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I merged this w Radical centrist politics. Sam [Spade] 05:33, 10 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Hi Sam, I appreciate there's some overlap and similarity, but many groups who consider themselves 'radical middle' in philosophy (such as the Vineyard) have nothing to do with the political movement. I agree the terminology is confusing, but ultimately they are two different topics. I'm open to suggestions.Drernie 21:43, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)

IMHO, John McCain is not at all a good example of a radical centrist. He consistently scores under 20% from the ACLU and is very conservative on social issues, perhaps more so than Bush, whose endorsement from the religous right comes primarily through their unholy union with the neoconservative establishment, to which Bush and his allies are tied far more strongly than John McCain. I'm going to change it to Howard Dean: He and his followers are very activist and radical in their approach, but Dean himself is only slightly more left-wing than Clinton, although Dean is far better (for those biased against the cartel-style behaviour of the entertainment and its allies) on issues relating to cyber-liberties/intellectual property and comes from a state dominated by fairly radical (speaking from an American perspective) politicians like Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy (less so) and where elected Republicans tend to be of the old progressive guard that used to dominate the GOP in the North-East. [Anon]

I'm sorry, but while I appreciate your input, I don't buy your argument, at least not for the Radical Center in the American sense (as perhaps opposed the center-left view used in Europe). In the U.S., while Howard Dean the Vermont Governor may have had claim towards Radical Centrism, Howard Dean the presidential candidate clearly identified himself with Paul Wellstone's brand of liberalism by claiming to represent "the democratic wing of the democratic party." Even most Democrats viewed Dean as being "too liberal for mainstream america" rather than "centrist but too radical." John McCain is generally perceived as being an honest, moderate voice, and best represents the tone of the American Radical Center -- as exemplified by his endorsement of the book by that name. Being dissed by the ACLU is hardly qualifies someone to not be centrist, and besides the radical center is often understood as being socially conservative but fiscally progressive. Dean's claim to the term is acknowledged in the lower section, but he's not a useful example for the typical American audience. I"m reverting, if you still disagree, get an account so we can discuss this meaningfully.Drernie

I too agree that McCain is a radical centrist. Look at his record on campaign finance reform and pork barrel spending. In fact I would say it is what defines him. --Holdek 22:14, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Dean's "excessive liberalism" was really a matter of image more than substance. His positions were less liberal in the US sense than those of John Kerry or Richard Gephardt. I'd consider McCain to be a moderate conservative rather than a "radical centrist"; on social issues he is well to the right of "Schwarzenegger Republicans" let alone a Dean or a Wesley Clark. Radical centrism IMO has more to do with being fiscally conservative and socially progressive than the opposite - the definition given above sounds more like an old style Midwestern New Deal oriented liberal Democrat of the Humphrey/Mondale/Gephardt school, or a conventional centrist like a Lieberman or an Edwards. The heir to Wellstone and Jerry Brown is Dennis Kucinich, not Dean. The assertion of Dean as being "too liberal" has more to do with his polarizing personality and ability to inspire passion in his supporters.

Kucinich is no centrist. [[User:Sam Spade|Sam Spade Wants you to vote!]] 23:20, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Of course Kucinich is no centrist. The above paragraph seemed to be pointing out that Dean was not part of the Jerry Brown/Paul Wellstone/Kucinich left wing of the Democratic Party, and his image of being on the left was not based on his politics but upon his image and polarizing personality. Dean was portrayed as being "too liberal" but in reality he was much less liberal than Kerry or Gephardt. User:Prairie Dog 12:58, 12 Aug 2005 (UTC)

What qualifies as centrist?

I don't see how "Radical Centrism" can have such a name. They are not "centrists". Centrism is defined by a moderate view which forms consensus between the left and right political spectrum. Centrism does not make its own definitions, and is a constantly changing point of view which reflects the popular polarized politics at the time. It is my opinion that "Radical Centrism" is only named such as a PR move to help influence opinion by "defining the centre," which is what all political parties try to do. Centrists do not define the centre; they form a moderate view based on the current popular polarized politics. "Radical Centrism" to me is just a new political party, which has called itself "Radical Centrism" in order to attempt to show that it is in the centre, when in fact it is not at all. It's an Orwellian naming scheme. (from the discussion on New America Foundation) --Ben

Hi Ben, Thanks for continuing the discussion here. I would answer in several parts:
    • Whether its a good name or not, that's the name that is currently used by these groups, and the job of this article is to reflect current practice. And we need to make sure we focus discussion on the article.
    • Radical Centrism is not a new political party. It is not exactly a new term (its been around since the 1970s), and it is most assuredly not a political party. It is more properly a movement, historically contrasted with so-called 'sensible centrism.' Historically radical center was associated with the working class, and considered to skew socially conservative and fiscally progressive. vs the sensible center which was associated with the knowledge class and skewed socially porgressive and fiscally conservative.
    • True, moderate centrists don't accept radical centrists as being centrist. So? The moderate Left and Right don't accept their radical elements as legitimate either, but the terms stick because they are useful. Why should the moderates be the ones who get to define precisely what is 'centrist' and what is 'not'? Can you document a well-defined historical usage that excludes this possibility? If anything, the radicals seem to have done a better job of defining 'centrism', at least according to google.
    • The most important point, IMHO, is that radical centrists do see themselves as centrist -- but not moderate -- in that they are in fact trying to interpolate between Left & Right and develop policies that will generate broad-based support. They may or may not succeed, but I would argue the moderates haven't done much better, so we have to judge both by ideals rather than results.
At any rate, the article should clearly reflect the chasm between 'sensible' and 'radical' centrists, but I think you have an obligation to make sure it mirrors the general attitudes of self-identified centrists vs. the larger radical centrist community, not just your personal grips with the NAF. Drernie 01:00, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Radical moderates?

Ok, I agree that if this name is well established as you say, then the article should discuss it with the traditional name.

  • So, I think all we're arguing about is whether to expand the section about whether the term is appropriate, right? It sounds like you want to state that the term is 'generally' inappropriate, rather than just considered inappropriate by traditional centrists. Right?
    • Well, as you said, this is a traditional term, and if it is in use you can't really argue it. More, I would like to prove that the term's relationship to Centrism is completely fallacious.

However, you cite google as a demonstration of your opinion that radical centrists have done a better job of defining centrism. This is not a good demonstration, because if you ask google to define centrism, the definition it finds is: "a political philosophy of avoiding the extremes of left and right by taking a moderate position or course of action"

  • I appreciate the link to Princeton's definition of centrism. I am willing to concede that the terms 'moderate' and 'centrist' have often been used synonymously. At the same time, I think it is fair to say that the term centrist has also been used more broadly to indicate supporting or pursuing a course of action that is neither liberal nor conservative.
    • I think you are misinterpreting that particular definition. I interpret it as meaning that the adjective 'centrist' describes that which is not of two polar opposites, esp. in left-right politics. The other definitions there mention middle-of-the-road, moderate, moderationist. 'Radical centrism' is not moderationist, and it is not middle-of-the-road insofar that 'radical centrists' are basically building a new road.

