telling everyone that they can’t have what they want.

    As long as there’s partisan politics, the winner will be the party that mobilizes a base which cares deeply about getting certain outcomes on certain issues, then ripping out a big enough piece of the “center” which agrees with them on at least some of those issues to turn that base into a majority. The center itself is definitionally incapable of organization into a mobilized base unless the polarizing issues disappear, which ain’t gonna happen.

  20. Tom Blanton

    Wow, I just read some of ACP’s platform principles. It is an affirmation of the status quo statism with some tweaking. Some of it is laughable:

    “Elements of the current Iranian regime are actively trying to goad the United States into war..”

    Some of their tripe is scary and misguided:

    “We must track, fight and destroy terrorists wherever they hide.”

    They support the “Fair Tax”, another over-hyped statist boondoggle.

    They have several collectivist schemes for national service and “volunteerism” to serve the state.

    The support the Healthy Americans Act, offering the same plan to all Americans that Congress has.

    All in all, it would appear that some statist libertarians might find the ACP attractive. Policy wonks that favor central planning might also find lots to contemplate in the ACP platform. It’s a little bit liberal, a little bit conservative, a little bit authoritarian, and a little bit totalitarian. And not extremely well-informed.

  21. Tom Blanton

    America will have Instant Runoff Voting on the day that Republicans and Democrats decide they want to start losing elections.

    You will know IRV is on the way when the Republicans and Democrats welcome independent and third party candidates to their debates and when they repeal restrictive ballot access laws.

  22. Ross Levin

    Not true, Tom Blanton. Alternative voting methods (mostly IRV) are being put in place in some municipalities, and they might be on the ballot in Massachussetts in 2010 thanks to direct democracy.

  23. Andrew Evans

    Tom Blanton, I am glad you looked at the platform but I respectfully disagree with you again. I do think is unfortunate that you have use words like “tripe” and “laughable” but to each his own. I would like to point out some ideas that you failed to mention in regards to statism. The ACP supports having all new vehicles sold in America be hybrid by a certain year, this would greatly reduce America’s dependency on foreign oil and help the environment. Not really statist. Also the ACP supports equal funding of all public schools in America regardless of where they are located so all American children have a fair shot at the best education possible and appprenticeship training programs for students and workers. Not really statist either. The ACP also supports and has a plan for cutting trillions of dollars from the federal budget and reinvesting in infrastructure, energy, and education while paying down the debt. All without raising taxes or cuts to major programs. Not really statist either. And in regards to “collectivist service” by volunteering, if allowing say students who are interested to serve in the medical field under supervision for a couple of years while they get educational benefits for school and practical experience,then I guess that public service collectivism. What ideas do you have?

  24. Tom Blanton

    Andrew:

    Let’s see, government mandating the type of cars sold is not really statist, and mandating the funding level of government schools is not really statist. We’ll let folks decide that for themselves.

    “The ACP also supports and has a plan for cutting trillions of dollars from the federal budget and reinvesting in infrastructure, energy, and education while paying down the debt. All without raising taxes or cuts to major programs. Not really statist either.”

    I agree that is not really statist. It is more of a pipe dream. Like the notion that hybrid cars will reduce pollution as coal-fired electric plants produce the extra electricity required to run them – free lunches don’t exist.

    However, the ACP “platform principles” is loaded with free lunches. For example:

    “cut the Pentagon’s budget by 15 percent”

    and

    “Expanding the US Military to help defeat terrorists”

    It is apparent that the ACP has been very liberal about borrowing a certain tactic from the mainstream political parties – deception. I was wrong to have used the term “tripe” – I should have used the word “nonsense” or “bullshit”.

    What ideas do I have? I have no ideas regarding managing your life, taking your money, managing your money, providing your education, managing your health, paying you to “volunteer”, or protecting you from yourself or the hobgoblins that I create.

  25. Tom Blanton

    “Elements of the current Iranian regime are actively trying to goad the United States into war..”

    This statement is certainly laughable.

    Who’s writing this crap?

  26. Ralph Swanson

    Very interesting.

    I’m setting up a blog on Libertarian Centrism and have written some 200 articles for it including a lot of operational how-to tidbits on what has worked for Libertarians in party situations here and abroad. Will post the link soon.

  27. Ken Block

    The Moderate Party of RI http://www.moderate-ri.org has been left out of this list. We are a newly recognized political party in RI, having qualified for the ballot via signature petition after knocking down some RI ballot access laws as unconstitutional.

    We had to collect 23,589 certified signatures to qualify for the ballot – the 12th highest total number of signatures required in the country – for the 43rd largest state.

    Based on our experience, I do not believe that it is feasible to build a new national centrist political party from the top down. Each state has its own awful laws standing in the way of establishing a new party.

    To establish a lasting national organization, first there must be substantial organization at the state level in many states. We began our effort in October of 2007 in order to be on the ballot and competitive in 2010.

