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Centrists Are the Most Anti-Democracy
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From the New York Times:

Centrists Are the Most Hostile to Democracy, Not Extremists
By DAVID ADLER
MAY 23, 2018

The warning signs are flashing red: Democracy is under threat. Across Europe and North America, candidates are more authoritarian, party systems are more volatile, and citizens are more hostile to the norms and institutions of liberal democracy.

“Liberal democracy” being defined in practice not as the will of the people being implemented but as liberal Democrats like Hillary winning.

These trends have prompted a major debate between those who view political discontent as economic, cultural or generational in origin. But all of these explanations share one basic assumption: The threat is coming from the political extremes.

On the right, ethno-nationalists and libertarians are accused of supporting fascist politics; on the left, campus radicals and the so-called antifa movement are accused of betraying liberal principles. Across the board, the assumption is that radical views go hand in hand with support for authoritarianism, while moderation suggests a more committed approach to the democratic process.

Is it true?

Maybe not. My research suggests that across Europe and North America, centrists are the least supportive of democracy, the least committed to its institutions and the most supportive of authoritarianism.

Centrists aren’t typically well-informed people who understand fully the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments of the left and the right. Centrists aren’t normally Mickey Kaus writing a ten-part debate with himself over whether to vote for Gore or Bush in 2000 (he eventually decided upon Gore).

Instead, centrists are more often people who find politics boring and annoying and wish it would just go away.

 
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  1. Instead, centrists are more often people who find politics boring and annoying and wish it would just go away.

    Yes, and they’re also the people who take government services as a given, and who don’t want a bunch of political stuff getting in the way of their access to those services.

  2. Anonymous[203] • Disclaimer says:

    The EU.

    Considering the incessant angst, rending of garments, wailing and gnashing of teeth, outright histrionics, damned egregious lies, screams of anguish, deceit, name calling, finger pointing etc etc that the Brexit vote provoked in the UK, one wonders just what is the great attachment that the British liberal establishment/Economist has for the EU.

    When you understand that at root, that the EU is profoundly constitutionally and institutionally *antidemocratic* and not merely ‘undemocratic’ – ultimately *all* supreme EU power vests in the personages of unelected unaccountable unanswerable dictators – then The Economist/’liberal’ enthusiasm for the EU ‘makes sense’.

  3. Anonymous[385] • Disclaimer says:

    OT:
    It seems the Air Force has some, ahem, odd ideas regarding NCO promotions:
    See last paragraph.

    Stratification is the “rack-and-stack” process senior raters use to identify their top promotion-eligible master sergeants and senior master sergeants. Senior raters are limited to stratifying the top 10 percent of their master sergeant promotion-eligible Airmen and the top 20 percent of their senior master sergeant promotion-eligible Airmen. Promotion-eligible senior NCOs who are not stratified will have their evaluations close out at the deputy evaluator (first O-6) or intermediate evaluator (unit commander) level. Only those who are stratified will have their evaluation signed/closed out by the senior evaluator (senior rater).

    Stratification statements must be stated in quantitative terms (#1 of 125 MSgts) and will be based on the number of peers (in the same grade as the ratee) assigned within the evaluator’s rating scheme. Stratification statements on all other performance reports, to include CMSgt reports, are strictly prohibited.

    Commander and senior enlisted members level up in their stage of professionalism through a complex point setting criteria that steers performance promotions. The point system and acquired testing baseline scores are gathered into a final summary score that can be adjusted on likeability, quarterly dorm room awards, and cookie bake-off volunteering. The process was developed through the AFI 39-1906, select Enron survey processes, and the Morgan Price home mortgage rating system.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlisted_Performance_Report

  4. Tyrion 2 says:

    The mainstream definition of centrist is the administrative state, its corporate adjuncts and its sympathisers. It encapsulates the outer party.

  5. @Anonymous

    The EU.

    Yes, exactly. The Great Brexit Bugout was something to behold.

    That EU-worshiping, antidemocratic mindset is typical of a certain type of europhile Brit — just try talking to them about alternatives to the NHS, for instance. They cannot speak rationally about even hypothetical alternatives. Many seem willing to accept appalling service, coupled with government controls tantamount to tyranny, so that they can cling to the warm, safe feeling their ‘free’ health care inspires in them.

    • Replies: @anon
  6. Libertarians are fascists now?

  7. @Anonymous

    members level up…

    Holy Shit!

    For the last 5 years, I’ve been telling Japanese people that “level up” isn’t native English and that no one says it. Japanese love using it, but I’ve never seen it used by a native speaker before. How did this abomination get into our language?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  8. Anon[150] • Disclaimer says:

    I took one of those political tests that ranked me right in the middle of left-right-authoritarian-libertarian. I knew I had answered with some pretty extreme answers, so I figured everything averaged out. My extremist views were balanced between right and left, authoritarian and libertarian. Maybe that is not uncommon?

  9. Art Deco says:

    It’s sort of grossly amusing that people who’ve been advocating continuous transfer of authority over public policy to fractions of the legal profession (in the United States and Canada) or to the apparat in Brussels (in Europe) – not to mention rigged elections via packing the meeting with foreigners – now profess to be anxious about ‘democracy’. The humbug never stops.

  10. AndrewR says:
    @Jean Ralphio

    From a Marxist perspective, that could be argued.

