I've always felt uncomfortable when admonished by those more moderate than I to, well, be more moderate. What is moderate? What is middle of the road? What does it mean to be in the center? Whenever I try to do so or be so, I squirm uncomfortably. I am able, usually, to hold two opposing views at once and fairly comfortably. There's some back and forth but, generally, something pulls me one way or the other and it's generally to the left when it comes to ideas about government, morality, etc. It's the call to the center that is especially difficult for me and counter-intuitive.
That sounds like a whole lot of mumbo-jumbo, I guess. But I read this excerpt at the blog Hullabaloo and decided to think about it for a while. What do you think?
This isn't a childrens game despite the efforts of these idiotic Villagers who are determined to pretend that there is an easy answer to the huge ideological gulf between the left and right in this country. These aren't two "extremes" of some mythical middle. They are the two competing American political belief systems, period. People who vote for Republicans know very well that they are voting for low taxes for everyone, including the wealthy, and they believe sincerely that everyone would be better off if they fended for themselves and let capitalism sort it all out. (How that plays out in their own lives is different,of course, but they are persuaded that most of their tax dollars are wasted on people who don't deserve it and they aren't going to change their minds.) Democrats believe that taxes are a price you pay for a secure, upwardly mobile society and that the wealthy can easily afford to pay more for the privilege of of living in a stable country with a strong middle class. Republicans are hostile to social security, medicare and all government programs designed to help the less fortunate. They simply do not believe it's an appropriate or moral thing to do because it makes people dependent and lazy. Democrats believe in egalitarianism, social justice and social welfare. However hypocritical these people are as individuals (and they most certainly are) they vote on the basis of competing worldviews that are not reconcilable by a bunch of accountants hashing out a compromise. Those differences are real and they're not "childish."* These are very distinct ideas about what government should do and how it should do it. What's childish is pretending that isn't so and insisting on some kumbaaya magical thinking that we can work it all out if "the extremes" would just stop being so unreasonable.