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The Centrist Manifesto

The Centrist Manifesto [Kindle Edition]

Charles Wheelan

Kindle-Preis: EUR 6,13 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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A vision—and detailed road map to power—for a new party that will champion America’s rational center.

From debt ceiling standoffs to single-digit Congress approval ratings, America’s political system has never been more polarized—or paralyzed—than it is today. As best-selling author and public policy expert Charles Wheelan writes, now is the time for a pragmatic Centrist party that will identify and embrace the best Democratic and Republican ideals, moving us forward on the most urgent issues for our nation.

Wheelan—who not only lectures on public policy but practices it as well (he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2009)—brings even more than his usual wit and clarity of vision to The Centrist Manifesto. He outlines a realistic ground game that could net at least five Centrist senators from New England, the Midwest, and elsewhere. With the power to deny a red or blue Senate majority, committed Centrists could take the first step toward giving voice and power to America’s largest, and most rational, voting bloc: the center.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 215 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 139 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 0393346870
  • Verlag: W. W. Norton & Company; Auflage: 1 (12. April 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
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  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #597.990 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  21 Rezensionen
24 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting (but short) proposal... 23. April 2013
Von Robert L. Hood - Veröffentlicht auf
Let me be clear about my biases, right up front. I campaigned for the Libertarian Party in 1996-2004, and generally sympathized with their positions until about 2008. For all of my life, I have rejected the GOP's desire to run my private life, and I've been twitchy about the Democrats on fiscal issues. Since the economic meltdown of 2008, my allegiance has primarily been with the Democrats as the only remotely sane option.

That said, if the Centrists can get off the ground, I'm all in.

This version of centrism is what I wanted out of libertarianism, but tempered with a pragmatic realism that the Libertarian Party lacks. It's definitely NOT a "split the difference" centrism that shoots for a midpoint between the GOP and the Democrats. The major thesis is that most of America is in general agreement on most issues, and that if we ignore the extremists on ALL sides, we can come together and move forward. Sometimes that means embracing the GOP's position, sometimes it favors the Democrats, and once in a while it strikes a new path.

This is a short book, but it doesn't need to be particularly long. It sketches out what's good and bad about both major parties, weaves the good stuff into a coherent platform, and discards the ideological extremes as basically irrelevant fringes that only get in the way of finding solutions. While I don't agree with everything here, it makes enough sense that I want to give it a shot.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An audacious plan that just might work 25. Mai 2013
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I just finished Wheelan's excellent book, and find myself strangely optimistic about fixing politics in America. I've been telling everyone I know to read this book.

Wheelan proposes a new party, the Centrist Party, which takes the best ideas of Democrats (social progressiveness, concern for the disadvantaged) and the best ideas of Republicans (fiscal conservatism, awareness of the limits of government intervention) and combines them with a willingess to compromise on values where reasonable people can differ (abortion, guns). I think most moderate Democrats and most moderate Republicans will support most of the positions he takes.

Wheelan then goes on to outline a plan where four or five Centrist Party senators can win elections in swing states, become the swing voters in the Senate, and essentially run the country. Audacious. But it just might work. It would bring sanity and compromise back to American politics, which has become dysfunctionally partisan and unable to tackle important issues effectively these last fifteen years.

I can honestly say that this is the first political movement I have come across that I have been truly enthusiastic about. Count me in!
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A third party strategy that could work. 27. April 2014
Von Dividist - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
There is much to like in Wheelan's Centrist Manifesto. First and foremost, he does not fall into the usual trap befalling most third party fantasists - challenging the Republican/Democrat duopoly by running a candidate for President of the United States as a means to popularize and organize the party. While Wheelan does not specifically mention the historical futility of running a third party presidential campaign, he clearly understands that it is a path that leads to failure. His third party strategy neatly sidesteps this political land mine by simply not focusing on the Presidential race.

