Political Centrists – Welcome Home
Even if all of the plans we have to try and build an organization and do our part to help spark a movement in the center, the one thing I know we can do here is build an online home for political centrist and moderate voters. Unless we get very lucky, it will take time, a great deal of effort by mostly volunteers, generosity of donors and a whole lot of work by bloggers, moderators and friends on social media… but we’ll get there.
For political centrist voters sick of partisan and/or ideological zealots sucking up all the air with their zeal against anyone outside of their tribe, this site is where you can share your thoughts, learn about issues, connect and engage with other groups and people in the center and other things we hope to accomplish given the resources in the future – all mostly without having to deal with those troll types (they’ll get in, but it’s easy to weed them out).
If you want to share your thoughts, join the community, engage and jump in the forums, leave a Facebook comment (no account creation here required for that) on any page or blog post or write a post yourself, for our centrist community blog. If you want to learn more about the issues, the ‘Centrist Index‘ section will have a directory of centrist, moderate and nonpartisan organizations and candidates community members might be interested in following and hopefully supporting through volunteering and donations.
In the FAQs section, you’ll find answers to questions that come up often about and among centrists, the Wiki area will have articles that are more in-depth or not well suited for the blog and special sections – like the Centrist Party area – will be built to inform readers and members of issues of particular interest, and/or things that could use their support that we believe would further the cause of our core mission – to see political centrists fairly represented in government, across the country at the local, state and national level.
Lastly, the community areas will be a place where you can network with other centrist and moderate voters, find groups to join in your area and – hopefully – help spark a centrist movement in your area.
It’s all up to you – to ‘Put the U back in U.S.A.’ (Our Motto)
The success or failure of what we do here depends even more on how much each and every one of you choose to do your part as it does on what we do on our end. We could make the most brilliant political website the world has ever seen, and if you don’t share it across your social networks, donate to help us grow, engage in comments and forums, join groups and attend meetings of local chapters, to help organize political centrists and try to spark a movement in the center – none of this will have any real impact.
Thanks for doing your part,
Founder / Editor
How My Political Centrist Story Led to ‘Our Story’ & Launching Uniters.org
My personal experience mirrors that of millions of other centrists and moderates around the country – I’m just more drawn to politics than most, so while we’ve all been repeatedly alienated by our current political system, I’ve come back again and again – each time better prepared, with new tools to apply to the effort.
Each of those cycles of political engagement, I spent an election cycle or two finding some way to be involved, only to be disappointed over and over. Usually it was in support of someone that was too moderate to win, or who won, but ended up reneging on the very campaign promises that got me to support them in the first place.
The last time was in early 2013, as I was processing all that I’d seen and done over the previous few years.
After seeing President Obama flipflop on several of the stances that had earned him my support, my last attempt at being a Democrat ended before the end of his first year in office. The Democratic Party had abandoned the ’50 State Strategy’ of courting and welcoming moderates into their party tent and veered left on a number of policy issues, which drove so many of us away that the Republicans took back the house in a huge wave election.
While I had been blogging many years before sharing thoughts online was even called blogging, it wasn’t until 2010 that I launched a political centrist blog of my own. I’d written for a number of other sites, but I saw a gap in the blogosphere (same as I see a gap in the current political landscape for a centrist / moderate grassroots political organization) for an outspoken centrist group blog.
The ‘Rise of the Center’ Blog Didn’t Have Enough Impact
Our old site (the precursor to this site – ‘Rise of the Center’) was just a blog, but wanting to pull in more traffic I began learning how to build an audience online. This, coupled with grassroots organizing experience I had learned over years of volunteering and working in politics and the nonprofit world, led to our site growing quickly. As it stands now (in late 2017), most of our online following across Twitter, Facebook, E-mail and a few other niches is a holdover from that old site, even though it shut down in 2013.
Even though I never felt right inside either party’s tent, that didn’t stop me from trying. I’d volunteered, interned, launched and/or ran with a number of campaigns and organizations, including Democrats, Republicans, independent and nonpartisan organizations. Being so drawn to politics, I usually ended up in some leadership position, and was able to learn from some very talented political professionals from both parties (some of the best worked in Iowa, which I was just a few miles from in Omaha, and would drive over for trainings and to volunteer).
I thought of these things while I took a needed break from politics between 2013 and 2017. While I focused on my career (building websites and other online marketing things, mostly for small businesses), I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea I’d had to evolve our blog into a full-fledged grassroots organization.
I actually had begun moving in that direction near the end of the 2012 elections, but the experience of reporting from the Democratic and Republican national conventions that year had been so overwhelming that I caught a severe case of the political equivalent of writers block and just had to quit for a while. While I wish I could have found a way to keep at it (our social following would be more than twice as big as it is now if I had), I’m happy I took that time to put more time into thinking through how to best build a centrist grassroots political organization.
These last few years have also given me the chance to study organizational management, fundraising, grassroots / political organizing and promotions, so while we’re still going to bootstrap this, so we aren’t beholden to any individual, or small group, of large donors, our plan for building this organization is much more well thought out than it was four years ago.
In the meantime, the political situation our nation is in has also gotten much more amenable to what we’re aiming to do here. I was still digging myself out of the aforementioned political writers block when the fiasco that was the 2016 election spun up into high gear. Something about that, and especially seeing Trump win, relit the fire in my belly to do my part to make things better.
I started working on bringing together all I’d learned into a cohesive plan, incorporating that into updated versions of old plans (which, thankfully, I’d kept – along with this website’s domain name, thankfully) and began work building the website, reactivating old social media accounts, rekindling old connections and networking with noteworthy political centrist voices and groups again.
We Need an Online *AND* Offline Home for Political Centrists
The most heartening thing about coming back is the response has been far more positive than what it was just four years ago (the response four years ago was much better than it was four years prior to that, as well). As the two major parties have devolved further, corruption has gotten worse and the divisiveness these issues have caused tears more deeply into our social fabric, more and more people are willing to stop supporting the system that is feeding into these issues and are looking toward the political center for alternatives.
With less time to spend on this than I had before, and without our website even being close to fully operational or producing much content, our engagement levels across social media have been growing in leaps and bounds, as has our follower numbers growth. This will progressively speed up once these three things happen:
- Our site and nonprofit launch, and I no longer have to dividing time toward setting them up.
- We start our monthly fundraising, so we have a budget bigger than my personal spending cash.
- Volunteer centrist leaders step forward and do their part, online and in their local areas.
- We can start paying staff to work more than the time here and there that people can volunteer.
We Each Have to #DoOURpart to Spark a Centrist Movement
Dial back the activism and just look at my experience of trying to find a place that is welcome to me and my views and my story isn’t unusual at all. I’ve heard similar stories from hundreds of people over the last decade, most days run across several on social media and through news alert emails I get and have seen thousands from centrists and moderates on social media that have gone through the same process of being disillusioned by the parties and/or looking for other options that actually represent them and their views.
One inconvenient truth that many politically independent centrists either don’t understand, or don’t want to believe, is that the process of fighting back against the political behemoths on the left and right will most likely take 20 years or more. The only two ways we could significantly shorten that are if we win the proverbial lottery and get a centrist Ross Perot 2.0 type figure that spends hundreds of millions of their own money to start a new national centrist party to support their presidential campaign, or if a centrist movement is sparked.