  11. bartok says:
    @Jean Ralphio

    Libertarians are fascists now?

    Might be a reference to Thiel-Moldbug lines of thought. “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.”

    • Replies: @Steve in Greensboro
  12. Wilkey says:

    To me a “centrist” is someone to whom, when it’s suggested that we split the baby in half, says “that’s a terrific idea!”

    In my experience they’re either the least informed or they’re social climbers who don’t want to say anything to offend anyone. They’re the voters most easily manipulated by a pollster depending on how a question is asked.

    The best thing about Donald Trump’s victory is that he’s shown that passionate politicians willing to say “offensive” things can win where milquestost “centrist” pols like Romney could not.

    • LOL: Anonym
    • Replies: @Corvinus
    , @S. Anonyia
  13. anon[382] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    C’mon now. We live in a glass house as far as this subject is concerned.

  14. Tiny Duck says:

    Russia is working hard to blow up democracies. Who needs weapons of mass destruction when AI bots are at work?

    Call me crazy but somehow the torch and rifle crowd in Charlottesville and the rally members attacking press and beating up opposition are more of a threat to democracy.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  15. Travis says:
    @Jean Ralphio

    the media narrative will label all who oppose universal health insurance as fascists….despite socialized medical care being a keystone of all fascist / socialist regimes…

  16. Jake says:

    “Instead, centrists are more often people who find politics boring and annoying and wish it would just go away.”

    True. That is how and why they are easily tricked by the eternally duplicitous, by those who worship raw power and the very thought of money.

    Of course, when those nice centrists finally are forced to realize how badly they have been lied to and cheated by people who despise them for being little more than talking cattle, they tend to raise Hell.

    The problem is that they continue to be easily duped, meaning Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss. In fact, they are easily riled up to act against their best interests.

  17. What do we need democracy for? Is there something wrong with our credentialed elites?

  18. Interesting sociology here, Steve. The mushy middle have long struck me as people who love the comfortable and predictable status quo and never think about what it takes to build civilization and keep it. It all just springs magically from Our Constitution. Trump is an atomic bomb to them.

    This is the most interesting era in politics in my lifetime. The fault lines could not be more clear.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
    , @Corvinus
  19. Anon[313] • Disclaimer says:

    “Democracy” is autocracy by the media owners.

    The first four sentences of “Propaganda” by Edward Bernays:

    The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

    We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.

    “Propaganda is to democracy what violence is to dictatorship.” -Noam Chomsky

    True democracy would require complete decentralization of the media – similar to what existed in a small city state prior to the invention of the printing press.

  20. The New York Times calls it “the so-called antifa movement” even though that’s what it calls itself. But it will refer to alt-right people as neo-nazis, not “so-called neo-nazis.” It’s quite consistent in that way.

    • Replies: @Anonym
  21. Centrists are often anything but moderate– Nelson Rockefeller, Rudy Giuliani, Chuck Schumer, Donald Trump– and that’s just one county.

    And don’t forget notable centrists Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. Not a moderate chrom in their genome.

  22. as liberal Democrats like Hillary

    I’ve never detected anything remotely liberal about Mrs Clinton.

  23. Instead, centrists are more often people who find politics boring and annoying and wish it would just go away.

    Or a ticket to power and wealth, both of which are more available at the hump of the psephological bell curve.

    And isn’t almost all political corruption found in the center? Even with black and Hispanic politicians, it comes nearer their center points, if not ours.

    Principles just get in the way.

  24. njguy73 says:
    @Anonymous

    one wonders just what is the great attachment that the British liberal establishment/Economist has for the EU.

    EU membership = access to cheap labor from the entire Continent.

    This has been Episode 39 of “Ask NJGuy73 Anything.” Join us next time when NJGuy73 explains to a HR manager why only offering temp positions never attracts job candidates who care about a company long-term interests.

  25. This article from RT discusses this as well:

    Barbarians at the gate? End of democracy? Most hysterical establishment takes on new Italian govt
    Published time: 23 May, 2018

    https://www.rt.com/news/427528-media-scare-stories-italy/

    Please note how many of the commentators absolutely terrified at the outbreak of self-government have something in common. I’ll give you a hint: they seem to fear Italian Cossacks.

  26. The Z Blog says: • Website

    In my experience, the centrists tend to be very dishonest people. Their moderation is a beard they wear to conceal the fact they are just another liberal ideologue. Your Mickey Kaus example is a good one. After long deliberations he arrives at the entirely predictable position. Often, they hit old age, drop the charade and become a liberal rage head.

    As far as the “defending out democracy” stuff, I’ve written about this a little. The phrase is divorced from its literal meaning. By “our democracy” they mean the current managerial class running the country. In the mouths of our betters, “democracy” means the system of prerogatives and privileges they have come to expects as members of the ruling class.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  27. Redman says:

    I prefer the term sheeple to centrists.

  28. A centrist is by definition somebody who wants the people with power to keep it.

  29. Jason Liu says:

    Other things to take away from the graphs:

    1. On average, the left favors democracy more than the right, likely because democracy is inherently leftist
    2. Western European societies are the most supportive of democracy

    I’m happy/surprised that several pillars of democratic thought have only 50% or lower support, even in western countries. Progress is being made at last.

