Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Pragmatic Party (the "vast middle") is Defined by Principles that Honor Our Founders

I am tired of hearing people like Ted Cruz insinuating that they are seemingly the only people standing on principle, and that those who seek compromise are all without values or principles themselves, or more to the point that they are willing to put aside their principles when it is convenient.

Now for some politicians that may be the case, but Cruz also seems to suggest that the so-called “vast middle” is without principle and easily manipulated by those on the left and right.
I respectfully disagree, and in fact believe that those in the “middle” are expressing a principle as old as our nation, and that those expressing this principle are more steadfast in their belief, less willing to compromise, than those on either end of the political spectrum. This of course is the pragmatic principle. It is no doubt expressed in many ways, but in essence the principle states that “given situation X and choices A and B, I will select whichever choice has the greatest likelihood of resolving situation X.” The premise of this principle is that progress is the primary goal of society, with progress being defined as the removal of impediments to the “motion” of society. It assumes that society must be on a continual path to growth, and that the only way for that growth to be manifested is by resolving any problems put in its path by using the power of reason.

Pragmatists don’t always agree on a particular decision to achieve that growth, but they all share the belief that their choice is defined as that which has the greatest likelihood of achieving progress. Stasis is anathema to a pragmatist. A pragmatist would view those who hold steadfast to premises (the free market is always a preferable choice) that have been proven to be untrue as unreasonable; those that hold these seemingly recalcitrant principles are denying the power of reason, which is of course the foundation of our political system and its social contract.
Reason is the true “religion” of our nation, a nation borne of science, and pragmatism is the only philosophy that truly embodies the use of reason. Those in that “vast middle” are expressing a philosophy that honors our Founders. Its “members” may not be part of a political party, but maybe it is time they be thought of one. A strong Pragmatist Party is the only true hope for our future.

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