Ethics, integrity, and public life

In previous columns, I have reflected on the emergence of a “new” political center and the resurgence of democratic engagement in public life that we see all around us as a result of our authoritarian 2016 electoral results. During a recent radio interview, however, a caller reasonably questioned whether, in the face of unprecedented partisan polarization and the previous failures of “centrist” independent candidates, “no labels” movements and the like, this is just wishful thinking.

While my observations are intended to shine a spotlight on the efforts of people like Matthew Dowd, whose Listen to Usorganization aims to put “Country before Party” and common interests above personal and partisan ambition, as well as Represent Us, whose members focus specifically on bipartisan electoral and campaign finance reform, what I’m really getting at is a movement centered within the partisan landscape, but not a creature of it (commentary at SLO New Times).

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