To defend and expand the 'vital center' of society, it is important to understand what the extremes are saying and doing.
No one sends you letters any more? Try recent collections of correspondence by Willa Cather, George Orwell, Henry David Thoreau, and others.
John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson – many of America's presidents were avid readers, and that informed their decisions. It gave them critical perspective. Americans should be curious about the reading habits of President Obama and Mitt Romney.