Monday, May 08, 2006

To Unite the Middle and Give Power to Their Voice

That was what we at the National Centrist Conference decided our mission is. Short and to the point. The effort, however, will likely be long and complicated. Nevertheless, it was wonderful to see people from all over the country show up in New York City to discuss centrism and how to pull our politics back towards the middle.

Annie Gottlieb (aka Amba) has a wrap up of the events as does Michael Reynolds of Mighty Middle. It was a true pleasure to meet both these amazing writers and all the other attendees. We laid some serious groundwork and came to some important decisions, all of which will be rolled out through the Centrist Coalition as we move forward.

Speaking of the Centrist Coalition, I have been elected the organization’s new executive director, effective July 4th. I won the position in a hard-fought battle against “no challenger.” In fact, the only person not to endorse me was, well, me. But I ended up agreeing to take the position—I only hope I can deliver because something needs to be done.

This nation absolutely must move back toward the center—and I’m not just talking about finding compromises. I’m talking about reviving a spirit of civility and open debate that avoids petty divisiveness and pandering while promoting competent solutions and consensus building. I’m talking about fighting against the dishonest spin and blind adherence to partisan ideology that dominate our politics and replacing them with a heightened level of integrity and a deeper commitment to independent thinking. I’m talking about creating an environment where leaders within the two parties no longer have to run to their wings for support but can instead find robust support in a newly revitalized center.

Those of us in the middle need to realize that our silent acquiescence has disenfranchised us. That we need to stand up. That we in fact have the power to stand up and make a difference because we have numbers on our side. We can demand more choices than the false divide of left or right. And it isn’t even necessary for us in the middle to all agree on specific policies or specific politicians. What matters is that we agree American politics has become too polarized, too shrill and too incompetently beholden to partisanship—and it must be changed.

There is still time to correct the course of this nation. But that time is not infinite. That’s why we all showed up in New York this past weekend. Hopefully, next time, a great deal more will join us.

6 Comments:

Blogger Joe Weedon said...

Good luck, Alan. Sorry I couldn't make it to NYC to share in the festivities.

I may have to recind the offer to do "anything you need" I made before the conference....

4:05 PM  
Blogger Dyre42 said...

Executive Director? That normally translates into "person who does all the work". Methinks you were "volunteered".

7:55 AM  
Blogger Andrew MacRae said...

Join the effort to Draft Mike Bloomberg for President at http://www.uniteformike.com

9:19 PM  
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