I have increasingly come to believe that anyone who calls themselves a “centrist” is one of the following:
1) A liar trying to hide his true political beliefs.
2) Someone who doesn’t really believe in anything.
3) Someone who is an easily swayed fool who can’t make up their mind.
Okay…maybe I am being a little harsh, so I want to make it clear: I’m not damning actual moderates, I do think you can be moderately libertarian or conservative or liberal in the sense that you can believe in some parts of an ideology but not all of it. That being said, there is no such thing as a moderate. So when people ask “Where have all the moderates gone?” that is a false question because moderate is an adjective, not a noun. And for this reason, ‘moderate’ is one of the most overused words of 2012.
The word moderate, along with the following, has been so overused in a political context that they have now been rendered meaningless:
Extremist: applied almost exclusively to conservatives, libertarians, or Republicans who actually stand up for what they believe in (and are actual conservatives/libertarians). Their stances are rarely actually extreme, instead they are better described as unusual and uncommon among the ruling class, government class, and the chattering class (i.e. the media).
Common-sense: Unlike extremist, which is deliberately used incorrectly for malicious ends, this one is mis-used in the sense that it allows the speaker to convey more than they are brave enough to say. So, when a liberal says they are in favor of “common sense gun legislation” it would be the same as a Ku Klux Klan Member saying “I’m in favor of common-sense jim-crow laws” It doesn’t mean what the speaker is actually in favor of is in fact common sense, but it gives the speaker the benefit of the doubt without him having to stick his neck out and actually define his positions.
Reasonable: again, often (though not exclusively) used in the context of “we need reasonable gun laws” (as if there are zero gun laws on the books), it allows the speaker to be given credit for saying something whilst having actually declared nothing.
Draconian: ruined by government types who cannot stomach the thought of any cuts to the size of government. Ever. And yet the ones who stand up for the rights enshrined in the Constitution are somehow unreasonable extremists…Basically, when the people in government are told that instead of getting to spend 4.5 trillion dollars next year they will only get to spend 4.415 trillion dollars next year (compared to the trillion dollars spent this year), they throw a big hissy fit about the “draconian” cuts in spending (even though no real cuts have been made. Similarly, when people who commit crimes are told to go to jail for a few years, this is a “draconian” punishment.
Moderate-Like I said earlier, there are legitimate forms of political moderation and there is a difference between a moderate and a centrist. There are also, however, good moderates and bad moderates. A centrist is someone who takes a little bit of doctrine from every ideology. A bad moderate is someone who will take a lot of doctrine from the highest bidder while keeping the rhetoric of every ideology. The #1 type of centrist (someone who is lying to cover their real political beliefs) usually prefers to be known as a moderate rather than a centrist. And it is centrists and moderates which are to blame for many of our troubles and woes today. For it is a moderate who thinks we can have a giant welfare state and low taxes at the same time.
Fair/Fairness: This one really drives me nuts because LIFE ISN’T FAIR. This really does deserve it’s own post, but I will give a quick preview here. I have a theory that all liberals were raised by bad parents and this theory mainly came about because of the latent Liberal championing/cheerleading of “fairness”. Any parent worth their salt should have told their child at least 1,000 times that life is not fair. It’s one of those things where it is constantly told to us, we constantly see it at work, and we instinctively know it to be true. Why then do Liberals and the Democrats of late always talk about fairness and how things need to be made “fair”? We all have different definitions of fairness; having the government impose someone else’s definition of “fair” onto you is anything but fair. For instance, General Electric famously paid no federal taxes in 2011. Most of us would call that unfair, but I’m sure the CEO of GE think’s it’s fair. And guess what? If he thinks it’s fair, he can hire dozens of lobbyists and spend tens of millions of dollars to make sure that it is his idea of fairness and not yours that is the defintion of fairness, which is exactly why we should not grant government the power to define and enforce fairness.