Keep the Republican belief in personal responsibility; the respect for wealth creation and the power of markets; the healthy skepticism of what government can and cannot accomplish; and the recognition that taxes and regulation come with an economic toll.
Toss aside the oversimplified view that government is always bad and that lower taxes are always good; the sad and reckless denial of climate change; and the outmoded views on social policy, particularly gay marriage, that are antithetical to the whole notion of keeping government out of our private lives.
Keep the Democrats’ concern for working people; the commitment to a strong social safety net and social tolerance; and the recognition that government must play a crucial role in protecting us from the most egregious abuses of capitalism, including environmental damage.
But ditch the policies that are necessary solely to win a Democratic primary, not fix the country: an overly cozy relationship with the largest unions, particularly the teachers unions; an unwillingness to address the looming costs of our entitlement programs; an unseemly populism that too often treats the forces of wealth creation as a problem rather than a solution.
The Centrists will be fiscally sensible, socially progressive, and committed to the kinds of compromises that will appeal to the tens of millions of voters, particularly younger voters, who are currently without a political home.