    We have a new promotional video out describing our effort, which can be viewed here: http://www.moderate-ri.org/video%20files/mpri_intro.wmv

  28. Andrew Evans

    Tom Blanton, the statement about Iranian leaders was agreed upon by ACP members. Many of us feel that statements made by Ahmadinejad have been stated in order to inflame military tensions. In regards to the hybrids, of course there are no free lunches but we have to deal with the reality we have. The reality is hybrid vehicles made by coal fired plants will help the envirnonment and American dependence on foreign oil more than gasoline only vehicles made by coal fired plants. I really don’t understand why you are using the terms free lunches? Most of our ideas have how plan to financially implement them as well. Many military leaders have stated that America can easily cut 15% of the Pentagon’s budget without affecting our military readiness and strength. These programs would be older Cold War era programs and reforming how the military purchases equipment, making it more efficent. These savings could be in turn used to expand the military so soldiers are not serving in tour after tour. Or it could be put to another use. Or money can be cut from waste as per our twenty year investment plan to expand the military, to set up even a branch specifically dedicated to border security and fighting terrorism to allow our other branches to focus on other areas of national defense. These are not pipe dreams they are achievable with hard work and fiscal responsibility. And you might want to refrain from cursing when it comes to debating, its not really cool.

  29. Andrew Evans

    Ken Block, keep up the good work. You are right the state level is where change really must come from first because of the horrible election laws currently on the books. However, organization within the centrist/moderate movement is the key at every level. The movement must grow to be able to sustain itself beyond just one person ( i.e. Perot or say Bloomberg). The reason why the Reps and Dems are successful is because they people working all over to bring in donations to hold events which bring in more donations which help them hold more events to get their message out there. Plus the media does help since they are very established. This type of organization at all levels is what the centrist movement needs whether it is under one party or group of indpendent organizations working in the same direction. I would love to talk with you sometime if possible.

  30. Tom Blanton

    Andy, coal-fired plants don’t make cars – they make electricity which charges the batteries contained in the hybrid cars which also burn gasoline.

    Your statement:

    “The reality is hybrid vehicles made by coal fired plants will help the envirnonment and American dependence on foreign oil more than gasoline only vehicles made by coal fired plants.”

    This statement can’t possibly be true because coal-fired plants don’t make cars. You don’t even understand the debate, yet you counter with “facts” that you make up.

    By the way, your platforms has this to say about the 15% Pentagon budget cut (as opposed to enlarging the military):

    1. This would cut the Pentagon’s budget by 15 percent.
    2. With the $60 billion saved from the cut the US could:
    • Provide health insurance to 9 million American kids who lack it
    • Rebuild or modernize our public schools over 12 years
    • Retrain a quarter million workers
    • Cut our reliance on foreign oil in half over 10 years
    • Invest wisely in Homeland Security by inspecting cargo containers entering our ports

    Since the word “bullshit” offends you, I will use the word “poppycock”.

    Poppycock seems to be all you offer, despite how ACP members may “feel”.

    I’ll stand by my statement @ #23:

    “And not extremely well-informed.”

    Sorry if I seem abrasive, Andy. It is how I respond when people insult my intelligence and then continue to insult it.

  31. Jeff Vanke

    This is Jeff Vanke, the above-mentioned chairman of the new Center Party. We have two candidates for Congress in 2010, in two different states. Our efforts are necessarily state-by-state, because economies of scale in party-based ballot access dictate that (for example, in South Carolina, where it looks like we’re going to expand from Virginia). Where we run candidates candidates in 2010 depends on several factors discussed on our website, but also on where our candidate-recruiting efforts are first successful.

    We do plan to cooperate with other centrist parties as much as possible, including state-based ones. We don’t have any Rhode Island seats in mind for 2010, for ex., but we do for Minnesota, and the Independence Party of Minnesota has run several Congressional candidates there recently.

    To build a cohesive interstate party, we have the rather detailed platform on our website.

  32. Andrew Evans

    Tom Blanton, can you offer any counterarguments or sources to why our ideas are poppycock? Iwill be more than happy to submit any sources that inspire and back up our ideas if requested.

  33. Tom Blanton

    Andrew asks:

    “Tom Blanton, can you offer any counterarguments or sources to why our ideas are poppycock?”

    My answer is yes, Andy. Will I? Probably not. Why bother arguing with some guy who thinks cars are made in coal-fired plants and thinks government management of the economy is not statism?

    On the other hand, if you want to pay me to rip apart your “platform principles”, I might consider a generous offer.

  34. Andrew Evans

    Tom Blanton, oops my mistake I mistakenly typed wrong. Easy to do when watching football as well 🙂 What I meant to get at it was even with the coal fired electricty plants contributing to pollution with hybrids it will in the short term cut down on reliance on foreign oil and help the enviornment. As coal is phased out via wind, water and nuclear as well as other sources a hybrid fleet will clearly benefit America. Sorry about that. In regards to government management of the economy there needs to be balance. To use a sports analogy, the government needs to act like a good referee. A good ref will let the teams play because they make the game, not the ref. But when the teams begin fouling a good ref will step in to get the game back in control to let the players go back to playing the game well. In other words. The government needs to provide the tools, infrastructure, education, tax rates for business to succeed and only needs to regulate when gross abuse of the economy is taking place. Its not about big government of small government, its about smart government. Let the economy do its thing because most of the time it works but the government also needs to act when there are clear abuses of the market and this should not be done with blanket intervention but only on a siutation to situation basis.

  35. Andrew Evans

    Tom Blanton, I would love to know your thoughts on our entire platform principles and about centrism. Unfortunately, the ACP can’t pay you. But you can always email me any ideas and comments.

  36. Robert Milnes

    paulie, paulie, appear before me, I command you, that I may speak with thee. And change thy appearance from maggot covered to dressed as a Franciscan Friar, calm and gentle in word and deed.

  37. Susan Hogarth

    Holz @5:

    Weapons on the land you hold should only be judged by the risk they pose to those outside your property lines.

