Being A Moderate In A Polarized World

I have lived most of my adult life as the man in the middle. I tend to be a mediator when my friends argue. I actively avoid taking a side on most issues, because most issues are not black and white. 

When I was interviewed by the Chattanooga Times Free Press Editorial Board, I was asked if I was pro-life or pro-choice. I answered, “No.” I don’t like the political duopoly in the U.S., because most of the time the parties treat issues as for or against. On environmental issues, I agree with the Democrats that we need stronger regulations in many sectors, but I agree with the Republicans that the regulatory burden is often too great for small businesses. We should be able to find ways to both make our world cleaner and make it easier for businesses to understand and comply with regulations. 

I have heard pundits on both sides say that moderates just don’t have the courage to take a stand. Obviously, I think they are mistaken, but furthermore, I think that going against conventional wisdom often takes more courage, since the attacks come from all directions. As you can probably tell from my meme post, I tend to strike in all directions, but I am also looking for good ideas wherever I can find them. 

Too many people reject deals because they aren’t perfect. The Iran nuclear deal is an excellent example, because many people believe the U.S. gave up too much, but Iran feels, correctly, in my opinion, that giving up its nuclear weapons program is worth quite a bit. Liberals don’t like Obamacare because it isn’t single payer, conservatives don’t because it is too far from a free market. No deal is perfect, but sometimes good enough has to be good enough. 

The extremists usually only get things done through force, physical or otherwise. The moderates improve things peacefully.

Too bad there aren’t any left in Congress.


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