It is easy to knock down those pins when you set them up yourself.
Based on this article you were never a centrist. You were a leftist looking to make your philosophy palatable to the swing vote — the 15% or so that allegedly can decide any election.
But there is no center. Or maybe it is the third vertex of a triangle. By way of example:
Right: Government should declare only a man and a woman can legally marriage.
Left: Government should declare that two men or two women should also be a legal marriage.
Center/Other: Government should not have a need to maintain a legal definition of marriage as it is a covenant between two (or more) people and, optionally, a deity of their choosing.
The true third party isn’t the party of “calm down” or “let’s compromise.” It is the party of “you’re both wrong.”
And your anecdote about someone claiming that Congress just isn’t a civil as it used to be? Some person or people may say that, but history shows that political discourse in this country has never been civil, and having dinner together is not evidence to the contrary. There was a meme going around social media about Germans and English playing soccer during a break in trench warfare in WWI. That doesn’t mean they didn’t go back to killing each other the next day.