Personalities like Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck on the “conservative” side
take on the personalities of Barak Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi on the
“liberal” or “progressive” side. As “We the People” sit in the stands
watching the “issue” being batted back and forth, we wonder about the
outcomes of such debates. We are asked to mark our own position regarding
the issue and ultimately make a decision about where we stand.
As these “ideologues” present their evidence through a “montage” constructed
by bits of evidence from former speeches by their opposition, they weigh in
with what they determine as “proof” of their position. We are asked to judge
the credibility of the “proof” and then become opposition or proponents,
whatever the case may be.
Some of those issues currently being debated include such grandiose things
as capitalism versus socialism for our country. Tributaries from those
issues include such things as more government control versus less government
control; higher taxes vs. lower taxes; universal healthcare vs. some form of
former status quo; market economy vs. redistribution of wealth; and, illegal
immigration issues leading to deportation vs. legalization and amnesty.
The difficulty in arriving at a clear-cut position is not only the
many-facetted perceptions of any single issue, but the variance in
individual acceptance of the credibility of either side of the argument as
most people watch and listen.
I have a Theory: The only thing that will advance the cause of liberalism is
conservatism; the only thing that will advance the cause of conservatism is
Let me explain. A person whose mind-set or world view is liberalism will not
readily compromise with a conservative. Likewise, a person whose mind-set or
world view is conservatism will not compromise with a liberal.
Moderation is a word that both conservatives and liberals abhor. It is
assumed that a person with moderation lacks the fire or passion to accept
the positions on either the right or the left.
Conservatives who are on the right are generally moving in the direction of
conservatism; liberals who are on the left are generally moving in the
direction of liberalism.
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Since they are generally (almost always) moving in the direction
of their mindset, they only get more liberal or more conservative
respectively as time passes. Each side ultimately reaches a point
where ideology on either side reaches a position of radicalism. When
radicalism becomes dominant the ideologue being generally fearful of
the radicalism begins a retreat that causes a movement of mindset in
a different direction. At the point of radicalism for a liberal
person, generally, as one conservative idea is accepted as tenable
to the liberal mind, others tend to be more plausible as well;
likewise, at the point of radicalism for the conservative person,
generally, as one liberal idea is accepted as tenable to the
conservative mind, others tend to be more plausible as well.
Therefore, it is moderation which is always moving in one
direction or the other. This is the pendulum effect that swings to
the right as far as it can, then returns to the left and moves in
that direction until it goes as far as it can; it then momentarily
stops and begins its journey back to the right.
A moderate then, is either coming from the right, or coming from the
left. But during that travel time there is a point, or range, at
which each position has some similar values and attitudes in common.
Often this can be described as the common ground where the minds
meet and compromise occurs.
I believe that is where our fairly established “Tea Party” movement
has taken form. If one could do a detailed study of each participant
in that movement (or a good, reliable representative sample), I
believe that the majority of “moderate” positions would be much less
inclined to hang on to an arbitrary position at the extreme of
either liberal or conservative, and much more willing to compromise
to the more common ground.
In our current political situation I believe we are seeing a
reaction to the extreme left that offered up our so-called “hope and
change” during the last two national elections. During those
elections the extreme radicals on both the left and the right
delivered the current conditions. I believe that what we will see
during the next national election will be great numbers of those who
were on the extreme radical side of left and right turn out as
moderates (or independents) and reverse their previous decision
because each extreme position is on their journey back to the
[By JIM KILLEBREW]
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