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What is a moderate?

Everything that defines a true moderate can't be outlined in one blog alone. The range of topics covered is that found within a complete lifestyle philosophy. To define what a moderate is we must also look at what a moderate is not. To define what a moderate can be, we must also define what a moderate can't be.

A few short definitions of moderate can be found in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. In respect to politics a moderate is one, "Professing or characterized by political or social beliefs that are not extreme." In respect to a lifestyle philosophy a moderate is one, "Avoiding extremes of behavior or expression." With that as a starting point, a few more facts about moderates should be pointed out:

  • A moderate may be a member of most political parties. There can be moderate Democrats and Republicans, moderate Likud and moderate Labor supporters.
  • However, a moderate must be nonpartisan in thought and action. Any person who votes strictly along party lines, or unwaveringly supports one party, is not engaging in moderate behavior.
  • A moderate may be religious or non-religious. There are moderate Jews, Christians, and Atheists.
  • However, many philosophies and belief systems (political and religious ones) are exclusive to the true moderate. There are no moderate neo-Nazis, no moderate Klan members, and no moderate Muslim terrorists.
  • A true moderate is neither conservative nor liberal, though many individual moderate decisions and beliefs may be conservative or liberal.
  • Many who espouse an overall liberal or conservative viewpoint attempt to label themselves as moderate, but are not moderates.
  • Moderates do not embrace moral subjectivism or relativism. Likewise, moderates do not embrace moral objectivism. Moderate ethics are situational and can not adhere to any one end of the ethical spectrum without ceasing to be moderate.
The short list above is only the tip of the iceberg regarding moderate philosophies. Moderates are often accused of being left-wingers or right-wingers (by left-wingers and right-wingers) depending on the current issue on the table. Though it might appear that a moderate philosophy is the easiest to adhere to as it embraces issues from both sides at times, the reality is that a moderate philosophy is the hardest to adhere to due to fierce opposition from two opposing sides.

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