The core concept of The Centrist Manifesto and what Wheelan calls "The Big Idea" is to elect 5-6 independent Senators who will act as a swing vote to moderate and broker the legislative agenda for the federal government. It is, in fact, a big idea because it is a third party strategy that can work. Unlike the Presidency, Independents like Angus King can and do get elected to the Senate in the United States. The modest goal of electing a handful of Senators is reasonable. Yes, It's still an extraordinarily difficult task. It still entails soliciting massive funding and creating all of the infrastructure of a national political party. It still entails convincing a significant voting block to organize around Centrist Party principles and identify as Centrist Party members. It still entails recruiting serious candidates of national stature to run under the Centrist Party banner. It's still an extreme long shot. But it could work.

I am an advocate of voting to maintain a divided government in Washington D.C. in order to force moderation and bipartisanship. This is a complementary voting strategy with compatible objectives to the ones outlined in The Centrist Manifesto. In fact, although Wheelan never mentions it, maintaining a divided federal government is a necessary (if not sufficient) condition to implementing the Centrist Manifesto strategy. If either major party is elected into unified single party control of the executive and both legislative branches of Congress, particularly if they also have a filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate - as did the Democrats in 2009 - then a handful of Centrist Party Senators will be as irrelevant as Republicans were in 2009. Wheelan's Centrist Party senators need divided government to be effective brokers of centrist policy.

While we like the strategy overall, we do have a few more quibbles with Wheelan's approach. He deserves credit for a staking out a series of political positions on controversial issues and identifying them as common sense "centrist positions." However, we sincerely doubt that the 70% closet partisans that political scientists say make up the bulk of his target 40% "Independent" voter block will agree with his policy characterizations. In fact, we are not sure we agree with his characterizations. Particularly on anthropogenic global warming, campaign finance, and gun laws.

This is the crux of the problem and you can see it in the opinions expressed in some of the other Amazon reviews. There really are no "Centrist" policy positions. There are only compromise positions that emerge after hard fought negotiations that wind up somewhere between the partisan positions staked out by the right and left - satisfying neither. Any such compromised moderate centrist positions will undoubtedly make all partisans and "leaners" on the right and left equally unhappy. And there are a lot more partisans than there are "centrists". That's the reason it's a risky proposition for Wheelan to crown himself arbiter of the common sense Centrist policy. He doesn't get to decide. Still, without staking out policy positions, you cannot create a Party. It's the nature of the beast.

Net net... Wheelan has come up with a strategy that could potentially tame the partisan beast, but it won't be easy.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A seminal piece for United States politics 15. Mai 2013
Von Bruce Skarin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I've spent the last year exploring and perhaps floundering at the designs for what a viable third political party might look like ( My folly has likely been that I focused too much on the process of the party as opposed to the platform. Maybe that was out of fear of alienating potential supporters, but with The Centrist Manifesto, Charles Wheelan has brilliantly unwrapped what a truly viable third party platform might look like.

In this short but incredibly concise manifesto Charles uses deft feats of rationality to quickly unravel the partisan extremism that dominates our current two party system in order to reveal clear and pragmatic approaches to issues that have paralyzed our government for too long. From taxes to deficits, defense to welfare, gun rights to abortion, Charles eviscerates the fallacy of "impossible" problems to show how those of us caught in the middle can guide the United States back onto the path of prosperity.

It is a bold call to action, but as Charles notes; do you really want to tell future generations that you only complained about the state of our government or that you were part of the movement to fix it? I'm obviously an extremely biased review, but if you have the least bit of concern about the direction our current political system has taken us, you should take the minimal amount of time to learn more about this truly viable alternative approach to politics.

If this can break through the bubble, it will indeed be "an insurgency of the rational."
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Worthy of Reading 10. Juni 2013
Von R. Cullen - Veröffentlicht auf
As a progressive, I didn't agree with all of Wheelan's views or reasoning, Still, this book is definitely worth reading, for several reasons:

1) The author recognizes the difficulties facing the US and the need for change,
2) He offers pragmatic solutions,
3) He gives his views of each political party's strengths and weaknesses
4) The ideas presented were reasonable and worthy of consideration, with the possible exception of the last chapter, and
5) Because it's a short (123 pages), quick read that's direct and to the point.

The US might well escape our current gridlock if more people examined and discussed the ideas presented. Progress demands both head and heart.
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