"The moderate Left and Right don't accept their radical elements as legitimate either." This is your opinion, the subjective legitimacy is a non-issue. Just because I may be a liberal, for example, doesn't mean I don't know that there is a communist party or a socialist party. I may not agree with them, but it doesn't mean they aren't parties. I also know that in they are in the traditional left-right spectrum. This legitimacy you speak of is subjective, and I think it is rather besides the point.

  • I am basing this on my experience contributing to Right-wing politics - many on the Right refused to accept Fascism as on the Right, and similarly for Communism on the Left, even though that's how they are commonly understood (check the Talk archives). While the analogy may not be precise, my point is simply that a) these terms all evolve over time, and b) its not always clear whose definition to use.
    • Yes, the terms do evolve over time, but it is always clear whose definition to use: yours, as an informed objective observer.
      • Um, not sure what you mean by "objective observer." I think Wikipedia only recognizes a Neutral point of view, which is a little different than a claim of objectivity. You are familiar with NPOV and the rules of Wikipedia, right?

"The most important point" I think is the least important point. How radical centrists see themselves is not important, except to note in the article. Taking their subjective view as the definition is not the right way to write an article. Articles are supposed to be objective. Additionally, all political parties would like broad-based support, they aren't necessarily going to get it. Saying that radical centrists are trying to develop policies that will generate broad-based support is, in one sense, a non-issue, and in another, untrue considering their radical stance is, by definition, not broad-based. You can't say that centrists "have not done much better" at forming a moderate view, since "centrism" is by definition a moderate view.

  • I think you're missing my point, and confusing 'moderate' with 'broad-based.' Sure, 'sensible' centrism is by definition moderate, but that doesn't mean it is broad-based. And something can be radical yet popular. The epistemic point is that radical centrists measure their success by majoritarian support in public opinion polls on the relevant topics, rather than appealing to an intellectual or religious elite. That is, their stated goal is in fact to discover a larger consensus, rather than promote an externally-validated agenda. I agree with you that the article shouldn't state that they *are* doing this, but we can objectively state that they *seek* to do this (or at least claim to).
    • I am not confusing moderate with broad-based. These are quite simple terms, and I never said centrism was broad-based. In a polarized political climate, for example, centrism will likely not be broad-based. I think the appeal of a political philosophy is a non-issue. Depending on the policital climate, centrism may not be broad-based. Radicalism can be popular, or broad-based, or not, but only until it is no longer considered as radical (though it may keep the name). Radicalism is subjective to the culture and society. "That is, their stated goal is in fact to discover a larger consensus" Of course is it is. This is what ALL political parties would like to do, as I said. You cannot even objectively state that they *seek* to do this if they in fact do not seek to do this; this is what, as a writer, one must figure out themselves. You can only say they claim to seek to do this. Without being analytical, it is merely a regurgitation of manifesto. You must also consider, objectively, the political situation, and not reference your own political beliefs. If, for example, you think that their way is the best way to form a majority consensus does not mean that it actually will. You must consider the majority views. In the case of radical centrism the majority of political thinking, the liberal and conservative philosophies, might find consensus in middle-of-the-road idealized centrism. Currently, they would demonstrably not find consensus in 'radical centrism,' as the majority does not agree with their philosophy, possibly because they have not been exposed to it, or they do not understand it (one wonders why that would be the case :P).

Whoever you are talking about are not centrists. It think it is a dynamic political philosophy, and not a rigid political philosophy. Maybe that is what is the same: Radical Centrists also have dynamic political philosophies. But just because they may both be dynamic, doesn't mean they are related in any other way. Centrism is specifically moderate. "Radical Centrism" cannot be "radically moderate." It is an oxymoron, and because of this obvious fact, in my view, their subjects, names, and overall philosophies, whatever they may be, are totally unrelated.

  • Well, yes, Radical Centrism is a more-or-less oxymoronic neologism. But that's just the nature of how language evolves. Horseless carriage was an oxymoron when it was invented, as was wireless telephone. As is neo-conservative, and postmodern, and numerous other terms we use all the time. Oxymoronic doesn't mean non-sensical or illegitimate, just unconventional. When new ideas are created, old words are redefined as retronyms. I believe the emergence of the term radical centrists justifies retronyming traditional centrism.
    • Then what would traditional centrism be called? I should have clarified that I was speaking more as if it were a contradiction in terms. (It is also an oxymoron in a linguistic sense). To me this is a case of doublethink. Language does evolve, and seemingly contradictory terms can sometimes mesh. However, and this is a key point, with a horseless carriage, you take away the horse and you still have what we now call a carriage. With the wireless telephone, you take away the wire and you still have what we call a telephone. But with radical centrism as a political philosophy, you take away the moderation and middle-of-the-left-right-road, and you have nothing left except an adjective!

I ask you, when does a political party become a new political party, unrelated to others?

  • Um, I believe a movement becomes a political party when it becomes organized, has membership, and supports candidates for office. To date, Radical Centrism in the U.S. is completely grass roots, with very little connection between the various think tanks and individual activists. There isn't even anything you can join, except a couple of mailing lists and one student group in Ohio.
    • Ok, I meant political philosophy (I was actually going to change that before you replied :P).

"Radical Centrism" is not related to Centrism at all. It is a philosophy which I believe is independent of the left-right spectrum.

  • Actually, I think of radical centrists are 'triangulating' on Left-Right politics rather than simply interpolating. The article on radical middle thinking might be helpful in understand what that means.
    • Fine, I don't care where in the spectrum you want to put them as that is not my issue. Their place in any spectrum is a non-issue to me. It is clear we both agree that they are not in the Left-Right politics spectrum.

(My "personal gripes" with the NAF policies are not the issue, I have issues with the nomenclature and definition. Let's get it out of the way--I'll say that in my opinion you defend their subjective definition in a way that suggests you agree with their policies. Now that that is out of the way, let's have no more opinions on each other's motives.) ---Ben 1 Jun 2004

My apologies if that came across a personal criticism. I was trying to understand whether you were commenting on the general concept of radical centrism, or just the specific policies endorsed by the NAF. It is now clear you are concerned about the concept on general linguistic grounds, and I withdraw my comment. --Drernie 20:15, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

My Key Points

  • 'Radical centrism' is a misnomer
  • 'Radical centrism' is an oxymoron (unrelated to the political philosophy which has 'radical centrism as its name)
  • 'Radical centrism' is a political philosophy independent of left-right/collective-individual political philosophies.
  • Centrism is generally the idealized middle-of-the-road and moderate philosophy of left-right politics
  • Centrism is a moderate version of all the current political philosophies in a culture combined.
  • 'Radical Centrism' is a radical version of selected aspects of the current political philosophies as well as new political philosophies.
  • The political philosophy of 'radical centrism' is wholly unrelated to the political philosophy of centrism.
  • 'Radical centrism' is not related hierarchically with any other political philosophy, (including centrism.)

