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Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

Moderates in politics: Is it possible?

Posted Thursday, August 20, 2009, at 3:03 PM

Lately the rhetoric among political types has become, well, unhealthy.

Seems like it's not so easy to figure out exactly what's going on.

I don't know what to believe about the "end-of-life counseling" in health plans, which some make out as a way for government and insurance companies to force those in ill health to go on and die. Is this both Democrats and Republicans overplaying an issue for their own gain?

I agree with President Obama's feelings that insurance companies are only out to fatten the wallets of their stockholders and executives.

But I also think Obama's spending needs to be reined in, a comment which got a gasp of surprise from a work colleague (who's aware that I lean Democrat) who describes herself as "conservative but not a conservative Republican." In other words, she studies carefully, thinks independently and decides for herself instead of being dictated to by party leaders - a lesson some officeholders on both sides of the aisle would do well to learn.

Right now I think most Democrats are too liberal and most Republicans too conservative.

So I guess I'm ... moderate.

Do those of us who take a centrist point of view have a chance?

Maybe.

Take a look at a small but growing movement in Rhode Island state politics.

It's the Moderate Party and their views make a lot of sense. They've obtained enough voter signatures to be officially recognized as a political party.

I noticed that party leaders think "compromise" is needed in government. Is "compromise" good or bad? Some Democrats and Republicans don't recognize that the word exists.

Here's another group of moderates who, interestingly, aren't linked (at least on the web) to the Rhode Island group.

Could moderates form a third party? Could mainstream Americans recover politics from the extremists?

The Rhode Island experiment could turn out to be interesting...


Comments
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I consider myself a moderate and find myself very frustrated with politics of late because it seems common sense has been tossed aside and politics is more or less about who wants power and what they have to do to keep it. I use to consider myself a Democrat but the past few years have forced me to become an independent because I agree with some views of both parties but despise what both parties represent as a whole. Both parties have polarized themselves to either the far right or left and seem content to remain there and the mere thought of trying to reach some middle ground is alien to them. To be really honest, if anyone really believed Obama was all for bipartisanship and still believe it after his actions in office then I definitely have some ocean front property to sell you in Tennessee. Of course McCain would have probably been no better so that is why it gets so frustrating . . . the candidates we are offered are so lacking in any real substance and could really care less about the average American. I think this would all change if a law was passed that limited the terms of those to Congress to just two terms which would keep career politicians out and also limit the amount to money that can be used to campaign. I will keep dreaming on that one!

But to answer the question, it is very hard for moderates to exist in today's political culture because they are deemed traitors by one party or the other if they don't vote along party lines plus so many voters are stuck on the mentality of just voting for one party which shows they lack the ability to think for themselves and see outside of their own little box.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Fri, Aug 21, 2009, at 7:28 AM

I view myself as a southern moderate. That is, among other issues, I am opposed to abortion as a means of birth control. I am opposed to handguns but favor gun ownership for game hunting and targt shooting. I have nothing to hide, so I don't opose registering guns. I believe a wedding should be between one hen one rooster. Having said all this, I am a Democrat because I have never seen a Southern Republican do anything to help a working class man or woman. My dad told me how he started his public work career working at a local pencil mill and one day the boss told everyone to gather outside in the pallet yard. A candidate for governer (a resident of Bedford County) stood on one of the stacks and said "All any working man needs is a dollar a day and a new pair of overalls once a year". Dad said until that very day, he had no idea if he was a Democrat or Republican until he found out the candidate was a Republican. Dad said that very day he knew, without a doubt " I am now and forever a Democrat " He also said "no hired hand can afford to be a Republican, if you draw a paycheck, carry your lunch in a pail or sack to work, or get sick now and then, you can't afford to be a Republican. Issues haven't changed that much since Dad passed on. Dad and I had many a high spirited political discussion and I have to admit, even today.......Dad, as usual, you were right on target.

-- Posted by chs61 on Thu, Aug 20, 2009, at 8:08 PM

David,

I, too, view myself as a moderate.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Thu, Aug 20, 2009, at 4:17 PM

I have to disagree that Republicans are to conservative. Looking at how they spend money, they seem to me to be just as liberal as the farthest left of democrats,although there excpetions, but very very few. I think most of them come across as conservative until you look at their voting record.

I do agree that neither party represents the majority of Americans, but still they continue to be voted into power.

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Thu, Aug 20, 2009, at 4:04 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.