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"Americans who . . . are fed up with
the Ann Coulter / Michael Moore school of debate and are looking for someone to
articulate a commonsense, middle path . . . may have found their voice in John
-- Kathleen Parker, "Seeking
Balance in an Either-Or World," Orlando Sentinel, April 20, 2005
Tracking the Vital Center
This Archive contains all the columns we carried by John
Avlon, author of the book Independent Nation: How
Centrists Can Change American Politics (2004, pbk. 2005). They're listed in descending
A good bio of Avlon is available HERE,
along with a
handsome mug shot. Yes, he's the Gen-Y radical centrist who appeared on
the Jon Stewart show, and on O'Reilly.
Unfortunately for fans of John's column, he stopped
writing it in mid-2006 in order to become communications director and
senior policy advisor for Rudy Giuliani's political action committee. Let's hope John's ideas start cropping up in
Giuliani's speeches and policy papers!
[Fall 2008 update: OK, that's dead &
gone. But you'll be pleased to know John landed on his feet --
he's now a senior fellow at the Manhattan
[Spring 2013 update: John now appears regularly on television
and radio and writes a well-regarded column for the Daily Beast - see HERE.]
without realism is impotent. Realism without idealism is
empty" -- John Avlon, Independent Nation (2004)
Barry Goldwater Be a Republican Today?
June 1, 2006
Increasing numbers of
Republicans feel alienated by their party and miss the libertarian
common sense the godfather of the modern conservative movement put
Blame Me, I Voted for Bartlet!”
May 15, 2006
NBC’s “The West Wing”
provided a brilliant counter-example to those who claim the
entertainment industry can’t contribute anything of civic value to
National Centrist Conference -- Reports from
On May 6, 2006, at the Theodore Roosevelt
birthplace in Manhattan,12 bloggers and activists from across the U.S. came
together to pool their ideas and discuss building a creative-centrist political
Idea for the conference came from policy
analyst and Radical Middle advisor John Avlon.
Brief reports on the conference have been posted by participants Annie
Stewart Carl, and others (see links in those reports).
Islamic Soldiers: Healing Force in the War on Terror
May 1, 2006
Muslim U.S. soldiers, proud to
be American and Muslim, are helping heal some of the existing
divides. We should listen to them.
Hunt for Heretics Is Underway!
April 15, 2006
The hunt for heretics in
primary elections doesn't help either political party -- or the
American people -- at a time that cries out for creative new
thinking. But true believers in both
parties are giving in to that temptation.
Turn to the Center: Are the Republicans Listening?
April 1, 2006
When the Israelis elected the
centrist Kadima Party last month, the conservative Likud Party was
decimated. Republicans had better sit up and take notice.
Priority #1: Redistricting Reform
March 15, 2006
No single action would do more
to heal the artificial polarization of American politics.
Political Blogs Are On the Rise
March 1, 2006
The rise of blogs expressing alienation from both major parties (as
well as alienation from the far right and far left) is another
indication of how the political landscape is shifting on the road to
Can Kinky Friedman Take Texas for the Radical
February 15, 2006
Can Kinky Friedman be elected the first
independent governor of Texas since Sam Houston? If anyone can do it, the
the Martin Luther King of the Middle East Please Stand Up?
February 1, 2006
Non-violent activists could
help create an active alternative to terrorism on the Arab street.
“Anti-Abortion” and “Pro-Choice”
January 15, 2006
The Alito hearings reminded us
once again that certain people on the left and right are longing for
an ideological Armageddon. But even on the issue of abortion,
coalition-building is possible.
W. Is No TR
January 1, 2006
In this corner, George W. Bush
/ Karl Rove / Mark Hanna. In that corner, John McCain / Rudolph
Giuliani / Theodore Roosevelt. The prize: The soul of the Republican
Party . . . maybe more.
"Centrism places a
premium on finding solutions and reaching a common ground beyond partisan
politics" -- John Avlon, Independent Nation (2004)
Needs an Ariel Sharon
December 15, 2005
Sharon recently quit his conservative
Israeli political party to form a centrist party. Now -- at last -- he has the
freedom to pursue the Israeli national interest without being held hostage by
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg: Warrior,
Philosopher . . . Leader?
