There are many ways we moderates can display how politically enlightened and wise we are without the added effort of actually being wise and
enlightened. With a few wags of a finger and flicks of our dismissive wrists, any middle-of-the-road moderate can pretend his fear of divisiveness and
debate is itself a political position.
That’s why we are essentially the concern trolls of politics. We are more worried about the state of political discourse, the division, than the
very real issues underlying them. When it came to battle for civil rights and against segregation, for instance, we moderates preferred peace and
order instead of any struggle towards justice and freedom—because, well, struggle is bad. As the extremist MLK lamented in his famous Letters from A
“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White
Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice;”
But, hey, look who’s talking now? We were smart enough to know how risky it is to stick your head out, alone, against all odds. He might be alive
had his position not been so extreme.
Rather than get out of the way of those having the debate, however, we prefer to stand in the middle of it, exercising our moderate voices in order to
stifle everyone else’s. No, it isn't that standing on the fulcrum ensures the balance of the whole, but it is sure to be the highest perch from
which everyone else might notice us. We remind them (with some added finger-wagging just to be sure) that divisiveness and polarization are bad and
sure to ruin the country. We keep reminding them of their extremism, like Douglas did to Lincoln, because we would much rather avoid the possibility
of tumult than fighting against true injustice and oppression. If that means making a deal with the devil for a little peace, so be it. At least
we’re still alive.
Know and use this phrase often: “Both sides are just as bad the other”. This is our get-out-of-debating free card. Such a phrase is a false
equivalency, definitely, but it reminds everyone else that we are not beholden to any one side, even if one party is right and another is wrong. Keep
us out of it…but, then again, keep us close enough to remind everyone that we are above and better than all of them. One could never compromise
between truth and falsity, sure, but we’ll damn sure try if it makes us look reasonable. So long as denouncing both sides absolves us from the taint
of any tribalism, we’re gravy, even if we’re practically begging for a third party, another tribe, every chance we get.
But most of all, there is no better way to signal one’s moderate bona fides than to take part in a debate in order to prove one is above it.
edit on 25-10-2018 by NiNjABackflip because: (no reason given)