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Author Topic:   What is a Political Moderate?
Morte
Member (Idle past 6181 days)
Posts: 140
From: Texas
Joined: 05-03-2004


Message 1 of 26 (156498)
11-06-2004 12:16 AM


While I was reading the Bush is back! thread, I couldn't help but notice that both major sides seem to think themselves quite moderate and the other side extreme and radical. Whether it's the "extreme leftist liberals" who have hijacked the Democratic party or the "fundamentalist neocons" who have warped the original intent of the Republicans, it seems that neither side sees anything at all moderate in the other. So the purpose of this thread:
I'd like to know how you would define "moderate" politically and what you believe to be moderate stances on the issues that were most recurrent throughout the campaigns prior to the election. Feel free to debate the definition, but please try to stay on topic and avoid debating the issues themselves.

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 Message 2 by crashfrog, posted 11-06-2004 12:50 AM Morte has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1546 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 2 of 26 (156524)
11-06-2004 12:50 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Morte
11-06-2004 12:16 AM


To hell with moderation. Social conservatives are outright wrong on every social issue. Why would I dilute liberalism with wrongness?
Yeah, I'm on the left. Over here we believe that people should butt the fuck out of things that aren't any of their business, and the government shouldn't be in the business of handing out the benefits to some people unless they're going to go to everyone.
But apparently my agenda threatens the Moral Minority, who feels they have a god-given right to make sure that two men don't hold hands where a kid might see.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Morte, posted 11-06-2004 12:16 AM Morte has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Morte, posted 11-06-2004 1:02 AM crashfrog has replied

  
Morte
Member (Idle past 6181 days)
Posts: 140
From: Texas
Joined: 05-03-2004


Message 3 of 26 (156536)
11-06-2004 1:02 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by crashfrog
11-06-2004 12:50 AM


I'm trying to establish what people think is moderate, since so many accusations regarding the last election indicate that most people think at least one of the parties is getting much more extreme and radical ("out of place with America's values" is a term you hear a lot). So, while I feel the same way, particularly about gay marriage, and generally tend to agree with and respect your posts, that post is exactly what I was trying to avoid - hence the last paragraph of the original post.

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 Message 4 by crashfrog, posted 11-06-2004 1:08 AM Morte has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1546 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 4 of 26 (156540)
11-06-2004 1:08 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Morte
11-06-2004 1:02 AM


Well, to try to answer your question: maybe they only hate gays a little bit?
I dunno. I just don't know what the moderate position between American principles of self-destiny and freedom versus rigid theocratic moralism would be.

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 Message 3 by Morte, posted 11-06-2004 1:02 AM Morte has replied

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 Message 5 by Morte, posted 11-06-2004 1:36 AM crashfrog has not replied

  
Morte
Member (Idle past 6181 days)
Posts: 140
From: Texas
Joined: 05-03-2004


Message 5 of 26 (156554)
11-06-2004 1:36 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by crashfrog
11-06-2004 1:08 AM


quote:
Well, to try to answer your question: maybe they only hate gays a little bit?
I suspect that many of the people who support civil unions but not marriage think themselves moderate on the issue - at least, that's been my experience with them. Personally, I still find that view the most difficult to understand (especially the many people I've known - it's the most predominant viewpoint around here - who essentially support gay marriage as long as it's called something besides "marriage"), as it essentially advocates a "separate but equal" law - which, of course, never turns out to be the latter - and doesn't seem very consistent to me. I still think it's too far to the right, and I'm sure there are many fundies who would say that it's too far to the left by "encouraging" homosexuality.
That's why I started thinking about it; so many people expressed a longing for more moderate opponents during this past election, but they have such different views on what moderation encompasses. I would suspect it's just people idealizing the past (as with those who believe that America is suffering a "moral decay"), but the differences between the two candidates were quite notable compared to the recent others.
{Edited to shorten a run-on sentence... which is still annoyingly lengthy, just not as confusing as before.}
This message has been edited by Morte, 11-06-2004 01:40 AM

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paisano
Member (Idle past 6501 days)
Posts: 459
From: USA
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 6 of 26 (156564)
11-06-2004 2:15 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Morte
11-06-2004 1:36 AM


Ok , my working definition of "moderate" is someone who is oriented toward free markets, pro-business, advocates reasonable but not onerous regulation, a strong defense, tries to come to reasonable accomodations on social issues...
And when at a ballgame, and the National Anthem is playing, and there is perhaps a flyby, feels proud to be an American, and does not feel chagrined or engage in silly navel gazing about exaggeratred fears of militarism and fascism...
Democrats who fall into my "moderate" category ? Evan Bayh, Joe Lieberman, Blanch Lincoln.
Republicans ? Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Quetzal, posted 11-06-2004 8:57 AM paisano has replied
 Message 8 by Silent H, posted 11-06-2004 11:48 AM paisano has replied

