Zach R

Tell us about yourself: who you are, where you're from, etc.

I am currently a Cognitive Science major at the University of Georgia, but I am originally from Maryland. I have an interdisciplinary background which includes experience from areas such as sales and marketing, social science research, non-profit work, law enforcement, and music management.

I hope to use this interdisciplinary background to connect and bring people together from all different walks of life so that we all can build a better future together.

What does being a "Centrist" mean to you, and why did you get involved?

Being a "Centrist" to me is about balance or taking a measured approach. I find tackling problems like a scientist is the most productive methodology for progress, innovation, and criticism. Furthermore, businesses also understand the importance of data and data analysis to improve processes and outcomes.

Interestingly enough, my motivation for involvement comes less from a political inspiration and more from a philosophical one. I consider myself a philosophical Taoist, who greatly admires Taoist teachings. Some of the core themes of Taoism are the abandonment of rigid preconceived notions, humility, and the self-discovery of internal harmony. I also draw inspiration from James H. Moor's ethical framework, Just Consequentialism.

I find that the Centrist approach very much aligns with such inspirations. I think it is a great framework to introduce balanced and measured change within the political system with humility and the desire for mutually beneficial outcomes for as many people as possible.

What is a policy issue you are passionate about and why?

I am passionate about many issues, but I am currently focused on the issues surrounding abortion. I find the abortion debate to be a great example of how extreme or radical viewpoints can impede political progress.

Furthermore, I think it has the potential to be a topic that can be used to exemplify how we can bridge together polar ideologies or viewpoints in order to promote compromise and collaboration.

How do you think we can unite our country and fix our politics?

Teach skill sets such as empathy, the fundamentals of rational and skeptical thought, problem-solving skills, self-discipline, and personal responsibility.

The political system is just a system. Like the economic system, a business, an organization, a group, or a family.

You can create or model the perfect system, but due to imperfections in people, it won't end up being an actual perfect system. Therefore, I think in terms of solving problems in this country whether it be political, economic, etc. we need to take a look at ourselves and other people and see how we are individually and collectively the source of many problems.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I love quotes, even if they are cliché, because they have the ability to take complex ideas and present them in a simple, approachable, and learnable way. I also love original creative expression and the Pay-It-Forward mentality. Therefore, I hope to contribute original ideas as well. With that being said:

Open-Mindedness Is When One Has The Ability To Be Closed-Minded About Everything And Nothing.

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