McGill historian Gil Troy on Leading from the Center

After 8 long years of partisan politics and endless discussions of a red-state/blue-state divide in this country, many Americans are anxiously awaiting the end of a presidency defined by fringe politics, one that persistently and systematically moved away from the will of the center. According to historian Gil Troy, great American presidents can be defined by their willingness to move away from partisan extremes to the center. Troy’s new book is called Leading from the Center: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents. He also explains the concept of a ‘muscular moderate.’

“It’s an ability to compromise while also having core values,” Troy said. “If you look at the greats – Lincoln, Washington, the Roosevelts, Reagan, Kennedy, the ones who were effective – they were able to have a certain sense of their core values, their defining principles, their fundamental beliefs. But at the same time they knew that as leaders of a very complicated country… they had to be nimble and they had to adapt.”

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