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Centrist Party Foundations

The Short History Version:

    • 1976: Critical Supreme Court decision, Buckley vs. Valeo, sets America up for corruption of our political system. The ability to purchase politicians and corrupt governance is established.
    • Early 90’s: Ideological founding in conversations between Dr. Jonas Salk and John Reisman. Probably around `91-`92 when Reisman had returned from a trip to D.C. discussing the polarization between the parties preventing good governance.
      • John proposed a party that could regulate the partisan divide by introducing a ‘Centrist Party’. Policy based on evidence as opposed to partisan politics would better serve the public. 
      • Dr. Martin Chamberlain, Dean/Chancellor at UCSD, President of the University of the World, former navy commander and founder of distance education in the U.S. Navy also agreed with the idea of a Centrist Party. He as well as Jonas supported the TLC/PATH education system development.
    • 2006: Centrist Party first registered with FEC – Founded by John P. Reisman. Web site put online at uscentrist.org
    • 2007: Toby Rodes Chief Implementation Officer of the Marshall Plan named as first council advisor to The Centrist Party.
    • 2021: The entire CP member database was transferred by hand with the help of expert volunteers to enhance the potential for member communication and party development.
    • 2022: New systems in development for expansion.

Here’s the Bottom Line Up Front:

For decades, we have needed to fix the dysfunctional legislative process. The entrenchment of money in politics and an increasingly polarized political environment shows that The Centrist Party is not only ‘needed’, it is ‘essential’. Our two-party system has cost the country and its citizens dearly, both domestically and internationally.

Most/some legislators are so engulfed, trapped, even blinded by party alignment they are no longer able to address the common good, or even the national good for that matter. They cannot stay ‘completely’ true to their duty, to our country, to ‘all’ our citizens. Unwilling and/or unable to work toward consensus as this may result in their party’s withdrawal of political and financial support. Self-interest becomes survival, with an unwillingness to relinquish perceived power or control. Partisanship becomes the norm to the detriment of all.

The Corporate Person – Santa Clara to Buckley v. Valeo

Reisman saw the system was being broken as far back as 1976 when Buckley v. Valeo was passed in the Supreme Court Of The United States (SCOTUS), which is set upon the precedence of Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad (1886). The case posed a threat to our nation’s foundation of democracy and to our Republic.

This concern led to many discussions with his friend and mentor, the renowned Dr. Jonas Salk, and others. As a result, John, along with Jonas, saw that an alternative party, a Centrist Party (CP), could be a solution to the deadlock that exists in government. In 2006, the Centrist Party website went online. to begin the process.

Buckley > Citizens United > McCutcheon…

In 2011, supported by Buckley vs. Valeo, SCOTUS then passed Citizens United v. FEC (2010), which gave Corporations greater rights to buy politicians. This further entrenched the problem of money in politics. But it was not the end. in 2014 SCOTUS adjudicated McCutcheon v. FEC. That opened the flood gates enabling wealthy individual donors to buy politicians and influence outcomes. The problem is now bigger than ever. Money in politics is doing serious damage to American republican democracy.

Fixing the problem is a marathon, not a sprint. Getting it right is important. The CP is by design NOT about being moderate. It’s about getting the policy right that best serves our citizens and nation. It’s about honor, integrity, evidence, reason, logic and making sure we are careful to address short and long term needs.

The Absolute Need for a Strong Centrist Party

Laying a foundation of reason and common sense. Let’s just call it pragmatism… or, how to beat the special interests and lobbyists by leveling the playing field with a seemingly forgotten skill: logic.

Someone once said not everything is logical. Well, that’s true: the things that are not logical are illogical. So why would we want to do that…that’s why America needs a Centrist Party.

We need our country working, our people safe, and our society secure in the knowledge that the American Dream is still here. And we need  to protect it from being destroyed by those more interested in corporate profit and selfish desires. The ‘American Dream’ comes from creating value and perseverance to achieve betterment by working hard and making that dream come true. It is not about manipulation and corruption to favor power over the needs of the people.

