Middle of the road? Is that good?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by colehart, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. colehart
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    colehart Guest

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    Why is being a "centrist" (middle of the road) person more appealing than taking a particular side? A centrist is neither "hot" nor "cold". Neither "right" nor "wrong". Neither "left" nor "right". Why would someone want a President like that? Indecisive is not something you want(or should want) in a leader!
     
  2. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    I think centrist means that your willing to take severe hits to your values system in order to get along and form alliances large enough to get a lot accomplished. Unfortunately, oftentimes the amount of freedom of the citizens varies inversely to the number of government accomplishments.
     
  3. wonderwench
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    Because politicians are there to represent all of their consituents, not just the fringe. Good centrists realize that they have to build consensus and that each "faction" is going to have to give up some of its agenda in order to arrive at solutions for the entire society.

    Dogmatic extremists are generally unable to build consensus - so they resort to the politics of personal destruction in order to destroy the opposition.
     
  4. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    My experience has been that a "centrist" or a "moderate" is someone who has no real value system and is easily swayed by a nifty-sounding argument or campaign mailer. Liberals and conservatives, whether right or wrong, have a value system that makes them liberal or conservative. Moderates, in my experience, do not. But maybe I'm wrong (WW?).
     
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    Aquarian Member

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    well said ww. For instance, I don't believe in gun control at all, but I'd make the compromise to ban assault rifles in exchange for more freedom to carry handguns. (besides, if assault rifles are actually needed you can get them off the black market...).
     
  6. wonderwench
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    The best way I can explain "moderate" is to think of John Nash's Equilibrium Equation. We live in a community with others. Balancing our self-interest with that of others results in a benefit to all. Extremists, IMO, are so self-absorbed that they are willing to destroy the well-being of the community at large (and themselves, although they fail to realize it) by insisting on Their Way Or The Highway.

    A reasonable person chooses his battles carefully - and has a hierarchy of values. One doesn't adhere to a subordinate value if it injures a more important one.
     
  7. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Agreed. And I have met some very self-absorbed people who believe in their cause regardless of the facts. However, most of the hard-core Republicans I know (or Democrats, for that matter) are not like that at all.
    And I agree with your heirarchy of values statement. That's how I determine my own position on many issues.
     
  8. acludem
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    acludem VIP Member

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    Everyone wants to be a "moderate". No one wants to be called an "extremist" Centrists have strong values as well, they just fall in between those on either side of the spectrum. I consider myself to be center-left. There are extremists in both parties, but they are no more or less passionate than those in the middle, such as Joe Lieberman (D), Jim Jeffords (I), and Lincoln Chaffee (R).
     
  9. tim_duncan2000
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    tim_duncan2000 Active Member

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    I always thought it just meant that you might agree with things from both sides and/or you are willing to make compromises. I didn't think it necessarily meant indecisive because I would think that even they would know exactly how they feel on just about every issue.

    For those who don't like "Middle of the road" types, what do you like then? Surely you don't like extremists.
     
  10. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Please let me clarify... what I said was that most moderates I have come across either don't have a well-defined value system, or they just don't care. If a person is a moderate, but can defend their position(s), more power to 'em.
     

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