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About Rick Bayan

Rick Bayan, founder-editor of The New Moderate

Born and raised in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the future founder of The New Moderate graduated with honors from Rutgers College. There he majored in history and gained his lifelong fascination with the rise and fall of civilizations (including ours).  Bayan picked up a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, where he discovered the works of vintage American iconoclast H. L. Mencken.

During his career as an award-winning advertising copywriter and copy chief — first at Barron’s and later at Day-Timers — Bayan authored Words That Sell (1984, revised 2006), now a standard reference work in its field. By night he wrote The Cynic’s Dictionary (1994) and created The Cynic’s Sanctuary, a popular website for the world’s disgruntled idealists.

When he turned 50, Bayan quit his day job to write full time. He first launched The New Moderate in 2007 as a three-way discussion of dozens of public issues (featuring liberal, conservative and moderate opinions on each). In 2009, as the U.S. grew even more polarized, Bayan relaunched The New Moderate as the full-fledged blog you see today. He writes every word of The New Moderate except for the comments.

Bayan serves on the board of Americans United to Rebuild Democracy and lives in Philadelphia with his young son, who shares his dad’s enthusiasm for history, model-building and classic Popeye cartoons.

Rick Bayan is available for interviews, speaking engagements, book projects, articles and essays, creative consulting, copywriting (he writes a mean sales letter!) and web content. You can reach him directly at rickbayan at Verizon dot net.

30 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve Durgin permalink
    February 21, 2012 3:50 pm


    My name is Steve Durgin. I live in Portsmouth New Hampshire. I spoke with your colleague Stephen Erickson last night in Portsmouth. He told me about the rebuild democracy site you have put up. It is a very good site.

    I then followed the links to your site. I am very impressed with your writing abilty. The shear volume of content you have put on your site is extrodinary.

    Your commentary and recommended solutions I have read so far to the social and economic problems we face are excellent. Well thought through and superbly written.

    Thanks for your great work.

    Steve Durgin

  2. February 22, 2012 9:59 am

    Thanks for the appreciative comments, Steve. I try. Stephen Erickson is one of the good guys… I admire him for all the effort he puts into the cause.

  3. Michele permalink
    April 14, 2012 1:22 pm

    Hey there Rick,

    As a recovering liberal, I am so pleased to have stumbled across your page. I agree, it’s high time for the emergence of a moderate party devoid of the demagoguery that has turned the Democrats and Republicans into so much Saturday Night Live fodder. My question for you is who would lead such an effort? Other than a pair of talk show hosts that I follow, Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty, you are the only proud, sane and vocal moderate I’ve found!

    • May 16, 2012 11:56 am

      Hi Michele,

      Sorry I’m just getting around to you now. (Better late than never.) I appreciate the appreciative comments! I really don’t have what it takes to form a third party (I’m just your typical introverted writer and thinker… not someone with political instincts), but I’d like to think my writing is helping set the stage for a third party movement.

      There are other moderates out there more prominent than I am (John Avlon of CNN, for one), but I see myself as more of a radical moderate: someone who believes we need to rebuild our corrupted democracy and financial system so that they favor no class of people over any other class. That, to me, is the essence of a moderate “ideology.” (Of course, we’re not ideologues, so we don’t really have an ideology… just ideas.)

      If our ship is veering off to the right, we need to make a hard left — but only enough to pull us back to the center. Right now the situation is more complicated than ever, because our financial system is pulling us way off to the right, while on social and cultural issues we have an ongoing struggle between leftist intellectuals and right-wing fundamentalists. Only our vocal moderates really have the sense to see through the self-serving ideologies and pilot a course that moves straight ahead.

  4. Mike Kingsbury permalink
    April 13, 2013 7:56 pm

    Mike Kingsbury from Palm Springs. Didn’t expect to agree with most every point you made, but do. Since I can’t call myself a disaffected old-style Yankee Republican anymore (who remembers who they were?), a Moderate will do. Keep up the valiant fight (err, discussion)!

