The term “centrist” came up in a wonderful column by Georgie Anne Geyer recently, to describe those who are moderate and pragmatic rather than rabid partisans of either political extreme – left or right.
I think a good, practical, working definition of “centrist” is this: let’s say that policy-wise, we each have a “home team” and a “visitors” outlook; there’s a party or philosophy we usually agree with, and one we usually differ from. If you are willing to acknowledge that something is working, or is a good idea, even though the “visitors” suggested it … then you might be a “centrist”. If you are willing to acknowledge that something is not working, or is a stupid idea, even though the “home team” suggested it … then you might be a “centrist”.
Those who pretend that the “visitors” are never right, nor is the “home team” ever wrong … are the extremists at both ends of the political spectrum. One definition of “centrist” that is not helpful is to pretend that all policies are equal. No, they are not. Some policies work, others don’t. Some are destructive, others are productive.
The key attribute of being “centrist” is to think for ourselves and choose the best solutions instead of blindly following our “home team”. Sometimes our “home team” is being foolish or lazy, and sometimes the “visitors” have a better idea. We “centrists” need to sternly rebuke both “home teams” in modern American politics for their partisan extremism, and then insist that our employees open their minds, think clearly and deliver good solutions.
ERpundit – 10/24/18