Barry Fagin (copy)

The Communists had a manifesto. Why not Radical Centrists? Here’s my take:

I’m against drugs and against the drug war. I don’t see a problem being opposed to both.

I don’t welcome more immigrants on welfare. I welcome more immigrants.

I want democracy to catch on around the world. I just don’t think that’s what the military is for.

I want more housing built. Even if it’s in my backyard.

I want a happy, fulfilling life. I don’t expect government to give me one.

I don’t like being offended. I don’t have a right to live free from offense.

I support heterosexual marriage. I support gay marriage. Don’t see why we can’t have both.

I don’t care how much money someone has. All that matters to me is how they got it.

Rich countries aren’t rich because poor countries are poor. The ideas that make societies thrive are available to every country in the world. I feel neither guilt nor shame for living better than so much of the world. I am only sad so many countries refuse to do what is necessary to make their citizens’ lives better.

No one should be prevented from practicing their religion. No one should be forced to practice any religion. If this doesn’t sound familiar, it darn well should.

I want taxes cut, for everybody. I want spending cut even more. Even if it hurts me. That’s the only way to get a handle on our disastrous financial situation and make things better for my children and everybody else’s.

No one should be prevented from making art. No one should be forced to see art. No one should be prevented from buying art. No one should be forced to pay for art. How hard is this?

Poverty isn’t the same as inequality. I care a great deal about fighting poverty. I care a great deal less about fighting inequality.

There are lots of things consenting adults do that I wish they wouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean I want them thrown in jail.

Before assuming government should solve a problem, I want to know if government has a role in what caused it.

I believe in vaccines. I don’t want government mandating them.

I believe creationism, astrology, ESP, flat earth, crystal power, intelligent design, therapeutic touch, homeopathy and a host of other beliefs are complete and utter nonsense. They ought to be rejected by any thinking person. I believe your right to espouse ideas I think are complete and utter nonsense is worth defending. Voltaire’s biographer was right: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

Peaceful uses of private property should be encouraged. Homeowners associations should lighten up.

I have a right to listen to whatever music I want. But if I’m at a stoplight, I should roll up my windows.

I believe in school choice as the only solution compatible with a pluralistic, centrist approach to education. Much of the shouting and anger at school boards across the nation is because parents with sincerely held but conflicting beliefs can’t afford to send their kids elsewhere. It is time to make peace in the education wars.

The right to swing my fist stops at the end of your nose. Actually, way before then, because that’s assault.

There are lots of things people can do that are good. That doesn’t mean they should be compulsory. There are lots of things people do that are bad. That doesn’t mean they should be forbidden.

I believe no single party or group has a monopoly on good ideas.

I believe in fighting racism. I do not believe America is racist. I believe people value their heritage and ethnicity. I believe obsessing over heritage and ethnicity will kill us as a country.

That’s my first cut, anyway. For a lot of these, liberal Democrats might support one, but not the other. Vice versa for conservative Republicans. What’s a radical centrist to do? Stay tuned …

Barry Fagin is senior fellow at the Independence Institute in Denver. Readers can contact Fagin at

Barry Fagin is Senior Fellow at the Independence Institute in Denver. Readers can contact Dr. Fagin at


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