So far, 2016 has been a year of revolution, and it looks like next year may very well follow in its footsteps. In June, Britain defied the odds and expectations of polls and voted to leave the corrupt and backwards European Union. In the United States this month, defying all expectations, Donald Trump, a reality TV star and real-estate tycoon with no political or military experience, defeated Hillary Clinton, one of the most experienced politicians to ever run for the Oval Office. And now all eyes are turned to France, where despite conventional and "expert" wisdom, it looks like Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front Party, has a historic opportunity to win the presidency and become France's first female head-of-state. Since then, countless articles have been released saying that "centrist candidates" or "centrist platforms" are either weakening in the face of such challenges, or are responsible for these victories, since they haven't catered far enough to the Left, apparently. Nonsense. 

Hillary Clinton, with her hawkish foreign policy and willingness to cooperate with Wall Street (even as she condemns its malpractice) is a genuine centrist. But her surprising defeat wasn't because she tacked too much to the Right, or because she was in the middle. If anything, it was because she'd moved too far Left. The famed "Blue Wall" that elected President Obama twice voted for him due to his economic message. Instead of replicating this, the Clinton Campaign decided to attack The Donald and give in to identity politics, all while failing to visit Wisconsin, Michigan, or Ohio and instead focus their energy on Republican women in Arizona, a historically red state. In France, Alain Juppe, a center-right candidate, promoted himself as anything but. Despite the polls showing that he and Nicolas Sarkozy should've been the ones going head-to-head against Le Pen, both were soundly defeated by Francois Fillon. After Trump's victory, Juppe exclaimed "I'm not Hillary Clinton". Indeed, he was. Like Hillary, he lurched too far to the Left, with his "happy identity" statement betraying his focus on identity politics rather than on the people's fear of terrorism and the spread of fundamentalist Islam in a secular republic. 

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Many champions of the EU are defined as "centrists" or "belonging to the political center" by the mainstream media, but nothing could be farther from the truth. If one doubts this, just look to those people who gave Donald Trump their vote--and ultimately, the White House in early 2017--or to those who voted against Alain Juppe and Nicolas Sarkozy. Tired of the lies, stagnation, and political correctness of the Left, and how it influenced the Center, they were driven to the Right. The arguments of Bernie Sanders and other leftist Democrats and Independents in America is that Hillary lost because she hasn't "heard the ideas of the youth" or didn't fully embrace socialism. This is akin to the argument made by people like Angela Merkel or Jean-Claude Juncker that the answer to Brexit and the rise of nationalism is Europe is "more integration". The vast majority of Sanders voters supporting and cast their ballot for Clinton because, while they didn't agree with everything on her record, they realized her politics were more in line with theirs than her opponent's were. But even that wasn't enough to stop blue-collar Whites--the traditional base of the Democratic Party--from leaving in droves and voting for Donald Trump, which they'd last done in 1980 and 1984 for Ronald Reagan. These voters were tired of being ignored and put down by an out-of-touch coastal elite, who often looked (and indeed, often is) hypocritical and demeaning. Similarly, Brexit voters didn't vote to leave the EU because they were frustrated it hadn't integrated enough--they believed it was holding Britain back from its full potential. Nationalists throughout the continent, from Marine Le Pen to Geert Wilders, believe the same way. By tacking too far in one direction, the Centrists have betrayed themselves and their ideology, not just the common man. Being a Centrist doesn't mean you move whichever way the wind blows, in a lazy fashion. It means that you form common sense ideas, goals, and plans by, at times, reaching out to people on both sides of the political fence to get something done. It means you echo the voice of the moderate majority---and yes, moderates usually do make up the majority. It means that while you can repudiate the far-left and far-right you also share commonalities in beliefs on some issues with both Leftists and Right-Wingers. The reason the Center is losing ground and appeal is because they don't appear to have a strong platform of political beliefs and are viewed as shifty and opportunistic. The answer to gaining power--or regaining it, as the case may be--is to stop rushing to judge or criticize those who hold other viewpoints as "deplorables" or "poorly-educated". Nor is the answer essentially joining one of the two existing parties. Instead, it's to listen to and engage in dialogue with your opponents or those on the fence, and form a solid base and platform of your own. 

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