The New Political Center is a movement that seeks to improve society by changing the way we have conversation. We believe societal progress depends on a functioning marketplace of ideas -- and that the best ideas are discovered through civil, rational, and intellectually honest conversation.
While this movement is not about centrist policies per se -- it does recognize that extreme polarization and the failure to have conversation has opened a space for much needed rational conversation in the middle.
At the heart of ThinkLab and The New Political Center are a shared set of core beliefs.
Free speech is a fundamental human right. Without free speech it will be the most powerful in society dictating what the most vulnerable can and cannot say. Exemptions for "hate speech" are dubious as who gets to decide what is or is not hate speech? Free speech is most needed precisely when some people are offended.
Speech is also what we use to navigate a path towards a better society. For this to work it's not enough to have free speech technically -- we actually need a functioning marketplace of ideas. Censorship can come from the state, but it can also come from a culture that has severe social costs for "wrong think".
Many people on the political left have a habit of calling anyone who disagrees with their ideas racist, sexist, islamophobic, etc. This is profoundly bad for society. These terms are incredibly insulting and incendiary. Nobody called a racist is going to want to have a conversation.
Being called these names comes with the very real threat of being fired from a job or ostracized from social circles. The result is that people are so afraid that they simply choose to avoid conversation on certain topics entirely. When pressed they'll give the politically correct answer rather than say what they really believe.
Being truthful is critical for bringing people into conversation. If someone is being dishonest, people won't engage. If smart well intentioned people are avoiding acknowledging inconvenient truths, people will turn to other other, perhaps less well intentioned, people who are not.
Speaking the truth is also critical for having effective conversation. In order to solve problems it's critical to have an accurate understanding of those problems and the environment in which solutions might be created. If we avoid speaking the truth for fear of upsetting certain people, then we avoid the very conversation that is likely a necessity for helping the people we fear upsetting.
There's only one best way to discover truth: science & reason. Effective conversation require a respect for science and reason. Belief in spite of counter evidence is not a virtue.
The circumstances of a person's birth should not affect their rights to live life free from oppression. If certain cultures oppress people we should criticize those cultures and stand up for the people suffering within them. We should work to propegate the best laws, systems, and cultural practices we know.
ThinkLab is doing more than just bringing together people that care about better public discourse -- we've implemented a unique crowdfunding model that creates structural rewards and for better public discourse.