---Ben 01:43, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Best Example

Ok, forget all I said above in my replies (I stand by it, but I think this will most clearly illustrate my point):

Say you have a country that wants but has no healthcare nor education system. The people wish to choose what kind of these services they want.

They can choose between private healthcare, two-tiered (mixed public and private) healthcare, or public healthcare. They can also choose between private education, two-tiered education, or public education.

This is what I believe political parties would choose, where left is for 'collective' politics and right is for 'individual' politics.


  • Private Healthcare
  • Private Education


  • Two-tiered Healthcare
  • Two-tiered Education


  • Public Healthcare
  • Public Education

"Radical Centrist 1"

  • Public Healthcare?
  • Private Education?

"Radical Centrist 2"

  • Two-tiered Healthcare?
  • Private Education?

"Radical Centrist 3"

  • Public Healthcare?
  • Two-tiered Education?


Hopefully you can see why I think "radical centrism" is unrelated to centrism, and why I believe it is a misnomer, and additionally why I think "radical centrists" should more properly be labelled independents in terms of their political orientation. To me, it seems the 'philosophy' is merely "not everything in one place," (which isn't centred by any stretch of the imagination) and which it seems it has no real value as an actual political philosophy. Applying anything more to the label, you just begin to end up with many very different, and independent, political philosophies. --Ben 13:15, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I'm not getting your point at all. Did you make up this example, or are you citing actual radical centrist sources? In my experience, most radical centrists generally endorse some form a two-tiered healthcare analogous to what you say traditional centrists are proposing. It would help me greatly if you could cite sources, so I know exactly what you are reacting against.Drernie 15:09, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Yes I made up this example. Sometimes people do that to prove a point. It is supposed to be an analogous example and not representative of any country. The first example of "radical centrism" is independent. Examples 2 and 3 of "radical centrist" are more properly, respectively, moderate right and moderate left. I was using this to demonstrate my point. I don't know how else to say it.---Ben 23:46, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Back to the article

Hi Ben, I am greatly worried that we are in danger of violating the cardinal rule of Wikipedia, which is to discuss the *article* not the concept. I don't think the article ever claims that radical centrists are centrists, which seems to be your primary beef. If I understand you correctly, you are asking that:

  • we adopt a more neutral point of tone in terms of describing how rc-ers see themselves, rather than making statements about what they are or are not
  • we avoid equating radical centrism as being a brand of centrism

Those are both legitimate requests, and I will attempt to modify the article to be clearer about that. I would suggest that further discussion on this page should focus on particular phrases or passages that you find inappropriate. If you want to continue the larger discussion, I suggest you use my Talk page, or we take it to email. ---Drernie 15:12, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

You are right, we should discuss the article and not the concept. I propose that I write an "Alternative view" to be included on the main page, and we can leave the first part the same. I do not think the majority of the article is neutral or accurate and I believe my alternative view has merit. And while the article does not claim that "radical centrism" is the same as centrism, your article implies radical centrists are related to, or a brand of, centrism no less than 7 times! As for what I am asking of the article, it is major change. The neutral point of view about how rc-ers see themselves is a non-issue, as long as it is not biased against their view of their view (and seriously, that barely even makes sense). Avoidance is also different than stating what I think is true and important to note: that it is not a brand of centrism. Furthermore, I believe discussion on this subject should stay on this page, but I will no longer try to prove my point about how I see the concept, and why I think the article is inaccurate or not neutral, as apparently it is in vain. Instead, I will create a full "Alternative view" addition to the article, unless you have any better ideas.---Ben 23:46, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Hi Ben, given that seem to be at conceptual loggerheads, I can't think of anything better than an Alternative view. I've tried to be explicit about the differences between radical centrism and what I call traditional centrism, but if you feel that even that comparison is invidious (as opposed to merely inaccurate) then I don't know what else to do. All I would ask is that you take the time to review the larger history of radical centrist literature, especially Gidden's book and Mark Satin's radical middle newsletter, rather than just base your article on what I or the New American Foundation have said. Fair enough? Hopefully then someone else will come along an find a NPOV that accommodates both of ours. Thanks. Drernie 16:55, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I merged radical middle and Radical centrism relatively painlessly (at least I thought so, what do you think? ;) Made a number of edits as well. Sam [Spade] 05:43, 10 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Hi Sam, as I mentioned over there, there's groups who use the term radical middle who aren't into politics. Should we invert the article to first discuss the concept of radical middle thinking, and then discuss politics as a particular application of that?Drernie 21:45, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)

That's kinda what I tried to do (maybe not too successfully?). I think the most well known application of such philosophy would be personified in certain political leaders (in my view populists), but you are almost certainly right that this sorts of thinking is found in a far wider range than such a narrow application. What do you think of what I did generally? Do you like the merger? Do you think I was POV or non-factual? Someone disputed it, but hasn't said why yet...

The reason I did all this is because I was trying to learn about the subject, and going from one article to the other wasn't very helpful. Also I read the talk page and seeing the ongoing debate, hoped I might solve it a bit. I think it's important to separate the specific organizations from the philosophies of radical centrism, esp. when members of these organizations are editors here ;) Sam [Spade] 21:53, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Hi Sam, To be honest, I haven't been keeping up on this the last couple weeks due to some other projects. I presume the 'dispute' in question is related to Ben's claim that the very concept of 'radical centrism' is misleading. Which may be a valid viewpoint, but doesn't change the fact that radical centrists *claim* to be a form of centrists -- which is all the article (was intended to) assert. I actually think it might be much clearer to make "radical middle" the primary article, as that is the core philosophical concept. Once you've established that, describe 'radical centrism' as the related political philosophy, and then describe 'radical centrist politics' as an implementation of that philosophy. Which is somewhat the reverse of what it is now.
I realize that's a lot to ask of you, but I'm overbooked with other projects so I can't help much now. Thanks for your efforts, and best of luck. Drernie 17:07, 12 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Hmm, I think you may be on to something. I'll look into that. Cheers, Sam [Spade] 05:52, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)

rewrite/dispute header

Why do we have a dispute header, and what needs done? Care to lend a hand? Sam [Spade] 06:51, 10 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I'm gonna remove this dispute header in a bit if I continue not to hear anything. Sam [Spade] 21:34, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)