December 1, 2005
Having won last month's
election in a landslide, he has the freedom to be the kind of leader
we need now. But does he have the will?
One Mayor Bridged the Racial Divide
November 15, 2005
The brightest spot in the November elections came from certain
creative-centrist mayors, who managed to break down racial
Bono: The Very Model of
a Modern Statesman
November 1, 2005
Elected leaders may be letting us down.
But in the cross-pollination between politics and culture, new heroes
are emerging who retain the ability to inspire across party lines.
Rise of the Independent Black Voter
October 15, 2005
Black voters are de-aligning from the Democratic Party, especially
young blacks. But where can they go?
Washington Saw It Coming
October 1, 2005
A re-reading of Washington's farewell address reveals its startling
relevance for our time.
11" to Katrina
September 15, 2005
The first was an act of war, the second was a
natural disaster. But there were other major differences . . .
Constitutional Conventions That Aimed to Change the World
September 1, 2005
Philadelphia (1787) showed that the creation of a constitution
can be tortuous and its improvement can be never-ending. So let’s give
Baghdad (2005) some rope.
"Intelligent Design" in Our High Schools Is Unwise
August 15, 2005
Opening ourselves up to a "he said, she said" version of
scientific debate would put us on a path toward mutual
often argue that the rise of Centrism means the death of
dissent. That's missing the point. Centrism is
dissent from the outdated political orthodoxies of the past" --
John Avlon, Independent Nation (2004)
On the Importance of Binding
August 1, 2005
When Private First Class Stephen Tschiderer, a medic in Iraq, was shot by a
sniper, he not only survived -- he bound the sniper's wounds.
Our Best Defense Against Domestic
July 15, 2005
A "nightmare scenario" could happen here. But it's less likely
if we maintain our traditions of ethnic assimilation and upward mobility for
Twain for President!
July 1, 2005
Twain's skepticism toward extremists and consistent demand for morality and
fairness is just what the doctor ordered.
2008: The Year a Strong Centrist
Independent Becomes President?
June 15, 2005
If Democrats and Republicans nominate
polarizing liberal and conservative candidates in 2008, moderates and
independents may demand an alternative.
Senate Bipartisan Coalition
May Not Last
June 1, 2005
Centrists cannot prevail without more self-definition, organization,
Ghost of Roy Jenkins Haunts
Recent British Election
May 15, 2005
An early "radical middle" advocate begot Tony Blair and Charles
American People Tell Congress
in Poll After Poll: Enough Is Enough!
May 1, 2005
The Republicans have blown it, and the Democrats are unappealing.
The Nonsense of Noncitizen Voting
April 15, 2005
Allowing noncitizens to vote (a big issue now in New York City) may sound
benign. But think it through.
Rumblings Beneath the Rigidly Polarized Stances of Both
April 1, 2005
There are seeds beneath the snow.
"Centrist[s] are uniquely
free to create new coalitions that bring overdue reforms into the mainstream,
moving society forward instead of to the left or the right" -- John Avlon, Independent
Wake Up, You There in the Beltway -- Here Come the
A grassroots independent movement is growing in America.
"Decency is ultimately
the most practical form of politics" -- John Avlon, Independent
ABOUT THE RADICAL MIDDLE CONCEPT
WHY "Radical Middle"?
50 Thinkers and Activists DESCRIBE
the Radical Middle
Radical Middle BOOKS of the '00s
GREAT RADICAL MIDDLE GROUPS AND BLOGS:
Over 250 Great Radical Centrist GROUPS and Organizations
25 Great Radical Centrist BLOGS
RADICAL MIDDLE INITIATIVES:
Generational Equity and Communitarian
U.S. Green Party's
"Ten Key Values" statement, 1980s
New World Alliance, 1970s
SOME PRIOR WRITINGS BY MARK SATIN:
Options Newsletter, 1984-1992
New Age Politics: Healing Self and Society, 1976
PRIOR RADICAL MIDDLE TEXTS:
50 Best "Third Way" Books of the 1990s
25 Best "Transformational" Books of the
25 Best "New Age Politics" Books of the
NOT JUST RADICAL MIDDLE:
10 Best U.S. Political NOVELS
Current Political IDEOLOGIES
50 Current Political MANIFESTOS