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5951 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 7 of 26 (156606)
11-06-2004 8:57 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by paisano
11-06-2004 2:15 AM


I think I agree with your characterization of moderate, with the exception that I'd want a moderate to simply keep government the *%&#$ out of "social issues" completely. And I'd add Barach Obama to the Dems list - at least based on his speech at the DNC convention (there were two speeches I applauded at that convention: Reagan's and Obama's). Of course, I never considered myself a "moderate". I'm quite comfortable being very conservative in some areas. Too bad Schwarzenegger can never run for president.

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 Message 6 by paisano, posted 11-06-2004 2:15 AM paisano has replied

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 Message 11 by paisano, posted 11-06-2004 12:03 PM Quetzal has replied

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5898 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 8 of 26 (156630)
11-06-2004 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by paisano
11-06-2004 2:15 AM


in moderation
I agree with your definition of a "moderate" as far as US politics is concerned.
I'm not sure about the ballgame, national anthem, flyby thing... but I assume the point you are trying to make is that one can feel patriotic sometimes without then having to shudder and spit. I agree with that idea.
But to that I'd have to add a basic pragmatism which allows one the ability to criticize, and I mean openly criticize, things which are not working without feeling like one is betraying one's country.
Although I thought Giuliani was not a good mayor except during 9-11 (he showed fantastic leadership during that crisis), I agree with your assessment of Republican moderates.
I don't agree with your list of Democratic moderates, especially Lieberman. I thought Bob Graham was pretty good, and I don't think Kerry strayed from the mark either.
Indeed if we want to look at presidential candidates and how close they came to "moderate", both Bush and Kerry were:
oriented toward free markets, pro-business, advocates reasonable but not onerous regulation, a strong defense
While only Kerry was...
tries to come to reasonable accomodations on social issues...
I mean both men were against gay marriage and late term abortions (which was in keeping with majority of Americans feelings), yet Bush was for rewriting the constitution and putting the breaks on stem cell research (neither of which are in keeping with a majority of American sentiment), as well as turning government functions over to churches and religious groups (to the extent that they could even refuse to hire nonxians yet have our tax dollars).
Certainly Bush does not fit easily into the list of: Giuliani, McCain, and Schwarzenneger. I find very little difference between the actual positions of Kerry and Arnold... can you?
This message has been edited by holmes, 11-06-2004 11:50 AM

holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by paisano, posted 11-06-2004 2:15 AM paisano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by paisano, posted 11-06-2004 12:01 PM Silent H has replied

  
Adminnemooseus
Administrator
Posts: 3977
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 9 of 26 (156634)
11-06-2004 12:00 PM


Note - Topic title modified
I have changed it from Moderate? to What is a Political Moderate?.
Adminnemooseus

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paisano
Member (Idle past 6501 days)
Posts: 459
From: USA
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 10 of 26 (156635)
11-06-2004 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Silent H
11-06-2004 11:48 AM


Re: in moderation
But to that I'd have to add a basic pragmatism which allows one the ability to criticize, and I mean openly criticize, things which are not working without feeling like one is betraying one's country.
I agree, although with such criticism, especially by a Presidential candidate, comes the responsibility to offer credible alternatives, articulated in a fair amount of detail.
Certainly Bush does not fit easily into the list of: Giuliani, McCain, and Schwarzenneger.
Quite correct. Notwithstanding, My primary issue was the war on terror, which we have discussed at length and need not repeat in this thread, and I judged Bush superior on this issue.
Indeed, there will be conflicts between the hardcore social conservatives and the Arnold wing of the party. Indeed if the Democrats are to win national elections, a party that looks like a mix of people of the types I mentioned, where Michael Moore is as unwelcome as David Duke, is their best bet. As always, IMO.

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Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Silent H, posted 11-06-2004 12:26 PM paisano has replied
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paisano
Member (Idle past 6501 days)
Posts: 459
From: USA
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 11 of 26 (156640)
11-06-2004 12:03 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Quetzal
11-06-2004 8:57 AM


And I'd add Barach Obama to the Dems list - at least based on his speech at the DNC convention
too early to tell, let's see hoiw he does in office. Ken Salazar of CO also falls in that category of possibly moderate but let's wait and see.

