Thursday, August 13, 2020

What is a Moderate?

I've recently written, asking, What is a Political Conservative and What Is Normal. I might have failed to ask the most important question, What Is A Moderate? In my Political Ideology Ladder I have totalitarians on the far left and anarchist on the far right. You would think moderates would lie in the middle. That was probably my intention when I created the diagram, but since them I have decided it might be more complicated than I thought.

I was recently discussing drug and alcohol prohibitions with a conservative. I mentioned that conservatives were the ones who pushed for alcohol prohibitions. He confused the ideological conservative with the dictionary definition, but that's a common problem. I clarified by saying they were Christian conservatives who pushed for alcohol prohibition. He then told me Christians were moderates, not conservative.

 In some sense, he might be corrected, because we find a lot of progressive democrats who are Christian. I personally know a lot of these progressive Christians and they are political moderates. Do political conservatives see themselves as moderates? I think every political ideology sees themselves as moderates.

I believe every political ideology sees themselves as being correct on every issue. If someone believes themselves correct that would make them the center, a moderate in their mind. I find moderates who believe in extremes. There are people (independent libertarians) like me who think the left and right are correct on some issues, but wrong on others. The right is clearly correct on economic issues, while the left tends to be right on social issues such as same-sex marriage, but go way too far on others such as transgendering children without parental permission. Does that make me a moderate?

The dictionary simplifies the term by saying it's someone who isn't politically left or right. That would be most Americans. Most people don't like to attach themselves to political ideologies, but to beliefs and values. Many of those moderates are for same-sex marriage and the legalization, or at least decriminalization of marijuana. Most moderates are for early term abortions.

Could someone who is for the legalization of all drugs be called a moderate? The ideological left and right don't believe drugs should be legalized because that's considered an extreme. Yet, some self proclaimed moderates believe in late term abortions, which is also seen as an extreme by many, maybe most, people .

Moderates are often seen as pragmatic, someone willing to compromise on everything. When we have a divided congress, bills passed are usually a compromise of both left and right ideologies. We might see a tax increase, but one far less than if democrats were in control. Through this type of moderation we have seen in the past a slow increase in the size and power of government, as well as national debt. In 2023 we have seen that compromise increase debt and spending dramatically. Could a slow move toward a tyranny still be called moderate? I think not.

I can find nothing moderate about a steady increase of laws and regulations. Moderation means no extremes. Maybe the true moderates are the people who have no clue who is president and only care what time the bar opens, and if they will have enough money for that new video game. I dare say this is the majority of Americans. Maybe just not caring is the true definition of a moderate.

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