“The decision making process of our elected officials has become so overwhelmingly influenced by special interests that it seems irrational.”
What is The Pragmatic Center?
The Pragmatic Center is a blog and online community for political analysis and activism from a different perspective, the pragmatic perspective.
The Pragmatic Center works to reveal the political games destroying our democracy, explain how partisanship is America's biggest threat to its short term success and long term survival, promote politics of problem-solving rather than petty point-scoring, and offer a different vision for America in the 21st century.
"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.” - John Adams
We believe that the two political parties are dominated by hard core partisans who only offer outdated ideologies that are rigidly enforced by special interest groups. These powerful groups do not allow serious challenges to the status quo. The short term interests of the parties and their supporting special interests are prioritized over the long term interests of the American people and the nation. But to solve the immense problems facing our families, communities, and country we need serious and realistic solutions, not petty political games. The partisan games are polarizing America and paralyzing our political system.
“The lack of cooperation and irresponsibility among elected officials today, as they have put partisan agendas before the people’s agenda, is stunning and outrageous.” – Howard Schultz
Moderates / Centrists are the only political players who have enough independence from the parties’ leadership, political base, and special interest groups to offer innovative solutions. Moderates / Centrists can achieve reforms and results, because the center is where problems are solved.
“The work of the nation isn’t getting done because we’ve got the extreme elements on both sides that are barking at each other, and the entire middle has been hollowed out.” – Jon Huntsman
Moderates / Centrists are Reformers and Problem Solvers.
How will The Pragmatic Center help?
“There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.” - Lyndon Baines Johnson
Uniting and Igniting the centrist cause. We can’t unite unless we know what to unite around. To that end The Pragmatic Center is positioning itself as an intellectual hub of the moderate movement. The Pragmatic Center’s most important objective is to answer the question, what does it mean to be a moderate? Currently, there is no consensus even on what term to use, moderate or centrist let alone what principles and policies we agree on. Specifically, we would like to help determine the moderate philosophy, the moderate perspective on the role of government, the brand moderate politicians should use to market themselves, the narrative of how pragmatism fits into American history, and the reform agenda that moderates should promote.
“National reinvention is not a threat to the American tradition. It is the American tradition.” - Ted Halstead and Michael Lind
Why do we need to do this? All great political movements began by developing an intellectual framework of what ideals to promote and what policies to support. For example, the Conservative Movement began with a philosophical debate about the role of government and its beliefs in certain principles such as limited government and American exceptionalism. Because of articles and research by people like Buckley and Kirk in the pages of the National Review magazine, the Conservative Movement was ignited. Their conservative ideals gained national support and helped unite a conservative coalition that has dominated American politics for over thirty years. The Pragmatic Center hopes to help moderates achieve the same kind of success.
The Centrist Philosophy
“Practical without a philosophy can look political.” – Al From
The Pragmatic Center is promoting Pragmatism as the political philosophy for moderates. Pragmatism is one of the few philosophies that were created in the United States. Until recently it had no relation to political theory or American politics in any way. But because of the need for government to create common sense reforms and innovative solutions for the 21st century, pragmatism is the perfect philosophy to promote. America’s two dominant ideologies, Progressivism promoted by Democrats and Conservatism demanded by Republicans, are outdated ideologies that have nothing to do with the 21st century world or economy. They were created during the 20th century in reaction to the Industrial Revolution and the overreach of progressivism.
“Covering this upcoming election is like covering a competition between two Soviet refrigerator companies, cold-war relics offering products that never change.” - David Brooks
In the 21st century we need a new, open-minded, businesslike approach to create solutions to improve America’s competitiveness by expanding, securing, and improving our middle class. And pragmatism is the perfect approach. Patricia Cohen at The New York Times writes, “It’s a uniquely American system of thought. Pragmatism maintains that people are constantly devising and updating ideas to navigate the world in which they live; it embraces open-minded experimentation and continuing debate.” According to Harvard Historian James T. Kloppenberg, "It is a philosophy for skeptics, not true believers.”
The true believers, hard core Democrats and Republicans, only offer outdated, strict ideologies from the 20th century that are rigidly enforced by special interests groups. America needs to break out of the status quo and create innovative solutions to adapt to the 21st century. Pragmatism can provide that.
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country." - Abraham Lincoln
What is a Centrist?
A centrist is a person in the middle of the political spectrum (Independent, moderate Democrat, or moderate Republican) who does not believe that either progressivism or conservatism represents them. Nor do they believe that either party, Democrats or Republicans fully represent their views. Centrists are defined by their desire for more options or a third way. Centrists demand reforms, results, and an end to blind loyalty to political parties and ideology.
“We want to have the politicians be public servants and not party servants.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
A majority of Americans are centrists / moderates, yet our political system is dominated by the extremes of both political parties and their special interests. The Pragmatic Center gives a voice to us, the Rational Majority who demand collaboration rather than confrontation, moderation rather than extremism, and solutions rather than rigid ideologies.
“There are always too many Democratic congressmen, too many Republican congressmen, and never enough U.S. congressmen.” – Author Unknown
How can you help make a difference?
You can help the centrist cause by connecting with other centrists / moderates like yourself. ThePragmaticCenter.com has a social networking component. It allows members to post comments, create profiles, collaborate with other centrists across the country, write their own blogs, post political quotes, write book reviews, recommend books, and network with others in their area.
Through collaboration between the moderator Nicholas R. Goebel, political leaders, and citizen contributors like you, The Pragmatic Center operates as a virtual think tank that helps to promote the centrist cause.
So CONNECT & COLLABORATE
“Elected officials need to find common ground and work together to solve difficult problems.” - Ronald Reagan
Find these quotes and hundreds of others like them in the book Write that Down: Lessons on American Government and Politics One Quote at a Time
The moderator Nicholas R. Goebel (Founder and Publisher) is a political entrepreneur who has a B.A.A. in Entrepreneurship from Central Michigan University and a Master of Arts in Political Science (American Government & Politics) from Wayne State University.
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