    Sure, and an auto rifle isn’t exactly about to walk off and start mowing down people. I don’t think people who worry about auto weapons really understand their use and limitations. Even carried ‘out and about’, an auto weapon represents a small risk *unless* carefully aimed. Not so with chem/bio/nuke.

    Nukes are not the only poster child for this issue. We may soon see ethnically-targeted lethal designer viruses (as some blacks already think AIDS is). Susan, do you support a right to keep and bear ethnically-targeted lethal designer viruses?

    I don’t see targeting as the issue – I don’t support a right to carry even *non*targeted viruses in an unsafe manner.

    How about you? Do you support the right to possession and use of indiscriminate offensive weapons such as chem/bio/nukes?

  38. Susan Hogarth

    Andrew @12

    Thanks for joining the discussion – I wanted to start a good dialogue about the strategy of centrists. Got a question, a serious one.

    You say It is about being open to solutions that work regardless of where they come from.

    Can you define what you mean by ‘work’?

  39. Susan Hogarth

    I will try to update the original article with the additions folks have mentioned – but have to run back to the Fair right now and (thank the gods) break down the LPNC booth there). Thanks for the legwork and the links!!

  40. Brian Holtz

    Susan, does that mean you support the right to keep and bear nukes and/or smallpox in a “safe” manner?

    Again: your right to carry weapons outside your property lines cannot be completely independent of the risk tolerances of the individuals or communities who hold the land you wander onto. In my community, we considered Susan’s counsel about the safety of machine guns, but ultimately disagreed with her.

  41. Andrew Evans

    Susan,
    Thanks for starting this discussion. Only by opening up and talking can we come up with effective ideas and solutions. Of course a solution that works is different for each issue based on the goals especially domestic policies and foreign policy. The ACP defines a solution that works as one that benefits the most Americans at the least cost. Of course that is an ideal situation but one government we think should always aim for. The ACP is not bound by ideology in the respect that we don’t have to implement our ideas to make something work because it is ours and we must stick to it. If another idea from another source works better for the American people then we will work all out to implement that idea. It is all about freedom and having your political thoughts and actions open to be most effective.

  42. Andrew Evans

    Susan,
    Also the ACP believes good leaders in government will have the courage, humility, and wisdom to realize when a idea or policy is not working and will work to change to a more effective solution rather than just muddle through with more of the same.

  43. Robert Milnes

    Susan, I would call it serious to waste time & avoid the urgent important issues when people are suffering and dying and leading lives that are not worth living in quiet desperation. Wouldn’t you?

  44. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “I would call it serious to waste time & avoid the urgent important issues when people are suffering and dying and leading lives that are not worth living in quiet desperation.”

    You should cross-stitch that onto a plaque, mount it on your wall, and meditate on it every time you consider bringing up “private nukes.”

  45. Robert Milnes

    Tom, I don’t think I’ve ever brought up “private nukes”. That sounds like Brian the Reformist Troll. I’m Bob, the Troll Everybody Loves to Hate.

  46. Robert Capozzi

    tk, you’ve not noticed that I rarely use the “private nukes as illustrative of the absurdity of absolutism.” Of late, I’m liking the ring of “NORAD absolutism, to be replaced by insurance companies.” I mix in the NAMBLA position to keep things fresh and edgy. And Nonarchy Pods now and then.

    But, the oldie but goodie private nukes foil still works like a charm 😉

  47. Robert Capozzi

    The challenge of centrism is that it is defined by others. OTOH, centrism has been a fairly stable concept in US politics for 50 years or so.

    I’d note that “moderate” and “centrism” aren’t the same things. Moderate to me connotes that change advocated can be a change in direction, but not a dramatic, rapid change in direction.

  48. James C. Harwood

    My father was a Republican, and President of The Harwood Oil Company of Wichita Kansas. The wells went dry in 1965, so he had to change profession to support our family but we still did well. Then he died in 1968 at age 50 when I was age 12. My mother married my stepfather, a Republican, and engineer at Beech Aircraft, and our quality of living remained the same. My sister, 8 years older than me, moved to England. Over the years, I usually voted Republican. Most of my friends have been liberal Democrats who accept me as I am, while conservative Republicans have been excessively judgmental and exclusive. When in 1994 Newt Gingrich talked about putting welfare people in tent cities until they earn the right to live in normal housing, it angered me so much that I switched over to being a Democrat for a while. The problem is that the Democrats in Kansas are a lost cause, so it was a waste of time. However, Kansas had a good Democrat for Governor, so it is not impossible. In June 2008 I moved to Norman in Oklahoma – another very red state, and live about 2 blocks from the OU football stadium. Many foreign students live in the same huge apartments complex as I do, look very different from me, and often speak in their own language, so at times it feels like encountering aliens from another planet! The political environment here is a bit complicated because of so many different people coming to OU from all over the USA and world – and I’ve not ruled out the possibility that a couple of my red-haired female neighbors are from Mars.

