Centrist FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions About Moderates, Centrists & Independent Politics

Below the image under this block of text, you’ll find some of the most-asked questions about centrist and moderate politics we’ve come across over the years, while the image answers the – by far – most asked question (what does centrist mean?). Submit any questions you think we should cover, suggestions for improvements and/or suggestions on how we might improve on any answers, through our contact page.

Banner showing the centrist definition according to four authoritative English dictionaries.

There is a bizarre myth, mostly often spread by elements of the left, that the predominant (or prevalent) view among centrists is that ‘both sides’ are equally to blame for the sad state of affairs our political landscape is currently in. Usually stated as if we are claiming a ‘false equivalence’, this is actually a rather rare perspective among those of us in the center.

The vast majority of centrists and moderates see one side as being worse than the other, and of the rare few that say they’re the same, asking them will reveal that most do believe one to be worse, even if they believe it to be close. On top of this, most of the time the false equivalence argument is made, it’s in response to a comment where an equivalent wasn’t made in the first place and someone merely pointed out that both major share some blame.

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Most centrists are independents, and most independents are in the center range of the American political spectrum, but one does not have to be either to be the other. Some centrists are members of one of the two major parties, or have joined one of the smaller parties, and a significant minority in other areas of the spectrum are either outside of the ideological tents of existing parties, or choose to stay independent for non-ideological reasons.

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No. Whether or not someone is a centrist depends on their views on the issues, and whether those views match up with what the center range of what the American political spectrum believes – between those on the left and right (not merely far left/right or left/right wing).

While most centrists are willing to compromise, and this is a mindset that should be encouraged (regardless of where you happen to land on the political spectrum) – a person isn’t any more or less of a centrist is they do or don’t compromise. Similarly, compromising doesn’t make someone any more or less of a conservative, liberal, libertarian, socialist, communist, anarchist, or any other political label – it just means you are a reasonable person, and not an inflexible zealot.

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In short – yes, we centrists are criticised by both the left and right, but that’s true for every segment of the political spectrum, and part of the nature of political discourse.

The unfortunate truth is, you can’t be involved in politics without having criticism leveled at you, as being involved requires advocating for your positions, and doing so in public (if you don’t do it in public, then you’re not accomplishing anything) means people who disagree with see it and respond with their views, and why they believe yours to be wrong.

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