The New Moderate Action Plan
How centrists can take over the world, or at least get noticed.
1. Create a lively forum for moderate opinion. Polls consistently tell us that more Americans consider themselves politically moderate than either liberal or conservative. Yet you’d never know it if you had to judge by the current state of the American media! Have you ever seen a political magazine for moderates? Where’s our version of National Review or The Nation? The New Moderate intends to remedy that unfortunate gap in the realm of ideas, and we’re just foolhardy enough to believe we can succeed.
2. Build an online community. The Web is the ideal medium for fostering awareness of moderate opinions and forging a cohesive base. Until now, most moderates have watched passively as the left and right battled it out. Some of us, frankly, are tired of getting caught in the crossfire. The fact is, thinking moderates have long been starved for the happy companionship of like-minded opinions. We moderates need to band together, support each other and strive to make our voices heard. We can do it together, and we can do it here.
3. Clarify our ideas. We don’t have to agree on every issue, and I’m sure we never will. But we moderates need to hammer out a coherent political philosophy that can compete successfully with the louder ideologies of the right and left. Yes, our ideas are more subtle; that’s what makes us moderates. But our greatest potential appeal is to common sense. Unlike the extremists, we don’t slant our ideas to favor a designated segment of the population. We’re not a movement of well-entrenched plutocrats or alienated minorities. We realize that anyone who governs America must govern all the people. Therefore, our goal is to be as fair as possible to as many people as possible. Build on that concept, and we could create a political movement with mass appeal.
4. Put our ideas before the public. Once we know what we stand for, we have to let everyone else know what we stand for. The New Moderate is a good place to start. But we also need to submit opinion pieces to other media outlets — even generate our own moderate-branded radio and TV talk shows. Instead of simply preaching to the choir, we’ll be winning converts.
5. Recruit talent from the moderate right and moderate left. So many first-rate writers, thinkers and politicians have been forced to align themselves with the extremists because that’s where the money is (both literally and figuratively). We need to recruit these talented people to our ranks: journalists, radio and TV pundits, strategists and political hopefuls alike. Once we create a vocal and viable center, we’ll inevitably attract the talent we need to gain momentum as a movement.
6. Launch a moderate political party. We’ve talked about it on and off. Now we need to do it. The Republicans and Democrats have repeatedly demonstrated that they’re incapable of representing the best interests of the greatest number of people. We know the system is broken when moderate politicians from both parties have to jump ship in order to win their own primaries. Can we fix it? Yes we can!
7. Take over the world! Well, not exactly. One of the marks of a good moderate is a willingness to hear from both sides of the political aisle and formulate the most reasonable approach to each issue. Nearly all the evil perpetrated by governments occurs when extremists commandeer the ship (think of the French Revolution, the Bolsheviks, Nazi Germany and Islamist Iran). Putting moderate parties in power would safeguard the world from the dangers of extremism. The only potential danger of moderate power is that we might become too dominant: the electorate would consistently support us over the ideologues from our rival parties. (I suppose that’s a danger we can live with.) We’d win support from the moderate right and moderate left, while the extremists would be reduced to fringe players appealing to fringe constituencies. As perhaps they should be.
Take heart, fellow moderates! As of this moment, we’re finished being a vast, silent no-man’s-land between the big guns of the right and left. The time has come to launch a quiet revolution for the cause of reason and moderation. Let it begin now. Let it begin here.