WHAT DOES BEING A "CENTRIST" MEAN TO YOU, AND WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED?
The polarization of the parties is more than frustrating, it is dangerous, and it’s time to slow the pendulum, let it rest in the middle. There is nothing wrong with middle ground, in fact it may be the only way to build a reasoned path forward. To me, being a centrist is that middle ground. It is the desire to put the needs of the many before the wants of the few. It is the ability to think logically, scientifically, and empathetically about individual issues and collective mandates. It is a responsibility to focus on what we have in common rather than exploit our differences. This is where I want to be. I still have enough Pollyanna left in my DNA to believe The Centrist Project will inculcate a sense of duty and morality back into the US political system. (Insert fingers-crossed emoji.)
WHAT IS A POLICY ISSUE YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT AND WHY?
The policy issue I’m most passionate about is income inequality. My mom was able to eke out a living for herself and three kids working retail. That is no longer doable. The idea that unskilled labor today should not be afforded the same respect and income equality of the 70s is shameful. The fact that those at the top have accelerated their wealth at the expense of those at the bottom is repugnant. When politicians and talking heads decry all the social ills of today and wonder aloud the causes, they never seem to pinpoint the main culprit: disastrously low wages for too many Americans. So many living in poverty are actually employed. Most of the education issues—drop-out rates, low test scores, absenteeism—are directly related to low income. Who are most affected by addiction? The poor. The biggest population segment dealing with disease, chronic and otherwise, are the poor. And then there’s crime. (However, some of the most invasive and destructive crimes over the last few decades were committed by the white-collar ilk. Let's not forget that.)
HOW DO YOU THINK WE CAN UNITE OUR COUNTRY AND FIX POLITICS?
Uniting the country and fixing politics will be a long-haul endeavor. The Centrist Project is the vehicle so many have been dreaming to ride. It is going to take a few dedicated, inspirational, and compassionate patriots behind the wheel to get this thing moving. I’m just glad it’s finally on the road! (Did I stretch that metaphor a bit too far?)