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Monday, February 18, 2013

What Could the Moderates be Thinking?

I’m not a moderate by any stretch of anyone’s imagination but after watching this week’s Sunday talk shows I was asking myself. “what do the moderates think of all this?” The subject of immigration came up where people on the right said that the president has to lead. It wasn’t but a couple of minutes later when Newt Gingrich said that any proposal offered by the president would not be accepted by the Republican House of Representatives. John Boehner keeps saying that he doesn’t think President Obama. “has the guts" to seriously address the country's debt and deficit.  The word “seriously” means austerity to Boehner and it only, reinforces the saying.. “ damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”

The pundits love the squabbles, and they ask questions in a way that they hope will escalate the fighting because it helps their ratings. It doesn’t have to be at the national level either; I kept wondering what the moderates thought of my view on civil liberties and the use of drones which I made on another blog. I’m not trying to appease the moderates, but I often wonder if the needle of my left-of-center meter is taking a downward trend toward extremism when I answer another poster’s question. I think people like honesty because they can see through the lollipops and unicorns' effort to remain uncontroversial. For example,BigJ asked on another blog,” Since this is a liberal/ progressive blog, let me tell you where I stand that is against liberals. Why are liberals believe in man made global warming, but yet refuse to acknowledged sunspots in relation to Earth temperature? Why is liberals are pro choice, but yet anti-choice when it comes to unions?” I can answer the questions honestly as I can, but they would be my own opinion because I obviously don’t speak for liberals. As for myself, I don’t disavow sunspots, natural warming, or any other reasons our planet is getting hotter. I’ve continually said that we know fossil fuels (hydrocarbons) are heat-trapping gases, which is contributing to our planet getting hotter. We have control over this by curbing emissions and investing in cleaner energy. The second part of BigJ’s question is much harder because one is a social issue, and the other is economic one. A consistency of the word “choice” is more about wordplay than anything else.

Study after study has proven that liberals and conservatives are wired differently, and this is why they approach problems the way they do. For a variety of reasons, moderates carry ideas from both ideologies but oftentimes their ideas don’t come to the surface because they can’t get past the noise coming from the extremes of both sides. The extremes of both sides are where the markers are, so the answer to our problems is to navigate between the two and then side with the one that makes the most sense for now. The most sense side will vary from time to time. In politics, we know that for right now,we need legislation that can generate 218 votes in the house and 60 votes in the Senate in order for it pass and be sent to the president before it will become law. As for climate-change remedies, all we can expect is to shore up the flood barriers to combat the rising sea levels that cause havoc after a storm. Universal background checks will be the only thing that has a chance of passing in this Congress to curb gun violence, but that doesn’t mean that the fight is over. The only way things will happen, is to change the makeup of Congress. In the examples I gave, that moderates are the equalizers and not necessarily the generators of good ideas.

I’ve never met a moderate, but I’ve met several who call themselves that but they are just disinterested in the political process. I’ve also met those who say they are fiscal conservatives and social liberals, but they’re saying, “I’m above the fray.” An example of that are the six senators who are afraid to vote to ban the extended clips because they live in a red state. I’m saying that a politician’s vote might not be a good gauge to determine whether they are moderate, liberal, or conservative because some of them are opportunists.

Today is Presidents Day and we all have a favorite president, but I wonder whether any modern-day president will make the list since we are so polarized. Today and in the future, every president or candidate will get more and more scrutiny, so much so, that good people may not come forward and take part in the process.


born2Bme said...

I have no idea where I fall because I refuse to label myself. The place other poeple place me is their problem, not mine.

Mike said...

That's odd because most people know where they lie on the political spectrum even thou they may not admit it. It may not be an exact science but there are enough issues out there where you can see how many times you side with an issue considered liberal or conservative...Then again you have the right change your mind.

I understand that labeling issues evolve because several thought(including me) Obama's SOTU and inaugural speech was a liberal one but there is a consensus that climate change,gun background checks,gay marriage are more mainstream now according to polls.

I don't care where others place me because like a cat,I always land on my liberal side. I'm glad I have strong beliefs to which I can relate to, although I may not not always be right....

It's like hyphened Americans,some like it ,some don't but it doesn't keep others from labeling to describe a person.

IMO...You are sometimes difficult to pin down because you are conservative on most social issues,somewhat moderate to left of center on economic issues and I don't know where you stand on foreign policy because I've never read your positions. i don't use those labels in a pejorative way.

I also know that a lot of us have a lot of gray throw in from us from time to time.

I reading a book that calls the people who follow Ron Paul "paleoconservatives" and those who who want us to be in constant war ..neoconservatives.

Mike said...

Nowadays you can pretty much label a conservative or liberal on fiscal issues.
Simple question: What is more important to you the national debt or more jobs?
A conservative thinks the debt is moe important.

Labels are also regional.....I remember picking up a University of Chicago newspaper in 2007 where 95% of the respondents thought candidate Obama was too conservative..:-)

I just pick liberal because in Victoria if you are not conservative ,you are LIBERAL...yeah,some Democrats call themselves conservative Dems but that just means they don't have their feet totally in the party. 

born2Bme said...

You can't pin me down because I'm multi-faceted, and that is my point. I just don't worry about labels. I'm an American and that is all that matters in the grand scheme of things. Right?

born2Bme said...

Let me see, foreign policy. Don't keep up with it that much and really don't know enough about everything to know.
My policy is stay our of other people's business unless it directly effects the US, on US soil.
Of course, that's probably not what you mean.

Mike said...

We are all Americans but that is not a political distinction,that's country of origin and citizenship.

