Centrist Quotes

John Avlon George Washington

George Washington

“I was no party man myself, and the first wish of my heart was, if parties did exist, to reconcile them.”

John Avlon John Adams

John Adams

“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, it to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

John Avlon Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

“I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”

“Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We are all Republicans; we are all Federalists.”

John Avlon James Madison

James Madison

“I have always sought for the middle ground.”

John Avlon Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves — in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.”

John Avlon Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

“I am a man who believes with all fervor and intensity in moderate progress. Too often men who believe in moderation believe in it only moderately and tepidly and leave fervor to the extremists of the two sides — the extremists of reaction and the extremists of progress. Washington, Lincoln . . . are men who, to my mind, stand as the types of what wide, progressive leadership should be.”

“We [must] hold the just balance and set ourselves as resolutely against improper corporate influence on the one hand as against demagogy and mob rule on the other.”

“Just as Lincoln got contradictory advice from the extremists of both sides . . . so now I have to guard myself against the extremists of both sides.”

“Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.”

John Avlon Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson

“Government is not a warfare of interests.”

John Avlon Margaret Chase Smith

Margaret Chase Smith

“It is time that the great center of our people, who reject the violence and unreasonableness of both the extreme right and the extreme left, searched their consciences, mustered their moral and physical courage, shed their intimidated silence, and declare their consciences.”

John Avlon Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower

“The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters.”

“Extremes to the right and left of any political dispute are always wrong.”

“It is only common sense to recognize that the great bulk of Americans, whether Republican or Democrat, face many common problems and agree on a number of basic objectives.”

John Avlon John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

“Extreme opposites resemble the other. Each believes that we have only two choices: appeasement or war, suicide or surrender, humiliation or holocaust, to be either Red or dead.”

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

“This is a time for courage and a time of challenge. Neither conformity nor complacency will do. Neither fanatics nor the faint-hearted are needed. And our duty as a Party is not to our Party alone, but to the Nation, and, indeed to all mankind. Our duty is not merely the preservation of political power but the preservation of peace and freedom.”
Undelivered Speech, November 22nd, 1963

John Avlon Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon

“Idealism without pragmatism is impotent. Pragmatism without idealism is meaningless. The key to effective leadership is pragmatic idealism.”

“Extremists on the left tend to be just as critical of pragmatism as extremists on the right.”

John Avlon Senator Edward Brooke

Senator Edward Brooke

“We must reject separatism from whatever source. We must reject white separatism. We must reject black separatism. We must hold true to the course on which we have embarked the course which leads to an integrated society of magnificent pluralism.”

John Avlon Senator Paul Tsongas

Senator Paul Tsongas

“The core of America is not racist. It is not hostile to women. It is increasingly offended by gay bashing. Yet it abhors government waste. It believes strongly in fiscal responsibility such as balanced budgets. It is pro-economic growth. It is concerned about the environment. It is intolerant of people on welfare who disdain the notion of work. But it wants poor kids to have school lunches and it wants to spend money to have good schools. In sum, most Americans are sensible, good-hearted, and prudent. The issue, then, is whether there is a political party that can welcome them home.”

John Avlon Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

“When we put aside partisanship, embrace the best ideas regardless of where they come from and work for principled compromise, we can move America not left or right, but forward.”

“The choice we offer is not conservative or liberal. In many ways its not even Republican or Democratic. Its different. Its new. And it will work.”

John Avlon Maine Governor Angus King

Maine Governor Angus King

“I’m too fiscally conservative for the Democrats and too socially liberal for the Republicans, like 75% of the American people.”

John Avlon Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani

“To be locked into partisan politics doesn’t permit you to think clearly.”

John Avlon John McCain

John McCain

“Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell on the right.”

John Avlon Barack Obama

Barack Obama

“There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America…There’s not a black America and white America…there’s the United States of America.”