What is a moderate?

Of potential interest – Jack Grant of Random Fate and The Moderate Voice has recently taken on the task of defining “moderate.” His initial take contrasts moderates with ideologues, explaining that moderates are people with “deeply held principles” who are “willing to listen to those advocating other beliefs and principles and weigh them against his own beliefs and principles.” Key here is the willingness to acknowledge when his or her own beliefs “come up short.”

He also offers a follow-up in which he talks about the difference between a moderate and a centrist.

Recommended reading….


4 thoughts on “What is a moderate?

  1. Thanks for bringing this to us
    WOW! I really never considered Moderates in that light! I guess it WOULD make sense when you stop to look at what America REALLY looks like. We don’t live in a Red State or a Blue State, more of some shade of Purple. The extremes, as was pointed out in a class I took this past semester, do make up the minority of the ideology of our nation, despite what CrossFire wants us to believe! Again, thanks for this tidbit LP.

  2. Re: Thanks for bringing this to us
    For me the most interesting part was thinking about “moderate” as opposed to “centrist.” I do conflate the two, like a lot of folks. And I’m a centrist, on average, which is what happens when you define yourself according to a set of principles that doesn’t align with the easy left vs right answers we’re always offered these days. But I guess centrism defines a metaphorical place without accounting for the principles behind it….

  3. Wouldn’t a critical thinker fall more into the moderate corner? Especially if someone is TRULY cosidering all sides of an issue! I find myself questioning and/ordiscarding some of the more and more outdated periphery of the ideolgy. I can admit when a plank proves it’s irrelevence (or irreverence). I guess this would eliminate me from any future poitical career then, dammit.

  4. predictability
    Well, I’ve always felt like genuine critical thinking drags you away from the poles. We all have out ideologies at some level, but critical thinking is a process devoted to examining and challenging those core assumptions. If you haven’t turned the guns on your beliefs, you’re not a real thinker.
    Lately I’ve been pondering the notion of unpredictabilty. There are a lot of people out there who, once you know two or three things (or less, in some cases), you really know all you need to know to predict their take on most any issue. To that extent, then, really strong critical thinkers tend to be harder to predict, because their minds have gone places you might not know about and have thought about issues in ways that others don’t really think about them.
    The people I have a hard time predicting fall into three categories:
    1) those about whom I don’t have much data
    2) those who are crazy
    3) those who are really very smart
    The more easily I can predict what you’re going to say on a subject we haven’t talked about before, the less likely you’re somebody who thinks very seriously. And from a personal standpoint, the less interesting you’re likely to be for me.
    That said, ideologues tend to be really easy to predict…

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