To Be or not To Be in the Center
In politics there’s only one place to be, and that’s in the center. To be on one side of the other, on the right or the left, is at best to be only half right. Although to be on one side of the other, to be liberal or conservative, Blue or Red, is not to be without validity or substance, yet only by being in the center can you utilize and profit from the best thinking on both sides of the line.
Haven’t the most successful men, and nations, always been centrists? Of our own presidents, centrists were Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower. Centrists always speak for most of us, and isn’t that their job as presidents?
Of present regimes there are only Great Britain and the United States that have long histories of being centrist nations. And that may very well be the principal reason why they even have long histories, the longest of all the 190 or so nations of the world today. Other nations, those of Europe, as well as those of Asia, not to mention the underdeveloped countries and nations of Africa and South America, have only very brief histories, at least in modern times.
And why is that? Because they have again and again gone too far to one side of the other, too far to the left, as for example in Jacobin France, or to the right, as in the France of Napoleon, or as in the two Russias, that of the Tzars and that of the Bolsheviks.
Germany after experimenting disastrously with the right seems for the moment to be well established where its European partners hope it will remain, well in the center. China can’t seem to make up its mind, whether on the one hand to discard its leftist roots or on the other hand to turn from its present rightist autocracy and like Germany move to the center.
Although of all today’s nations it’s perhaps China, and in particular China between 618 and 907, that offers the best example of a thoroughly stable and successful centrist nation, the China of the Tang Emperors that became at the time the most powerful and prosperous country in the world, its economy, politics, culture and military strength reaching a previously unparalleled level of advancement. Greece and Rome? Well they’re no more.