    Back in October 2004 I took the World’s Smallest Political Quiz at http://www.theadvocates.org/quizp/index.html for the first time and scored slightly right of center but still within the center square, which is where I expected to be, and on the left-right center line. In October 2008 I took it again and scored slightly left of center, still on the left-right center line. In February 2009 I scored dead center on the crosshairs. If I recall correctly, it was in May 2009 when I scored way above the left-right center line up near the Libertarian area, but still in the center square. I just took it again, answering A-agree on statements 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, and 10. Answered D-disagree on statements 4 and 5. Answered M-maybe on statements 8, and 9. So I have just discovered that I have shifted even higher than before, now for the first time outside of the center square and fully into the Libertarian realm of the quiz results. So my positions have been shifting quite a bit since first taking the quiz back in October 2004. I still consider myself to be a moderate centrist, or a centrist moderate. I have seen some slight differences between people who refer to themselves as moderates, and people who refer to themselves as centrists. I’m not certain how the quiz works, but I believe the quiz only AVERAGES out the positions from the answers. I suspect most “centrists” are the AVERAGE of the extremes, having few original third options. Therefore, the answers that have put me in the center square in the past might not be the same answers that have put other people in the center square. I’m to the left on one answer, to the right on another. The only third choice offered in the quiz is Maybe. We can’t have an effective political party made up of Maybe. There must be clear third choices.

    What is a true “third choice” in politics? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? That is kind of like asking if you want to be a Democrat or a Republican, as if there are no other choices. The question is flawed because it does not include a third choice, which might be the correct answer. The egg is the child. The chicken is the female – the mother. What about the male – the father? Just maybe the rooster came first! Then the chicken, and then the egg. Another example from an old song… Would you rather be a hammer or a nail? So there are the given two choices, hammer or nail. There is a third choice, which I don’t like, but it is there and cannot be ignored. I’ll put it to you this way. If you must be the nail, then be grateful you are not what the hammer is pounding you into – such as a board – the third choice being the board. We need to determine what all of the true third choices are. I don’t mean political parties, of which there are many. I mean the direction we go in, being left or right or straight ahead.

    It was the results of the political quiz at http://www.theadvocates.org/quizp/index.html which caused me to consider myself to be a centrist and/or a moderate. I then went in search on the Internet for the centrist and/or moderate political parties. The one that first stood out the most was The Centrist Party. I contacted them by email to make inquires, repeatedly, and was ignored. I sense that I was snubbed by Republicans pretending to be a Centrists. By the way, more recently I’ve noticed a lot of Republicans referring to themselves as Centrist Republicans. Even some Democrats referring to themselves as Centrist Democrats. I believe that is just their way of trying to identify with and win over the voters in the middle. I began looking at other centrist and moderate options. I sent email inquires to all of the options of interest. Only one took the time to reply, and that was Andrew Evans, Chair, American Centrist Party. Therefore, I joined the ACP, have become an active member, and have given some money to the cause. Further, I have found that the ACP is the most established by being in all 50 states now. Right now, it is the only one that has any real chance at the national level, rather than just state by state. I believe certain states will always be mostly red, some will always be mostly blue. I found a map that shows “purple” states as being potentially moderate or centrist, or otherwise could go red or blue. See the political maps at Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_state_vs._blue_state_divide

  49. James C. Harwood

    I didn’t include a URL for Website when posting my comment [awaiting moderation], but have included it now. I’m currently using Google’s Blogger blogs. I’m in the process of changing over to WordPress.

  50. James C. Harwood

    I’ll try it again, in parts, here is Part 1 of 3:

    What is a true “third choice” in politics? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? That is kind of like asking if you want to be a Democrat or a Republican, as if there are no other choices. The question is flawed because it does not include a third choice, which might be the correct answer. The egg is the child. The chicken is the female – the mother. What about the male – the father? Just maybe the rooster came first! Then the chicken, and then the egg. Another example from an old song… Would you rather be a hammer or a nail? So there are the given two choices, hammer or nail. There is a third choice, which I don’t like, but it is there and cannot be ignored. I’ll put it to you this way. If you must be the nail, then be grateful you are not what the hammer is pounding you into – such as a board – the third choice being the board. We need to determine what all of the true third choices are. I don’t mean political parties, of which there are many. I mean the direction we go in, being left or right or straight ahead.

  51. James C. Harwood

    Here is Part 2 of 3:

    Back in October 2004 I took the World’s Smallest Political Quiz at http://www.theadvocates.org/quizp/index.html for the first time and scored slightly right of center but still within the center square, which is where I expected to be, and on the left-right center line. In October 2008 I took it again and scored slightly left of center, still on the left-right center line. In February 2009 I scored dead center on the crosshairs. If I recall correctly, it was in May 2009 when I scored way above the left-right center line up near the Libertarian area, but still in the center square. I just took it again, answering A-agree on statements 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, and 10. Answered D-disagree on statements 4 and 5. Answered M-maybe on statements 8, and 9. So I have just discovered that I have shifted even higher than before, now for the first time outside of the center square and fully into the Libertarian realm of the quiz results. So my positions have been shifting quite a bit since first taking the quiz back in October 2004. I still consider myself to be a moderate centrist, or a centrist moderate. I have seen some slight differences between people who refer to themselves as moderates, and people who refer to themselves as centrists. I’m not certain how the quiz works, but I believe the quiz only AVERAGES out the positions from the answers. I suspect most “centrists” are the AVERAGE of the extremes, having few original third options. Therefore, the answers that have put me in the center square in the past might not be the same answers that have put other people in the center square. I’m to the left on one answer, to the right on another. The only third choice offered in the quiz is Maybe. We can’t have an effective political party made up of Maybe. There must be clear third choices.