  30. @Reg Cæsar

    Principles just get in the way.

    Yes.

    See: decades of humiliating losses by the conservative movement

  31. anon[217] • Disclaimer says:

    Centrists are people who don’t read or watch the news. If you do, there’s no way you could be centrist. Our media is so polarized.

    Instead centrists vote by intuition, and by what’s hitting them in the pocketbooks. Anyone with eyes could see all around them that immigration is too high, and that we are going to too many wars.

  32. It sort of makes sense if you think about it.

    If asked, “Hey, for the safety of all concerned we’re going to institute some ‘Emergency Homeland Security measures. You OK with that?” a centrist will reply, “Sure, whatever, I’ve got other things to deal with.”

    In contrast, someone who is really “into” politics and/or history, when they hear something like “Emergency Protective Measures,” (or “Patriot Act’) alarm bells go off and they want to see the fine print.

    Of course, as a right wing deplorable, one of my big beefs with the Left these days is not so much disputes over the budget or marginal tax rates, it’s the chilling way they ignore and in some cases explicitly endorse political violence and bald-faced censorship (attacks on Trump rally attendees, the campuses, Youtube/Google/Twitter de-platforming people) and then turn around and claim mere criticism of the legacy media is the equivalent of “censorship.” (e.g. WaPo slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness”)

  33. Altai says:

    ‘Centrist’ is just a fancy way of saying a well-off person closely connected to power (Or who perceives themselves as such or aspires to be so) who resents when democracy leads to the inclusion of perspectives and interests other than their own.

    The current order running the West for the last 40 years is profoundly anti-Democratic, any issue of any importance relating to economics has been off-limits. The new elite have reshaped every facet of the society to suit themselves and they don’t want to stop the looting.

    Ordinary people can see this and have done for a long time. Why do you think there are so low voting numbers and cynicism about politics?

    • Replies: @CJ
  34. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Yes, and they’re also the people who take government services as a given, and who don’t want a bunch of political stuff getting in the way of their access to those services.

    This is s perfectly reasonable outlook.

    Random normie citizens should feel totally confident in the services provided by their government.

    People should not have to worry that the government will (for example) decide to give 50% of the budget for childcare away to Somalian pirates for political reasons.

    Or that when reporting the rape of their daughter the police will instead arrest them for daring to accuse the rapist.

    Etc etc

    Centrists want the ethnostate more than anyone. They want a government that they can trust reflexively without having to worry about it. There’s nothing wrong with this. And we’re the ones selling that. It may be a pipe dream but nobody has to know that.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  35. Anon[150] • Disclaimer says:

    Would Hubert Humphrey be considered centrist?

  36. Art Deco says:

    Instead, centrists are more often people who find politics boring and annoying and wish it would just go away.

    About 15 years ago, James Neuchterlein (a lapsed poli sci professor) offered that it was seldom publicly acknowledged that your typical ‘independent voter’ will commonly reject a given candidate for reasons on the order of ‘she reminds me of my first wife’.

  37. Instead, centrists are more often people who find politics boring and annoying and wish it would just go away.

    No doubt that’s part of the explanation but let me suggest that the increasingly anti-democratic views of centrists are evidence of a broader cultural shift. When I was growing up, centrism was associated with temperamental moderation. In functioning, homogeneous and high trust societies in which politics revolve around ideas, this made sense. While the 20th century left and right slugged out their ideological battles, it stood to reason that temperamentally steady middle of the road types like Truman and Eisenhower (who were happy to work within and optimise the functionality of existing systems and who preferred incremental rather than sudden change) would be attracted to politics that borrowed from the left and the right or split the difference between the two. Moreover, people with the least radical politics have historically tended to be:

    (a) more accepting than ideological people of voters not agreeing with them; and

    (b) more likely to have opinions that reflect those of swing voters who decide elections.

    Today, the composition of the “centre” seems to have changed:

    [MORE]

    1. Many of today’s “centrists” seem only to be centrist by default. With politics increasingly revolving around post-modernism, globalism and political correctness rather than economics, I strongly suspect that a great deal of today’s political “centre” consists of people who have no fundamental interest in economics and are happy to take their cues from the status quo. These people may self-identify as “centrist” or “moderate” but what drives and motivates them is postmodernist identity politics (e.g. “If we broke up the big banks tomorrow….would that end racism?”). Such people are disgusted at voters who care more about taxes or spending or jobs than about such hot-button quality of life issues as whether Bruce Jenner can use the women’s toilet and whether Natalie Portman earns less than George Clooney.

    2. A second key issue is East Asians (i.e. Chinese, Japanese, Koreans etc.) whose numbers have vastly increased in the west in recent decades. All the evidence is that when Asians migrate to the west, they bring with them their native culture of obedience and political conformity. When they arrive in the metropolitan areas in which they tend to concentrate (NY, SF, LA, Vancouver, Toronto, London etc.), they seem adopt the politically correct, technocratic centrist politics that surround them and combine those with a Maoist intolerance for dissent.