I moved things around a bit, hopefully according to the wishes of others. I dropped the dispute header, but if you want to explain some actionable complaints, feel free to put it back. Regardless, I am open to comments, complaints, or what-have-you regarding my edits, the moves, mergers or anything else. Cheers, Sam [Spade] 04:00, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Nice work, Sam. I pushed it a little further, to stress both the relation and distinction between the philosophy and the political movement, and try to build a more linear flow. I appreciate all your hard work.Drernie 17:15, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
No trouble, your satisfaction that it was all for the best is all the thanks I could ask for :) Sam [Spade] 20:43, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

origin of term

I suspect that there is a (satiric) use of the term from as early as 1963. I seem to remember a piece in Monocle magazine imagining a centrist equivalent of the John Birch Society that wanted to allow only Cambodia (then radically neutralist under Prince Norodom Sihanouk) and Switzerland to remain in the U.N., etc. Does anyone even know of a library that would have a run of Monocle? -- Jmabel 17:47, Aug 30, 2004 (UTC) ...So I asked a librarian. There is apparently no collection of these within several hundred miles of me, so I am not the one to research this. The librarian did, however, give me a list of where Monocle can be found, which I will place on Talk:Monocle. Is there anyone -- maybe at Yale, or in Los Angeles, or in New York, or even at U. Va. or BYU, who would be willing to follow this up? I promise you, it will be reasonably fun reading... -- Jmabel 18:34, Aug 30, 2004 (UTC)

There's a very similar term in a Jules Feiffer strip that must date back to about that time. Hope I can find it in my almost complete collection. Dandrake 20:09, Aug 30, 2004 (UTC)
Hold Me!, Random House paperback published 1962, strips with copyright dates 1960 - 1962. No page reference because the book has no page numbers, but it's about 2/3 of the way through, and anyway it's worth reading the whole thing. Dandrake 04:13, Aug 31, 2004 (UTC)
Great research, thanks! Drernie 17:54, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I don't have any evidence, but I suspect the term comes from Danish politics, where the party Radikale Venstre (literally radical left or radical liberalists) which have been and still is a social liberal center party for more than 100 years. The party was founded on the cultural radicalism, and the modern breakthrough, which is exactly what this "Radical center" concept describes, but which was formalized in Denmark in the 1890s. Carewolf (talk) 15:28, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Lee Teng-hui

Perhaps Lee Teng-hui would be a good example of a non-Western politician of the Radical Centre. (Anonymously added 13:02:48 by User:, moved to bottom of page and given a section header by Jmabel 21:35, Sep 28, 2004 (UTC))


I don't know if communitarianism can be cited here. It's exactly like listing libertarianism; they take elements from liberalism and conservatism, but separate elements. (Juan wrote this and didn't sign...)

Certainly in the U.S. (and I don't know much about this outside the U.S.) "radical middle" politics are often communitarian. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:39, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)
More importantly, various radical middle organizations cite Etzioni as an inspiration, so there's an ideological connection.Drernie 14:09, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Oh, I think what you're referring to is the 'Responsive Communitarianism' minisection added. -- OK, jmabel, I just learned how to sign Juan Ponderas 15:15, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Recent edit by Drernie

I was a little hesitant to revert, since your edit seemed well thought out and well intended, but point-by-point I disagreed w it. I think a focus on absolute truth (and thus a rejection of moral relativism) is a vital component of the radical middle politics, as are civil rights (such as gun rights) and referendums. Finally, since there is no central radical middle organization, I'm not sure what the benefit of specifying the diversity of sources for these opinions. Isn't the radical middle an adjective, rather than a noun? Isn't it a term used to refer to various trends and politicians, rather than some sort of nascent political party, or smattering of groups? Glad to discuss, Sam Spade (talk · contribs) 09:04, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Hi Sam, thanks for commenting. In short, I believe it is appropriate to consider the radical middle a single grass roots movement. While there is no central organization, the various groups who use the term increasingly link to and endorse each other, creating a coherent sense of community. In other words, while it started as an adjective, it has become more of a noun. As such, I think it is both possible and helpful to identify common characteristics. In the radical middle literature, I haven't seen any particular emphasis on 'civil rights' and 'referenda' -- at least by those names; the former smacks more of liberalism, and the latter of populism, neither of which is broadly accepted by those in the radical middle. And, ironically, the only radical middle group I've seen talking about 'absolute truth' is my own RadicalCentrism.org, which I felt made it too idiosycratic for Wikipedia.
Does that make sense? Given all that, I'd like to add my changes back, but I'll wait for your response in case your seeing something I don't.Drernie 17:22, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Wow, sorry I took so long! By civil rights I ment gun rights, and other such necessities ;) The term "civil rights" is widely misunderstood to be a synonym for "affirmative action", which I feel is innappropriate. As far as referenda, I always thought of the radical middle as populist. Also, since we both seem to think absolute truth is a characteristic of the radical middle, I see no reason to censor based solely on your organization. Speaking of which, i should look into you! Cheers, Sam Spade (talk · contribs) 12:43, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Let me put my section back, but tweak it slightly to address your concerns. Tell me what you think.Drernie 21:51, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Ross Perot and the Reform Party

I edited to include Ross Perot because his candidacy everywhere was talked about as appealing to the 'radical middle' (in the press even). He said he was a social moderate and fiscal conservative, but his general tone was of centrism--which is why for years after 'swing voters'/centrist voters/independents were called 'Perot voters'. On most issues he came to compromises between Democrats and Republicans with hard solutions. For instance he said both tax cuts and tax increases were needed. He also felt that partisanship and gridlock between the parties caused most problems, including incessant debates on social issues like abortion. But he promoted issues that appealed to the center (that weren't just plain 'centrist' but pro-active positions that at that time hadn't been talked about much before) like balanced budgets, campaign finance reform, referendums, term limits, fair trade, etc.

The Reform Party was based on this platform and was radically centrist--members even called themselves 'centrist'. People in the party felt there were definite issues that needed to be solved, and the two major parties had to be challenged to solve them, with the creation of a new party. Today, many might say the party has a chink in this line of thought, because after Pat Buchanan and his supporters entered the party in the 2000 election, hard stances on immigration started to enter party platforms.

Which is somewhat right---but even still it doesn't compromise on the idea. I read Noam Chomsky once wrote that in America the groups on the fringes of politics--like Nader on the left, Buchanan on the right, and Perot in the center, agreed substantially on their significant issues--and he proposed that they joined together in a pretzel to form the 'radical middle'. A radical 'centrist' is an uneasy concept, since politics always changes and what will be moderate will change. The idea here though is that there is a growing set of issues that is not shared by left or right parties (fair trade, government reform, balanced budgets), but appeals to the center. That those who support these issues also carry different baggage of their own, tied to left-right positions, like Buchanan with abortion or immigration, or Nader with other issues, should be expected.

If you're talking about John McCain, he plays to many of these positions (but is still free trade). But he's usually still what you might call a 'sensible' centrist and usually falls on the right, where he is. I was in the Reform Party (i think my analysis is accurate so don't bring up the bias), and many members hated McCain because he was a 'false reformer'---for instance his McCain-Feingold act made it even harder for third parties, while not doing anything substantial for reform. The sentiment was that he was just taking advantage of the issues for his public image. If you even listen to his speeches on reform he gives no substance just uses the phrase 'special interests' liberally.

