America Needs a Centrist Party Now More Than Ever. Here’s How to Make It Happen.
W. W. Norton

The Centrist Party Platform

More vacations, less federal spending, serious healthcare reform, and beyond.

Many Millennials and politically savvy Americans are ready for a deviation from politics as usual, especially the two-party system.

The Centrist Party and other proposed parties were recently re-invigorated following the 2016 presidential election to remedy the ills of the Republican and Democratic parties. Although the spirit is great, the details are lacking.

There are several key policy areas where a solid chunk of the population will disagree, but a majority of informed political activists would find success in supporting the following policy stances. As history demonstrates on the issues, there is already a wide degree of variability in political views within the existing parties, so it’s reasonable that there will be disagreement on a centrist party platform as well.

Source: Samir Luther / Flickr.

Regardless of the challenges in generating consensus, we have to start somewhere, and a party that draws from the best of both existing parties has great potential. Below I document the key principles that I believe should be adopted by a modern Centrist Party.

Congress Needs More Vacations

The legislative branch should refurbish its mode of operation to create an ecosystem where effective policies are made to serve the interests of the general public. That involves several critical changes to the way Congress does business.

  • Limit the number of times a Congressman can vote each year. If a Senator or Representative only has a limited number of votes in which they can participate each year, we can hope that they’ll spend more time thinking about the holistic impacts of bills, and they’ll prioritize voting for or against the bills they consider most important.
  • Repeal Citizens United in order to reduce the influence of money and corporations on U.S. law.
  • Replace the national Electoral College with state-by-state rules that allow states to decide how its votes are cast.
  • Enact legislation that prevents excessive lobbyist influence.

Lawmakers and their staff members should go home to the states they are representing, so it wouldn’t hurt to require Congress to spend less time in session. Many times, politicians pass laws of which they hardly understand the repercussions. Congressmen spending more time with constituents should reduce special interest influences and cut down on the amount of harmful legislation passed by Congress.

Specific Policy Actions

  • Chemical Safety: substances are guilty until proven innocent (similar to Europe). This would reduce the tendency for companies to develop more hazardous chemicals, drugs, plastics, foods, beverages, and additives that have large societal burdens.
  • Trade: take a stronger stance against abusive countries to thwart counterfeit goods, commercial IP theft, and abusive trade policies. See articles covering outcome-linked tariffs and confidential patents.
  • Climate: use a cap-and-trade system to capture the full costs of greenhouse gas emissions. See climate article.
  • Immigration: transition to granting visas to business owners and enforce the laws already in place.
  • Mexico: work more closely with our southern neighbor to forge a positive trade relationship.
  • Social Issues: defer to states’ rights regarding gay marriage and abortion.
  • Healthcare: reduce the prevalence of insurance to revitalize the ability of the free market to bring down prices; reduce regulations; and offer universal health insurance that does not use negotiated pricing with healthcare providers. A detailed description is provided in a separate healthcare article.
  • Privatization: privatize certain federal resources to streamline the efficiency of the postal service and rail transportation while reducing budgetary drains. On the other hand, internet cables should be treated as a traditional public utility to break up internet provider monopolies. Eliminate Sallie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • Gun Control: defer to states’ rights regarding gun rights.
  • Welfare Benefits: substitute welfare and unemployment entitlements for a universal basic income that bears no extra cost to taxpayers.
  • Federal Budget: transfer the DEA’s responsibilities to local police departments and the FBI, consolidate health agencies and offices, consolidate other redundant offices, reduce the footprint of the military abroad while strengthening U.S. military capabilities. Offer government employees incentives to use individual retirement accounts while concurrently phasing out pensions.
  • Monetary Policy: revamp the methodology used by the BLS to calculate inflation and improve its transparency. Inflationary activities pursued by the Federal Reserve such as quantitative easing should be reviewed with additional scrutiny.
  • Antitrust enforcement: ramp up enforcement of antitrust laws, particularly among large banking institutions and clear monopolies. Require more stringent qualifications to authorize large mergers and acquisitions.
  • Commercial Regulations: reduce the overall regulatory burden to enable greater levels of free market competition and allow small businesses to flourish.
  • Foreign Policy: stop trying to be world cops.