    3. Thirdly, third world immigration has attracted growing numbers of voters who come from countries in which politics revolve around ethnicity rather than ideology (a point well made by the late Lee Kwan Yew). Years ago, I remember meeting Bosnian political activists and noting that their default answers to policy questions were of the “ask the economists” or “ask the professors” variety. This struck me as utterly bizarre until it dawned on me that in Bosnia, all anyone cared about was ethnicity (i.e. Muslim, Croat, Serb) and politics attracted plenty of people with no interest in ideas. With more and more third world ethnics in the west, that leaves more and more voters who are passively supportive of the ideological status quo and who only really care how the political system impacts their (minority) groups. In addition to not coming from terribly democratic cultures, these voters, as members of groups that cannot grow through persuasion (only fecundity and immigration) see no value in democratic institutions.

    4. A growing number of elite and upper middle class voters make their livings as administrative state functionaries whose job is to harass the private sector, as advisers to the administrative state or as executives and advisers in the private sector whose job is to help their clients and employers to navigate the regulatory and litigation environment (e.g. lobbyists and all those VPs for Diversity). These people would be out of a job if:

    (a) the jurisdiction of the bureaucracy reverted back to elected bodies or private markets;

    (b) there was no more bureaucracy to harass the private sector; or

    (c) there was any significant nationalisation of any of the private sector functions that the bureaucracy currently pays tens of thousands of people to “regulate” (e.g. HMOs and private universities).

    These people are attracted to centrism by virtue of their stake in the status quo, regardless of whether they are right wing or left wing by temperament. Moreover, they are suspicious of voters interfering with that status quo and thus hostile to democracy.

    So by virtue of 1-4 above, centrism now seems to attract people who are:

    (a) not temperamentally moderate;

    (b) have political priorities that put them entirely at odds with the views of swing voters; and

    (c) struggle to tolerate it when electorates disagree with them.

    As such, it’s not so much that centrists have turned against democracy (or never liked it much in the first place). It’s more that the composition of the political centre has changed in an undemocratic direction. Oh Brave New World…

  38. @The Last Real Calvinist

    We’re all centrists on some issues:

    1. Should government power be absolute, absent, or something in between?

    2. Should the penalty for car theft be death, nothing at all, or something in between?

    3. Should we meet illegal border crossers with a bullet, with flowers…or something in between?

    4. Should black people be worshipped, confined to ghettos, or something in between?

    • Replies: @inertial
  39. roo_ster says:
    @Anonymous

    I give my AF veteran buddies a hard time for their service in an _almost_ military branch. Obviously, I will need to ramp up the ribbing and cite this link.

  40. I tend to think that what makes me a centrist is my penchant for thinking that if Indiana wants to have a largely monogamous heterosexual community and northern California wants to be a hotbed of all manner of sexual variety, freedom is to protect both to be the way they want to be. Anything else isn’t freedom its a kind of compulsory acquiescence and to the degree that economic integration requires acquiescence of one locality or community to the values of the other, it’s a form of subservience bordering on slavery.

    But please: let northern Cali be Cali and Indiana be hoosier, that’s the American way.

    People don’t seem to want that way anymore. I guess it’s “anti-democratic”.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  41. inertial says:
    @International Jew

    Two of the four questions can be answered with “both.” Would that be a centrist position?

    • Replies: @International Jew
  42. @The Anti-Gnostic

    “The fault lines could not be more clear.”

    Or confusing. I find myself allied with right-leaning politics but I’m not a right-winger. Maybe it’s because the left in the U.S. wants whites on their knees, groveling before the majesty of the people of color. The U.S. left also supports market supremacy and profitable wars, just like the right. I’m a man-boy without a team. Sad.

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
  43. Instead, centrists are more often people who find politics boring and annoying and wish it would just go away.

    Bullshit!

    “Centrists” are usually bought off baby boomer bastards and other geezers who are benefiting from the current governmental order. The globalized plutocrats use the votes of these bribed “centrists” to keep the big sovereignty-sapping scams of globalization, financialization and mass immigration going on their destructive way.

    In Greece, Italy, France and other European nations the old bought-off “centrist” geezers vote for the “centrist” puppet of the globalizer plutocrats. The same greedy evil bought-off “centrist” geezers in the United States have been voting for the plutocrat-controlled “centrist” politician whores such as Kasich, Flake, Graham, Clinton, Obama and McCain. Trumpy threw a big bender curveball by using the immigration issue to smash the crud out of the “centrists.”

    Any suggestion that these so-called baby boomer and older “centrist” voters don’t know that they are voting to keep their little scams going is a damn fraudulent statement. They know what the hell they’re voting for. That baby boomer rat Kasich was selling a scam protection racket for “centrist” baby boomers and other geezer whores.

    ATTENTION SAILER:

    Moderate my comments on through, if you would. I am wondering if you hadn’t yet received my ten million dollar check yet. I am wondering if that’s the problem. I sent my factor Henry Essex Blackwell out to California days ago. He should have delivered the funds by now. All of my comments are well reasoned and written in a measured tone redolent of the work of Sam Huntington. Maybe not.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  44. gwood says:

    Ann Coulter said that all elections are decided by people too dumb to know if they are liberal or conservative.

  45. LondonBob says:

    The media defines centrist as supporting invade the world, invite the world, despite the distinct lack of support.

  46. Brutusale says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    This.

    My mom, comfortably ensconced on the Gulf Coast of Florida on her county pension and my late dad’s retirement benefits for the past 28 years, is that to a T, while backing every movement to bring more and more hungry immigrants to the American table. For two years all I heard was ‘those poor Syrian children”. The lack of any SS COLA in 2015, however, made her realize that maybe, just maybe, her racist, sexist, misogynistic son had a point.

