Political centrism is not a position, it's an ongoing adjustment to statism. Centrism follows political power, more concerned with pragmatism than principles. For these reasons, centrism is political parasitism, feeding off hosts on the right and left. But centrism works in modern politics in the direction going left, not right, although this could change if authoritarianism gains a foothold in America and becomes the dominant power. Centrists lean toward the most powerful host, keeping the other as a back-up in case of a power switch. Although, right and left statism might not be all that different.
Society as a whole has become more libertarian with social issues, so it's highly unlikely we'll ever see social conservatives gain political power, and certainly never enough power to attract the support of centrists. It's practically impossible to imagine social conservatives gaining power in the executive branch and legislative branch, because society has changed. The question now is which direction statism will take. If the popular, anti-statism movement is real, then statism's growth will be on the left, if it grows. If enough people want governmet intervention and more regulations, then the left will remain in power, and the center will be carried further left. What is the attraction of the center? If centrists believe that statism is necessary, why not support the left and become a major part of the statist movement, helping develope plans for the economy, healthcare, energy, education, etc.?
But, what if crises build to the point, especially national security issues, that many in society are afraid the left is not strong enough, too liberal and weak, and an authoritarian government is voted in, strong, decisive, no-nonsense? This goverment could make people feel safe even if a few freedoms are sacrificed. The authoritarian right government might not be concerned with social issues, just law and order issues, national security issues, making the trains run on time and efficiently handling economic problems and emergencies. Where would the centrists be in this environment? What is the compromise on invading Iraq? What is the compromise when people are pulled from their homes for nothing more than suspicion of Un-American activities? What if liberals, out of power, protest in the streets and are shut down by law enforcement, another Kent State incident? Where's the center? Would the centrist attempt to find the middle ground between authoritarian control and civil liberties? I think they might if protesting meant ostracism. The answer is there is no center position between authoritarian control and liberty, only resistance to authoritarianism, acceptance of authoritarianism, or gradual adjustment to authoritarianism.
This is the problem I currently have with the centrists -- they're adjusting further and further to the left -- finding the new center -- seizing the opportunity to play in the power game. I can't imagine any of them taking a principled stand against power, right or left. They certainly aren't standing against the statist movement left at this point. The centrists might say they are attepting to resolve the tension between the extremes of left and right, but this is not what's happening -- from Kennedy to Nixon to Carter to Reagan to Clinton to Bush to Obama, government has grown in size and in power -- the movement has been generally left and statist, and the centrist have moved with the power, pushing the center further and further to the left and to statism. All the talk about loose regulations and corporate power is just a diversion to hide the fact of the State co-opting the free market to gain more and more control, until now the auto industry is under the government's thumb, the healthcare industry is under the government's thumb, the financial industry is under the government's thumb and the energy industry will be under the government's thumb completely by the end of the year. Small and medium size businesses are being rolled over and marginalized, competitively crippled.
The centrists have blessed this movement through compromises and common-good justifications. I have a feeling centists will do the same thing if the direction turns statist right -- it doesn't mean that much difference to freedom, and this what the centrists ignore. As a matter of fact, the few times the right has been in control, the government has grown in size and power, so we could say that statist right and statist left are both illiberal and anti-free market. anti-libertarian, anti-limited government -- either way, people lose freedom, just different freedoms for different groups. Let's find a way that doesn't compromise freedom, that transcends statism and ensures everyone can enjoy freedom, sort of like what we started with.