I don't think you are as mutifacet as you think you are  because you consistently come down on the same side on many issues.Americans are polarized right now but I'm not trying to pin you down...For example if a cookie tray has peanut butter,mint,and chocalate chip cookies for you to choose from. You pick 3 chocolate chips on your first visit and the you go back an get 3 more chocalate chip cookies,then I think it's fair to think that you like chocolate.

As for your foreign policy policy,I think you favor an isolationist policy.

We are likely to be labeled more than others because we do a lot posting ,making it easier for people to connect the dots...Again,you don't have to adopt a label but people will unconscienly put you in a camp to make it less complicated...It's like arguing with a catholic or a non-believer;now that you know what they are,you know what they believe.

I know a lot of liberals who are ashamed of that label but they allowed consrvatives to get the upper hand on them.

Don't mind me,carry on as you wish.....:-)

born2Bme said...

Hell, I'm not ashamed of anything people want to pin on me. It's what I think that me.

I doubt I could even tell you what a liberal or conservative stand for, other than the few obvious points.

Edith Ann said...

Not so on the Conservative Dems! I say I am a conservative Dem, not on the fical spectrum, but on the "I am not a liberal who believes that anything goes!" scale. I think I hold non-$$$ conservative values, but I support safety nets.

You read folks pretty well Mike--have I mis-labeled myself?

Mike said...

I don’t think it’s about me reading folks; it’s more about what’s being held accepted as being a liberal or conservative nowadays by the media. It’s actually turned topsy -turvy over the years. There used to be a time that conservatives used to be out in the forefront on environmental issues. There is still some of that, farmers and ranchers have a healthy respect for the environment, but they often vote conservative.

The anything goes “liberal label” is a little outdated because that goes back to the “so-called hippie era” which has been taken over by Code Pink and Green Peace or what is commonly known as extremists.

Today’s conservative Democrat is the 1990s established Republican or what was called back then, north eastern Republicans. Those Republicans believed in the safety net, and they were instrumental in passing civil rights; remember back then, southern Democrats were very similar to the Tea Party of today.

Today it’s more about urban vs. rural as to whether you’re a conservative or liberal, and the voting results substantiate that. It’s also about whether you think government is part of the solution or the problem. It’s basically about priorities: individualism vs. Collectivism, the debt or jobs, tolerance or fundamentalism, Wal-Mart vs. Costco,Austin v Lubbock, fossil fuels or alternative energy and finally, a woman’s right to choose, in contrast to repeated steps to overturn Roe v Wade.

I can’t say this enough… The definitions of liberal and conservatives are evolving. I heard a priest say that the Catholic religion is liberal, but the hierarchy is conservative. I often hear Republican operatives say that Hispanics are part of their voting bloc because of their conservative views. A recent study found that, for the most part, Hispanics are liberal and don’t have anti- government views.

A lot of liberals started calling themselves Progressives (because it polled well) after George H.W. Bush looked Gov. Dukakis in the eye and said, “You’re a liberal” which eventually led to his downfall. Conservatives don’t view liberalism as a viable option but more as a path to destruction. Liberals don’t talk much about ideology, so it’s normally a one-sided conversation

BIGJ said...


Conservatives and liberals tend to do one thing and that is overreach. Both these ideologies tend to put agenda over a solution.

Case in point

1) 9-11 attacks problem turned into anti Muslim attitudes and the bloodthirst for Iraq. Conservatives

2) Mass Shootings turned into a war on Guns. liberals

3) Mass Shooting turn into crazed into arming teachers. Conservatives.

The solution is simple get guns/weapons from crazy people. Not ban a type of gun or arming schools. When common sense is no longer common then we are in trouble. It is sickening for Rick Perry, Andrew Cuomo, and even Diane Frienstein to issue out legislation that was pre written to further an ideological agenda instead of a solution.

I considered myself the Radical Middle, I see the evils of both ideologies.

Justin Williams


Mike said...

BigJ,thanks for your input and I disagree somewhat because you are throwing both liberalism and conservatives into the extremism pot....Conservatives and liberals are working on a universal background check law which has a 90%   approval nationally.

NY and the northeastern states have strict gun laws...Nothing wrong with state rights.
The legislators passed the recent gun law in NY but they've had strict gun laws for a long time.

The ban of the extended clips or the semi auto weapons of war will not pass the house.

Diane Feinstein witnessed a shooting in SF at the mayors office,so it's unfair  to say she is just trying to move an agenda.

We can't trample the 1st Amendment to protect the 2nd....Not all who commit mass murder are crazy I.e...the drug turf wars in Chicago,drive byes in LA  
 I ask what's the different between you saying "The solution is simple get guns/weapons from crazy people. Not ban a type of gun or arming schools" and others offering their opinion contrary to yours?

I've heard many conservatives say that no sane person needs a AR15,30-100 round clips,a silencer or armor piercing bullets.

Not saying we can't keep working on keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and criminals.I say let's look at all the proposals,pass what we can and come back another day and take another look at it again.

BIGJ said...


Diane Feinstein is using the issue for her gain and nothing else. She tried to ban hand guns in the early 80's which was unconstitutional. Ask yourself this, why were the bill and proposals rushed so quickly? This is akin to " don't let any crisis go to waste".

AR15 is needed to protect oneself and livestock from wild hogs. That statement was made to fake reporter Piers Morgan, who by the way ignore that point and later edit that part out of his show.

You asked what is the "difference between my solution" and that of others. Well read the third paragraph of this blog. I favor common sense over ideology or an agenda.