    I give her credit for beginning to question her beliefs at the age of 81. It’s hard for those of her generation; they saw the best of America and can’t wrap their heads around the sheer speed of the decline. Better to whistle in the dark.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  47. Beene says:

    “the will of the people being implemented”

    Gosh, could the “will of the people” sometime involve getting more votes than the other guy? This requirement doesn’t seem to be terribly important, or else Democrats would control at least two out of three branches of government.

    The winner of the 2020 election is going to win the popular vote, too… right? Or is this an unbreakable new tradition (at least for one party).

    • Replies: @Je Suis Omar Mateen
  48. Rosie says:
    @27 year old

    This is s perfectly reasonable outlook.

    I don’t know about that. I think it’s fair to say liberty requires vigilance. OTOH, random normie citizens should be able to feel confident that their government is not scheming to replace them with foreigners. This scheme is in fact so outrageous nobody believed it possible until the evidence became undeniable.

  49. Rosie says:
    @Brutusale

    I give her credit for beginning to question her beliefs at the age of 81.

    That is extraordinary. Good for her!

    I have to tell you, I get why people are making fun of him, but I actually kind of sympathize with this guy. NABALT of course, but lots are, quite possibly including his parents. Did they not foresee that all those obscene profits from housing and the stock market were going to make it harder for their adult children to launch?

  50. Corvinus says:
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    “Interesting sociology here, Steve. The mushy middle have long struck me as people who love the comfortable and predictable status quo and never think about what it takes to build civilization and keep it. It all just springs magically from Our Constitution. Trump is an atomic bomb to them.”

    One thing you clearly haven’t NOTICED is that the normies, aka “mushy middle”, are being bludgeoned by the narratives driven by the Coalition Of The Fringe Right And Left. So when a nobody author from the New York Times writes a fluff piece about skin color, or when a obscure Alt-Right blogger writes an article about the white knight called Generation Zyklon, the other side makes the audacious claim that those positions are definitively reflective of how most American feelz. In reality, the normies/mushy middle do NOT generally agree with their assertions. In some cases they keep their opposition to themselves. In other occasions, when they dare challenge openly those generalizations, they are labeled “cucks” or “race traitors” by the extremists. I remain hopeful that the normies/mushy middle will wake up and properly put both groups in their place. Moreover, it always has been the normies/mushy middle who is backbone of “building civilizations and keeping it”. They came here from different nations, put in the required work to develop communities, establish businesses, and make life better for their children..

    In addressing Adler’s work, the reason why the center has the most critical views of democracy is squarely due to the extremist narrative cultivated the past five years. The advent of “Fake News” has accelerated this trend, as increasing numbers of people becoming a slave to their confirmation bias. Rather than scrutinize the information found in sources, righties and lefties outright dismiss sources that oppose their line of thinking altogether, which in makes for an ignorant populace among the Coalition. But the desire for the normies/mushy middle is to look at ideas critically, to actively seek information to make an informed decision. But as they become more embattled and embittered when they get harangued and harassed by the Coalition, they inevitably begin to question the purpose of democracy.

    Exactly why our nation more than ever demands that the normies/mushy middle—me included—take back our nation rather than succumb to the numbness and “waffle on” with our daily lives. We need more Anthony Kennedy’s of the world, for example, as the voice of reason in a number of important cases, a balancer of rights between lefties and righties. Justices like him in the past were sought as nominees by past presidents. Today, the extremists demand their side have selected a justice who will do their bidding, rather than a justice who exhibits restraint when needed and who demonstrates action as required.

  51. @Anonymous

    Wait, are you suggesting that the (((British liberal establishment)))/(((Economist))) and the (((EU))) might not have the best interests of the Brits and Europeans at heart?

  52. @Jean Ralphio

    Yes and our concentration camps will be entirely consensual, funded by student debt and run by tenured Economics professors and talk-radio hosts. We will have no need of gas and will be able to kill much more efficiently by droning on and on about “muh liberty” and “muh freedom”.

  53. Corvinus says:
    @Charles Pewitt

    ““Centrists” are usually bought off baby boomer bastards and other geezers who are benefiting from the current governmental order.”

    So tens of millions of Americans who refer to themselves as centrists sold their soul to the devil? And you are absolutely certain of this phenomenon, much like Sailer’s insistence that centrists “centrists are more often people who find politics boring and annoying?” Talk about BS!

    Our nation historically has been center-right. And the centrists, aka normies/mushy middle remains a very powerful bloc despite their recent passivity, considering how politicians and the media still cater to it. But perhaps it is the obnoxious voices of the Coalition of the Left and Right that drowns out their protests, or maybe it is when they sick their attack dogs on anyone who dares question the narrative.

    Look at Vox Day with his evisceration of Jordan Peterson

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2018/05/two-reports-one-shill.html

    or the SJW’s war on comics.

    http://thefederalist.com/2018/05/15/mob-attempts-strangle-youtubers-breakout-success-upon-ditching-sjw-infested-comics

    Will the normies/mushy middle say “enough”?

