I’ve been looking to define what, exactly, a moderate is. Previous comments on so-called moderates can be found here and here. It’s been my feeling that moderates can only define themselves in terms of what they aren’t (you can’t categorize ME!), and that for the most part they tend to crow very loudly about how “individual” they are, as if that’s a laudable trait in and of itself. Claiming individuality and intellectual complexity as defining virtues is pretty adolescent. Who hasn’t done that?
So, I’ve been looking at a few “moderate” blogs, to see what they say about being moderates. These are blogs that define themselves as moderates in either their names or descriptions/mission statements. Here’s what The Moderate Republican, a self-described “30something, gay, African American, Republican minister living in Minneapolis, Minnesota” says about himself:
It is my hope that the Moderate Republican is the start of an online movement to strengthen and encourage Republicans in the tradition of Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower. Moderate Republicans look for pragmatic solutions to national problems instead of pre-cut ideological solutions.
Because all that those other Republicans do is “look for pre-cut ideological solutions to national problems.” What we have here is a claim of intellectual superiority along with a comparison to popular American Presidents. Nothing new here: everyone wants an Ike or an Honest Abe on his side.
One calling himself Left of Centrist says this about himself:
I started out A Little Left of Centrist, but George Bush’s arrogance and policies keep pushing me even more Left of Centrist.
So it’s President Bush’s fault. Now we’re getting somewhere. He also claims that “I am a 50 year old father of three who is tired of the direction George W. Bush is taking our Nation.” Is that a centrist/moderate position? I guess so. Oh, and because he has a computer and an opinion, he claims he’s “a dangerous commodity.” I got plenty of computers. Combined with the computers Morgan administrates and the ones Joshua works on, I’m surprised we haven’t been classified as WMD’s by now. The good thing is that Left of Centrist will at least admit that he’s, well, left.
We also have Staunch Moderate. This is what he says about himself:
Staunch Moderate is an equal-opportunity basher of both the Left and the Right….I call myself a moderate because neither conservative nor liberal labels adequately apply. I’m pro-choice yet also in favor of the death penalty. I support affirmative action and also believe in the right to keep and bear arms. And I can’t stand either the Republican or Democratic parties.
So a moderate hates the left and right? That’s what defines a moderate, by what he hates? Don’t miss the claim of intellectual complexity embodied in the statement, “neither conservative nor liberal labels adequately apply.”
I’ll keep looking.