Our new piece for Salon.com is called “Don’t Call Them Centrists.” It addresses the media habit of referring to lobbying groups and politicians as ‘centrist,” even though those groups and individuals hold economic views that are far to the right of the public’s. They may represent the ‘center’ of corporate-funded Beltway opinion, but they are well outside the American mainstream.
The word “centrist” was used a lot over the last couple of weeks, regarding both the budget deal and last week’s dust-up between Third Way and Sen. Elizabeth Warren over increasing Social Security. Here’s an excerpt from the piece:
If we are to live in a world where words have meaning, they really should stop doing that.
The generally accepted definition of “centrism,” found in the Free Dictionary and elsewhere, is “The political philosophy of avoiding the extremes of right and left by taking a moderate position.” Similarly, a “centrist” is defined as “one who takes a position in the political center.”
The polling data is clear: If anybody should be called a “centrist” in last week’s conflict, it’s Elizabeth Warren and those who agree with her.
The rest of the piece is here.