    • Replies: @Charles Pewitt
  54. I think centrists are cynical; they are people without core ideals and they switch back and forth looking for the best deal. When they are getting the lion’s share of the government handouts, they are left-ish centrists. When they believe that other people are getting too much and they are not getting enough, they switch to being right-ish/libertarian centrists.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  55. Anonymous[229] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Christopher Caldwell (I think it was a Claremont Review piece) mentioned this currently-untranslated French sociologist who had a nicely stated point about elite shibboleths surrounding “the economy” as if it meant something besides the statistical aggregate of purchases, prices, imports, exports, etc.–in the regnant sophisticated parlance “the economy” instead describes a sort of public utility needing to be redirected to support a quality of living for its subscribers. Of course Anglo Saxons now talk this way as well; it’s the epitome of “centrist” discourse.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  56. @Chrisnonymous

    RPG terminology, which probably became popular in Japan due to JRPGs and associations with Engrish there. Its become pretty common Silicon Valley lingo and “geekspeak.”

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  57. @Corvinus

    So tens of millions of Americans who refer to themselves as centrists sold their soul to the devil? And you are absolutely certain of this phenomenon, much like Sailer’s insistence that centrists “centrists are more often people who find politics boring and annoying?” Talk about BS!

    Smug and greedy geezer “centrists” in Italy just got wiped out. Young people got sick of the “centrists” who were bribed with ECB loot to shut up about mass immigration, globalization and financialization. Marine Le Pen, that great lady, took guff from cowardly dopes because she brought up the euro and the ECB bullshit. The pissant cowards said: Don’t scare the bought and paid for “centrists” with all this talk about leaving the EU or going back to the franc.

    The pussy Greeks didn’t have the balls to get the hell out of the EU and go back to the drachma. Some 40-something twerp didn’t have the onions to pull the trigger on re-drachmatization and leaving the EU. Some guy in his 60s almost started the War of Varoufakis’s Finger when he gave the bird to some German bankers.

    Good Fun Corvinus!

    Globalizer Plutocrat Apes Go Bananas Over Italy Vote — Centrist Parties Collapse

    Is the EU And ECB Going DODO?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  58. Anonym says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    I think the NYT are correct in calling antifa “so-called antifa”. Antifa are anti-white, and anti-fascist is just a way for them and their supporters to feel good about themselves.

  59. CJ says:
    @Altai

    The new elite have reshaped every facet of the society to suit themselves and they don’t want to stop the looting.

    Succinctly stated.

  60. @SunBakedSuburb

    Start telling people you’re fiscally liberal but socially conservative and watch their heads explode.

    My ideal is a night watchman-state, with a government so limited it doesn’t matter who’s in charge.

    And if I can’t have that, then I want my tribe in charge.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  61. JerryC says:
    @Anonymous

    The last paragraph is a joke, albeit one that hits pretty close to home.

  62. @inertial

    I guess you mean 3&4, and the answer is No but nice try!

  63. Corvinus says:
    @Wilkey

    “To me a “centrist” is someone to whom, when it’s suggested that we split the baby in half, says “that’s a terrific idea!””

    Except that suggestion is nonsensical. And a centrist would not call it a terrific idea.

    “They’re the voters most easily manipulated by a pollster depending on how a question is asked.”

    So tens of millions of voters, including whites, are somehow duped and bamboozled…because you say so. Doesn’t work that way, dear.

    “The best thing about Donald Trump’s victory is that he’s shown that passionate politicians…”

    He’s not a politician. Trump is a showman who acts as if he is a politician. Big difference.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  64. Corvinus says:
    @Charles Pewitt

    “Smug and greedy geezer “centrists” in Italy just got wiped out.”

    No one got “wiped out” Italy experiences this political and economic turmoil. You have two unlikely coalition partners–the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right League–that have so much disagreement between them they will have a “conciliation committee” to settle its internal differences. Hmmm, sounds like compromise. Furthermore, each group will have to reach out to the moderates for support, considering that the new government must pass legislation by way of a Senate consisting of 318 seats. The coalition partners, who have knack for not observing voting discipline, have a 7 seat advantage. Hmmm, sounds like compromise.

  65. @Reg Cæsar

    Principles so principled they forbid you from defending your interests.

  66. Corvinus says:
    @Tom Neumann

    “I think centrists are cynical; they are people without core ideals and they switch back and forth looking for the best deal. ”

    No, centrists are pragmatic. They work within a system. They try to uphold their principles, but realize that they may have to work with others and generate a solution for all parties involved. That’s how things used to work. Unfortunately, the Coalition of the Fringes Left and Right are making like challenging for the normies/mushy middle.

    • Replies: @Tom Neumann
  67. Corvinus says:
    @The Z Blog

    “In my experience, the centrists tend to be very dishonest people.”

    Patently false. Refer to the Pew Research Center. They have conducted studies about the political leanings of people. It ultimately grouped the respondents into eight different political camps. PRC noted that “moderate” is other than a monolithic political viewpoint–these groups consist of hard-working, forthright individuals who have nuanced beliefs. The Young Outsiders (YO) lean towards the Republican party, strongly support limited government, are in favor of environmental regulation, and hold liberal social views. Faith and Family Left (F&FL) lean Democratic, have confidence in an expanded government, but are relatively conservative on matters that impact family and religion. The Partisan Left and Right believe these two groups are “dishonest” because they cannot be counted on to support their agenda; thus, they generate labels to shame them or craft narratives to convince them about the issues they tout.

