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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Real Questions Asked by Real People Wondering About Our New Centrist Organization

Q: Is the ultimate goal a system where there are three major parties, left right and center?

A: One (of several) things that Uniters.org is aimed at helping bring about is a national centrist party, but how that happens is well outside of our control. Organizationally, we’ll focus on our goals, and adapt to changing circumstances outside of our control.

I do believe that a national centrist party will arise, but it will take several election cycles at least, and it’s a remote possibility that after the dust settles, we’ll see a three-party system, but most likely we’ll either see one or both parties fall apart, and a national centrist (or center-left, or center-right – depending on how things play out) be one of the two major parties that make it through the tumultuous period we have only just entered.


 

Q: “Are we to be a movement, or a movement that has its own party apparatus?”

A: Organizations can’t be a movement. Movements *happen* – organically, on their own, and are organic uprisings of people – not something that is controlled by a political organization.

Any organization that calls itself a movement is lying. It’s dishonest political messaging, bad marketing and actually a hindrance to a genuine movement coming into being.

On this front, we hope to:

  1. Help Spark a Centrist Movement Across the Country
  2. Be of service to that grassroots movement, when it happens

We’re a grassroots organization. A transparently funded, small-donor and volunteer driven, big tent centrist political organization. Organizations aren’t movements. Movements die the moment they are controlled (hence the failure of IndependentVoting.org to actually start the movement they’ve been falsely saying was a movement for 20+ years, and Americans Elect, and the Centrist Projects’ grassroots efforts, etc).

I do think that we can help make a movement more likely to be sparked, and I know that we can be of service to that movement, and in some ways have some level of positive influence *WITHIN* it, but *we are not the movement*, any more than anyone else who is part of it is. …but if we build a big enough audience, and that audience is a big part of that movement, then we can ride the wave, and be a part of how said movement perceives itself as it evolves – without making the mistake of trying to control it, or own it, or pretend that we are ‘it’.


 

Q:  If I contact you, do you add me to your email list?

A:  No. You will only be added to our email list if you specifically ask, or enter your information into one of our subscription forms. Just by contacting us, the only thing you will be added to is our contact list.

Follow Up: “Thank you for that. The big parties do. LOL”
Solomon: “My profession is online marketing. I really despise underhanded practices like that, so we won’t do them here.”


 

Q: Do you plan, and how would you see a Centrist Party uniting under a centrist agenda?

A: To be clear – we’re a centrist organization, not a centrist party, but we’d unite under a centrist agenda essentially in the same way every other party does; we’d have conventions where party members would decide on the overall party platform, and the national, state and local staff and candidates would be expected to fit under that tent to at least a majority degree.

That being said, I do think there is room for improvement. For instance, I think we could open them up more. I believe the Independent Party of Oregon has their convention partially online, and I think we could be far more inclusive by building a process through which verified, active party members across the country could vote on things at the convention.


 

Q: How would a centrist party gain support without funding from special interests? I’m an online political activist beyond tired of the same, mundane and deceptive practices of the major party system.

A: I can’t speak for anyone else, but corruption is my #1 issue, so when a national centrist party eventually coalesces from  – I will do everything I can to ensure that the party gets this right from day one. If such a party evolved the way many believe it should, then it will rely on individual donations only – no bundlers, no dark money and no Super PACs.

That would mean less money for the party, but that cost would be outweighed several times over by the dramatically lower corruption, and most political money comes from transparent individual donations already, so it wouldn’t be as much of a loss for centrists as you might think, percentage wise. Even existing centrist / moderate dark money groups – like Unite America (formerly Centrist Project) and No Labels – would merely be pressured into dropping their dark money status and becoming PACs or 527 groups (we are the latter – both PACs and 527s are legally required to reveal all donor information publicly).

Personally, I’d make it so any candidate that works with a dark money group or Super PACs would be ineligible for party support. We can’t control state election rules, so people who don’t follow those rules might still get our nominations, but we could withhold party money and organizational support – that would provide even more incentive for Unite America to come out of the dark.


 

Q: How will your organization help with the development of a centrist policy list of priorities, or party platform?

A: Our site will have a whole section for this stuff though – two, actually. One for centrist party stuff, and one for policy, as well as attached forums. We will have our own, more limited, list of issues specific to what we’ll focus on as an organization (that will be partially based on feedback from members, along with polling data and strategic decisions by staff), but members are free to debate any issues they’d like in the forums, in blog posts and policy discussions.


 

Q: I appreciate the idea of forums, especially where it would come to creating and developing policies and platforms – will you do that?

A: Yes – we’ll have a separate section for Forums, and all of the user groups will get their own sub-forums. Full members (donors at $20/mo and up) can even start new forum sections – subject to moderation, but we take a light editorial hand.


 

Q: How can I get involved?

Three main ways, right now:

  1. Follow us on whatever social networks you’re active on, and punch your info into the email subscription form, then do us a great favor and reach out to centrists you know and invite them as well. (later, when we have the funds and volunteers to manage them, we’ll also have state Facebook pages and local chapter groups you can join on Facebook, state-level Twitter accounts and Meetup groups).
  2. We’ll be launching our centrist organization’s nonprofit soon, so we can’t take donations yet, but f you’re interested in blogging, ours is a community blog, so write away and tell me when your first post is ready and I’ll get you set up with an author account (if you have a Medium account, we’re also setting up a publication there – so connect there and I’ll add you as a contributor).
  3. If you’re interested in volunteering, we are just now starting to set up ‘Teams’ of volunteers – each tasked with a specific area (graphic design, video, blogging social media, content curation, etc), based on the volunteer’s interests. Since we don’t take secret donations, or donations from non-transparent political orgs (only individuals or charities / foundations), we don’t expect to be swimming in money, so I’ve used my skills set to design a system where a small army of volunteers can partially replace what thousands in monthly online marketing budgets would buy.

So if you have an interest in helping in any particular way, tell me where your interests are and we’ll find something for you to do in that area, and please consider donating to one of the centrist organizations we recommend on this page.


 

Q: Isn’t it difficult to in the center on all positions? Truly the electorate is somewhere between right and left, however it depends on specific issues where they lie…

A: It’s difficult to be anything political today, given how rotten politics has gotten here, and nobody (that I’ve gotten to know well enough to know this about) is in the center on everything. People rarely just up and decide they’re going to go somewhere on the spectrum, then afterward find out what they get to believe now – it’s generally the other way around; people come to their beliefs, and that plots them somewhere on the political spectrum.

That’s also true for the left the vast majority of the time. I just came across a study the other day that said that most people are more moderate than they thought they were, once you start probing their actual views – especially in areas where they hadn’t yet learned what they’re ‘supposed to think’ on a subject.

That’s one thing we aim to do here, and why our focus is on the grassroots – we hope to make it so people looking for cogent centrist thought will find us, rather than so many of the hateful, awful people calling themselves centrists.


 

Q: I must apologize, because I didn’t read the website. Why not go to the horse’s mouth, if you will.

A: Nothing to apologize for! Answering questions people have is exactly what this is for 🙂

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