From what I know about UK politics, Tony Blair looks more like Clintonesque centrism (which is purely political) than anything else.

These issues I listed don't specifically have to define the 'radical middle', it could be different issues. The point is, that there may be a set of issues or way of thinking, not dealt with by the left-right parties, that appeal to that part of the public that considers themselves centrist, moderate, or pragmatic. And this is what defines 'radical middle' movements. (This is different than 'populism' in that populism doesn't rely on a middle. Libertarians also differ from left-right but don't consider themselves moderate)

What is called 'sensible middle' isn't necessarily a real contrast to 'radical middle'---they aren't opposites. The difference is, when you consider yourself part of the radical middle you are distinguishing yourself from the left and right as a new way of thinking. So 'radical middle' policies can also be moderate in the classical sense. Other centrists rely on the left and the right to define their issues and just negotiate them for politics. Usually they stay within left or right parties, and still maintain most of the ideologies of these parties, and just use centrism to help come to political compromises. The radical middle defines themselves against the left-right and tries to arrive at a new way of thinking about politics. The main and perhaps only difference between the 'radical centrists' and 'sensible' centrists is that 'radical centrists' have -partisanized-.

Thats what the Perot movement was about, it was about -partisanizing the center- (making it the 'radical middle'). This of course can be problematic. I wrote about some of the problems with this in my edits to the Reform Party USA article. There were many high-profile politicians interested in the Reform Party, but most backed away at the threat of political suicide.

By the way, do a google search for "perot 'radical middle'" and you'll see all of the references. There are also many articles, if I can find them. And they dwarf references to Dean or Schwarzenegger as the radical middle because in American politics Perot is really the 'grandfather' of this movement. So its strange to see Perot hadn't been mentioned in the article, with so much focus on Dean. And Dean, in some ways has been centrist, especially as governor where he fought for balanced budgets--but during the campaign he was talking like a liberal partisan.

Brianshapiro 11:53, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Hi Brian, I appreciate your contributions to the article. I agree that in principle, Perot and the Reform Party are the godfather of the ideas discussed by the radical middle, and deserve a mention. Unfortunately -- though I have no idea why -- the modern Reform Party and the modern Radical Middle movement don't seem to refer to each other at all. All the radical middle stuff I've read over the last year refers back to either British Third Way or New Age politics, never to Perot; conversely the Reform Party doesn't seem to show up at any of the NAF forums or other radical middle venues. It is a strange discontinuity, I agree, so I'd appreciate any insight into why that might be -- unless I'm just missing something.
For the difference between 'sensible' and 'radical' centrists, I would point you to the recently archived diatribe, er, dialogue from this page. Many self-described centrists eschew any sort of 'principled' statement of beliefs, substituting compromise and majority rule as their defining characteristics. We 'radical centrists' delight in writing manifestos and arguing from first principles, not merely majority preference. Perhaps that's what you meant by becoming "partisan", but I suspect it goes deeper than that.
Again, I'm not claiming that these are the right terms; five years ago I'm sure we'd have written a very different article; I'm just trying to describe what I see happening *today*.Drernie 23:00, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Drernie, when I said that the 'radical middle' is not necessarily different in terms of goals than what people have called the 'sensible' middle, is that they also usually agree that solutions to an issue are something that deals with the arguments of both the left and right, and so are a compromise. An important point is that this compromise shouldn't be merely a "political" solution, even though that may be the case, but the real and only solution to the problem, even if only because the political factions represent real concerns and issues.
People who are just 'centrists' usually still adhere somewhat to their parties. Its not that its always without conviction that a middle way is right; though they don't have any real principle they go by to tell them why its right. And often the centrist positions they push don't have any good thought behind them; so they end up being some half-baked position that isn't really a good solution, rather than a real one. I would count Howard Dean as among this group (though I liked Joe Trippi)
I only know about UK politics superficially, so I can't say too much on why its different. But there are differences. Tony Blair who is cited as in the radical middle seems to be supportive of globalization policies, while the Perot here opposed them. 'Sensible' centrists within mainstream parties here like McCain or Dean or Lieberman still come out pro-free trade, but mainly because thats the 'mainstream' position being pushed by the leadership of both parties. The opposite view which held by a large amount of the public and factions within the parties is dismissed (opponents are called 'isolationists' even if they are just against the opposite extreme). McCain and Lieberman sit comfortably within their own camps. McCain as a politician that tries to be mainstream, and he probably wouldn't have picked up on the issue of campaign finance reform if Perot didn't raise it. Issues that appeal to the radical center in the US depend alot on what views are included or excluded in power. I know there are some issues like this in Europe, like on immigration and gay rights, but I don't know how it figures into the politics. It has seemed to me though that in the United States the appeal to a genuine centrism is far more important, in that both the left and right wing are looked down on equally, when I get the sense in Europe one side is always looked down on more than the other. And I think in some ways the radical middle could be considered the 'new liberals' against the status quo (and some 'progressives' look at themselves this way) but I don't think this is that important to define it that way, and it detracts from the issues (in fact i think it distorts the 'progressive' agenda).
Anyway it would be an interesting job to try to rewrite the article to include some of the points I mentioned. And actually it has some interesting parallels to a political mindset in the 19th century best expressed in the French 'juste-milieu' or the 'Era of Good Feelings'/'Great Compromises' in the US. Though I think there are things that set them apart (namely hard principles). Also note the similarity of the Reform Party platform to Teddy Roosevelt's Progressive Party platform. I am planning on adding an article on the juste-milieu sometime.

Brianshapiro 24:00, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Hi Brian, Much as I appreciate the impact of the Reform Party, and their claim to the term 'radical middle', think that it reflects a slightly different ideology than the 21st movement which has appropriated that name. I think a separte section on "Radical middle and the Reform Party" would be very useful, but we should probably keep that distinct from descriptions of Mark Satin, NAF, and RC.org.
I don't think the article needs tocenter around the Reform Party either. But there is no real recognizable entity called the 'radical middle' even though some people have written books and there is RC.org. In US politics the term first became very popular (though used before) during Perot's candidacy. Now, its not as if Mark Satin or these other groups now own the term or the term recognizably refers to them, they are just using it. I think the best idea is for the article to talk about the idea of a 'radical middle' existing in politics, and how that has built up over the last two decades. And reference Mark Satin, NAF, and RC.org as contemporary advocates. Talking about Perot as a force for this type of politics would be good also, without the need to make a separate section. I think the article would be best to be about the general strain of 'radical middle' politics without being completely about certain groups, and it can talk about this historically as well as other ways. -Brianshapiro
Okay, I've added a bit to try to and work some of this into the article. If you do rewrite it, I ask that you not lose the 'philisophical' sense of radical middle, which seems to inform the Satin-related movement but differ slightly from the Perotian usage.Drernie 17:53, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)


