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Centrist Manifesto

by Danny Fisher on February 18, 2010

Following Scott Brown’s upset win in Massachusetts, following President Obama’s State of the Union that was confusing and offered mixed messages –and more recently, following the abrupt exit of Evan Bayh from the reelection race for the United States Senate seat in Indiana where polls had him 20 points ahead, I thought I would appeal to those of all political ideologies for a bipartisan/nonpartisan political platform.



a. Start from scratch on health care reform. Seek incremental but meaningful healthcare legislation that may be realistically passed and improve and extend care by reducing costs and increasing competition.

b. Tort Reform. Malpractice by health care professionals and organizations should indeed face severe consequences. But we need to strike a balance between accountability for gross and overt negligence and lawsuits whose merits are questionable, and for which there is no downside to initiating such malpractice claims as the plaintiffs in potentially frivolous lawsuits suffer no adverse monetary consequences by losing. They do not have to pay for the defendants’ legal bills, which encourages lawsuits. Caps on awards, while distasteful in many respects, need to be balanced by the fact that all health care costs are substantially higher due to the high costs of malpractice insurance and the widespread practice of “defensive medicine” whose primary objective is protection from lawsuits rather than the health of our citizens.

c. Foster competition through the ability to purchase insurance across state lines.

d. Incrementally address the unfair exclusion of “preexisting conditions” by insurance companies through a fund that could be established in the private sector with public sector support as a consequence of savings from tort reform and reducing costly “defensive medicine” to combat potential legal claims.

e. Gradually expand health coverage for the uninsured by lowered health costs – this can be accomplished through the private sector working with the public sector through such methods as tax credits and other support structures that are commensurate with the savings resulting from tort reform and increased interstate competition.


a. Immediately repeal “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell.” Gay and lesbian American citizens should not be required to hide their identities in shame in order to place their lives at risk as they protect our nation. There is nothing to debate – do it now. Gays and lesbians serve openly in other countries’ armed forces – America should be at the forefront of civil rights, not followers of the rest of the world.

b. Legalize gay marriage. Here too, there is nothing to debate. Don’t believe in gay marriage? Don’t marry a same-sex partner. Want to preserve the sacred institution of the family”? Stop screwing other people’s spouses and getting divorced at a greater rate than you get married. Gay marriage is not a “values” problem for anyone.


a. Preserve the environment and do whatever you can to reasonably keep the earth as nature intended.

b. Develop alternative energy sources as a long term solution to energy independence: solar, wind, all reasonable and realistic alternative energy strategies need to be researched and explored. Do not be misled into believing that alternative energy will solve our energy needs this year or next year – but that does not mean we should not do everything we can.

c. Expand existing energy resources in an “all-of-the-above” strategy: that includes off-shore oil drilling, natural gas exploration, development of cleaner coal technology, and a serious plan to compete with the rest of the world on peaceful nuclear energy development.

d. Kill Cap and Trade. Do not waste time debating it and wining and dining lobbyists and politicians. We need jobs and we need to simulate and invigorate our economy. Cap and Trade will be devastating to our economy and is an unreasonable solution to an environmental problem that has not been adequately assessed by a science that is in fact not settled.

e. Global Warming aka as Climate Change is an unsettled science. I have said it – does that make me a skeptic or a denier? Actually, no – I am saying what the embattled head scientist Phil Jones effectively conceded as he stepped down from the IPCC: that the science is clearly far from settled, that verifiable man made global warming has not occurred for the past 15 years, that there were other warming periods in the 20thcentury that were not attributed to man-made causes, and that there was likely a medieval warming period that was clearly not caused by man. Moreover, major fixtures of the “scientific consensus” on global warming have been recently determined to be questionable at best: the hockey stick graph, the Himalayan glaciers, the Amazon, reports of weather stations throughout the world which are being questioned – that is, of those records that can be found and have not disappeared. Everyone, let’s come to grips with reality: man-made global warming may exist. But even if it does exist, we are not even close to knowing its true trajectory. We have learned over the past 15 years that hysterical and extreme claims of impending immediate worldwide doom from global warming have been alarmist rhetoric. We have learned over the past few months that climate science has been largely hijacked by those more interested in proving an agenda then studying science for the benefit of all. If that means manipulating data to “hide the decline” or using anecdotal reports by mountain climbers and environmental activists as a substitute for peer reviewed scientific research, it is a disgrace to true science.

f. Energy Independence: we need to be energy independent for many reasons. Preserving the environment is one reason. Another major reason – perhaps the overarching reason at this moment in time – we cannot be beholden to the tyrannical regimes of petro-dictators. We support terrorism each and every day by financing terrorism – not intentionally, of course – but we are financing some of the most ruthless and repressive regimes in the world, who in turn finance the terrorists who are bent on our destruction.


a. President Obama promised us a post-partisan world. I am not going to get into whether he failed at it or Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi failed or the Blue Dogs or Glenn Beck or Mitch McConnell or Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin failed at it. I don’t really care who is to blame. The fact is, the post-partisan world did not materialize – far from it. From what I can see, it’s worse than ever. It most likely led to Evan Bayh’s surprise departure from seeking reelection and, just as with Scott Brown’s upset win in Massachusetts, we should not understimate the significance of the message.

