David Brooks, of the New York Times, clearly and forcefully makes a case for what a “moderate” is in this great article. With the election coming up this week, and with months of campaigning by both candidates, the one word that has been used, and more often than not misused and abused, is moderate. Candidates are known for campaigning to their bases during primaries and then campaigning towards the political center during general elections. That common notion is that of as candidates become “moderates” for the general population. However, moderate is NOT someone in the middle, when referring to a moderate, a true moderate, which most pragmatic people and Americans really are.
Brooks defines a moderate:
First, let me describe what moderation is not. It is not just finding the midpoint between two opposing poles and opportunistically planting yourself there. Only people who know nothing about moderation think it means that. Moderates start with a political vision, but they get it from history books, not philosophy books. That is, a moderate isn’t ultimately committed to an abstract idea.
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