"The only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a subject is by hearing what can be said about it by persons of every variety of opinion and studying all modes in which it can be looked at by every character of mind. No wise man ever acquired his wisdom in any mode but this." -John Stuart Mill

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Radical Center

Thomas Friedman of the New York Times has an excellent column out this week in which he argues for a “Tea Party of the radical center,” a grassroots movement that would aim to wrest power from the “oligopoly of our two-party system.” As idealistic as such a vision might sound, anti-partisan rhetoric of this kind is increasingly moving from the realm of journalists’ fantasies to the real world of politics. The Times recently carried as well an op-ed by former Oregon secretary of state Phil Keisling arguing for reform of the primary election system. He explains that such changes as he proposes would empower moderates and independents and would keep politicians from having to “practice the dark arts of the ‘message zigzag,’ securing the base then feinting to the center.”

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