Hey OP, I like the sentiment of what your saying, but it presumes a static centre. As the Overton window moves (invariably left) it becomes hard for someone to stay centre. I went from traditional liberal left, to centre, to right in about 8-10 years and my views didn’t change. I believe that politics has no place in the bedroom, which was a left wing idea in 2005, but is now a right wing idea. Transgenders should be left alone, which was a left wing idea, but now if you aren’t fighting for a dudes right to hangout in a battered women’s shelter or ladies bathroom, you’re a Nazi. I’m very sceptical of government, both in its intentions and its ability to competently execute policy, which, you guessed it, was a left wing idea, now right.
I wouldn’t even call myself a conservative. It’s seems like conservatives today are just liberals that want the Overton window to have a speed limit. I most closely fit into the libertarian identity, which has a lot of really thoughtful ideology behind it. It also has a lot of wackiness to it. Also, it’s mostly irrelevant in terms of its ability to get votes, so what’s the point?
TLDR; I think a lot of people are going out to the extremes because it’s the only place you can safely stay put. People really like to feel like they fit in.