I do not believe that there is any such thing as a political moderate. There are Republicans that call themselves “moderates”. But in reality, what are they?
We may define the terms conservative, moderate, and liberal, but the textbook definitions do not reflect the modern political vista. Here are the simple textbook definitions of the words:
Conservative: of or constituting a political party advocating the support of established institutions
Moderate: of or constituting a group espousing a middle of the road course of action
Liberal: of or constituting a group not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways, an advocate or adherent of individual rights
As you can see these definitions do not fit today’s politics. Here are definitions closer to their common usage:
Conservative: One who supports established institutions espoused by the Constitution of the United States. One who is in favor of a limited Federal Government and States rights. A constitutional strict constructionist. One who supports a free market economy with a minimum of governmental controls. One who believes in religious freedom. One who believes in individual rights.
Moderate: A liberal Republican or a conservative Democrat.
Liberal: One who is not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways. One who believes in a large and powerful central government that controls every aspect of peoples’ lives. One who believes that the end justifies the means. One who believes in wealth distribution controlled by the central government. One who believes in the total separation of religion from public life. One who believes in the rights of the group but not necessarily the rights of the individual. Sometimes: a Marxist or communist.
Note that a moderate is a liberal Republican or a Conservative Democrat. I am not the one that makes this distinction. This seems to be the view of the dominant media. It seems that all conservative Democrats are referred to in the press as moderate, and All Republicans with liberal views are called moderate.
Now let us take a look at some “moderate” Republicans. Without naming names I will relate some of the bills the so-called moderates voted for or against. Then you will be able to see my point.
One has sponsored and voted for a so-called Campaign Finance Reform bill. This bill would strip Americans of their right to political speech especially near election time. It will prevent Americans from banding together to lobby government. It is an assault on freedom of speech. This act was struck down by the Supreme Court in January 2010.
Several “moderate” Republicans voted against the recently passed tax cut.
A “moderate” Republican voted to require special licensees at gun shows to conduct background checks on anyone purchasing a gun from them and to require pawnshops to conduct background checks on anyone redeeming their own gun.
Many “moderate” House Republicans voted for leftist President Clinton in the impeachment proceedings against him in December 1998.
Many “moderate” Republicans voted for affirmative action to continue at the federal level.
Several “moderate” Republicans voted for the Equal Rights Amendment.
Several “moderate” Republicans voted against the partial birth abortion ban.
I will stop here. All of these votes are politically left-wing. The so called “moderates” who voted for them voted for liberal issues. What is moderate about left-wing issues? Nothing. There is no such thing as a moderate. A vote is either left-wing or right-wing. There is nothing in between. Those who attempt to sit on the edge of a fence always fail to remain upon it. They always fall off to the left or to the right.
Moderate Republicans are liberals and moderate Democrats are conservatives, plain and simple.
© 4/29/2004, Mark Oaks. All rights reserved