By far the most widely supported healthcare reform plan among the American people – centrists included – is the so-called ‘public option’. Poll after poll over the last decade has shown the highest level of support for it, vs other healthcare reform options – especially when the survey describes what it means, as many don’t know the difference between ideas floated by politicians by just their names.
Surveys where those polled were told that the public option gave people the choice between government and private insurance plans have shown support above 70%, with some upwards of 80%. Contrast this with recent GOP plans, which polled in the 20% to the low 30’s range, and the ‘single payer’ plan from the left that would forcing everyone to be on the same government plan without any competition in the 40’s.
Regardless of what you choose for yourself, nobody should be able to make these choices for other people, and having private plans competing with the government may lead to innovation that wouldn’t happen with a government monopoly.
While there are other avenues of corruption, one of the ways that you can measure it’s dark influence on our politics to at least a significant degree is by where a campaign or organization gets their funding. This is only possible if campaigns and organizations doing work in politics reveal their donor information.
This is one of a handful of issues that not only centrists and moderates support, but also the vast majority across the political spectrum. Few issues can be fairly labeled this way, but this is a ‘transpartisan’ stance – it transcends typical partisan lines.
Regardless of what the Supreme Court says about donation limits, we can at least push for legislation that requires complete transparency. So-called ‘dark money groups’ / 501(c)4 organizations and Super PACs that can hide their donor information should be illegal and forced to reveal all of their donors, as should any organization that spends a penny on political activity, which is why we will not take funding from these sorts of organizations, even though we legally can.
Dark money groups are a corrupt, non-transparent form of advocacy organization (the legal status is called ‘501(c)(4)’) that allows political operatives to accept unlimited amounts of money, without even the government knowing who those donors are – and yes, that means foreign donors can buy influence in American elections.
Groups like the NRA, Bernie Sanders’ left wing ‘Our Revolution’, the hard right Club for Growth and even some centrist to moderate orgs like No Labels and the Centrist Project / Unite America choose this form of organization so they can hide their donors from the American people – this should be illegal.
Dark money can also directly corrupt politicians through a practice called ‘bundling’ – where people pool smaller donations to candidate campaigns to – perfectly legally – buy influence with donations far larger than individuals can give. Both major parties are bought and paid for with money like this – it’s up to centrists, and transpartisan reformers across the spectrum, to unite and cut out these roots of corruption.
Most independent centrists, and many on the left and right who aren’t blindly partisan, agree that people who work in public service shouldn’t be able to turn around and make millions by using the contacts they’ve made during their time supposedly representing the American people (as elected officials or their staff) to make a killing corrupting the system later, lobbying for special interests.
Enacting a lifetime ban on working for any organization that spends a penny on political lobbying would significantly undercut one of the biggest sources of political corruption. If coupled with another reform most centrists, Democrats and Republicans also support (term limits), it would improve the entire political landscape.
By stopping career politicians from staying in safe seats indefinitely, and ending how the revolving door further corrupts staff and politicians, we’d significantly undercut two of the biggest root causes of corruption in Washington. These aren’t silver bullets, but together they’d make a very real dent in our nation’s corrupt two-party system.
A generation ago, a bipartisan effort between reasonable Democrats and Republicans passed responsible legislation to prepare for the demographic tidal wave we are only now seeing. This demographic wave stems from Baby Boomers retiring, leading to fewer people than ever paying into the system for each retiree drawing benefits from Social Security and Medicare.
The two major parties are going the grossly irresponsible polar opposite direction of what we need them to do – stealing from future generations instead of making small, forward-thinking sacrifices now to prevent much larger problems in the future.
There are no shortage of ideas on how to solve this problem – to get us over the hump of the Baby Boomers retiring, but the fact is it’s going to take not only a less partisan, moderate angle to make this work, but also people willing to ask for people to sacrifice for the future, up against corrupt Democrats and Republicans more than happy to lie and keep giving more than they tax – making the problem even worse.
Intelligent centrist immigration policy couples the compassionate thing to do with a focus on what’s best for the American economy. We should never punish children for the mistakes of their guardians, so as far as DACA is concerned, we shouldn’t abandon law-abiding youth who choose to stay and earn citizenship – we should encourage them to stay, mitigating demographic issues behind our social safety net problems.
Some ideas, like having a separate path to citizenship for those that create jobs in the American economy, are an economic win-win and should be open to as many people as want to come in. No matter how well the economy is doing, this sort of immigration is helpful, and should never be limited – more the economically merrier.
Others, like the amount of low-skilled immigrants allowed in per year, shouldn’t be something that is arbitrarily set (as it largely is now). Instead, the number should be pegged to the need of the economy at the time, so more are allowed during boom periods, and less during recessions.
Unlike blind partisan ideologues, who make exceptions for those who use rights in ways their belief systems disagree with (if they respect your rights to begin with), we respect the right to speech, bear arms, free association, assembly, voting and other individual rights, no matter who you are or whether you agree with us or not.
The principle of ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ is so core to our system of government that it is literally carved into stone over the Supreme Court building. Much like our anti-corruption stance, this principle should transcend left, right and centrist, but a growing number of hyper-partisan voters believes that certain rights should be selectively applied to favored or opposing political factions.
Other related ideas supported by most centrists include legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana sales, certain forms of alternative punishment for minor and nonviolent crimes shown to lower crime, education reform and fair tax reform without so many loopholes.