We here at FWM have been called the “mushy middle”.
We acknowledge that the word “Centrism” has come to mean “mushy middle” and “compromising one’s values for progress” in the past few decades, and with good reason. Centrists have failed to codify an ideology and are plagued with infighting and continually fail to define themselves, their policies, and their movement. We here at Free Wheel Media don’t wish to be “Centrists”; we wish to forge a new, nonpartisan movement.
When we here at Free Wheel Media discuss nonpartisan efforts or policy, we’re not advocating for a mushy middle who compromises simply for progress. Instead, we’re championing the idea that politicians should continue to fight for principles they and their constituents believe in, yet take a pragmatic approach to governance. We want politicians who stand up for their beliefs but don’t irrationally vote solely based on them.
Critics claim nonpartisans are “mushy” due to an alleged lack of conviction for principles. These critics greatly misunderstand how principles affect policy making. We believe nonpartisans can fight for rational solutions to problems without betraying fundamental beliefs. For example, take the fundamental belief “humans are inherently good”. With this principle in mind the United States established a justice system in which the burden of proof rests upon the prosecution (one is innocent until proven guilty). However, we-the-people don’t let this principle run about unbridled. Although we believe “humans are inherently good” we recognize they’re capable of evil acts, thus we hire police officers to uphold the law and protect our citizens. We’ve developed a pragmatic approach that both aligns with our belief and fits the reality of the situation.
We know that’s a vague and quite philosophical example, so we’ll give a more specific one. A post of ours shows a hypothetical nonpartisan approach to gun legislation which can be found here. The Left and Right, in keeping with their party’s agenda and fundamental beliefs, will act immediately based on emotion. The Left will instantly attack firearms and push for government regulation, the Right will instantly defend firearms and fight for an individual’s right to own them. However, both sides haven’t truly evaluated the situation; they simply vomited party doctrine. We argue if politicians were to step back and analyze, they’d see there’s a lot of effective solutions that don’t address ownership of a gun nor the government’s role in controlling them — something party loyalists fail to see because they’re blinded by partisanship.
In conclusion, we don’t believe the new wave of discontent with partisanship is the same as it was for the past few decades. Although Wikipedia can get one’s wrist slapped in academia, we believe its definition of a Moderate is quite fitting, “a moderate is an individual who is not extreme, partisan, nor radical.” To us, nonpartisans are just that, moderates (from both sides) who are not extreme, partisan, nor radical, and who use pragmatism, not emotion, to make decisions.
There’re many politicians and voters on both sides of the aisle who feel awkward in their party colors, we simply need them to realize they can create one hell of a combined force.