b. What to do about it: Fix it. Zero Tolerance for partisan bickering on either side of the aisle and even if you have no aisle. Stop blaming everyone else and put at least the most modest measure of civility in our national political discourse. Focus on how to solve things, not on how everyone else is to blame. Perhaps it is an old fashioned concept – but imagine a world where those who have the power to do something about our challenges are actually more concerned about addressing our challenges than scoring points against the other side and points for themselves and their side. The current political environment is an absolute disgrace.  Look at the polls on Congress – both parties.

c. Respect and listen to opinions that are not your own, that are not your parties’ own, that are not even the opinions of your circle of friends. Listen to opposing viewpoints without getting hysterical. I am simply amazed about the things I hear about Sarah Palin, the Tea Partiers, about those who oppose Obamacare, which happen to be the majority of Americans. Sarah Palin is a smart woman with great populist appeal, who actually carried out her pro-life principals in her personal life. She believes in limited government, tax cuts and strong national defense. So did John Kennedy. Some of my friends compare Sarah Palin to Hitler. Most of my family was wiped out by Hitler. I fail to see the comparison. Hitler wrote about and spoke about ethnic cleansing of the Jews – that was his dream – not tax cuts to incentivize business.

d. If you do not agree with the policies of our current president – and over half of Americans polled currently do not – that does not make you a racist, notwithstanding Jimmy Carter’s unfounded and absurd allegations to the contrary. It is ok to disagree with your elected representatives – it is downright American to do so.


a. Repeal Sarbanes Oxley (SOX). Yes, the scandals of Enron and other greedy and reckless corporations demanded a regulatory response. However, SOX is primarily further punishing the innocent. SOX is a significant factor in fostering economic stagnation and the stifling of free enterprise. It is costing Americans jobs . Investors are more reluctant to invest in private companies – including small businesses- as they are much more reticent about an investment exit strategy that involves going public. Yes, there are other reasons investors are reluctant to take companies public, but SOX adds discouragement in an environment where we urgently need encouragement.

b. Reduce or eliminate capital gains taxes. We need investment in business to create jobs.

c. Reduce corporate tax rates. I know, that is heresy for a liberal, even a centrist, to declare. But U.S. corporate tax rates are among the very highest in the world, and now that our economy is a global one, American companies need to be competitive with their international counterparts. It is convenient to call corporations the greedy bad guys. But they provide and create jobs that sustain us all – and they also create and preserve value for Americans’ retirement funds.

d. Deficit: We are on an unsustainable course and something is going to have to be done about it. However, I rather agree with President Obama that we cannot commit to resolve the deficit right now, without any regard to the stability of our financial systems. We do, however, need to recognize that a Great Reckoning awaits us, and we cannot simply defer and grow the deficit until the end of time.  We need to begin to address the deficit with seriousness of purpose and with consensus.


a. We are at war with Islamist Jihadists. There is a time for political correctness, and on this issue, we cannot afford political correctness (see: Fort Hood). Terrorists should not be Mirandized 50 minutes after nearly blowing up a plane full of people. Terrorists should not be allowed to further bleed our country’s treasure by being granted civilian trials in the shadow of the World Trade Center were they would also be provided with an obscene public relations platform – at our expense – from which to recruit future Islamist Jihadist terrorists who want to destroy us and our way of life.

b. A World Apology Tour sounded idealistic and even cathartic after having a brush-clearing cowboy in office for eight years. But it did not work. Our enemies perceive us as weaker and less determined. Yes, our country has made lots of mistakes – everyone knows that – as has the rest of the world made lots of mistakes – all of the rest of the world. We should not be the only ones in the world to apologize for our mistakes, as it is misinterpreted as irresoluteness.

c. Support the State of Israel, fully and unequivocally. The Palestinians have long suffered, and the collective Arab States are primarily to blame for the perpetual suffering of the Palestinians. Why has the world forgotten that the Arabs attacked Israel upon its founding and not the other way around? Why has the world not acknowledged the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands, only the expulsion of Arabs from the State of Israel that was brought about by the attack against Israel by Arabs after its founding by the United Nations? Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East and must be supported and defended. Peace is obtainable. Palestinians and Israelis know exactly what the final peace treaty looks like, down to highly specific maps and details that have been worked out by working committees on both sides. Return to 1947 lines, with land swaps to adjust for the realities on the ground. The peace is there for the taking. All we are saying is give peace a chance. Extremists on both sides, and agitators on the sidelines (see: Iran, Syria) have no interest in peace. Their populaces run the danger of turning towards real grievances of their own, such as their being forced to live in a society more suited for the Dark Ages.

d. Keep the Bomb away from Iran. No one seems to be taking this very seriously. The Bomb in Iran will destabilize the region, the world, and the likelihood of The Bomb or an improvised version of it landing in the hands of Al Qaeda, other Islamist Jihadists and generally unsavory characters increases incalculably.  Support dissidents for reform in Iran.


a. Roe versus Wade decided the abortion question once and for all. Pro Choice. A woman must have the right to choose what to do with her body. Against abortion? Don’t get one.

b. Stem cell research is pro-life. Do it. Save lives.

c. Separation of Church and State: It is in the constitution. Honor the constitution on this issue and stop debating it.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Norman February 20, 2010 at 7:30 am

Have a slight problem with 2b – but apart from that the rest works for me…..well written and thx

2 Elise Natter December 29, 2010 at 1:28 pm

There aren’t many websites with information like this man! Bookmarked!

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