Skip to comments.Defining a Moderate Part II: Isn't Moderate Just a Fancy Word for Sissy?
Posted on 06/10/2009 3:58:20 AM PDT by Nils Bergeson
All I know is my gut says maybe. - The President of the Neutral Planet from Futurama
One of the most common misconceptions about Moderates is that they are neutral, appeasing, weak, indifferent, apathetic, or a host of other soft-sounding adjectives. Perhaps when one thinks of a Moderate, they immediately imagine someone who doesnt take a stand on any issue. Perhaps they think of one more concerned about being liked than about doing what is right. Perhaps they think of one who is easily swayed by the changing winds of public opinion.
If you found yourself agreeing with any of those sentiments, know that the purpose of this article is to wipe any such conception of from your mind.
A Moderate cannot be neutral. While there are certainly plenty of neutrals out there, these individuals are not Moderates. A political neutral has no set viewpoint on a particular issue. A true neutral is rare indeed, and more who are called neutral are likely better defined as indifferent or apathetic. A Moderate does not qualify as a neutral, because they indeed have political viewpoints, and those viewpoints must be strong and well defined.
These viewpoints are strong, because they have legs to stand on. They are based on progress facilitation, not problem identification. Moderates spend less time stating their opposition or support for certain policies, and more time constructing working solutions to solve existing problems. A neutral or apathetic cannot be focused on solutions, because they, in fact, hold no position.
A Moderate cannot be an appeaser or a flip-flopper. While Moderates, like any thinking individual, have the right to change their viewpoint based on more information coming to light, a change in understanding, etc., they do not do so for the sole purpose of political opportunism.
When it comes to electoral success, a Moderates job is actually tougher than that of an Extremist. Sure, Extremists easily make plenty of enemies on the opposite extreme of the continuum. However, they also garner a staunch group of loud followers who share their own extreme positions. On the other hand, a Moderate has little difficulty finding critics, usually ending up with haters on either side of the continuum. Extremists, espousing a with us or against us mentality, will consistently try to push the Moderate on the other extreme.
While Moderates generally have little trouble finding people who in principle agree with their views, their supporters tend to be quieter and less controversial than the supporters of Extremists. This level-headed approach often gets mistaken for political softness, making political success difficult for Moderates.
Moderates especially have difficulty winning elections. If they belong to one of the major political parties, they find opposition from more extreme opponents within their own party. If they are independent, well, we all are aware of the near-impossibility independents face when running for office.
A Moderate cannot be weak. Moderates stand up for what is right just as strongly as any Extremist does. In fact, the moderate position is ultimately stronger, because their goal goes beyond only taking a stand. Their goal is to facilitate solutions through working methods. Unlike many Extremists, Moderates focus primarily on actions, rather than words.
The main reason Moderates make enemies out of Extremists is because taking a position focused on solutions means working with individuals on both sides of the continuum. Extremists are quick to jump on the Moderate, deriding their openness as pandering. Taking such a difficult position is anything but weak, as Extremists make being a Moderate a constant challenge.
My goal has been to show how a true Moderate can and does hold strong views. Moderation is not a political position, but a method of finding solutions. At heart, the Moderate in all of us wants to progress. The true test is learning how to become Moderate in our own approach to political issues, without becoming unduly influenced by the voice of the Extremists.
Moderates might not be in the news as much as Extremists, but they are the individuals whose commitments to progress truly bring about positive change in politics. Simply put, a Moderate is anything but a sissy.
Next Editions: Defining a Moderate Part III: Did Somebody Say Party?
Excellent synthesis! Thank you for posting.
Keep deluding yourself moderate cowards, even the man upstairs is against you. But you keep doing things your own way. There is no middle ground against fetal murder and government theft.
Despite the desire of the author to corner terms, the opposite of “Moderate” is NOT “Extremist.” The opposite of “Moderate” is “Principled.”
Moderate = Bisexual. Willing to lie down with anyone.
Moderate is a socialist’s term meaning a socialist pretending to be a conservative.
Extremist=rabid idiot responible for most of the worlds troubles.
“Moderate” = “Progressive” in sheep’s clothing.
Midwives of the Marxist Dialectic.
Giving in to every tantrum thrown by the Left, allowing the Left to inch forward on every contentious issue, occasionally with a “Great Leap Forward” (tm Mao Zedong), as we are experiencing now with 0bamao.
If I just pick a number of priority it does not indicate pro or con. This study is prone to spinning.
The main point of the article is that moderation does not neccesarily equal neutrality or “middle ground”.
The secondary point is that extremists hate moderates because they equate any variation on their viewpoint as little less than treason. Well done on proving that.
True it does not.
I prefer extremists. There is little doubt where they stand on the issues, and people know what they are getting when they are elected.
Another way leftists disguise themselves as moderates, twisting the langauge. They think nuance as wisdom. Our country’s history is replete with famous moderates </sarc> A self described moderate is just another way of calling yourself a condescending, aloof, douchebag. Call me an extremist, guilty as charged. At least I stand for something not deliberating between good and evil endlessly and finding the merits in both. Jesus was no moderate.
An extremist thinks it's okay to abort a baby at 8 months for the most trivial of reasons, including gender selection and personal convenience, and the government should pay for it. A moderate thinks it's okay to abort a baby at 8 months for some non-medical reasons, if they sound sensible, and the government should only pay half the cost.
An extremist thinks obama is the best thing in our country's history, since we'll now have all the freedom enjoyed under other socialists (national and soviet) from Stalin to Castro. A moderate is someone who worries how far obama will go but still voted for him because it's a black guy's turn and he sounds so sincere.
Moderation implies balance. But why should one try to find the right “balance” between freedom and unfreedom, liberty and slavery? The choices are often just that stark.
“Moderate”.... Give me a break. The left once again trying to bastardize and label positions. They have been most successful at this over the last 50+ years.
It todays Marxist MSM world...Jefferson, Washington, Henry etc would all be vile “extremist”.
Moderate = “I am a lifelong, staunch Republican but...”