  5. Angela J. permalink
    October 29, 2013 2:07 pm


    Your blog is an oasis in a political desert that is devoid of common sense and is overrun with a masochistic enjoyment of disagreeing. I could not be happier to see your intelligent and delightful writings. They have made my year. Keep on keepin’ on.

    Admiringly yours,
    Angela J.

  6. Uncle Bill permalink
    November 13, 2013 6:38 pm

    I find most of the discussion of “right” and “left” in politics now fairly irrelevant. Most of it seems to be pre-packaged positions spoon fed to us by the elites to keep us from having any input on real issues.
    Let me give a few examples. We went to war in Iraq we were told because they were a threat to us, because they had weapons of mass destruction. They didn’t and the intelligence available to that effect at that time, to anyone who cared to look , was irrefutable. Further more they would have been no threat to us anyway. Israel, maybe, but that never came up, nor did oil except to be indignantly refuted as a preposterous rational.
    We were told then that we wanted to bring democracy to Iraq. The fact that more than 80% of Iraqis have wanted us out for years not withstanding.
    We don’t even have democracy here. More than two thirds of our own population wanted a public option in the healthcare plan. Well, that was not an option because it would have cost the insurance companies and by extension the politicians that they fund. Instead we have endless bickering about the ill conceived website and ignore the fact that improvements have indeed been made.
    We were recently rallied to go to was with Syria because they used chemical weapons on their own people. Much like Iraq had, supposedly. The Iraqis had also supposedly killed premies in the maternity ward. That story was BS but it worked when it needed to.
    After 100,000 Syrians die from bullets and bombs the indignation over 1,400 killed with chemical weapons seemed forced and , by the way, a bit puzzling to the Syrians.
    Oddly enough a coalition of right and left rejected the push for war. That it was a coalition, be it an unknowing coalition, should have been cause for celebration ( we have more in common than we may know) but it was all pushed aside and instead we now have the volume turned back up on the Iranian nuke scare which could culminate in the elimination of one or two military powers in the middle east which was probably the point of the Syria scare in the first place.

  7. Anonymus Anonymous permalink
    January 23, 2014 9:05 am

    I am not a cynic! I am merely a pragmatic determinist!

  8. Harold Entwistle permalink
    August 26, 2014 6:59 am

    Roses are Red,
    Violets are Blue,
    Thee World,
    It doth Stink,
    And so do Thee!
    “Divinus Antipaftus,” 1697

  9. Joseph permalink
    September 15, 2014 12:58 am

    Normally I cringe when reading political writings. This time I smiled and cried at the same time. Simply put, thank you for showing me America really does have some level headed individuals. Gives me faith in knowing I’m not alone in my political views.

    • Joseph permalink
      September 15, 2014 1:03 am

      Whoops! Meant to comment on your Affirmative Action writing, browser must have bugged out! Never the less, I’ve only just started reading your work, and I can safely say I’m sure my previous comment will apply to much more.

    • September 17, 2014 2:04 pm

      Thanks, Joseph. I’ve become more pessimistic about our political divide, but I haven’t given up. We still need to create a “culture of the center” that can fill the vacuum between lefties and right-wingers.

  10. April 6, 2015 2:18 am

    Read the Micheal Brown article. Loved it, unbias. Didn’t chastise Officer Wilson, nor any hallowing of Micheal Brown. This goes to my belief of reformation in the police system; training policemen/women to subdue the person without excessive force, or pushing it to the limit of murder. I believe murder should only happen when that person is detrimental to others around him. Like a man firing a gun in public. Policemen/women should only protect and serve, but that has lines it has to cross.

  11. Alan Nathanson permalink
    July 14, 2015 7:59 pm

    To Rick: my daughter introduced me to your unique website. My only criticism is that the arguments presented by the Left, the Right, and the New Moderate views should be written in a more succinct, less wordy style. I believe that some serious editing should be done prior to posting. Actually, I am volunteering to do just that for you and I expect no pay. I have a Masters degree in history and a Masters in Library Science. I worked as a research librarian at a very prestigious New England college (very Left) for many years. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this idea. Sincerely, Alan

    • July 15, 2015 10:34 am

      Alan: Glad you’ve discovered The New Moderate (and a tip of the hat to your daughter for pointing us out). I appreciate your offer to edit my posts, but The New Moderate is a one-person blog. It’s my baby (aside from my son), and I feel fiercely protective of my brainchild.

