American politics is broken, with the far left and far right making it increasingly impossible to govern. This will not change until a viable center emerges that can create an agenda that appeals to the vast majority of the American people.
This is the mission of The New Center, which aims to establish the intellectual basis for a viable political center in today’s America.
We create and promote ideas, news coverage, and commentary that helps people see common sense solutions to the problems we face.
The New Center team produces original papers featuring policy ideas that can engender broad public support and make meaningful progress toward solving some of America’s toughest problems. The first policy document from The New Center, Ideas to Re-Center America, was released in September 2017. Standalone papers—exploring immigration and the impact of big tech companies on our privacy and public discourse—are slated for release in November 2018.
Create and Aggregate Content
The right has The Drudge Report. The left has The Huffington Post. The New Center is the destination for aggregated and original content that both highlights new and ongoing efforts to find common ground and calls out circumstances in which the right and left are overstepping their bounds. The New Center website features regular contributors who publish original content, curate stories from the center, and release relevant and exclusive polling.
New Center Values
The New Center is a 501(c)(3) foundation which aims to educate and convene citizens around policy ideas that advance four core tenets:
Opportunity means that all Americans should be able to go as far as their gifts and drive can take them. The policies best suited to enlarge opportunity are a matter of important debate, and we need such policies. Without them, too many Americans will be excluded from the American Dream.
If opportunity is a distinctive principle of American government, security is a basic purpose. The reasons are clear: not only do all people crave safety and stability, but a lack of security generates fear. A fearful people cannot face the future with confidence. The New Center must support measures to protect the physical and economic security of our people as well as the national security of our nation.
When powerful institutions—public and private—act without regard to the public good or lack the competence to promote it, they should be held accountable for their mistakes.
Americans see ourselves as problem-solvers, and we’ve solved a lot of them over the centuries. If machines aren’t working, we fix them, and we do the same for our institutions and policies. The American ingenuity that has produced a stream of world-changing inventions can also reshape the way we govern ourselves and solve serious societal challenges. The New Center must stand for ideas that promote and harness American ingenuity.
New Center History
The New Center is focused on creating the political space and intellectual basis for a viable political center in today’s America. The project is co-chaired by Bill Galston, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution, and Bill Kristol, the founder and editor-at-large of The Weekly Standard.
In November 2016, Galston and Kristol penned a joint memo in which they made “the case for a New Center, one that does not split the difference between Left and Right, but offers a principled alternative to both.”
In subsequent months, Galston and Kristol convened an array of thinkers and leaders from across the political spectrum to help define the values and policies that would animate the New Center. This resulted in the release of Ideas to Re-center America in September 2017. In November 2018, The New Center’s website was launched as a destination for the millions of Americans who are tired of the sensational fare served up by the left and right; and who are searching for a credible counter to the growing bias on both sides.
Galston and Kristol do not make for an obvious team, writing, “we have never voted for the same presidential candidate. We’ve worked in White Houses of different parties. One of us was a senior aide to a presidential candidate who sought to replace the president the other worked for.”
But they came together, against an alternative right disdainful of the traditions of American conservatism and a vocal left that blends socialist economics with identity politics.
What started as an idea has now turned into an urgent exercise to shape an affirmative policy agenda for The New Center.
As Galston and Kristol wrote, “the alternative to a coherent and effective New Center is a degree of public discontent that could end by undermining democratic self-government itself. For the sake of liberal democracy and republican self-government, we should take Lincoln’s words to heart. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.”
Read their full memo here.