Theodore Roosevelt quote, “I am a man who believes with all fervor and intensity in moderate progress. Too often men who believe in moderation believe in it only moderately and tepidly and leave fervor to the extremists of the two sides — the extremists of reaction and the extremists of progress.”
This is what we need now – fervent, but principled moderate and steady work from centrists and moderates to improve our country.

In the previous two pages in this section of our site, I covered our mission statement and the two core actions behind what we’ll be doing with our new centrist grassroots organization. Here, we’ll look at the three root causes of political dysfunction that we’ll be focusing on trying to reform.

No organization can hope to be successful while trying to be everything to everyone. For us to succeed in our mission to see centrists and moderates fairly represented in government again, we have to have a focus.

For us, this focus is in three main areas – each which builds on the others:

1. Connect and Organize the Centrist & Moderate Grassroots
 
2. Fight Zealous & Partisan Forces of Division & Corruption
 
3. Build Bridges with Reasonable People Across the Spectrum

 

1 :: Connect, Organize & Mobilize Centrists

For our efforts to make a difference, we need to build a large enough base of support so our help will measurably boost centrist and moderate organizations, campaigns and causes successes.

While we badly need more of them, there are already centrist parties, organizations and campaigns out there, that need more supporters. At this juncture, the biggest gap between what we have and what we need wouldn’t be served the most effectively if we started another organization or party, or if I ran for office. The bigger gap is how disconnected most of them are from regular centrists and moderates at the grassroots level.

We’ll discuss how we’re doing this in later pages, but to do our part to help solve this issue, our first step is to build a large network of centrists and moderates online, and begin connecting them with not only our website and resources, but also with the best, donor transparent centrist, moderate and transpartisan reform organizations, and the best candidate campaigns in the ‘Centrist Big Tent’.

Next, we start organizing – both online and offline. Online, we’ll organize volunteer ‘Teams’ – each of which will focus on a certain sort of activities (like blogging, or social media) that will help expand the exposure that centrist, moderate and transpartisan organizations get, so we can drive traffic, and ultimately support, their way.

Offline, we’ll start launching local chapters, pulled in from people across the country we first connect with online. Those local chapters will be tasked with doing the same thing as our online teams, except instead of blogging or spreading the good centrist word on social media, they’d be leaving flyers in doors and meeting places around town, setting up booths at events and holding meetings.

Put together, both online and offline teams are focused on both growing, and using what volunteer base we’re able to gather to help causes aligned with Uniters principles – locally or anywhere online.

 

2 :: Fight Corrupt, Partisan & Ideological Dividers

To have the needed impact and make a difference, we’re going to also have to fight the corrupt, hateful ideologues and divisively partisan people and groups – but we can fight honestly and honorably.

The sad truth is that there is no way we can do this without fighting, but we don’t have to play by the same dishonest, low road rules that dominate cable news and so much of online discourse. We can, and will, criticize those who deserve criticism, but do so without making things needlessly personal, while focusing mostly on policy ideas, what people actually say and do, offer alternatives and never stoop to being dishonest.

Corruption needs to be fought at every level, and everywhere across the entire political spectrum. No group of people is immune to it, both major parties are led by corrupt leadership, special interest money from all sides has far too much power and there are already corrupt people and groups starting to gain influence among centrists and moderates.

An important distinction has to be made between those with whom we merely disagree – who we’ll debate, and do our best to convince people to support our ideas over theirs – and those who take their partisanship and/or ideological belief to more of an extreme or unethical place. With those who stoop to the latter, we’ll fight them tooth and nail, while trying to avoid getting stuck in the low road muck.

Overall, it is a fantasy to think that a group trying to unite the country can make a widespread, lasting difference in politics without fighting those who are working to divide and conquer it. But we do not have to take the low road, nor stick to the narrow portion of political discourse on the high road. The vast majority of politics is done on the ground, in the dirt and grassroots – in the real world.

 

3 :: Transpartisan Bridge Building – Left, Right & Centrist

With a stable and growing base, while working to undercut elements tearing at our social fabric, centrists must build bridges with those across the spectrum willing to find common ground.

While we’re continuously expanding our network, and working to push back against the forces of corruption, hyper-partisanship and ideological zealotry tearing at our nation’s social fabric, we need to also start mending the damage done. This can’t be done merely by working with those under our own ‘Centrist Big Tent’, but has to include those across the spectrum willing to work in good faith.

While it may seem the opposite, the truth is there is a great deal we have in common with many on the left and right. The idea that the nation is deeply divided is a myth – it’s the two major parties, their special interests and base of hard core, partisan zealots and ideologues that are deeply divided.

While the Democratic Party is deeply corrupt, there are many on the left that aren’t. Many of them do support that corruption by voting for corrupt politicians they see as lesser evils, or are blinded by tribalism so as to not see that corruption is rampant on their side as well as others, but regardless of that disagreement, many of them can be counted on to vote for transpartisan election reform ballot initiatives.

Similarly, while the Republican Party has long since abandoned its commitment to fiscal responsibility, there are many on the right who still care about the prosperity of our children. Many of them do continue to vote for fiscally irresponsible Republicans they see as lesser evils, or believe the lies told to them about how tax cuts magically pay for themselves, but many might peel off and vote for a centrist independent candidate who genuinely stood for fiscal responsibility.

The fact of the matter is, no single segment of the political spectrum even amounts to even half of the population, and if we’re going to start mending the social fabric that the corrupt two party system has been tearing apart for decades, we’re going to have to find ways of finding common ground, and working with, those who we disagree with sometimes.

Our country doesn’t need a corrupt, centrist version of the two major parties – it needs people who will stand against corruption, even when the corrupt are centrists, and it needs bridge builders.

 


 

Please ask questions below, through our contact page, or with me personally – if you’re a member of this website – by clicking on my name below.

I hope you found what you’re looking for here, and that you’ll join, so we can #DoOURpart – together… because that’s how it starts.

Thank you for your consideration,

Solomon Kleinsmith
Lead Catalyst & Editor
Uniters.org

 

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