The term centerist can refer to people with opinions on both the left and right or opinions which lie in the center of the political spectrum. Some people use the term centerist interchangeably with moderate.
Traditionally, the definition of centrist refers to the ideological leanings, but some refer to the temperament of a person when they say centerist. This manifests in the insult that someone is a “squishy or spineless centrist,” referring to someone who does not hold strong convictions. People against centerism may say that the “middle ground” option is not always the morally correct one.
Centrists are sometimes referred to as the “common sense” solution. Many centerists unite around ending policies that both parties engage in that they view as undemocratic such as gerrymandering and taking money from special interests.
QUESTIONS TO PLAY WITH:
- What does it mean to be committed to the “center”?
- Is centrism more about how we get to decisions (civilly), or what the decisions actually are (compromises)?
- Do you think centrism can be inspiring as a political philosophy? How?