      I deliberately wrote those three-way “issues” debates the way I did so that they’d come across quirky, personal and spontaneous. I think that’s part of the fun of reading them, and I wouldn’t condense them for greater clarity.

      I’m not an adherent of Strunk and White, as you can probably tell. I admire E. B. White, but I’ve always found his insistence on minimalist prose to be a bit narrow-minded and even snobbish (in the same way that old-money people turn up their noses at the extravagances of the new-money crowd).

      My prose mentor was H. L. Mencken — a man who loved words, exulted in them, and relished their power to dazzle and amuse as well as inform and persuade. You could say he was a maximalist, and I belong in his camp. We celebrate jazz musicians who shower us with wild torrents of notes, so why can’t we make room for writers who work in the same vein?

      I hope you keep reading and commenting, though. I started The New Moderate almost as a hobby, but I’m beginning to think it’s among the last refuges of independent, dogma-free political commentary on the Internet (or anywhere else).

  12. Mike Raphone permalink
    November 26, 2015 6:58 pm

    Have you talked with Charles Wheelen you guys could join forces and really make thing happen.
    As an apolitical atheist who votes policy not politically i really would like to see the various mod/cent groups work together.

  13. Nikki Newton permalink
    November 13, 2016 10:47 am

    Is this site still active. Where is your stance after the recent election.

  14. November 23, 2016 3:53 pm

    It is more important mow than ever that there is somewhere that moderates can be heard. We are the forgotten in most media and commentator outlets. There has to be other moderates whose prose or views are no where to be found

  15. February 6, 2017 5:06 am

    Rick, I just stumbled across your stuff, glad to find another voice for moderation. Like you I wish to promote the moderate perspective and have been working on this since abput 2005. At the present, I am working to gamify an approach to introduce moderate perspective. Would highly value your feedback, insights and support; you could count on mine. If you have a few minutes, take a look at .

  16. Deb permalink
    March 26, 2017 3:09 pm

    As a moderate in this political environment, I’ve had to join and sway to the left more than I want to simply because there doesn’t seem to be a moderate voice. Thanks for this site!

  17. April 30, 2017 12:49 pm

    Please provide me with contact information. #TennesseeFirst

  18. SteveC permalink
    June 13, 2017 1:40 pm

    You are my new hero! Your blogs (the few dozen I have read today) are brilliant and dead-on. Thank you for providing hope for a die hard moderate that there are folks out there who feel the same way. I’d like to add an additional observation: I have called the alt-left and alt-right the left- and right-clickers, respectively. It’s all about generating outrage which generates ad revenue. I think the power brokers have learned from jury pool studies that if they can hit an emotional trigger logic goes out the window. So that’s all the have to do (e.g. abortion or gun control) and while the two sides are hysterically insulting each other, they can quietly rob us blind.

  19. Ivy permalink
    January 28, 2018 11:12 am

    I feel like I just came home. Thank you.

    • Jay permalink
      January 28, 2018 7:04 pm

      A more dysfunctional home you will not find. 😏

  20. Anonymous permalink
    April 14, 2018 11:31 am

    Greetings. The Center needs to shed the “moderate” label (been too philosophic) and be the Passionate Center. This Trump thing turns out to have been organized underground many years. The Center needs to do the same, and then bring it public. Start identifying and writing those that seem to have an ability, desire to be more Centrist,and some connections: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, Governor Kasich, John Boehner (yes, he was cowed into being obstructionist during the Obama years but actually seems to like old fashioned compromise deal-making), some of the Ross Perot clan, Hollywood stars that give off a more Centrist vibe, possibly Mark Cuban (though some things about him skew more Libertarian), etc.
    No, I don’t feel sorry for Trump. Yes, the media (such as CNN) has been excessive, but no, I don’t feel sorry. Jimmy Carter, apparently seeing he wasn’t going to be tapped for North Korea relations, has publicly dropped him again.