    It was the results of the political quiz which caused me to consider myself to be a centrist and/or a moderate. I then went in search on the Internet for the centrist and/or moderate political parties. The one that first stood out the most was The Centrist Party. I contacted them by email to make inquires, repeatedly, and was ignored. I sense that I was snubbed by Republicans pretending to be a Centrists. By the way, more recently I’ve noticed a lot of Republicans referring to themselves as Centrist Republicans. Even some Democrats referring to themselves as Centrist Democrats. I believe that is just their way of trying to identify with and win over the voters in the middle. I began looking at other centrist and moderate options. I sent email inquires to all of the options of interest. Only one took the time to reply, and that was Andrew Evans, Chair, American Centrist Party. Therefore, I joined the ACP, have become an active member, and have given some money to the cause. Further, I have found that the ACP is the most established by being in all 50 states now. Right now, it is the only one that has any real chance at the national level, rather than just state by state. I believe certain states will always be mostly red, some will always be mostly blue. I found a map that shows “purple” states as being potentially moderate or centrist, or otherwise could go red or blue. See the political maps at Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_state_vs._blue_state_divide

  52. James C. Harwood

    Here is Part 3 of 3:

    My father was a Republican, and President of The Harwood Oil Company of Wichita Kansas. The wells went dry in 1965, so he had to change profession to support our family but we still did well. Then he died in 1968 at age 50 when I was age 12. My mother married my stepfather, a Republican, and engineer at Beech Aircraft, and our quality of living remained the same. My sister, 8 years older than me, moved to England. Over the years, I usually voted Republican. Most of my friends have been liberal Democrats who accept me as I am, while conservative Republicans have been excessively judgmental and exclusive. When in 1994 Newt Gingrich talked about putting welfare people in tent cities until they earn the right to live in normal housing, it angered me so much that I switched over to being a Democrat for a while. The problem is that the Democrats in Kansas are a lost cause, so it was a waste of time. However, Kansas had a good Democrat for Governor, so it is not impossible. In June 2008 I moved to Norman in Oklahoma – another very red state, and live about 2 blocks from the OU football stadium. Many foreign students live in the same huge apartments complex as I do, look very different from me, and often speak in their own language, so at times it feels like encountering aliens from another planet! The political environment here is a bit complicated because of so many different people coming to OU from all over the USA and world – and I’ve not ruled out the possibility that a couple of my red-haired female neighbors are from Mars.

  53. Susan Hogarth

    Brian @50,

    This is cart-before-horse thinking in the extreme.

    You evidently want me to consider (and pronounce) whether I think you (for instance) have a right to keep a nuke with the somewhat scary thought that you may be incompetent to handle it correctly. I don’t particularly think you do have such a right, although of course I can envision circumstances under which private nuke ownership would not be a particular threat (perhaps in space).

    But what *I* want to focus on is the scary reality that the *state* already controls lots of nukes, and we have abundant evidence of the state’s incompetence and poor moral decision-making. Can’t we agree that, regardless of whether individuals should be allowed to own nukes, they are way too dangerous to be left in the hands of government?

    There’s a similar issue with the death penalty – there are reasonable libertarian arguments both for and against. Many people get stuck arguing for or against and think the LP needs to take a position, when it seems to me that whether or not we favor the death penalty, we ought to agree it’s too important a decision to be left in the hands of the incompetent/evil state.

    There’s a third example I can easily think of of this sort of issue, but I won’t invoke it’s name because people tend to get easily diverted into arguing the specifics on that one, and I’d rather keep this a meta-discussion. On that issue, the LP as an organization *has* managed to pretty much stick to the right position – we disagree about whether X is an individual right or not, but we agree it’s too important to be left to the state to control.

    Since we are being so hypothetical, I am curious about something you said. Do you think an ‘ethnically targeted’ bioweapon is worse than an ethnically indiscriminate one? If so, in what way?

  54. Susan Hogarth

    Andrew @51,

    Thanks for your reply.

    The ACP defines a solution that works as one that benefits the most Americans at the least cost. … The ACP is not bound by ideology…

    This sort of talk always gives me the shivers. I have to wonder just how far the person saying it would go. What if, say, someone could demonstrate that bombing a particular city of 50,000 could save the lives of 75,000 – would that make it right?

    But in fact they don’t even require a demonstration – just a convincing argument – since we’re dealing with the future and predictions.

    This leaves you open to snake-oil salesmen: economists and social tinkers convincing you that their ‘program’ will be the one that ‘works’. Even if they’re right, their programs will NEVER be implemented in the way in which they were envisioned by a democratic process.

    The fact that the word ‘ideologue’ has a negative connotation is a big problem with modern society, I believe.

  55. Susan Hogarth

    James @63

    The problem is that the Democrats in Kansas are a lost cause, so it was a waste of time.

    You think being a Dem in KS is a ‘lost cause’ and a ‘waste of time’, so you’re joining a political party with even less power and sway?

    Jus’ sayin’.

  56. Robert Milnes

    Susan, The whirlwinds of fate and natural chaos & probability brought him here. Not much voluntary involved. The Crazy Losers Club. I doubt if anyone chooses to be here.

  57. Robert Capozzi

    sh: …and we have abundant evidence of the state’s incompetence and poor moral decision-making. Can’t we agree that, regardless of whether individuals should be allowed to own nukes, they are way too dangerous to be left in the hands of government?

    me: Actually, Madam President, we have no such evidence. State’s are amalgams of individuals. State’s unto themselves are neither competent nor incompetent; moral or immoral.

    Individuals would appear to be both competent and incompetent, moral and immoral…depends on the day and the time of day.

    I would agree that nukes are too dangerous in the hands of any one government. If the Milnes Magic Wand could wipe them all away, once and for all, that’d be a good thing. Absent that, disarmament becomes a very complex matter, as there is no insurance agency that — as a practical matter — could take them away and make sure they don’t make more.