Dark Money & Special Interests Pollute Government

Special interests are pouring millions of dollars each year into shaping legislation and promoting policies and laws not in the public interest. It is important that people realize both parties (left and right) are enmeshed in their own special interest bases. And that those ‘special interests’ either support politicians willing to support their special interests, and/or tow the party lines.

While many/some politicians operate in this system with best intentions, it is essential that we realize the way it is working now reduces the effectiveness of even the best intentions. The special interests and dark money enable the swamp and muddy the waters making it harder for ‘we the people’  to see what they are up to.

A Strong Third Party Choice is Required

Citizen apathy, frustration, and in the eyes of many independent voters a lack of good candidate choices. Add to that the propaganda and power of misleading rhetoric and one can understand that some voters actually think voting doesn’t help. But that’s not true, we need to vote always for either the lesser of two evils, or the better candidate. And that depends on your point of view. Either way, a humble view and careful consideration can bring us to the better of two choices.

Clearly, there is not enough political choice to give enough confidence to voters at this time. Power is taken from the people when lobbyists and demagogues flood the discussion with partisan rhetoric and/or corruption to control voter perceptions. It was only with the rise of a potential dictator that voters finally came out to the polls in force in 2020. The ‘right to vote’ was won through hard fights and many sacrificed for us to get here. We need to respect that right by exercising our vote and protecting citizens rights to participate in the vote. Voter suppression is the opposite of support for our Republican Democracy.

Above all, it is clear ‘the people’ must intervene to save our beloved country, our Democracy, our Republic, and our potential as a people and nation. Otherwise, it will remain in the hands of the political influence of special interests, rather than representatives that are considerate of the needs of the people. Large contributions to politicians need to be seen as political bribes rather than contributions. We need to stop the money pouring into political pockets.

Unite America with The Centrist Party

Enough is enough. We must unite to reclaim our government. Join the Centrist Party. Work together to heal our nation and return balance in governance and common sense for the nation and the people.

There was a national Princeton poll conduced in 2006 which showed:

    • 73% agree that “it would be a good idea for this country to have more choices in the 2008 election than just Republican and Democratic candidates.”
    • 82% agree “America has become so polarized between Democrats and Republicans that Washington can’t seem to make progress solving the nation’s problems.”

The Centrist Party was established to:

  • Support honor, integrity, evidence, reason and logic
  • Break the stalemate between the left and right
  • Enable solutions that work now and in the future
  • Bring balance to the field of American politics
  • Give voters and politicians in the center a strong foundation to work from
  • Establish an evidence based platform not weakened by corruption
  • Reduce undue bias from special interests

Without an actual Centrist Party, any attempt at maturing the political environment would likely fall short. Hence, in our current political environment, politicians can ‘claim’ to be centrist; and after elected meander back to their special interest base in the far left or right, where their funding comes from. By creating a centrist foundation significantly strengthens the integrity and ability of politicians to campaign on, and maintain centrist political views.

The History of ‘The Centrist Party’ in America

So the story goes…

Buckley v. Valeo 1976

When the supreme court decided this case it set America up for decades of corruption. That decision was based on a previous decision that suffered from the law of unintended consequences back in 1886 (Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Co.). This led to the supreme court decision on Citizens United (2010), which cemented the corruption and put it on steroids. As if that wasn’t enough, they added heroin, crystal meth and cocaine to the problem when they passed McCutcheon v. FEC. We legalized the corruption and now, America has become addicted to it.

The story of the Centrist Party comes from the need for a solution to fix a problem. There is a great deal of resistance from both sides of the aisle. It seems they may be more concerned wiht losing power that protecting the people and the nation. In truth, a strong Centrist Party it is likely to be the best solution for America; and we all need to work together to make it happen.

Consequently, should the CP succeed in placing members in local, State, and National seats, we can support those from either side of the aisle that support evidence based policy.

The University of The World

It was late 1980’s / early 1990’s.

John Reisman, when working at the University of the World (UW) with Dr. James Grier Miller and Dr. Martin Chamberlain. Through the UW, he met Dr. Louise Schmidt and her friend Aurelia, the daughter of Françoise Gilot (the wife of Jonas Salk and formerly the wife of Pablo Picasso). Louise introduced John to Aurelia. Aurelia introduced John to Jonas Salk.

