Tuesday, March 08, 2005

What Is A Centrist?

Many people believe that a moderate or centrist is a flip-flopping, wishy-washy, ambivalent type that has a hard time making a decision about where they stand on the issues. While this may be true of a few, many have very strong convictions and opinions, in a wide range of issues.

There are fiscal conservatives that are social liberals and fiscal liberals that are social conservatives. There are those that lean a bit to the right and those that lean a bit to the left. There are those that do not trust either party, even to the point of wanting a third party and there are those that trust both, believing that both parties have their good points and bad points.

But many (like myself), take each and every issue, weigh it out completely, and give serious thought as to how they will form their opinion. Each case stands alone and I (like many others) will not be hemmed into a corner and drink either party's kool-aid. I will agree with both at some point in time, other times I will agree with neither.

But rest assured, the opinions I do form will be based on several factors:

1. How does the issue affect me, personally or professionally?

2. How do the solutions proposed, stack up with my personal value systems?

3. How will it affect those that disagree with me?

4. How much will it cost and is the cost worth it?

5. Why does the other side disagree?

6. Is there a compromise solution?

(These are but a few, there are many others)

Voting is also a deliberate process. When I vote for or otherwise support a candidate (for any office), I do so because I believe that candidate is what is best for that particular moment in time. I weigh what the needs of the city, county, state, or nation are at that given moment with what each candidate has to offer, and I make my decision accordingly. I have only voted one straight ticket in my life, only as a protest vote.

Whether you call us centrists, moderates, or whatever; it is our independent spirit that drives us to think our way through and form opinions based on what we consider sound reasoning, sound logic, and free thinking. We are independent voters. We swing elections.

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