  58. Andrew Evans

    Susan @66
    I understand your reservations. Your reservations are at heart the reason why we need solid public servants in office and why our government needs to be very careful with new polices and especially their implementation. Anyone involved in politics is open to “snake oil salesmen” regardless of their beliefs.

    Even the most rigid ideologue is vulnerable to snake oil policies and solutions whether they come from a special interest group or the latest think tank that agrees with the same ideology as the public servant. I personally while being involved with the ACP have been approached by many people with ideas who wanted the ACP to support certain policies. Their ideas had some merit but upon further review by myself and our national committee and members we realized that it might not be the best course. Of course these people were upset and lashed out at us wanting us to support their implementation and in turn help promote them and their agendas.

    That is where reason and due diligence comes in and as you mentioned the democratic process. Ultimately no one knows how anything will turn out in life and the same is in government. The most well intentioned idea can fall prey to bad implementation and fail and vice versa, and because no one is sure how government actions can turn out all the time is why it is so important to be involved to be and to call for strong leaders who use reason and due diligence when it comes to governing.

    The ACP has no problem with people who have strong beliefs and ideas. The ACP members have strong belief and ideas. Having a strong set of ideas and beliefs give you a solid platform to work from and draw ideas and inspiration from. We do think it is best to keep a reasonable mind open because to shut or dismiss other ideas just because they do not line up with what I may personally want even though they could work well, that is just poor judgment.

    There are merits to many different political modes of thought and action and by being open to that more ideas can be brought out into the open to formulate effective solutions. However since this is not an ideal world there are many times when this is impossible which is why the ACP defines a policy that works as one that benefits the greatest number of people at the least amount of cost. And when things cooperation breaks down it is okay to rely on ideology to rebuild ideas from just realize that there are merits and possibilities in working with other ideas and people as well to make policies the most effective.

    Ultimately as I have said and you statesd similarly, no one knows how a policy or idea will turn out when it is implemented, which is why whenever possible I personally favor a plan of phased implementation of a policy to see its benefits and negative consequences in gradual steps. To work on it and tweak it if need be and to eliminate it if need be. We will never achieve the perfect government but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t aim for it because when we fall short we usually fall short to the best it can be. 🙂

  59. James C. Harwood

    Susan @67:

    To be more specific… When I did that in 1994, I went to the HQ there in Wichita. I volunteered time to help. I asked what their needs are. They basically said for me to just do whatever I want to do, because that is what everyone else does. There was no leadership. No real organization. No plan. No list of needs. No assessment of volunteers. They were completely disorganized. When I volunteered in the past with Republicans, they assessed my abilities as well as my interests, looked at their list of needs, and placed me where I could do them the most good. You understandably point out that if I believe the Democrats are a lost cause in Kansas, then what chance do any third party options have. On the Left to Right line, most in Kansas are Republicans. Even so, a Democrat got elected Governor. If someone far to the Right can get elected, then surely someone closer to the Center – drawing people from the near left and near Right – can have an even better chance of getting elected. Although I don’t live in Kansas anymore, and hope OU destroys KSU this coming Saturday night – Halloween, I do believe Centrists will have the same chance in other states in the future. The Democrats appear to be divided, in my opinion. I find the people who are Blue Dog Democrats to be likable. They will stay with their party, no doubt, but right now I believe they are closer to center than their far left friends they are currently opposed to. Looks to me like Republicans are having a similar problem, and I like that. The old plan of divide and conquer.

    Have a look at this website http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/ listing Other Political Parties http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/Disclaimer.htm and list of Major Parties http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/Major.htm and list of minor parties http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/PartyLink.htm some of those being very amusing.

    I like this website, Independent Political Report. I will give it a link at my new blog when I finish setting it up. Andrew Evans, Chair of American Centrist Party, told me about it in an email. It is not a surprise to me that some of the people posting here are not in agreement with each other, because it is my opinion that the middle – moderates – centrists – and others – are just an AVERAGE of the Left and Right, having no clear common ground and direction. That is the huge advantage that the well established Left and Right have, and is the huge disadvantage of the people in the middle. Even so, I believe our numbers are growing. I don’t mean the ACP. I mean everyone in the middle who do not consider themselves to be left wing liberal Democrats or right wing conservative Republicans. I do wonder why some of the people posting here are posting here, if not simply trolls, because it is my impression from some of their postings in which they attack other people here they appear to hate everyone in the middle. Makes me conclude they are here from the far left or far Right just to cause trouble. But as the previously noted political quiz shows, not everything is on the Left to Right line, as some people can fall below that line or rise above it.

    I have one suggestion you might like. Create a Polls feature here at the Independent Political Report website. Use it to find out if any of the people visiting here have any common ground at all, if there is anything we can agree on. I’d like to know. Then, from results of polls on different subjects, set up new forums where the people who are in agreement can communicate and get organized. Maybe then we can make a difference for the better. I have no doubt that the “middle” is growing fast. But unless enough of us get well enough organized, then it will not matter.

