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State of California June 3, 2014 Election
Smart Voter

What is a Centrist

By Alan S Reynolds

Candidate for Lieutenant Governor

This information is provided by the candidate
Centrism is not just being between the Left and the Right, it tends to be more complicated than that. Centrism as I see it reflects common sense and working for the People.
The original article, much of which I believe in, was written by Charlie Wheelan of the Centrist Project and can be found here:

I have made some additions and edits, giving credit to Charlie.

"There is a lot of talk about the political middle these days: "independents," "moderates," "centrists." Most of those terms mean different things to different people. Centrists are typically defined as somewhere between Republicans and Democrats on the political spectrum. The problem with that approach is that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have a coherent world view; a compromise between two intellectually incoherent parties is just a mess.

Centrists ought to stop defining themselves using a political spectrum that no longer has any meaning. Instead, the political middle ought to start from scratch, building a set of guiding principles that: 1) make sense; 2) appeal to the large and growing segment of Americans [and Californians] who are disaffected with the two-party system; and 3) embody the tools necessary to deal with (our) most serious policy challenges.

In that spirit, [Charlie Wheelan] compiled a "centrist pledge." If you can answer "yes" to all of the following, then you belong in the political middle -- a political middle that really does stand for something.

GOOD GOVERNANCE: I will put the nation's [and state] long-term interests ahead of the electoral interests of a political party, or of any other narrow interest group.

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: I am committed to putting the nation [and state] on a sound fiscal path. I recognize that this will require a combination of revenue increases, spending cuts and reforms to our major entitlement programs.

ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY: I will act as a steward of the environment for future generations. I believe that climate change represents a potential threat to the United States and the international community. I will support international efforts to curtail carbon emissions, including policies that raise the cost of polluting behavior, such as a carbon tax. [I personally prioritize reducing pollution, as I do not want to be breathing, drinking or eating it or have my children do these things]

SOCIAL TOLERANCE: I believe that the federal government should not involve itself in private behavior that does not affect the broader public. I will work to heal America's division on social issues rather than exploiting them for political advantage.

COMMITMENT TO ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY: I believe that markets are the most powerful tool for promoting prosperity and innovation. The role of government is to create an environment in which the private sector can thrive; to provide a meaningful safety net; and to ensure that every American has an opportunity to achieve his or her economic potential.

PRAGMATISM: I realize that governing a nation of more than 300 million people [or a State the size of CA] is inherently difficult and contentious. I will set aside ideological purity if it enables me to achieve things that are broadly consistent with my views. I will let the most important lesson of the United States Constitutional Convention guide my behavior: In a vibrant democracy, compromise is an essential source of strength.

The Centrist Pledge sounds reasonable, even boilerplate. Yet there is a lot of powerful stuff buried in the common sense--things that would disqualify a candidate that is beholden to a party or special interest funding.

Yes, every American ought to have an opportunity to achieve his or her economic potential. This is the only long-term solution for income inequality. If a significant segment of the population begins to believe that the American dream is out of reach, then the fabric of our society will unravel."

I'm eager to take the pledge, because it represents a new, refreshing approach to politics. Are you?

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