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Opinion: Why are moderates bad?

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.

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About Katie Stockstill-Sawyer

I am a city girl that is learning about life on the farm. I met and married a fourth-generation farmer, Derek. I am now a farmer's wife and country girl. The move has required a few changes and a lot of learning. But I wouldn't change my new life and all of the little lessons and surprises it provides.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Opinion: Why are moderates bad?

  1. The problem is not with thoughtfully reviewing each issue and choosing a position based on your research on the given issue. The problem is that that term, like many others has been bastardized by those on the left so that it has many other implications.

    The first is that liberals, with the help of their media allies, have absconded with the term and are using it to describe their discredited philosophies.

    Secondly, it is a term corrupt politicians apply to themselves as a cover for not having any firm principles and being open to offers on any given issue.

    Unfortunately, again thanks to a compliant media, the tactic has been successful and thoughtful citizens have been duped into voting for people they assume share their penchant for thoughtful analysis when in fact they’re often either corrupt, liberal , or both.

    Posted by altevogt | July 23, 2010, 9:53 am
  2. The problem is that, in practice, “moderate” doesn’t really mean just looking at both sides of the issue – something that everyone *should* do to make an informed decision- but instead means you’re an easy pick-up for progressivism.

    For example, consider Sen. Linsey Graham. He’s a self-proclaimed friend of “reaching across the aisle” and was also the only Republican Senator on the Judicial Committee to support Elena Kagan, a person who has never in her life served as any type of judge, in her quest to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

    Or, Senator Scott Brown, who campaigned one way, but has voted differently by assisting Democrats with their disastrous financial “reform” legislation.

    Or Senator Olympia Snowe, who was one of the leading Republican voices for Pres. Obama’s so-called stimulus package.

    The problem with being a moderate is the apparent lack of principles. If you’re not standing firm for your own, you’ll easily be pulled into a pit by someone else’s. Now, if those “principles” are nothing more than a quest to make both sides happy, I guess you fit the bill for a moderate, because no one will ever be happy with your decisions. Everything goes back to Kindergarten playground politics.

    On a side note, I find it ironic that the writer who has written the most pro-Moran articles on this site has now come out as a self-proclaimed moderate. Interesting, isn’t it?

    Posted by Caleb | July 23, 2010, 11:20 am

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