  60. James C. Harwood

    Part 1 of 2

    Susan @67:

    To be more specific… When I did that in 1994, I went to the HQ there in Wichita. I volunteered time to help. I asked what their needs are. They basically said for me to just do whatever I want to do, because that is what everyone else does. There was no leadership. No real organization. No plan. No list of needs. No assessment of volunteers. They were completely disorganized. When I volunteered in the past with Republicans, they assessed my abilities as well as my interests, looked at their list of needs, and placed me where I could do them the most good. You understandably point out that if I believe the Democrats are a lost cause in Kansas, then what chance do any third party options have. On the Left to Right line, most in Kansas are Republicans. Even so, a Democrat got elected Governor. If someone far to the Right can get elected, then surely someone closer to the Center – drawing people from the near left and near Right – can have an even better chance of getting elected. Although I don’t live in Kansas anymore, and hope OU destroys KSU this coming Saturday night – Halloween, I do believe Centrists will have the same chance in other states in the future. The Democrats appear to be divided, in my opinion. I find the people who are Blue Dog Democrats to be likable. They will stay with their party, no doubt, but right now I believe they are closer to center than their far left friends they are currently opposed to. Looks to me like Republicans are having a similar problem, and I like that. The old plan of divide and conquer.

    Have a look at this website http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/ listing Other Political Parties http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/Disclaimer.htm and list of Major Parties http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/Major.htm and list of minor parties http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/PartyLink.htm some of those being very amusing.

  61. James C. Harwood

    Redoing Part 1 of 3

    Susan @67:

    To be more specific… When I did that in 1994, I went to the HQ there in Wichita. I volunteered time to help. I asked what their needs are. They basically said for me to just do whatever I want to do, because that is what everyone else does. There was no leadership. No real organization. No plan. No list of needs. No assessment of volunteers. They were completely disorganized. When I volunteered in the past with Republicans, they assessed my abilities as well as my interests, looked at their list of needs, and placed me where I could do them the most good. You understandably point out that if I believe the Democrats are a lost cause in Kansas, then what chance do any third party options have. On the Left to Right line, most in Kansas are Republicans. Even so, a Democrat got elected Governor. If someone far to the Right can get elected, then surely someone closer to the Center – drawing people from the near left and near Right – can have an even better chance of getting elected. Although I don’t live in Kansas anymore, and hope OU destroys KSU this coming Saturday night – Halloween, I do believe Centrists will have the same chance in other states in the future. The Democrats appear to be divided, in my opinion. I find the people who are Blue Dog Democrats to be likable. They will stay with their party, no doubt, but right now I believe they are closer to center than their far left friends they are currently opposed to. Looks to me like Republicans are having a similar problem, and I like that. The old plan of divide and conquer.

  62. James C. Harwood

    Susan @67

    I like this website, Independent Political Report. I will give it a link at my new blog when I finish setting it up. Andrew Evans, Chair of American Centrist Party, told me about it in an email. It is not a surprise to me that some of the people posting here are not in agreement with each other, because it is my opinion that the middle – moderates – centrists – and others – are just an AVERAGE of the Left and Right, having no clear common ground and direction. That is the huge advantage that the well established Left and Right have, and is the huge disadvantage of the people in the middle. Even so, I believe our numbers are growing. I don’t mean the ACP. I mean everyone in the middle who do not consider themselves to be left wing liberal Democrats or right wing conservative Republicans. I do wonder why some of the people posting here are posting here, if not simply trolls, because it is my impression from some of their postings in which they attack other people here they appear to hate everyone in the middle. Makes me conclude they are here from the far left or far Right just to cause trouble. But as the previously noted political quiz shows, not everything is on the Left to Right line, as some people can fall below that line or rise above it.

    I have one suggestion you might like. Create a Polls feature here at the Independent Political Report website. Use it to find out if any of the people visiting here have any common ground at all, if there is anything we can agree on. I’d like to know. Then, from results of polls on different subjects, set up new forums where the people who are in agreement can communicate and get organized. Maybe then we can make a difference for the better. I have no doubt that the “middle” is growing fast. But unless enough of us get well enough organized, then it will not matter.

  63. Susan Hogarth Post author

    If someone far to the Right can get elected, then surely someone closer to the Center – drawing people from the near left and near Right – can have an even better chance of getting elected.

    Umm, yeah, especially if you’re registered Republican.

  64. James C. Harwood

    Susan @76:

    Correction. I meant to write: If someone far to the LEFT can get elected [in the Far Right state of Kansas], then surely someone closer to the Center – drawing people from the near left and near Right – can have an even better chance of getting elected.

  65. James C. Harwood

    Susan at 67 and 76:

    I confess my sin of being a registered Republican when last November I voted for Obama. But, now, which was the sin? I now believe voting for Obama was a mistake. I still believe voting for McCain would have been a worse mistake than voting for Obama. Even if a third choice can’t win at this time, voting for that third choice would have been the right thing to do, if that third choice is someone in a party I can be mostly in agreement with. I’m not looking for a party that is in agreement with everything I believe, because I’d end up being in a party of one, like many of them out there now noted at the DC Political Report website. I am seeking a party with which I can agree with most of what they believe. Diplomacy and negotiation is necessary, give and take, decide what is most important I will not sacrifice, and what is not as important that I can give up. I give up item B to get item A, and the other side gives up item C to get item A. Progress is made because both sides can agree on item A and were willing to sacrifice items B and C.

    Some people here are attacking other people’s positions, such as Andrew and I being attacked. But those doing the attacking are only attacking, and are not offering any of their own views. You are against me and my views. So we know what you are agaisnt, but what are you for? What is your position? What are your views? Give it a shot! Who knows? You might win me over! You can’t win me over by attacking me. But you might win me over by presenting your position and views. I’m sincerely and respectfully at a point at which I’m interested in all views. I don’t want my choices to be limited to just the traditional 2 choices of Democrats or Republicans. If Democrats and Republicans were visiting this website, then they would love it that some of the people here are attacking each other, instead of seeking common ground to build a party against them.