There are many non-NPOV terms and turns of phrase which are used which should be placed in quotes. For example, "Rational environmentalism" is clearly not NPOV (my environmental values are not "irrational"). "As opposed to dogma" is incorrect--dogma is a doctrine which is considered to be absolute truth, and the "Radical Middle" philosophy explicitly asserts truth is absolute via it's doctrine[1], creating an interesting circular definition, but that's besides the point.) I wonder why this paradoxical assertion is even in here. --Ben 07:15, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Hi Ben, Thanks for the comments, though I'm puzzled why you added a dispute header rather than simply cleaning up the text. The material derives from a melange of sources, so its hard to keep it consistent. I've tried to fix the two issues you identified, though I would point out:
    • dogma is usually a claim to possess absolute knowledge, not merely asserting the existence of absolute truth (much less objective reality, which is what the article text currently states - my personal manifesto is hardly definitive)
Ah ok I get it.--Ben 03:22, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    • the principles (like enlibra) are intended to reflect what the various groups believe, though I agree the term 'rational' is unnecessarily prejudicial
Anyway, since I feel I've addressed your concerns, I'm removing the dispute header; however, please feel free to identify (or preferably, fix) anything else that appears problematic.Drernie 12:16, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Ok I'll start making some changes. Just use the history of revisions so you can compare--they'll be small changes scattered throughout. I'll try to be fair, but I still might get some things wrong. I'll probably go through it making changes here and there a couple times. --Ben 03:22, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Now that I look at it again, I'm afraid I don't understand the point of much of it, and not being in the position to know the point of it, I'm not sure I can change it accurately. Maybe go through one part at a time. The following part, to me, reads like one of those corporate PR brochures with words like paradigm constantly being tossed about. Could you clarify the following:

  • Maximize citizen choice, individual empowerment, and overall human potential

This seems straightforward, though rather vacant and apolitical.

  • Facilitate greater involvement in the political process (e.g., through referendums)

This seems straightforward.

  • Be of genuine help to those in the developing world

"Genuine" is prejudicial.

  • Emphasize epistemic virtue, so that politics are grounded in objective reality

"Grounded in objective reality" is prejudicial and, as far as I can tell, doesn't follow. Unless Radical Middle philosophy treats epistemic virtues as dogma? (in that epistemic virtues are objective reality and are therefore beyond question?) Which, if so, this should then be mentioned neutrally. This line is very confusing for me.

  • Build character by promoting conscious moral choices

Character of who? The government or country as a whole? Or simply citizens?

  • Expand community by people creating value for each other in reciprocal relationships

"Community" is undefined. "creating value" is undefined. The "relationships" in question are undefined.

  • Possess a foundation of traditional values and Common sense

This isn't a goal in the same sense as the others. Who is "possessing" said foundation is undefined.

  • enlibra, which presents itself as the productive middle approach to environmentalism

This seems ok. Enlibra should be capitalized (change that later). --Ben 03:53, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Hi Brian, Thanks for making the effort. Yet, somehow, it feels to me like you're over-analyzing this. We're trying to capture, in this section, what the movement says about itself, and the types of adjectives and values that they emphasize. I don't see that being an NPOV issue. If it bothers you, I'd just add another explanatory sentence, like: "At the same time, the movement has a relatively little experience at defining exactly what these occasionally lofty goals mean -- and virtually none at implementing them -- so it is difficult to compare them fairly with other movements."
Any explanatory sentence is not going to make it NPOV. This is because it is presented as analysis and observation from a wikipedia writer, which is supposed to be NPOV. The whole thing must either be referenced and quoted or re-written from a NPOV. As an authority on the subject yourself, you could even put it on your site and then quote it here. The way I read the word "genuine" for example, it reads like the wikipedia writer has made a POV judgement on the nature of the goals, rather than observed and documented the goals.--Ben 18:00, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Hi Brian, I think we're still talking past each other. These statements are all attempts to describe how radical middle authors describe their goals. It is an NPOV fact that Mark Satin lists "be of genuine help to the developing world" as one of his guiding radical middle principles. If that is not clear, then we need to update the preamble to make it clearer. But NPOV is not served by changing the phrasing to appear less prejudicial. If a Marxists goal is to "release workers from the oppression of capitalism", then we should be able to say that without making a value judgement about the accuracy, fairness, or balance of the statement. Right? Anyone else want to chime in? Drernie 21:03, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Certainly. I would say that this is a very mixed issue. On the one hand, I think Ben would admit he doesn't know alot about Radical middle, and that is probably a source of part of the problem here. On the other hand, the article could do a better job of citing who says what. On the grasping hand ;) Drernie can't very well go around quoting himself in the article, that would be original research. If need be, someone else can quote Drernie's website, but him assuming a narrative stance on an issue where, while an expert, he is almost certainly POV, is not a good idea. Wikipedia is about citing sources, not being the source, if you know what I mean. Anyhow, I think w a few more citations and some understanding of the nature of political science from Ben, we should be ok. Its not like Radical centrism is making any ridiculous claims here, like say... imposing radical egalitarianism and absolute personal freedom simultaneously... ;) (see Libertarian Socialism) Cheers, (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 21:45, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
What I see is that the choice of rhetoric betrays a disguised argument in support of the politics and political philosophy. That, to me, is POV.--Ben 17:45, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Hi Ben, I think what we're arguing over is "whose" rhetoric?
  • If you think that the article does not accurately and objectively describe what these groups *say about themselves*, based on the sources listed at the bottom, then I'll concede you have a point.
  • If your point is that the article does not clearly label these statements as "self-description" rather than external characterization, then I ask for your help in making that clearer
  • If you simply dislike the fact that these self-descriptions are prejudicial to other groups, then I don't see how that's an NPOV issue. It is an NPOV fact that these groups (including mine) use language like this to describe their goals. What's the problem with that?
I'm all for citing sources, but how do we do that since we can't inline external links? I'll take one more stab to try to make things even clearer.Drernie 20:39, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
There is actually an acceptable way to, involving footnoting. I've never done it, but I'm planning to start ;) I'll get a link to the applicable page in a moment. (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 21:01, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
There are several acceptable ways to do this. See Wikipedia:Cite sources. If you need help, ask me. -- Jmabel | Talk 22:57, Mar 2, 2005 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Footnotes as well, cheers, (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 11:59, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

This is replete with NPOV, right from the intro, "Followers of this philosophy claim to improve understanding by simultaneously affirming both sides of apparently contradictory issues..." ~ Reaverdrop 17:47, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

NPOV Radical middle:How ironic!

Am I the only one that finds it ironic that the neutrality of this article is disputed, considering that this article is about the radical middle? BTW, I was a Perotite in 1992 and 1996, and followed the American Reform Party after Buchannon hijacked the main Reform Party. Arch O. La 08:02, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

merger w Third way?

