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more-moderate-than-thou

I want to interrupt my incessant prattling about Beltane to solicit some opinions. Have you noticed how prevalent is the notion that only centrists are reasoned and sane? How often do you hear someone say "I think both parties are nuts. The only reasonable position is the middle one."

I'm gonna call bullshit on that. I think it's intellectually lazy. What people really mean by this is that the only good opinion is one that has been carefully considered, and that's certainly true, but simply adopting a "moderate" or "middle of the road" position isn't the same thing. It's a cheat, and it's no substitute for actually thinking.

I'll also point out (and you knew this was coming) that I think this is a device used more often by the Right these days. "Fair and Balanced," right? The GOP is the voice of the infallible "center" and those crazies on the Left are insufficiently moderate. This is the single most boldly marketed message coming from the Right these days. The pronouncement of their supreme even-handedness.

I've seen a lot of ads on the Metro lately listing the most extreme circumstances under which abortions occur, and asking if abortion rights have "gone to far." That's just the most disingenuous load of crap. Those people aren't concerned that we've "gone to far". They are simply trying a slight of hand to distract the public from their extreme (yes, extreme) agenda in which no woman has the right to an abortion.

OK, I could go on, but I'm beginning to sort of ramble around the issue here.

Anyone wanna argue with me? I'm truly very interested in contradictory opinions (how moderate of me!) because I am still trying to solidify this concept in my mind. And hearing other peoples' thoughts is one way we liberals inform ourselves, ya see.

Comments

peregrin8
May. 9th, 2005 06:12 pm (UTC)
And there are times when the "moderate" or "compromise" solution is much worse than either of the extremes. I'm trying to think of a tidy hypothetical example -- say, halfway funding something instead of either doing it right or not doing it.
fenriss
May. 9th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
Very good example. Trying to think of another one, but pretty much coming up blank. Sleep deprivation, dontcha know.

peregrin8
May. 9th, 2005 07:07 pm (UTC)
well, my first thought was in regards to military action, but it was less succinct. But there are lots of situations where you want to pick one lane or the other and not straddle the line.
fenriss
May. 9th, 2005 07:09 pm (UTC)
You know, I was thinking about that too... something along the lines of how, once you've gone in and invaded a country, you have an obligation to stick around and help rebuild the infrastructure and defend the population against insurgents, etc. But I'm not sure I know how to articulate that, so let's just pretend I didn't bring it up :)
peregrin8
May. 9th, 2005 07:20 pm (UTC)
Pretty much exactly the thought process I had too! :-)

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