  66. Susan Hogarth Post author

    James,

    I got it that you’ve changed and now think a vote for a ‘loser’ can still be worthwhile, and thanks for the clarification. I just think you’ll have a hard time getting enthusiasm for a centrist platform, and I think that without an ideological compass you’ll be more likely to choose positions based on (perceived) popularity than on whether you think they’re correct or will ‘work’. Even strongly ideological parties like the LP have this problem :-/

    Don’t take the lively discussion here too hard, or worry too much about being ‘attacked’. This thread is about centrist parties, so naturally the non-centrists want to challenge and question you.

    This is interesting:

    If Democrats and Republicans were visiting this website, then they would love it that some of the people here are attacking each other, instead of seeking common ground to build a party against them.

    “Building a party against them” may be your goal, but it’s not mine. I’m more interested in building a party *for* something (Libertarians and libertarianism). Maybe at some point you’ll join me. If you have a question about libertarianism, feel free to ask.

  67. Andrew Evans

    Any questions or comments anyone has about centrism and the American Centrist Party are more than welcome. Especially from Libertarians. We have worked with Libertarians before and regardless of what we all might agree on or disagree, we all agree that we all must keep working to give the American people more choices and a better government.

  68. Andrew Evans

    While I cannot speak of other centrist organizations the ACP’s compass is one of increasing citizen choices and responsibility by giving them the best tools to achieve their own success, a strong defense and diplomacy, and a more open and transparent government. Any ideas and policies that will bring about these goals regardless of the source will always be considered by the ACP.

  69. James C. Harwood

    Susan @81:

    A few months ago I scored on the line between Libertarian and Centrist, and today scored above the Centrist line and into the Libertarian area of the results of the World’s Smallest Political Quiz. I don’t know how accurate that quiz is. I have a good neighbor who is a good Libertarian, so I learn a little from him. I’ve looked it up online. You are welcome to post links here for Libertarian websites, which you believe might interest me, and I will check them out. Or email me with any information you want to send via the new email address I have noted with the form for this posting if you have access to that, or email me at the email address I posted at the top right of the page of my blog hereafterebooks.blogspot.com now titled Science Fiction Realms.

    I’m normally [but not always] offline 7pm to 7am CST. I usually check for emails about 7am, around noon, and about 6pm. I post at my blogs and check forums like this one when I have time. I wanted you to know that in case you try to contact me and don’t get a reply right away – I’m not snubbing you – I will get back to you via email, or here, as soon as possible. I’m about to sign off now. fixing dinner, going to watch NBC TV tonight. Have a good night!

    Everyone, have a good night!

  70. Susan Hogarth Post author

    James, what I want to convey is simple – you own yourself, everyone else owns himself, and no person should rule over another by force or fraud.

    How the streets get built or schools get financed within that context is an interesting discussion, but only of side interest. If it isn’t done voluntarily, it’s done by slave labor, and I’m an abolitionist.

  71. James C. Harwood

    Dinner not quite ready yet. I have time for one or two more postings.

    Susan: Excellent, so far. Anything else? I found your blog. Nice blog. Keep up the good work.

  72. James C. Harwood

    Good morning, Stevan Liberman, of Washington DC.

    I hope you enjoyed your visits to my blog yesterday, after visiting this Independent Political Report website yesterday, having clicked on my name here for the link, according to my StatCounter report. I’m posting this here today just in case you return.

    Are you any relation to Joe Liberman? I read your profile at Wiki, Zoom, and a few other places. None of those noted that, but being in DC and/or related to Joe might explain your interest here, and perhaps your lengthy visit at my blog – unless you left the window open to my main blog for over 4 hours yesterday afternoon while doing somethine else. Are you a fan of science fiction? You only gave my separate political blog a glance.

    StatCounter has proved to be very useful to monitor visitors of my blogs. It revealed Google’s working relationship with Obama, which I then found a news story about. It also showed US Army Intelligence at a base in Arizona used to monitor people on Obama’s “snitch” list – people who now oppose him and say so in their blogs and forums. It is my opinion that Obama using US Army Intelligence to monitor Americans who now oppose him is a gross abuse of power and violation of the US Constitution First Amendment for Freedom of Speech and Press. My new email address is noted at my blogs, and you may contact me if you have any questions about that.

    Have a good day!

  73. HS

    Actually, that was me as I work in an office building and use (with permission) the wireless account of the above named IP address. Must have left the browser open.

    I did take a look at your stuff, but must say that I am a bit appalled in perhaps some unfounded way that you posted the name of the IP registrant. While I know these things are very easy to track, I can’t help but think that maybe some form of etiquette was breached.

    I guess I am saying that you don’t need to try so hard. I respect the fact that you have found a political group to promote, but you know…

    By the way, I asked about the AZ intelligence fort from people who should know. From what I’ve been told, a number of installations where people use military servers to browse the Internet will go through that base, and it’s not necessarily intelligence gathering.

  74. Susan Hogarth

    James, just a hint, here: it’s *totally terrible public relations* to publicize that sort of info. NOT likely to make people want to visit your site n the future.

  75. Jeff Vanke

    Andrew E., sorry so long to respond — currently on vacation with little kids. My email address is com dot gmail at centerpartyus, in reverse.

  76. Michael

    Since when are we in in Iran? Must be an easy country to leave as there aren’t any American forces there. Maybe next they’ll propose withdrawing from
    North Korea.

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