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8 ways you can help define a political center

Former Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine suggests that citizens engage with established groups that are already working for political common ground. Here are eight that she recommends. 

(Left) Former Republican presidential candidate and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman speaks during a New Hampshire primary night party in Manchester, N.H., in 2012. (Right) Sen. Joe Manchin (D) of West Virginia, holds a news conference on firearms background checks on Capitol Hill in April. The men co-chair a citizens' movement called 'No Labels' that promotes 'the politics of problem solving.'

Charles Krupa/AP and Gary Cameron/Reuters

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In her book, “Fighting for Common Ground,” Olympia Snowe, the former senator from Maine, writes that the “fastest way” for citizens to push for compromise in Congress is to “support the efforts of existing national groups” that advocate bipartisanship. She recommends the following eight organizations, urging people to “browse their websites, visit them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.” Several of them invite direct citizen participation.

Bipartisan Policy Center is a think tank started by four former Republican and Democratic Senate majority leaders to research and advocate bipartisan solutions to national problems.

No Labels is a citizens’ movement of Republicans, Democrats, and independents that promotes “the politics of problem solving.” It has organized a bipartisan group of members of Congress to meet regularly.

Republican Main Street Partnership is a group of “main stream” fiscally conservative elected leaders and others promoting “pragmatic” and “common sense” solutions in government.

Third Way is a progressive think tank that focuses on the “vital center,” compromise, and moderate policy recommendations. 

Campaign to Fix the Debt is a nonpartisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path. It offers a “tool kit” for citizen action.

National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona was established shortly after the 2011 shooting in Tucson. It is a research and advocacy center focused on promoting civil discourse in politics and the media.

The Village Square is a local, nonpartisan public education forum – not an advocacy group – that promotes fact-based discussion of local, state, and national issues and is based in Tallahassee, Fla. 

Olympia’s List is a committee founded by Ms. Snowe to support candidates who believe in “building consensus.” 

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– The Editors


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