This post will complete the second full year for The Quintessential Centrist. At this time, we would like to thank all our readers for playing an integral role in our growing platform, an online forum that incorporates ideas and values across the ideological spectrum. 2020 was a particularly challenging year. But true to our mandate, we did not “take the fifth,” and instead tackled some extremely hot button topics, many of which elicited passionate responses. The vast majority were thoughtful and considerate; a select few made us question our personal safety!
We have certainly made mistakes and have done our best to remedy and learn from them. Your constructive criticism helps us better accomplish our objective: to offer readers ideas that blend news, analysis, and viewpoints from the left, right, and center of the political and social gamut.
This year, we analyzed and opined on a broad array of topics related to politics, current events, culture, finance, technology, national security, health and wellness, international and domestic affairs, the arts, and more. In total, we penned 35 articles. What did we get right? Where did we come up short? Which articles elicited the most positive, negative, and impassioned responses, etc.?
Whenever we received an approximately equal amount of critique from the left and right, our take was that we had fulfilled our objective of promoting the ideals and tenets of the center. To that end, we were extremely pleased with the responses to our work on Black Lives Matter, "Defund The Police" Is Costing Dems Seats, Censorship & George Floyd. Many staunch conservatives accused us of being closeted liberals. An overwhelming number of liberals accused us of being a mouthpiece for the right. This helped reassure us that we split the goalposts down the middle on those hotly debated issues.
We also received overwhelmingly positive feedback to A Brief History Of Viruses & Vaccines, Protecting Our Seniors, Food For Anxious Thought & The Future Of New York City. Finally, we introduced a new concept to our platform this year: a Q&A With TQC series. We will be expanding upon this in ’21.
TQC’s Biggest Mistake Of 2020
• In our initial piece covering the coronavirus in the early stages of the pandemic, we questioned if the public’s reaction to COVID-19 was disproportionate to the threat, and misplaced in general. We cited infection and mortality rates (~.1%) from influenza in America. Then, we compared this data to preliminary statistical modeling by Gabriel Leung and Joseph Wu at the University of Hong Kong. Their model showed COVID-19’s mortality rate was also ~.1%, in line with the flu in the United States. We also noted two previous coronaviruses, SARS & MERS, and how they quickly abated. With the benefit of robust data sets (and hindsight), the mortality rate for COVID-19, though lower than initially thought, appears to be ~.5%, about 5x higher than that for influenza. Our biggest oversight was inferring that because COVID-19 was in the family of coronavirus and that SARS and MERS proved to be short-lived, that COVID-19 would follow a similar epidemiologic path. We failed to properly consider how infectious COVID-19 could, and turned out, to be. This translated into the infection spreading exponentially, infecting ~80 million people (to date) and killing almost ~2 million.
TQC’s Prophetic Calls of 2020
• We postulated in several articles that if too many people on the left failed to condone acts of violence and continued to coalesce around rallying cries to “Defund The Police,” it might very well cost Dems the general election as well as seats in both chambers of congress. Despite COVID-19 cases going parabolic, social unrest, and a sputtering economy (at least on Main Street), polls were wrong - again - and just a few thousand votes kept Trump from being re-elected. Perhaps more significantly and as we predicted, Democrats severely underperformed in both the House and the Senate. Centrist (and some leftist) members of their own party cited calls to “Defund The Police” as the reason why. Said former President Barack Obama just last week, “I guess you can use a snappy slogan, like Defund the Police, but, you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done.”
• At the initial peak of the pandemic and subsequent economic contraction, we argued that although particular industries (restaurants, cruise lines, entertainment, etc.) would face lasting headwinds, the American economy would rebound sooner than the consensus anticipated. We also highlighted structural changes we thought would not only be accelerated, but also made permanent because of COVID-19. Here are some key excerpts taken from a selection of our posts:“…the coronavirus pandemic has jolted American companies out of complacency and brought out the best in American ingenuity with an unprecedented sense of urgency and speed…during a slowdown in economic activity, businesses stay productive by utilizing the inevitable down time to identify inefficiencies and streamline their business processes…the nimblest firms will find themselves in good position to reap the benefit…interest rates are now extremely low, this should buoy the market for home sales, mortgage refinancing, and home equity lines of credit…in due time, our respective routines will normalize…there will be changes…some firms will continue to enable more of their workforce to toil remotely, potentially reducing the need for office space…but…translate into benefits for networking gear manufacturers, collaboration software companies, and related technology providers…telemedicine will become a more accepted medium to treat patients, especially as insurance companies have embraced paying for the practice…more people - especially older Americans - will have gotten accustomed to, and appreciate the comfort of, shopping online…This is bullish for e-comm firms and negative for some traditional retailers…”
We sincerely hope that at least a few of TQC’s articles will spur people to examine their own biases, reflect and perhaps consider, or at least understand and appreciate, a view that is not always aligned with their own. We think it will make America a more tolerant, civil place.
Finally, we encourage our loyal readers to continue corresponding with us. Any questions, comments, declarations, or explanations, please let us know; what can we do to improve our product? We want to hear from you!
Our next article will be Sunday, January 10th, 2021. We would like to wish everybody a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. Thank You.
The Quintessential Centrist