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Moderates

Righty: I’ve reached the conclusion that a moderate is just a liberal without a backbone. Of course, we never know what moderates really believe because they’re too jelly-legged to stand up and say anything worth remembering. At least Lefty knows the issues and can pack a good wallop. I suspect that the average moderate is just a namby-pamby quiche-eating yuppie who never thinks about anything more important than the newest trendy restaurant to open up in his neighborhood. You know why there are no political magazines for moderates? Because moderates don’t care about anything. Most of them probably don’t even know that they’re moderates — that’s how pathetically apathetic they are.

Lefty: The world must be coming to an end, Righty: I actually agree with you on this one! I might detest your views, but I admire your willingness to take a stand and debate it. Moderates? They’re bland, unenlightened political nonentities who are chronically oblivious to the world’s problems. Someone needs to wake them up with a good spray from the garden hose of reality.

The New Moderate:

I have to concede that Righty and Lefty make some painfully valid points. We moderates do need to wake up — fast. We need to rouse ourselves from indifference, come together and develop a coherent platform that can propel our ideas into the limelight. I’m tired of occupying a vacuum between the push and pull of extremist ideologies. I’m tired of getting no respect from the right or the left. If you’re a moderate, you should be tired of it, too.

Moderate ideas are the most lucid, the fairest, the most practical, the most sensitively reasoned, and the most representative of society as a whole. (That’s why I consider myself a moderate, and why I believe so fervently in our cause.) So why are we moderates, to this day, a vast and voiceless nothing between the two constantly flapping wings that dominate the public debate?

The majority of Americans characterize themselves as moderates. But where’s the passion, the camaraderie, the inspired rhetoric? Where’s the traffic on this site? Is anybody home?

Being a moderate means more than adding up the ideas of the right and left, and taking the average. It means being brave enough to stand up and shrug off the crossfire from the opposing trenches. It means being reckless and resolute enough to declare that, for example, the pro-life and pro-choice factions are both equally rigid and equally wrong… that the abortion issue will never be resolved until more nuanced and moderate minds prevail.

American culture has been dominated by dueling extremists since the McCarthy era, and the strife grew nastier than ever under the polarizing reign of Bush II. The U.S. has essentially split into two nations, red and blue, implacable and apparently irreconcilable. Why do we stand around and twiddle our thumbs? Thinking moderates everywhere owe it to themselves and their country to wake up and forge a radical middle that can influence public debate, win votes and stitch a sundered nation into the strong and happy union it was always meant to be.

Summary: Moderates have the best and fairest ideas, but nobody will know it until we form a movement to thrust those ideas into the public consciousness. Let the movement begin NOW.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Taliesin Knol permalink
    January 8, 2010 9:35 pm

    What’s the fair response to gross stupidity???

  2. Mobius permalink
    January 19, 2010 2:38 pm

    The mediocre masses seem to favour extremism, it may be just where I come from, but many people are racist here. Many people are nationalist as well, and whenever I talk to these people I get a pain the front of my head like somehow I’ve just become dumber from the experience. We moderates do indeed have the reasoning and patience and intelligence to work out a solution, but when many people can’t (or won’t) think beyond their own vapid and irrelevant actions and thoughts (if they do, indeed, think) people just want some sort of instant gratification, not a long term solution that is better as well.

  3. Taliesin Knol permalink
    January 19, 2010 2:56 pm

    Welcome, I think we’ll be getting along just fine…

  4. Jim permalink
    October 1, 2010 5:45 pm

    I was in a cab once with Rush Limbaugh on the radio. He basically said the same thing as Righty in this dialogue. I heard a liberal friend express similar sentiments and when I pointed out that Rush agreed with her – she “went ballistic”.

    • October 5, 2010 11:22 am

      Jim: That’s so typical; an NPR liberal would rather eat Velveeta and Ritz crackers than agree with a right-wing pundit.

  5. joanne permalink
    October 27, 2010 3:08 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. I have many friends who proudly proclaim themselves as “right-wing wackos” and others on the left who will disagree with them just because they lean right, while I sit somewhere in the middle, berated by both sides as being a fence-sitter or worse. What no one really seems to hear or understand is that I am not sitting on a fence and I DO have logical, rational reasons for my ideas….they’re just not extreme enough to fit on one side or the other. And while I tend to lean left more than right, I’ve never put myself in one column or the other, but rather vote for whomever I believe would do the best job. Unfortunately, due to the radical polarization of our nation, that choice is most often between the lesser of two evils, with no “moderate” option.

  6. November 2, 2010 2:40 am

    Joanne: Nicely said… moderates are an endangered species right now, because the more extreme elements have taken over both parties. Moderate Republicans and Democrats can no longer win their own primaries. If this situation doesn’t call for the creation of a third party, I don’t know what does.

  7. Ami permalink
    December 12, 2011 2:25 pm

    I proudly call myself a “staunch moderate”. All the commentary on both sides that we are just a bunch of cowards and weaklings is nothing more than stomping and temper tantrumming because we don’t necessarily agree ANYONE is 100% right. So how can we POSSIBLY be “cowards”??? I challenge anyone to say that to me….they’l get and in-your-face F*** YOU!

  8. skb8721 permalink
    April 11, 2012 1:36 pm

    As a moderate, I tire of conservatives calling me a “liberal” and of liberals constantly trying to convince me to become one of them. Why it is like this, I don’t know. Perhaps the entrenched anti-intellectualism of the right makes it evident to them I am not nor ever could be a conservative, and thus, in the minds of the right, I must be a liberal (since shades of gray do not exist in their worldview); whereas liberals are not anti-intellectual (or not as anti-intellectual) and in me at least see the hope of a new convert.

    • April 12, 2012 5:27 pm

      skb: I have a feeling that a lot of intelligent people move into the liberal camp because most of their intelligent friends reside there. Liberalism is a great social status identifier: it generally means that you’re not only “progressive” in your thinking, but educated, smart and upper-middle class besides. Liberals tend to shun anyone who doesn’t accept their faith, and they generally marry within their ranks.

      There is (or used to be, at least) an intellectual right wing, headed by William F. Buckley and his allies. Today most right-wing intellectuals are simply free-market fundamentalists… loyal apologists for unregulated capitalism. There are also a few renegades like Charles Murray, a fascinating social thinker who’s gained notoriety for his recklessly honest non-PC views on race, class and intelligence.

      Anyway, that’s a brief summary of the current landscape. I’m trying to ignite a spark for a movement of moderate thinkers here (I know… “moderate thinkers” seems so wishy-washy). But we desperately need to build a safe middle ground for thinkers who don’t view the world through the distorted lens of ideology.

  9. Lynn permalink
    October 20, 2013 11:24 am

    My entire life I have been waiting for a voice of reason to come to our political system. Unfortunately I have only seen more insanity people on extreme agendas doing the same thing repetitively expecting a different response. When will the middle develop a backbone and rise to show some hope of logical debate and compromise? I think the recent government shutdown has made some people wake up and say that we need to fix this idiocracy. I just hope that the majority of Americans who I believe to be moderates will come together finally and make a stand. If so and if it is successful I believe we will only increase the number of Americans who are active in our political system, as the vast majority of people whom I talk to are not active because they think there is no logic or reason to our current system or choice in candidates.

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