Considering the 2014 midterm elections are coming up this Fall I thought I would bring up something that happens every time elections come around. What am I talking about? That’s right Moderates. Every time elections season roles around we hear a lot about political moderates and those who are willing to compromise. Politicians who can “work across ‘party lines'” are elevated to a pope-like status and citizens who deem themselves “moderates” are given more polling clout than anyone else by far.
In all honesty, up until a couple of years ago I might have agreed with these sentiments; in fact, I might have viewed myself as a “moderate” myself. I would hear all these political talking heads arguing on television every four years and I would think to myself “why can’t these people just get along?” Then something happened. The last presidential election cycle was pretty much a big show of political gamesmanship! Every presidential candidate was trying to highlight just how much they were willing to “meet in the middle” and work with those on the other side. They were all appealing to the moderate view.
The problem with all of this, simply put, is that a political moderate is simply an apprehensive liberal. To be a conservative, by definition, means you want to keep things how they are. If you take the “moderate” position you are simply showing that you don’t understand either position (conservative or liberal) and what you would really like is for the conservatives to simply slow down the progressive train to Gomorrah. In the not so kind words of Jonah Goldberg:
The extremists have a serious disagreement about what to do. The independent who splits the difference has no idea what to do and doesn’t want to bother with figuring out. (The Tyranny of Clichès, pg. 7)
I know these are harsh words but I think they are true. To really understand the differences between truely conservative values and truly liberal values is to know that there is no option for a moderate compromise. Too often we deify the position of the person who, in all honesty, is either too lazy to research the issues or too afraid to pick a side. Let us not waver in between to decisions. There are two clear & distinct approaches to government. Unfortunately, Modern, big government conservatism has made it seem like there are three approaches (Libertarianism, Conservatism, Liberalism). But this is not the case.
Food for thought.