I’m a pretty private person. I’m not one to air my personal issues, views and beliefs to the public. Although I am on Facebook which means I’ve given thousands of people access to my life. But in the flesh, I usually keep to myself.
Today I’m going to make an exception. I’m willing to air a piece of personal news in an effort to make a point. So here it is: I’m a moderate. Yes, I like to walk down the middle of the road and pass from one side to another as the issue dictates. And no, I don’t see a problem with it.
Recently, being a moderate has become the equivalent to being a Marxist. Those on either side point fingers at moderates, blaming them for not picking a side and not throwing themselves full bore into a party. Simply put, moderates have become the black sheep of the political world.
But I haven’t yet figured out why being a moderate is like wearing a scarlet letter. In 2008, the country was not happy with the Bush administration and moved decisively left, electing Barack Obama. Now voters are up in arms with the path of the country and are vying to move Congress and the country back to the far right. This back-and-forth swing will only continue to produce back-and-forth swings because extreme politics only breed more extremist politics. What happened to remaining in the middle – having beliefs but retaining the fortitude to know when compromise is the best solution?
I believe the country’s extreme politics is a result of its primary election system. When two or more candidates with basically the same beliefs and identical platforms try to out-do one another, the natural reaction is to move as far left or right as possible so as to prove to voters they are the real deal. But once primaries are over, candidates tend to drift back to the middle, in hopes of picking up voters, like myself, who didn’t buy the hyped-up, polarizing rhetoric that was spewed throughout the primary.
I’m tired of being the bad guys because I don’t live and die by a set of political beliefs and won’t vow, under any and all circumstances, to take a position on an issue.
I like to think that moderates, myself included, are simply a group of level-headed, free-thinking individuals that know what they believe.
So to all you moderates out there, it’s OK. I feel your pain.