politics | May 09, 2013

We Need An Ideological Center In The Senate: Charles Wheelan On MSNBC

"The idea of the [The Centrist Manifesto] is to organize people in a passionate way," politics speaker Charles Wheelan tells MSNBC, "to create your own primaries, to run your own candidates around the best of the Democrats and the Republicans." Wheelan's new book is a blueprint for restructuring the Senate to create a political middle ground. He proposes that a new independent party be formed to combine the best of both major parties, and thus, become the ideological center of the nation. There are good ideas contained within the platforms of each side of the political spectrum, he notes, and a centrist party could help embrace the moderate ideologies of both parties.

The best way to envision an operative centrist party, Wheelan explains, is to listen to more of the population than just the loudest percentage of constituents. Take a sample of 100 people, remove the 20 loudest people in the group, and then listen to the concerns of the other 80 citizens. The loudest, most politically active people often hold the most extreme ideologies. However, there are many who are moderates and are forced to choose between two increasingly polarized parties. By actively seeking out those who identify with the center, Wheelan believes that a new party could tap into an otherwise overlooked voter base.

While many people are disheartened with the political trajectory the nation is taking—Wheelan doesn't think it's broken beyond repair. With a breadth of experience in the political realm as a journalist, speechwriter, and a one-time candidate, Wheelan understands the way the system currently operates, and argues that it's not enough to be "not a Democrat" or "not a Republican" anymore. In his media appearances and his talks, he proposes a new government structure. He explores what our leaders are doing wrong—and how we can create a new method that will help us to get things right.

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digital and social media | May 08, 2013