We’re no think tank, but as a centrist grassroots organization our job is to represent ideas shared by those of us in the American political center – what we call the ‘Centrist Big Tent’, so we will naturally be discussing, and arguing for, those positions.
We can’t rightfully call ourselves a grassroots organization, without opening the door to regular, grassroots member to come in and share their thoughts, as well as any staff or noteworthy figures we’ll also be inviting onto our website. Insiders don’t get to decide what centrist means – the American people, as a whole, do.
Toward the end of understanding where the American people stand on the issues, the first place we go to find out what the American people actually believe is delving into public polling data. This gives us the foundation, and we can fill in the details by engaging on social media, reading the thoughts of centrist bloggers and columnists, as well as centrist think tanks.
That’s where the stances you see below came from. We started by looking into the issue areas polling shows are the priorities of the American people (at large – not just centrists), we broke them down by what we think we might be able to have an impact on, if we build enough of a following and collectively act to further those aims, and then by which had been in the news more relatively recently.
This list will change over time, to reflect which issues are the priorities of the American people, the ‘Centrist Big Tent’, and which we believe we might have the most impact on, if we focus on them as an organization.
Once we’d chosen the issue areas we’d be focusing on here, we started looking for policy ideas that we could find evidence that centrists and moderates predominantly agreed on, and then set to turning those ideas into stances we could specifically endorse.
With cases where we can’t find reliable polling – policy ideas that haven’t gotten much national attention, so naturally they haven’t seen much polling attention – we look to the numerous, in-depth conversations we’ve had with thousands of Americans in the Centrist Big Tent over the last decade (someday we hope to do our own in-depth, educational polling).
The ultimate goal is to represent the views of those who are currently in the American political center – to be of, by and for us. We never expect members or followers to agree with us on everything, and – quite to the contrary – we hope for genuine, substantive, honest and otherwise healthy debate on the issues to be had here.
Decades from now, the views we hold may not be centrist any longer – and that’s perfectly fine. We do not artificially decide where to stand based on what happens to be the centrist viewpoint, but rather we look at our views, and merely recognize that those stances happen to place us in the center of the American political spectrum, in the era we live in today.
If we’re lucky enough to have our supporters keep us going long enough to see the spectrum shift to the degree that we aren’t centrists any longer, and our views don’t happen to evolve the same direction, then we’ll just be honest about it – as everyone should be. There is nothing inherently bad, or good, about being in any area of the political spectrum.
As we’ve seen from other major organizations that have lasted a long time, as well as the political parties, our organizational views will naturally shift over time, depending on a mix of how members and staff evolve, and what direction we’d like to see the organization go. Some areas we will not consider changing our stances on – like our anti-corruption stances, but time will tell how we evolve, as new information presents itself, ideas are tested in the real world, and opinions shift.
These section will be amended, and slowly evolve – as our constitution has over the generations, but the core will remain for the lifespan of this organization.
One last thing.
A certain element on the right and left (among other elements) often like to pretend that centrists are somehow different than people whose views happen to land them on the left, right, etc. As I mentioned above, the the reality is that we’re the same – we just believe what we believe, and those beliefs just happen to land us in the center area of the political spectrum, here in the United States.
That’s all these positional labels (left, centrist, right, etc) mean – they’re just segments of a spectrum. Depending on the country you live in, you could be on the right, center, or left while holding the exact same beliefs. Pretending political labels like this mean anything else is just run of the mill dishonest political marketing.
People don’t just up and choose to be centrists, or to be on the left, or right. Just like those on the left or right, you’re a centrist if your views align with those in the center – no matter what you choose to call yourself. If your views align with other areas, then that’s the label that applies to you – no matter what you call yourself.
There are a great number of people – especially on social media – who claim to be centrists or moderates, but when you look at what they express, you find that their views are anything but. Some are just mistaken, but some dishonestly do this to make their ideas seem more mainstream. We must be vigilant against this.