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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Loss of the Moderate Identity

There is a raging battle in the United States about whether the nation is conservative or liberal. The answer to this question is....neither! And how do I come to this conclusion? I submit my own array of political beliefs as evidence that a majority of people in the United States are actually moderate.

I voted for Barack Obama for President which obviously makes me a leftist, socialist, Eurocentric left wing radical. But I consider myself an evangelical Christian who believes that Jesus is the only way to heaven which obviously makes me a right wing reactionary. No wait, I believe that we should aggressively develop alternative energy sources, so I am a left wing radical. No, no, I believe that we should carefully expand drilling for oil and build technologically advanced coal power plants, so I am a right wing reactionary. Oh bother! I consider taxes a responsibility, not a penalty, so there, I am a left wing radical. But, wait I do believe we should reasonably limit government and regularly re-evaluate existing government programs for ones that are no longer needed, so I'm a right wing reactionary. Oh, this is so confusing. What AM I?

By now, you get the point. Only a small percentage of people are exclusively liberal or exclusively conservative. There are conservatives who support abortion rights. There are liberals who believe abortion should be illegal. There are liberals who think we have gone too far in restricting religious practice in the public sphere. There are conservatives who think the "religious right" gives too little respect to the faith (or lack of faith) of others who don't share their Biblical worldview. Choose any issue: education, executive compensation, foreign affairs, gay marriage, death penalty, political correctness and you will find large numbers of people that cross the traditional ideological line.

Unfortunately, the moderate majority has lost sight of its identity. As a whole, moderates have been standing on the sidelines while the small number of pure liberals and pure conservatives battle over who best represents the country. I don't think either of them best represents this nation. Both extremes have worked to convince the majority of the country that moderates are rare, when in fact our country has always been defined by a moderate majority. Ask yourself, if things during the infancy of the United States were as politically polarized as they appear now, could the Constitution been written, let alone ratified? How do you explain that we have elected a relatively equal number of liberal and conservative presidents?

The purpose of this blog is to trumpet the moderate path. It goes without saying that sometimes I will seem liberal in my views, while at other times I will seem conservative in my views. That is the beauty of being a moderate, we understand and appreciate the views of both ideological sides and attempt to bridge the gap to create workable solutions to the problems that our nation encounters.