Not something I recommend, see Talk:Third way. Cheers, (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 22:41, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'm at a loss for words...

...to discuss the following, from the article:

Followers of the philosophy often consider the wave-particle duality of physics, the Christian doctrine of Jesus as both God and Man, the federalist balance between national and state authority in the United States Constitution, and the Golden Mean of Aristotle to be representative of the beliefs of the philosophy.

"Followers (plural)... often..." and then this rather idiosyncratic statement? This is manifesto material, not encyclopedia material. Does this come from somewhere? In that case, cite. If not, let's lose this. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:35, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi Jmabel, if you can figure out how to trim this article enough to satisfy "neutrality", please do. Its probably better to have a simpler article; there's enough references now that people who want examples can find them. Thanks.Drernie 20:10, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Comments on Howard Dean references

With Dean being the DNC Chair now, and with the retoric that he has been espousing lately, I really don't think that he is a good figure to associate with the Radical Middle. With his blatant attacks on the Republican party, and the convenient spin that he puts on issues, I think that it confidently puts him in with the Democrats. Just read his Comments as DNC chair.

I'm beginning to identify with the Radical Centrists, but I really don't want to be associated with Howard Dean. -- 05:13, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree, especially since no other part of the article refers to Howard Dean in any way. I'm removing it... if someone wants to put it back, please connect it in a relevant way to the rest of the article. Jhortman 07:29, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
The Progressive calls Dean a Centrist, and up until he became the main focus of the anti-war movement, a number of Democrats I knew who were familiar with him considered him to be too "right-wing" on most issues. So it depends on one's perspective I think. Most people heard of him after he became the focus of the anti-war movement, and hence with his supporters, who were all too often unbearably self-righteous.
This because "liberal" and "conservative" are nebulous categories and arbitrary sets of beliefs. Completely nonsensical dichotomy. While "radical centrism" purports to recognize this, it sets up a false dichotomy of its own (their version of populism vs. normal bipartisan centrism vs. everyone else). I'm an independent, and agree with 1-2/3 of the issues raised by Perot, as well as most "prgressive Democrats," "traditional conservatives," and "moderate Republicans." I'm a radical, but not a centrist, and have never been mistaken for one (though I've been mistaken for almost every other ideology imaginable). Certainly not a "radical centrist," I disagree with or at least seriously question most of those proposals listed. Each person has their own ideas, and attempts to create clean dichotomous spectrums are destined to fail when put into practice, no matter what the dimensions. ~Luke -- 01:22, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Remove Dispute Header?

Can we at last remove the dispute header? I've tried my best to remove the source of the original complaint, and Jmabel has done his part. I'm not sure what else can be done. Would anyone object to my removing it? If so, can please tell me what needs chaning (or better yet, change it yourself?).Drernie 23:05, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'm going to go ahead and remove it. If anyone wants to put it back, please first try to rewrite the article yourself, or at least make detailed suggestions for what needs to be changed.Drernie 18:57, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Why I removed the "logo"

I removed Image:Radical Center Emblem.svg. 3rdman restored a link to it. I removed the link. The following is the message I left on 3rdman's user talk page: - Jmabel | Talk 21:15, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

With all due respect, you seem to be misunderstanding as to what Wikipedia is and what Wikipedia is not. Wikipedia is not a soapbox for propaganda or advertising. And Wikipedia is not a crystal ball, which is to say "notability first, mention in the encyclopedia later". I have no opinion either way on your project of getting this political current to adopt a logo, but Wikipedia is not an appropriate vehicle through which to do that. If, as I gather, this is your personal proposal, and it has not been widely adopted, then it has no place in an encyclopedia, nor linked from an encyclopedia. If you doubt me, take this matter either to the Village Pump or another appropriate forum and I'm sure you will be told the same. If anything, I am stretching the rules not to remove the image altogether, because I think its fine for use on your own user page, but I'm willing to guess that many people would question even that. - Jmabel | Talk 21:10, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

While you're at it, I'd venture European Bull, while very nice graphically speaking, suffers the same fate... —Nightstallion (?) 13:05, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

{{Centrist Party}}

I removed this segment


At its inception fascism was described as an "extremism of the center" by its opponents. Indeed corporatist economic policies and rejection of socialism as well as finance capitalism are common to both radical centrism and fascism


Mainly do to lack of information, or general perspective. I wouldn't mind if a criticism section was made with more information, longer than a sentece and with a balanced perspetive. I though decided to remove this section which served no genuine purpose. The title "Relationship with Fascism" is also rather misleading and almost purposefully provactive to begin with. 6:17, 21 January 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Is that insignificant enough to not be listed where it is in Fascism? A core tenet of Fascism is the Third Way, which I think is sufficiently related to radical centrism. (talk) 22:07, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

footnote 2

Partido Popular Democrático is the former name of Partido Social Democrata. You want to refer to the CDS Partido do Centro Democrático e Social, now Partido Popular. http://portal.cds.pt/ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:39, 19 August 2010 (UTC)


Is this article about the American Radical Center, or the British Radical Centre? Dbfirs 19:55, 15 March 2011 (UTC)


The correct spelling is centre, is there anyway to change this? --Matt Downey (talk) 18:18, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Wtrite a letter to dictionary editors advising them that they are wrong. TFD (talk) 17:32, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

There is nothing new in the concept of "Radical Center" or "Third Way". It was what Mussolini and the Italian Fascist used to describe Fascism, after they split from the Socialists. Ditto National Socialism, not "Marxist Socialism, nor Capitalism. Anyone espousing this bears watching, closely. (talk) 02:54, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Notes on the February 2013 revision

In collaboration with Dr. Ernie, the original author of this article, I have revised, updated, and expanded it to bring it closer to Wikipedia's guidelines (the Manual of Style and its offshoots) and closer to the standard of excellence set by some other Wikipedia articles on political philosophies.

I have made the following major changes:

  • As it stood, the article listed only two references, and one of those was bogus (the current Economist website was given for an Econmist article from 1969); the other carried a WOT "Warning!" tag. The article now lists over 140 references.
  • The introductory section now summarizes the rest of the article.
  • Folowing the intro., every contestible sttement is now accurately sourced. I was able to find sources for some of the statements in the original article. All other unsourced statement have been eliminated. (A banner urging editors to source their statments had been atop this article for over two years.)
  • I have added a short section on analogous political philosophies in the non-English-speaking world.
  • I have addd a lengthy section presenting criticisms of radical centrism as a political philosophy and as a strategy.
  • I have added 13 "notes" in a new "Notes" section, to keep from cluttering the text with interesting but non-essential information.
  • I have added eight great pictures!, all from Wikimedia Commons.

