Welcome to Centerville…. Be Prepared to Camp Out

In my previous post, I welcomed those Republicans  to Centerville 

Official seal of Centerville, Iowa

Borrowed from Centerville, Iowa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

who no longer seem conservative enough to suit the prevailing sentiments of their party.   Now it occurs to me I’m inviting them to basically an empty lot.   When I developed my list of topics in pages strung across the top, my Bridges page was where I planned to develop information on centrist efforts of various sorts, writers, web sites, organizations and the like.   Soon I will change that page name to Centerville.

If you go to Bridges now, you’ll see not much, just something about Americans Elect, defunct for the time being, and No Labels, an organization I haven’t gotten around to exploring.  Both are at least aimed at developing what has been called a new “vital center”.    There is much out there with a centrist bent, I’m guessing much more than I know about, while I added to the potential overcrowding by inviting  RINO’s to my imaginary community in my last post.

One of my goals is to eventually make Centerville a depository of  information on centrist efforts, but I’m a staff of one, so the going will be slow until some foundation comes to my aid (Hey! Miracles happen).  I do have some time, according to economic analyst Steve Rattner  (*1).   If we do nothing to change the course of our American Titanic, he projects we have until 2032 before  becoming totally like Greece, except for the language and the Acropolis.  Of course, by then it will be too late, so …..

In any case, soon I will replace the Chasms and Bridges pages listed above with  Poles Apart and Centerville , words that seem to better convey my goal of providing information on polarization in one page area and attempts to bridge it in the other.

All of this aims at nurturing dialogue and common action among some sort of centrist coalition which, at the moment seems like pie in the sky.   Since the alternative is more rearranging of deck chairs, I say:  “Let them eat pie,”  as fantastic as it might seem.  To promote a dialogue, there needs to be some common principles as indicated in my last post which merit repetition.

  • A community of people who realize the nature of politics, short of dictatorships and the like,  is a matter of compromise.
  • Who honor honest expression of opinions and the legitimate use of facts as opposed to deliberate spin for political effect.  (to this I would now add the sub-title of Andrew Sullivan’s blog: ” Biased and Balanced.”  We cannot help but be biased, but can admit it and try to balance it.)
  • And who believe  that presidential candidates (in particular) must have a discernible degree of intellectual development to begin to handle the vastly complicated issues with which they are constantly faced, a quality that David Brooks has called “prudence”  (*2).

Over the next few days, while I do some work on my soon to be Centerville pages you might find it interesting to check out blogs in my Blogroll to the left (if you haven’t before).  Sullivan and Brooks are two of the Republican moderates mentioned in my previous post and I have a link to Sullivan’s  blog, while I suggest you check out a recent column by Brooks in the NY Times titled:  What Republicans Think.

David Frum, is another Republican moderate also listed in my Blogroll, along with liberals Ezra Klein and Paul Krugman.   The last-named is arguably the most influential of economists partially because, in addition to being very bright, he is dogged enough to be everywhere at almost the same time – on panels, in print,  in Europe.   At some point I will have a post on him, because he constantly campaigns for more government spending right now, not less.

Again, welcome to Centerville!  You can pitch your tent anywhere.

—————————-

(*1)  If you want to know more about Rattner go to his web site.  Of particular note, he offers what seems to be a good thumb nail sketch of  the European economic crisis.

(*2)  Brooks wrote a piece in 2008 about the importance of “prudence” in a president which I would call intellect.   Curiously, he titled the piece:  “Why Experience Matters”, though actual job experience is not what he focuses upon.  I wonder whether he might have chosen the word “prudence” because “intellectual” carries connotations of pointy headed know-it-alls to many Americans.   .

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