05 Aug 2010

>> We have created a static page, that we update regularly for this, which you can find here: The Unitersphere List: Recommended Blogs of, by &/or for Independent Centrists and Political Moderates. I'm going to have very little time in the next few days to write any full length posts, as I'll be in a seminar Friday through Sunday, so I thought I'd share with you some of the best centrist / moderate & independent voices that I've come across in the last few years. Here are some of my favorites: The Pragmatic Center - [this centrist blog is no longer active] - Nick Goebel, who I've chatted with a bit, has his head on straight. His blog is a mix of common sense political talk on national and Michigan state politics. Third Party and Independent Daily - [this independent blog is no longer active] - This site doesn't just stick to centrist type stuff, as any third party groups are discussed, but there is a lot of great covera...

04 Aug 2010

Its unusual for a political faction to so nakedly push for a piece of legislation that has nearly no chance of passing, has a sizable chance of harming them in upcoming elections and has only a small amount of support among the voting public. The exception to this rule is when that piece of legislation is being pushed upon said political faction by a special interest group that has a particularly strong hold on their pocketbooks, and with both parties more and more playing to the base, and ignoring the will of the majority, this only seems to be getting worse. Enter "card check" legislation. It failed when the Democrats had a bigger majority, the consensus against it is stable, and its an issue that the GOP loves to use, because it sells well, while campaigning. In other words... its a perfect illustration of why the Democrats' chances are looking so bad in the upcoming midterms. Instead of listening to the will of the people, they've pushed their...

30 Jul 2010

Austin Bramwell, over at Frum Forum, makes a good point. While the Tea Party is certainly driving some energy into the Republican Party, it is also leading them towards long term disaster. He is referring to a must read post at the National Journal (sorry... link no longer works) that he finds some disagreement with. I disagree with Rauch’s conclusion that to win over conservative independents, the GOP will need to adopt broadly unpopular anti-government policies. On the contrary, I think the data, properly understood, support the political case for a mix of policies that addresses (or, more importantly, for better or worse, is perceived to address) wage stagnation and the unhappy economic plight of the middle and working classes. That is, those conservative independents aren’t looking for extreme libertarian policies but rather a party that they feel they can trust. Its more than just feelings. Some of these conservative independents are ex...

28 Jul 2010

Of course the media is only concerned with the two major parties, and which of the two independents lean towards, but the bigger story is that, through all of these ups and downs, with the never ending campaign, and even a run up to an election, polling shows that independents are holding steady at around 40% of the populace. Democrats have lost a few points off their lead, compared to the average of the last several months of this tracking poll, running at 30% now, while Republicans bring up the rear with 26%. As mentioned above, as much as the two major parties would like to deny the importance of this steady divergence away from their duopoly, the message is starting to get out more and more. An article over at Daily Finance (an AOL Money & Finance blog), for instance, connects the dots between voter dissatisfaction and unemployment. They don't, however, make the connection that this is just another example of independents caring more a...

27 Jul 2010

What comes to mind when you think of the things that Massachussetts Senator John Kerry has in common with, say, a forty something forklift operator in Omaha, Nebraska? I doubt one of them is their buying habits, and how that effects our economy... but that is precisely what a recent article in the Boston Herald brought to mind for me. Just a handful of years ago, I was working full time in a warehouse, driving a forklift and packing boxes for a manufacturing company here in Omaha. I heard some people complaining about jobs getting shipped overseas, as one of the company's factories had recently closed, losing a big contract to a manufacturer that produced more of their parts in China. Now, I had also heard these same people, otherwise decent, hard working, union workers, talking about shopping at Walmart several times, and brought to their attention that doing so seemed a pretty clear case of not putting your money where your mouth is. Just like ...

23 Jul 2010

Sebastian Junger, the author of a new book succinctly titled 'WAR', and the man behind the film 'Restrepo' (excellent documentary) that has garnered so much praise as it works the independent movie circuit, recently penned one of those articles that just... stops you in your tracks. I happen to agree with him, but even if I didn't, you can't deny the power of the what he writes. The main assertion of the article is that there are justifiable uses of force, if the result of that use of force leads to less civilian death and suffering. He says it better than I could ever begin to try: An implacably humanistic approach to war—to all misfortune—would be one that chooses the path of lowest civilian casualties and pursues it unwaveringly. Anything else places strategic or ideological interests above the welfare of human beings. When someone who has so much visceral experience with something not only speaks from a place of deep understanding of a situ...

21 Jul 2010

This is one of the best descriptions of what is wrong with much of what passes for journalism today... that I've read in a while. I don't want to sample it too much, you really should just go read it. We have too much over-processed junk food available round the clock, and we are fat. We have too much over-sensationalized news available around the clock, and we are miserable. More importantly a giant chunk of us are incredibly ignorant. Just as obese people are often malnourished, there are people who watch the “news” constantly and are horribly uninformed. It’s overconsumption of junk. What’s the result of an uninformed, frightened and hysterical populace? As the saying goes, we get the government we deserve: shortsighted, petty and trend-obsessed. Which in fairness…is great for ratings. Read on at The Moderate Voice......

08 Jul 2010

a lighthouse in front of the Sleeping Giant at Thunder Bay
I was just thinking to myself just now that this is a great week to start a blog that will be tracking the 'rise of the center' (I should name something after that... wait...) of American politics, with all that has been coming out about centrist independents and moderates, but as I wrote those words just now, it occurred to me that this isn't an abnormal week at all. Over the last few months, I've been digging around for high quality centrist and independent bloggers, columnists and organizations, signing up for their email lists, RSS feeds and any other communications they have. What I've found, but is really only now just starting to sink in, is that it isn't so much that there isn't a constant stream of positive news coming out of what I call the 'centrist groundswell', but its that its so spread out that most centrists and moderates don't notice. That's not merely because we don't have a remotely fair number of centrist voices in the media,...

08 Jul 2010

centrist standing alone
Why Start a New Independent Centrist Blog? I launched Rise of the Center to try and debunk myths, fight back against extremism - ideological and otherwise - call out corruption wherever I see it and track the evolution of the emerging rise of the center of the American electorate, from center-right / moderate conservatives, centrist independents and center-left / moderate liberals. There are other centrist independents in the blogosphere and on social media, but not nearly enough. A cursory view of the support among the general populace for the two party system over the last few decades shows a steady move away from the two parties, as they have become more corrupt, influenced by narrow special interests and have moved farther away from the majority of Americans who stand in the center of the political spectrum. But it wasn't until more recently that those who consider themselves unrepresented, or underrepresented, began to coalesce into a polit...