Thursday, August 18, 2011

Welcome Readers

Welcome to my new blog, The Radical Centrist.  I chose that title because it is common that folks who align politically on the far right, or far left, refer to each other as "radicals."  And folks who align more moderately are commonly thought 'indecisive' or perhaps even politically disinterested.

But just because someone does not necessarily agree with the far right, or the far left, but instead derives his or her opinions from the facts that present themselves, filtered through certain applicable principles he or she holds in high regard, thus arriving at a different or opposing opinion than both, that does not mean that he or she is not just as 'radical' as those who many consider 'radical' to the left or right.  Although it can be, political centrism is not necessarily due to a lack of authoritative opinion or strong feeling.  It is simply that one's relevant opinions are founded upon certain criteria or principles that differ from the far right and the far left.  Regardless where those opinions may fall on the political spectrum, those opinions are no less valid.

No one toward either end of the political spectrum owns the truth, or the best way in every instance.  And the true best way today, is not always the best way tomorrow.  That is because circumstances change over time.  A deciding principle that is applicable today may loose its applicability by in the morning.  For this reason, a rigid adherence to any particular ambient opinion or principle, no matter the time or circumstance, is likely ill-founded.  
Lincoln tells us that we should not decide on ambient principles or opinions, beyond our abilities to understand the latest facts: 
The pilots on our western rivers steer from point to point as they call it--setting the course of the boat no farther than they can see; and this is all I propose to myself in this great problem.
So according to Lincoln, rigid adherence to any particular opinion, regardless of the latest available information, is a prime mode for human error.  The man who made the decisions that guided America through the American Civil War is one who should know.

And in one of his letters, Abraham Lincoln wrote of the importance of using principle during its appropriate time.  Lincoln wrote:
All honor to Jefferson--to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so to embalm it there, that to-day, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of re-appearing tyranny and oppression.
Had Jefferson been a day late, that abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, would have missed its time.  I argue that the history of the world from that moment would have been much different, all for the lack of utilizing the correct principle at the proper time.

Regardless of how our opinions might come to us, we all have the right to hold and express them.  God gives us that right. But I believe that an opinion most worth considering, on issues that affect our nation, should derive from some source of legitimate national authority.

In these pages, I will do my best to derive my opinion from beyond any personal feelings I might otherwise possess on a matter at hand, and arrive at it from an appropriate source of authority, beyond myself.  We all have our preferences of the truth.  But my goal here is that my own personal preference will be for the truth itself, whichever way the truth may fall.  That is a tall order, I know.  But that is my goal here.

And I will not confine myself to politics.  That is because to derive an authoritative political opinion, one must connect a pattern of thought back to one's source of authority.  So that source, and all that is related to that source, is fair to consider as well.  Of course, in my mind, the ultimate authority of truth is God. I expect that in these pages, at some juncture I will derive that conclusion for others to consider.  But for now, I simply want to say thank you for considering my remarks, and please feel free to offer your own in return.  And please return to The Radical Centrist often. And please subscribe to updates! We may not agree, and that is OK.  But I promise it will not be dull and we will learn from each other, and the facts.



  1. Excellent, Hank! I am so glad to be the first here to welcome you to the world of blogging!

    I am interested in history and politics, so I am truly looking forward to your future posts and the dialogue I'm sure they will create.

    Blessings, my friend, and best wishes for a productive, stimulating, and thought-provoking blog!

  2. Good luck with the blog. You have several challenges that I will find interesting for you to investigate. The first being that "facts" don't always lead different individuals to the same conclusions (Something I see in medicine all the time). The other is this quote "And the true best way today, is not always the best way tomorrow" You've just opened up the whole can of "judicial interpretation of the Constitution" that the liberals I despise feel so strongly about.

  3. Thanks for the comment, Ray. You are right. Facts do not always lead to the same conclusions. One must derive one's conclusions and make a case for those conclusions. And that is what I am involved here doing. As you get into the next several articles, you will see what I mean. And if you derive different facts than I do, you are free to share your derivation with us. But somehow, one's conclusions must support the facts and vice versa.

    Regarding using today's principle tomorrow, have you ever missed your exit on the freeway? The principle you should have acted on, perhaps to exit right at the next exit, and make your first left to arrive at your planned destination, is no longer applicable. Your plan went wrong because you failed to act on principle at the correct time.

    And because you missed your opportunity to execute the proper principle, you must pay, either with time, or money, or both. And others may have to pay too, the guy behind you who didn't make the light because you were in his way. He had to pay for your mistake.

    But you can't just execute the same principle after its time os past. That principle is no longer applicable. And that is a problem I have with the Tea Party. The failure of the Tea Party to negotiate in good faith, craft their best deal, and work toward a better way of managing fiscal affairs, if left to the Tea Party, would have resulted in a breach of contract or violation of a rightful commitment in countless cases where money was rightfully owed to various parties, and that contract or commitment would not have been fulfilled. The government has no authority NOT to pay bills it rightfully owes. The time to decide on the principle not to pay these various commitments is BEFORE the commitments are made, not after they are made and the payment is due. But withholding payments rightfully due, is exactly what would have occurred had the centrists interested on resolving the issue not prevailed. So perhaps you are beginning to better understand what I meant by the comments I made in this article.

    Thanks again for the post. This is how we begin to understand various other points of view.


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