Despite these major changres, the article still reflects much of the work that Dr. Ernie and those who cam after him put into it:

  • It still begins with definitions.
  • It still treats the early-21st-century introductory texts as the key parameter-setting texts.
  • It still focuses on actions as well as on theory.
  • It still maintains an unusually substantial resources section.

My revision also picks up on two suggestions from commentators on this talk page:

  • Following Sam Spade, it now includes a sub-section distinuishing radical centrism from the Third Way.
  • Following Brianshapiro, it now includes a sub-section discussing radical centrists' feelings abut Ross Perot.

I hope you will like what I've done. And because of the historical approach of the aricle, I think you wil find it easier to add to over time. - Babel41 (talk) 21:22, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

A detail in the "Strategy" section

I appreciate all your good work on the article, Babel41, but what does "a restive grassroots" mean? Is grassroots even a noun? I don't think so, and Wiktionary doesn't either. Bishonen | talk 17:19, 24 February 2013 (UTC).

Thanks for acknowledging my work, Bishonen. And you are right, I got too "elegant" for my own good there. I have replaced the phrase with "local and nonprofit activism." That is hopefully not only more understandable, but says more precisely what Avlon and Miller were driving at. Babel41 (talk) 06:22, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Am getting a printout of the site blown-up on a xerix machine this week, the better to catch the sorts of typos you were noting on my history page. - Babel41 (talk) 19:42, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Notes on the May 2013 cuts to the "External links" section

As you may have noticed, a senior Wikipedia editor recently placed a disapproving banner over this article's "External links" section. It stated, in bold print, that the links "may not follow Wikipedi's policies or guidelines" and spoke of "excessive or inappropriate external links." It included the image of a whisk broom!

I contacted the editor (see User Talk:Temporaluser) and he referred me to Wikipedia's External links policy page, WP:EL. Its introduction unambiguously sttates, "It is not Wikipedia's purpose to include a lengthy or comprehensive list of external links related to each topic" [italics in original]. A subsequent passage reiterates, "Links in the 'External links' section should be kept to a minimum" (section 1, item #3).

Until today, our article did include a "lengthy or comprehensive list of external links." I have now reduced it to a healthy minimum (and eliminated the banner!). Hopefull, my cuts wil not seem arbitrary. The fourth section of Wikipedia's External links policy page - "Links normally to be avoided" - tells which links we should hava avoided, and I followed it assiduously in making the cuts:

  • Organizations sub-section: Organiztions listed simply because they are mentioned in the article, and not because their sites wre used as sources for the article, should be avoided (see WP:EL section 4, item #19). Therefore, Americans Elect, Future 500, and Liberal Democrats (Britain) have been eliminated.
  • Organizations sub-section: Sites that are only indirectly related to the article's subject should be avoided (see WP:EL section 4, item #13). Therefore, Citizen Ethics Network, Earth Institute, Independent Voting, RSA: 21st Century Enlightenment, and Third Way: Fresh Thinking have been eliminated.
  • Opnion weblogs sub-section: Eliminated Bloggingheads.tv and Civil Politics for the reason given in paragraph immediately above.
  • Opnion weblogs sub-section: Blogs whose authors fail to meet Wikipedia's notability criteria should be avoided (see WP:EL sectioon 4, item #11). Therefore, Booker Rising, Citizen Jane Politics, and Radical Centrism have been eliminated.
  • Opnion weblogs sub-section: Chats and discussion forums or groups should be avoided (see WP:EL section 4, item #10). Therefore, Rise of the Center and Village Square have been eliminated.
  • Manifestos sub-section: Three of the eight - by Klein, Miller, and Satin - were not stand-alone manifestos but articles. Moreover, the Klein and Miller articles are linked in the text, and the Satin article is linked at his Opinion weblog (which is listed). So those three articles were eliminated from the External links section.
  • Audio and video sub-section: Tapes with potential copyright issues should be avaided (see WP:EL section 4.6.1, "Linking to user-submited video sites"). Therefore, all 11 audio and video tapes have been eliminated. (This is not as great a loss as it may seem, as all these tapes come up via YouTube or Google searches under the relevant person's name.)

I did not enjoy making these decisions. I am not a General Sherman type, and I regret that the fruis of many hours of my research work and other contributors' research work have now been eliminated. But Wikipedia is an encyclopedia with rules, and I know that many of us are trying to create the foundations of an article about Radical centrism that the Wikipedia community will feel good about building upon for decades to come. I hope you will take my incursions here in that spirit. - Babel41 (talk) 22:06, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Why I altered the sentence on The Economist

Hi You added this sentence to the sub-section on "Think Tanks and Mass Mecia":

"U.K-based The Economist also decribes itself as radical centrist".[citation]

The problem is that the description you refer to is not from The Economist. It is a from a blog by one person on The Economist 's website. Thus it does not necessarily speak for the magazine as a whole, as the anonymous "leaders" in the magazine do. It represents one person's (J.C.'s) considered opinion., however well-placed he might be.

Under these circumstances, I think it is unwise to take this one blog post as a definitive expression of the magazine's political persprctive, as your sentence does. I have altered the passage to read:

"In September 2013, an essay on The Economist 's website described that British-based newsmagazine as "neither right nor left, but ... coming instead from what we like to call the radical centre".[citation]

I have entered that passage as a separate paragraph (since the prior paragraph concerns U.S.-based media) and have altered your citation to make it consistent with the rest of those in this article.

I hope you can live with my alteration. The blog post is, I think, substanial enough to describe as an "essay," but your formulation is an overreach.

Best, - Babel41 (talk) 06:34, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

I have now had a chance to look at "True Progressivism," an article briefly referenced in the blog post. I found that it provides a much sounder basis for stating that The Economist has positioned itself at the radical center (e.g., it is from the magazine itself and is in fact a "leader," aka editorial). I haave therefore revised the passage above so that it begins with a quote from the editorial. I think it's worth devoting this amount of space to The Economist because of its prestige and influence in the word. Thanks again to you, - Babel41 (talk) 21:37, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Removal of two items from "See also" section

Dear, - I appreciate your attempt to add "Left-right politics" and "Libertarianism" to the "See also" section. However, the Radical Centrism page has gotten in trouble for listing too many items (see "Notes on the May 2013 Cuts" two entries above) - it had long been a notorious "clothes horse" of an article - and we are now committed to keeping our lists trim by adhering to Wikipedia's (admittedly extensive) rules.

One Wikipedia rule is that items listed in "See also" should not duplicate those in the Navigational boxes; see WP:SEEALSO. At the bottom of the article, you will see two such boxes, "Political Spectrum" and "Political Ideologies." The Left-Right article simply fleshes out the ground covered by the Political Spectrum navigational box (which is itself only tangentially connected to the actual content of our article). Libertarianism is already linked in the Political Ideoogies box, which lists many other ideologies that have affinities with the energing Radical centrist political philosophy. - Babel41 (talk) 03:38, 29 September 2013 (UTC)