    • Replies: @The Z Blog
  68. @bartok

    The idea that a NYT writer might be familiar with Moldbug is outlandish. No, the answer is simpler than that. When you work for the NYT, anybody to the right of Bernie Sanders is a fascist.

  69. This Adler piece appears to have some real bite to it, in turning the Narrative on its head. The only problem I see with it – based only on these excerpts as I’ve used up my free articles for the month – is that Adler sees in centrism merely a latent vulnerability to the authoritarianism in the common form of the strongman. But while populist movements of the left and right concerning spending, foreign policy, border security and so forth have gained broad appeal due to their good sense and people trusting their own common sense, centrists, perhaps in their contentment with the status quo, are happy to defer to a systemic authoritarianism of establishment media and politicians. To their way of thinking, an excess of democracy can only unsettle a favorable course.

    Amidst all the unending alarm of Constitutional crisis in some form or other over some prospective act of Trump, centrists Corker and Kaine have, notwithstanding their concern over Trump, co-sponsored an AUMF bill that would strengthen legal cover for military operations ordered by the executive. Some would call this formalized power-concentration into an emergent imperial executive more of an authoritarian style of government.

  70. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Dats right.
    Centrist be like:
    -keep the gibs coming.
    -more reality tv & fastfood
    -can’t we all be friends & make this icky politics go away?
    -war is cool. Bombs & fighter planes. Let’s kick Ass!

  71. @Beene

    ‘Gosh, could the “will of the people” sometime involve getting more votes than the other guy? This requirement doesn’t seem to be terribly important, or else Democrats would control at least two out of three branches of government.’

    We’re the United States of America, not the United States of Mexifornia. It’s irrelevant that Mexifornians ran up the score for HR Clinton and her White Genocide Party to the tune of 4.4 million votes.

    Get used to it.

  72. Centrists are people who want to drive America over the cliff in 2nd gear instead of overdrive.

    Centrists fear conflict, they have no spine — to wit:

    Centrists in 1988 thought sodomite marriage was absurd; centrists in 2018 think sodomite marriage is Who We Are.

    Centrists in 1988 thought Russia was the Evil Empire; centrists in 2018 think Russia got Trump elected.

    Centrists in 1978 feared Global Cooling; centrists in 1998 feared Global Warming; centrists in 2018 fear Climate Change.

    And I don’t refer to centrists as a demographic; I mean the same individual centrist who held belief X in 1978 and belief Y in 1998 now holds belief Z in 2018. They have no core, their minds are 100% longitudinal cognitive dissonance.

    Centrists stick their collective finger in the air and follow the political hot air whichever way it blows.

  73. @Anonymous

    “What’s ahead for the economy.” –Wall Street Week

    Rukeyser was bland and roughly centrist, in the business-friendly way. But he had his subtle, transgressive streak. Tap out the time signature on his theme song:

  74. @Corvinus

    Except that suggestion is nonsensical. And a centrist would not call it a terrific idea.

    And only a crow-bot would have taken it literally.

    Just what is your purpose here? Our other scolds have their saving graces. Art Deco makes an attempt to be informative, and at times he is. Truth tries to be funny, and once in a blue moon odom he is. Tiny Duck plays a game of “Is he or isn’t he? Only his featherdresser knows.” They keep us on our game.

    But you? Just tired old finger-wagging and virtue-signalling.

    You’re in a class with Mark Potok and GLAAD.

    Do something useful. Go work out π to Avogadro’s number of decimal places, and report to us when you’re done.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  75. Centrists Are the Most Hostile to Democracy, Not Extremists

    If you look at the numbers he presents, the differences within country are not very big in most instances, and the differences among the Western countries are much bigger than expected – too big to be reliable, I’m say.

    On the other hand, given the remarkable tendency of democracy to be hijacked by extremists who absolutely despise the common men at the center, this finding should well be true.

  76. dfordoom says: • Website
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    Start telling people you’re fiscally liberal but socially conservative and watch their heads explode.

    Yep.

  77. @Corvinus

    Let me fix my original sentence for you: I think centrists/pragmatics are cynical; they are people without core ideals and they switch back and forth looking for the best deal.

    How can they uphold their principles when they quite literally don’t have any? Also, when was this late golden age when centrism used to work? If by centrism, you mean unbridled leftism then you might have a point that “centrism” did work throughout the latter half of the 19th and the whole of the 20th Century.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    , @S. Anonyia
  78. Corvinus says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    “And only a crow-bot would have taken it literally.”

    No. Wilkey is making an overgeneralization, and I called him out on it. But I’m sure he appreciates your white-knightedness.

    “Just what is your purpose here?”

    Educate and inform, comment and harass, laugh and cry. You?

    “Our other scolds have their saving graces. Art Deco makes an attempt to be informative, and at times he is. Truth tries to be funny, and once in a blue moon odom he is. Tiny Duck plays a game of “Is he or isn’t he? Only his featherdresser knows.” They keep us on our game.”

    Translation –> You are in over your head, so you have to disqualify, disqualify, disqualify.

    “But you? Just tired old finger-wagging and virtue-signalling.”

    Thanks, mom.

    “Do something useful. Go work out π to Avogadro’s number of decimal places, and report to us when you’re done.”

