Radical Centrism: A New Hypotenuse
Radical Centrism: A New Hypotenuse
I have spent time describing #RadicalCentrism as an ideology that is, “Positioned within the first sigmas of a "Liberty Bell Curve" it , actively--radically--opposes the apoplectic noise from beyond those sigmas.” This call to the Bell Curve deals, largely, with how we might think about the raw politics that Radical Centrism addresses.
At the risk of mixing metaphors, I’ll address social and economic Radical Centrism within a more Euclidian framework (metaphor). As a methodology for the absorption of culture, a Radical Centrist engages in conscious, interactive triangulation. From a two-poled line of 180 degreed opposites, Radical Centrism pulls together disparate voices, opposite and adjacent, at points of tangency that create the broadest hypotenuse that may support a productive discourse. A productive discourse, undergirded by the human right (codified in the U.S. Constitution) of free expression, is most important to the Radical Centrist’s task.
As a Radical Centrist, in support of productive discourse that presents, “increasingly sustainable policy solutions,” I work to curate robust discourse among others who may not otherwise interact civilly. Although I understand that all voices are valid—if not always factually correct—that curation requires me to muffle the noise reverberating in echo chambers, root out nasty trolls (and Russian bots), and to eschew inflammatory, partisan, hypocritical rhetoric. Such expressions are valid, and feed the solution set, but may not always be germane. Such responsibility, as any curator who must choose which pieces to put on a wall, can be overwhelming. The proliferation of voices and media in which to express those voices compounds the difficulty. And even so, not every conversation includes everybody.
When a desired discourse doesn’t happen organically, the Radical-Centrist-as-curator may create the forum—as an integration of otherwise disconnected texts--and report upon it.
Two of the recent nonfiction books I’ve consumed are Pete Buttigieg’s Shortest Way Home and Ben Shapiro’s The Right Side of History. This exercise spoke to both sides of and affirmed my #PoetEconomist spirit. These two books represent, more wholly than any two I’ve read this year, the type of socio-economic discussions we should be having.
True, neither, on its own, suffices; together they are (near) perfect: the effective rises up, perpendicular to the affective and provides a wide and comfortable slope upon which the #RadicalCentrist may revel. If my generation is to put stock in the next generation (both Buttigieg and Shapiro were born in the early eighties), these two provide an exhilarating connection. Both are patriots. Both are mind-bogglingly smart. Each has risked his life for our nation’s ideals.
They don’t directly contradict each other; rather they complement (dare I say, Sine and Cosine?) each other. The Adjacent rises from Opposite.
Shapiro speaks to my Poet: champion of the core ideals that invigorate the American experience, the metaphysical underpinning for American (human) Rights, their context, and their preservation.
Buttigieg speaks to the Economist: champion of rational, reasonable, data-driven solutions that are measured by results that support the practical experience of citizenship in an America that achieves the most when cooperating toward shared ideals.
Their point of tangency is their shared optimism that, together—as a whole— fuse poetic idealism with evolutionary pragmatism.
We need to reframe our discourse—to escape from the shackles of the Congress-media-POTUS cross-shooting mis-triangulation—of this current political moment. We need opposite and adjacent Buttigieg and Shapiro to speak freely and often: to frame the wide hypotenuse for optimistic, American, RadicalCentrists to reclaim.
And we need, with protractors and compasses ready, to join in.