Jonas Salk

Jonas Salk – Time Magazine

Jonas Salk

Jonas Salk

Jonas became a friend and mentor to John. They met or spoke somewhat regularly. Upon returning from a particularly challenging trip to Washington D.C. John shared concerns with Jonas about the inability of the right and left to come to consensus. John suggested the need for a Centrist Party. A tie breaker to support rational methodology in policy development.

Jonas agreed. It would be a good way to break the tie in political differences. The issue then was trying to get congress to help bring in the TLC/PATH system John developed at the University of the World. It had already been demonstrated to be very effective at reducing costs in education while increasing GPA in test schools run by Tom Williams. Another effect was that it addressed the needs for a system that adapted to an individuals neural pathology and learning needs even in the context of group learning.

The MacArthur Genius Award

June 21, 1995: Jonas Salk asked John to come down to the Salk Institute prior to his meeting with the board of Directors at MacArthur Foundation the next week. Jonas was on the board of directors at the MacArthur Foundation and believed a MacArthur Genius Award, would help get the TLC/PATH off the ground. This would also have helped lay the groundwork for the Centrist Party. They arranged to meet before Jonas left for Chicago. Unfortunately Jonas died two days after that phone call, on June 23rd, 1995. John lost his mentor and a good friend.

Dr. Martin Chamberlain

In WWII Martin commanded a destroyer. He once shared a story about how he evaded a German U-boat torpedo successfully only to see it hit a ship behind his boat. Martin also originated distance learning in the US Navy to reduce personnel transport for education and help maintain military readiness. After he retired from the Navy he became involved in education and rose to the positions of Dean and Chancellor at UCSD.

Chamberlain was one of the strongest supporters for the TLC/PATH education project and also supported the idea for a Centrist Party. Having an evidence based approach to policy development was becoming increasingly needed.

Martin (left) felt strongly that a Centrist Party would help promote more reasoned policy.

Dr. Chamberlain provided foundational support for the development of the TLC/PATH project and helped author the ‘School 2000 – The Learning Center’ Paper: Reisman J., Chamberlain M. (1991) TLC/PATH. N. American Inter-Univ. Network, EDUCOM

Lessons From The Past

History Forgotten is Oft Repeated…

Later, in 2006, John put The Centrist Party web site online to begin gathering members. It was right around that time he met Toby Rodes. Toby had a wealth of experience ranging from working as an intelligence officer in WWII to managing the Marshall Plan. At the beginning of WWII Toby worked with British intelligence and then US intelligence when America entered the war. Afterwards, Toby, was tasked with implementing the Marshall Plan to prevent any Nazi uprising. This was crucial in assisting Germany in standing up their own democracy. The Centrist Party is essentially a Marshall Plan for America.

Toby Rodes

Toby Rodes

Toby Rodes meets with Queen Elizabeth

Toby Rodes meets Queen Elizabeth

Toby, an American citizen, had a unique experience background having worked with both British and American intelligence. This was due to his unique perspectives being that he was fluent in German and grew up next door to Kaiser Wilhelm . After the war he worked for General George Marshall implementing the ‘ Marshall Plan ‘ as chief of public relations. Toby and John spent many an afternoon where Toby would share stories from WWII working for General Omar Bradley and coordinating with the Russians during the war. Toby agreed to be the first council member of the Centrist Party. Toby passed away in 2013.

Lessons From History

There were many lessons from Tobys’ experience that America needs. We must never take our freedom for granted. We must always be diligent to protect it. And we must uproot sedition and treason before its roots can gain strength and breadth. It was in fact a function of the Marshall Plan to prevent Nazi sedition from regaining ground in Germany after WWII.

As for the future of the CP council development we will endeavor to enlist those with relevant wisdom and experience as we move forward. While it is not an easy task to start a new, and needed, Centrist Party, the endeavor falls to all of us as Americans to ensure a stronger and more honorable future for ‘our’ United States of America.

Unite America with The Centrist Party

Enough is enough. We must unite to reclaim our government. Join the Centrist Party. Work together to heal our nation and return balance in governance and common sense for the nation and the people.

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