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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

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fenriss
May. 9th, 2005 06:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think you're in the same place I am here. I'm really concerned that progressives keep letting the right define the terms and frame the debates. We are always on the defensive, and it's just so frustrating!
(Deleted comment)
fenriss
May. 9th, 2005 07:47 pm (UTC)
I think we need to say "Hey, you know what that is, when they say "OUTSIDE THE MAINSTREAM", that's a *talking point*."

Yeah, how 'bout that? The right makes such liberal (hee) use of their little sound bites. Remember "most liberal member of congress?" And it wasn't even close to true!!!

Why, why, why do liberalsi n the public eye so rarely take this issue on? If the cameras where pointed at me, I'd never stop saying "the Repubs and their little talking points." I'd chant it like a mantra until it sank into the public consciousness, just like they do. Only I wouldn't be lying!

Like, I don't know, maybe it would help if you turned it into a process story, and exposed the the spin for what it is.

Oh, yeah. The Daily Show does this sometimes. They did a great bit where they showed clips of, like, a dozen right-wing talking heads saying the "most liberal member of congress" thing. There needs to be more of that!

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