    Some of it is Trump’s own bullying, scamming and ripping off others, even pre-office. I took the time to read “The Art of the Deal” (more aptly “The Art of the Steal”). Though the ghostwriter says he cleaned up Trump’s image some, the portrait is still of a double-crosser who gets bent out of shape when double-crossed. Also someone who would make a bad business deal to have his name written in large letters. From the get-go, he put together an administration that had every appearance of being inept and corrupt; in these things, this administration has not “disappointed.”

    Very close to my heart is my strong belief that Supply Side Economics has been ruinous to what might have been in this country. I could tell from the outset, when Grover Norquist signed off on Trump’s tax proposal (though Trump wouldn’t take his pledge) what we were in for. I have no doubt that, in the long run, we will see more decline in overall national function & standing because of the debt, poor spending on student loans, poor infrastructure, etc.

    Even closer to my heart is the misuse of Christianity in all this. Polls show that Centrists tend to be less religious than either right or left. Well, I’m an active conservative Christian. And I skew very much Center. I think there are actually many like me who are not in the public arena. But too many public evangelicals are giving Trump a pass. It’s not like they say, “Well, he’s given us some things that support our beliefs, but we really don’t like….” I don’t like the way he gets to be the public face of Christianity, nearly the de facto pope of White American Evangelicals. (Small note: conservative mainstream Christianity has some differences from fundamentalism or evangelicalism. However, we’re “infected” by their ideas too much.)

    Of note: this wasn’t just “choosing the lesser of two evils.” It comes out now that Franklin Graham was plotting this with Trump since 2011. He bought into birthirism. Now, I’m not an all-out fan of Obama, but I think it’s horrifying to think you’re gong to put for the Truth through horrible lies. He’s someone else that needs to be contacted by Christians of conscience. Ditto with Mike Huckabee and his daughter Sarah Huckabee Sanders. And the RNC, for putting out language that somehow their the caretakers of the faith. Oh, no, they aren’t.


    Of note, since I brought up religion, Lutherans in the know know that Garrison Keillor was not raised Lutheran. He was raised in the Bretheren, a pietistic movement that broke off from Lutheranism centuries ago in Europe. They tended to have a stricter outlook. And, outside the Midwest, Jell-O molds are not that big of a thing for Lutherans, though we do tend to host a lot of potlucks! 😉

    • April 14, 2018 11:32 am

      I accidentally hit the button too soon. I’m the anonymous comment above.

    • Jay permalink
      April 14, 2018 4:46 pm

      As a non religious dirty old blasphemer I say aside from that I’m in accord with your views…

  21. collin237 permalink
    September 20, 2018 5:01 am

    You seem to be in the habit of blaming women and minorities for the views attributed to them by the plutocracy, which consists mostly of white men. By doing so, you’re unwittingly parroting right-wing talking points.

    The contemporary far-left is a cult that has been nudged into existence over many years through infiltration by syncretic fascists from the far-right.

    You can’t just interpolate between the two sides, because they’re not really different sides. You have to step back and think “what would the blob do?”

  22. Rose permalink
    November 25, 2018 4:32 pm

    I came across your comment
    “I liked Obama in most respects, but by reflexively siding with the distorted BLM narrative, he really blew the chance to heal the wounds and prevent the current rift.” on August 13, 2018
    I looked through the articles on Obama and couldn’t find anymore on this subject.
    I’m now following you on Twitter. I’m not ready to get emails. Since the election I get 50 emails per day. I can’t read all of them. It’s hard to decide which to get rid of because I don’t want to miss anything. Before this I only voted for Presidents. I only paid attention for about 10 minutes to decide. I started caring about the environment in high school. I had one aunt who was a Democrat. My parents never voted and I dont know what party they would have been if they did. When I got married I registered as a Republican with my husband. I never knew the difference between Ds and Rs. All I knew is that Rs don’t speak the same language I do. NOT knowing anything about politics, when an R spoke, like W Bush, they weren’t saying anything. It was all generalized. Nothing about what they are going to do. Even though I was registered as a R I always voted for the D for President.
    I would like to learn more about the real truth, the middle. It’s hard to find and then BELIEVE that what your reading is the unadulterated truth.

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