    6.0221409e+23. Next task, massa’.

  79. Corvinus says:
    @Tom Neumann

    “How can they uphold their principles when they quite literally don’t have any?”

    Of course centrists have principles! Are you that ignorant?

    http://uscentrist.org/platform/positions

    “Also, when was this late golden age when centrism used to work?”

    Eisenhower, with his dynamic conservatism, for starters.
    Give and take with Congress was more prominent in the 1980′s and 1990′s. Now battle lines are drawn and hardened. Compared to 2 decades ago, both sides today are definitively less willing to even think about compromise.

    “If by centrism, you mean unbridled leftism then you might have a point that “centrism” did work throughout the latter half of the 19th and the whole of the 20th Century.”

    Centrism does not equal leftism. Man, the stupid on this thread is amazing to me.

  80. Harold says:

    As Razib Khan has written about, centrists, or at least moderates, are less intelligent, and less intelligent people are less in favour of free speech, so it wouldn’t surprise me that they are less in favour of democracy.

  81. Corvinus says:

    “As Razib Khan has written about, centrists, or at least moderates, are less intelligent…”

    Not necessarily.

    “A recent proponent of this view is Rinderman (link is external) who argued that more intelligent people tend to have civic values that lead them to support political systems they believe will foster education and the growth of knowledge (Rindermann, Flores-Mendoza, & Woodley, 2012). Hence, according to this view, intelligent people tend to believe that moderate/centrist parties are more likely to promote their particular social interests compared to more clearly left or right parties. In support of this, Rinderman et al. cite findings from Great Britain and Brazil showing that people who expressed support for centrist parties (including centre-right and centre-left) had higher average IQ’s compared to those who supported more clearly left or right parties. An interesting finding from the study in Brazil was that people who had a political orientation at all tended to have a higher IQ than those who said they had no political orientation. This suggests that people who are more intelligent tend to be more interested in and informed about politics generally. It is worth noting that the average IQ’s cited for the various political orientations in Rinderman et al.’s study were all well within the normal range (an IQ ranging between 90 – 110 is considered “average”). For example, those who supported centre-right parties had an IQ around 105 whereas those who supported clearly left or right parties had IQ’s around 94.”

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/unique-everybody-else/201305/intelligence-and-politics-have-complex-relationship

    • Replies: @Harold
  82. Sam Kriss wrote a great piece on this subject a year and a half earlier, coining the term “alt-center” in describing their mania.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/12/what_the_hell_is_wrong_with_america_s_establishment_liberals.html

  83. Why do we care so much about “democracy “? A crap system that always leads to totalitarian oppression and looting of the public treasury

    • Replies: @S. Anonyia
  84. ATBOTL says:

    There are two kinds of “centrists.” Both have a mix of left wing and right wing positions. But one type chooses whichever position, left or right, is supported by the establishment and the other chooses the positions that are opposed by the establishment on that issue.

  85. The Z Blog says: • Website
    @Corvinus

    Thanks for being the example to prove my point.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  86. @Wilkey

    But Trump probably is more of a centrist, policy-wise and in terms of his worldview, than Romney.

    Lots of the milquetoasts are quiet extremists. Trump is a loudmouth, aggressive centrist.

  87. @Amedievalman

    Right. Democracy is rather “extremist” in itself, at least in terms of world history.

    Countries where the population has centrist worldviews hold up pretty well over time.

    It’s unfortunate that “centrist” in this thread is being confused with the postmodern neo-liberalism being forced down everyone’s throat by the corporate/globohomo/military/intelligence/diversicrat elites. There’s nothing really centrist about them. Just because it’s a powerful status quo doesn’t mean it’s centrist.

  88. @Tom Neumann

    When did centrism work? The entire Renaissance and part of the Early Modern period, when Europe was for the most part ruled by benevolent monarchs who encouraged mercantilist economic policies.

  89. Corvinus says:
    @The Z Blog

    “Thanks for being the example to prove my point.”

    You know, for someone who prides himself as being intelligent, you are demonstrating a remarkable idiocy here. Furthermore, you comment only shows an unhinged elitism, which I thought was exclusively reserved for Jews.

    “A recent proponent of this view is Rinderman (link is external) who argued that more intelligent people tend to have civic values that lead them to support political systems they believe will foster education and the growth of knowledge (Rindermann, Flores-Mendoza, & Woodley, 2012). Hence, according to this view, intelligent people tend to believe that moderate/centrist parties are more likely to promote their particular social interests compared to more clearly left or right parties. In support of this, Rinderman et al. cite findings from Great Britain and Brazil showing that people who expressed support for centrist parties (including centre-right and centre-left) had higher average IQ’s compared to those who supported more clearly left or right parties. An interesting finding from the study in Brazil was that people who had a political orientation at all tended to have a higher IQ than those who said they had no political orientation. This suggests that people who are more intelligent tend to be more interested in and informed about politics generally. It is worth noting that the average IQ’s cited for the various political orientations in Rinderman et al.’s study were all well within the normal range (an IQ ranging between 90 – 110 is considered “average”). For example, those who supported centre-right parties had an IQ around 105 whereas those who supported clearly left or right parties had IQ’s around 94.”

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/unique-everybody-else/201305/intelligence-and-politics-have-complex-relationship

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