East of Eden
I walk the line.
Over at The Church of No People, the ever-brilliant Matt explains why being a political moderate is not a position of acquiescence or of being milquetoast. Also, I have no idea why I'm using SAT words before 9AM, but my Keurig brewed iced mocha coconut coffee is supreme. Anyway:
On Monday, Matthew Paul Turner (you may know him from Jesus Needs New PR) made a political confession:
He hates Christian moderates.
He thinks they’re wishy-washy and they don’t know what they believe. Or they just want people to know what they don’t believe. Or they are just hanging out in moderate land before returning to familiar ground on the election. They parrot talking points without having an original thought.
I have to agree. That kind of “moderate” would make me want to judo chop him right in his moderate bone (the ossicle).
But I’d like to give a playful, but serious response, because I consider myself a moderate…
…a very extreme moderate. I’m the most closed minded moderate I know, in fact. I hope you’re ready because I’m about to open a whole can of moderation on your sorry faces.
I Don’t Ride Fences…I Plow Into ThemThat’s right, when it comes to moderation, I am the most extreme moderate I know of. When it comes to riding a fence, I blast through the fence with a bulldozer.
Because to me, being a milquetoast moderate is completely missing the point.
Being “undecided” in my mind means not knowing whether you’d rather have me punch you in the stomach or the kidneys.
Not having an opinion means you just don’t have the mental capacity for logical thought processes. I’d rather you be dead wrong than undecided. At least I can have a debate with someone who’s wrong.
Okay, I’m kind of kidding about all this. But really, being a moderate in no way means that I don’t have an opinion.
When A and B Both Miss the PointTo me, moderation is not about riding fences or being “in the middle.” It’s not about bringing both sides together for hand holding and compromise. It’s not about being “purple” in the fight between red and blue.
To me, being a moderate is an entirely third party. What’s a color that hasn’t been ruined yet? Orange? Is orange being used by a fringe party? I don’t know, but if it’s not, get ready for a blast of righteous orange indignation to your eyeballs.
Being a moderate is not finding the “middle” between A and B. It’s about saying that A and B both miss the point in so
me way. When A is band and B is worse, a compromise between the two is not anything better. So a moderate, at least a real one, isn’t going to compromise. He’s going to get some backbone and say to A and B “you’re both wrong!”
Read the rest of this marvelous post here. I can totally agree with Matt. And more and more, those close to me are disagreeing with my moderate views. I get it. I'm not easily typed. I can't be smooshed into some box. Although, I don't think anyone should be put into boxes or divided into left and right- unless they want to be.
I'm reminded of my three year old self being yelled at by my preschool teacher to stop writing... well, coloring, with both hands. "Use your right hand!"
I was confused. Weren't both my hands equally "right"? Why was the left automatically "wrong"? At any rate, Miss Rose's complaints succeeded, and my ambidexterity was obliterated by 1986.
On Facebook, things have become so crazy politically with angry stat updates about the war on women, terrorism and cable news shows, I feel like ducking for cover. I've raised the ire of some friends just be admitting I'm ambivalent about either Romney or Obama. I'm thinking I'm going to have to take a cue from Deborah Plummer and just stay away until after the election:
"Unfortunately, a powerful tool for social exchange serves as yet another forum for partisan politics. I realize that politics have a long history of being divisive, and conversations about politics among family and friends have often been characterized as uncivil. We are socialized to never discuss politics as proper etiquette. And absent controlled classroom discussions most of us, especially as adults, lack any kind of forum to develop and practice the critical thinking skills that are so necessary to understand the complexity of today's governance issues. As a result, we operate out of a flat intelligence that reduces complex political issues to sound bites swallowed whole and spewed out like stimulus-response actions of Pavlov's dog. We then believe that political parities are monolithic and demonize those of the opposing party. And this display of flat intelligence plays out on Facebook. No surprise.
Sadly, another public forum where the full benefits of diversity of thought and expression could be realized are not realized... even among friends."
Yup. I guess my extremely moderate self will soon be singing "Gone till November" as if I were Wyclef, circa 1998.