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...”
My guess is you voted for that “moderate” marxist, O’bozo.
That McCain was just too extremist for you.
I believe that the moderate spirit - which I applaud - is to do what’s ‘right’ but with the thought at the back of your mind that you might be wrong. A little humility, or just plain caution, never hurts.
This thread is really not going to go over well with the moderators...
Another way conservatives disguise themselves as moderates, twisting the langauge. They think nuance as wisdom. Our countrys 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. Marx was no moderate.
Get the irony?
What is the virtue in standing for something that is wrong? What advantage is there in being consistent in error? And as JC got brought into this, what kind of faith is it that never knows doubt?
Hey I can quote bible verses too. “Come let us reason together, says the Lord” Isaiah 18,1. But how can you do that with an extremist? They know what they believe. Their minds are made up. There is no possibility of change, no chance of growth. They move, they speak, they emote, but the brain does not need to function, and ultimately the soul withers.
What is the point of freedom of speech if minds cannot be altered? Far from being a principled stand, your position is nothing more than a denial of the basic tenets of the USA. You sir, are someone who would rather hate someone than love them enough to change their minds.
Of course you do. So do most people. Thats whey extremists get elected. Extremism is easy. It saves having to think about issues. You just pick your position, read up some literature, and then regurgitate back the pre digested pap that passes for political discourse in the western world these days.
Tell me. If there is no doubt where someone stands on an issue, how is there any chance that they can be persuaded otherwise?
“but..I’m not so sure the Republican party is going the right way over issue x, y or z because of a, b and c. Perhaps it would be better if we did d, e and f instead. What do you think?”
If I vote for someone based on his stands on an isssue, why would I want him to be "persuaded" otherwise?
Moderates make enemies because one side knows they are trashing the Constitution. For the other side Moderates don't trash the Constitution fast enough.
No one achieves greatness in world history as a spineless moderate.
Make no mistake. In Washington, a moderate is someone whose vote is for sale.
I agree, if you voted for your representative solely on the stand he made on a particular issue, you wouldn’t want him to be persuaded otherwise.
As you live in a representative democracy, you might be better advised to spend more time thinking about the candidates on offer and choose someone who has plenty of real life experience, common sense and discernment, who would be able to pick their way through the moral, economic and ethical maze with some authority. If you select someone purely on their “stands” you are always going to be disappointed, as the only person who completely agrees with you on everything is the handsome fella you see in the mirror in the morning :)
No one who is spineless achieves very much.
A moderate doesnt care for a “place in history”. Moderates are content to get a solution. They dont need personal agrandisement.
That’s the funny thing about having a consistent political philosophy. I don’t have to worry about what a given person who shares my philosophy is going to do. It’s not random like it is for most moderates.
Moderates are nothing but backstabbers. They decide an issue not based on it’s merits but what will make them look better, feel better and get them the most kudos from the press. They pretend they are above it all and better than those nasty “extremists”. They are not to be trusted.
I think you have answered your own observation. It depends who defines “compromise”. Moderation is not neccesarily compromise - there are some things you cannot compromise on, there are others when you can (at least temporarily).
Naah... there’s a difference between a vote being up for sale and a subcommittee clause insertion being up for sale. Pay him all you want, but Barney Frank isn’t going to vote pro-life and John Cornyn isn’t going to vote pro-choice... but either one would race to get their contributors a cut of any pie that’s being Dole-d out.
Al Qaeda are not moderates. You know exactly what to expect from them. I dont trust them either.
All politicians decide issues on what “makes them look better”. Its just that their core constituency is different.
Is that because they hold those opinions dear, or because they know if they went against them they would be out of office in double quick time, and no one would be paying them anything again?
Interesting interpretation of scripture. Try this one:
“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” Philippians 4:5
What you are explaining is an appeaser or one who compromises morals. The article explains how a true Moderate is neither of those things.
Good question. I think what you are describing is Centrism, which in my mind doesn’t necessarily equate with Moderation. As you explain, there are some things which do not balance well. While we don’t want to be somewhere in between “freedom” and “unfreedom,” as you say, there can, however be balance between things such as anarchy and complete government control.
In short, I agree with you that “balance” doesn’t always imply the direct center between two extreme viewpoints.
Can’t say I recall anyone named “O’Bozo” on the ballot. Perhaps he/she was only on the ballot in certain states.
Perhaps I could rephrase: A Moderate is content to get a good solution.
I appreciate your distinction. Thank you for clarifying. I agree that moderation (which in the case of your post, appears to be related to Epicureanism) is an approach rather than a position. Centrism connotes an ideological position.
Neither are they leaders. They are crowd followers and politically moral relativists.
Interesting you should bring old Adolf into the discussion. In 1928 the Nazis were a minor party of what was called the extreme right. In the elections of that year they got a derisory 3% of the vote. He got into power because after the wall street crash and the onset of the great depression, German political opinion polarised very rapidly. The “moderates”, who supported democracy, got squeezed out by the Nazis and the Communist extremists, who between them got nigh on 60% of the vote in the elections of 1932.
So who’s to blame then?
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