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 Message 7 by Quetzal, posted 11-06-2004 8:57 AM Quetzal has replied

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Silent H
Member (Idle past 5898 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 12 of 26 (156645)
11-06-2004 12:26 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by paisano
11-06-2004 12:01 PM


I agree, although with such criticism... comes the responsibility to offer credible alternatives, articulated in a fair amount of detail.
Absolutely, and...
My primary issue was the war on terror, which we have discussed at length and need not repeat in this thread, and I judged Bush superior on this issue.
I agree not to debate that topic here since that is policy/policy and not the nature of moderate. The point I was trying to make is that both men fell within the moderate position of strong defense, even if there were differences on what consituted a strong defense policy. I must note that McCain up until the campaign was firmly against many of Bush's military policies. Thus Kerry was not out of the loop on that, merely out of the party.
Indeed if the Democrats are to win national elections, a party that looks like a mix of people of the types I mentioned, where Michael Moore is as unwelcome as David Duke, is their best bet.
I think this is where the irony comes in. You say Michael Moore and David Duke. But the real parallel would be between Moore and O'Reilly. They are both simply reactionary infotainers.
The Democrats were selective that they isolated people left enough to consider Nader or the green party.
The Republicans reached beyond right to hit the hardcore Falwell, Robertson, and beyond fringe Xian fundamentalist movement. I have no idea who David Duke sided with, but it may very well have been Bush.
I think you are trying to dismiss the obvious here. Yes, Moore was critical of Bush, but if you listened to him he was also critical of Kerry (he endorsed Clark, but never Kerry). Yet Kerry and his supporters (and critics of Bush) got painted with being Moore types. This just is not accurate (again I have already mentioned Clancy, Buchanan, Clarke, and I could keep adding people like Zinni).
Yet Bush clearly pandered to ultra Xian fundies. Can you deny this, or that it was the ultra right fundies which was necessary to make the percentage difference in this election?
I can point out that Kerry did not pander to, nor did he get, the extreme left vote.

holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by paisano, posted 11-06-2004 12:01 PM paisano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by paisano, posted 11-06-2004 6:02 PM Silent H has replied

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5898 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 13 of 26 (156649)
11-06-2004 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by paisano
11-06-2004 12:01 PM


Michael Moore is as unwelcome as David Duke
You know I just realized that you have this real huge problem with Moore. This last thing has really thrown me. How does Moore even come close to equating with David Duke? I mean that. If you are posing moderate as a center between Moore and Duke then your definition does not seem to match its applied results.
It also seems to be that you requirement for being able to be voted on is that Moore would not like it. That is all style and no substance.
I know he isn't pretty, and can grate people the wrong way, but is he seriously that big a scare crow to conservatives that they would rather vote for poor choices than a good one Moore might like? Again no substance. and not very moderate.

holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

This message is a reply to:
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Morte
Member (Idle past 6181 days)
Posts: 140
From: Texas
Joined: 05-03-2004


Message 14 of 26 (156670)
11-06-2004 1:49 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Adminnemooseus
11-06-2004 12:00 PM


Re: Note - Topic title modified
You know, I actually thought about how that title could be interpreted the wrong way by the Admins right after I turned off the computer last night.

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paisano
Member (Idle past 6501 days)
Posts: 459
From: USA
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 15 of 26 (156766)
11-06-2004 6:02 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Silent H
11-06-2004 12:26 PM


Yet Bush clearly pandered to ultra Xian fundies. Can you deny this, or that it was the ultra right fundies which was necessary to make the percentage difference in this election?
Well, Bush outpolled Kerry 52% to 47% among Catholics overall, and by a wider margin among those who attend Mass weekly. I can't speak for all Catholics, but I have issues with much of the agenda of ultra-right Protestant Fundamentalism (YEC in public schools, Protestant prayer in public schools, Fred Phelps gay hatred). Yet I oppose most abortion except to save the mother's life or avoid grievious medical harm, and I oppose gay marriage - I could agree to civil unions on a state basis , if enacted by legislatures, not forced by courts.
Kerry's view on abortion (I say I oppose it, but kowtow to NARAL anyway) is simply not acceptable to me or millions of Catholics. But, that was not my main issue.
Bush got 44% of the Hispanic vote, and many of those voters fall into the above category. I think the Democrats naively expected to get more Hispanic votes becuase many are poor. The thing is, many are becoming non-poor through entrepeneurial efforts, just like Italians and Irish did before them, and they hold fairly socially conservative views. Cesar Chavez is no more typical of Hispanics than Michael Moore is of whites. Talk to a Hispanic owner of a restaurant or small construction company to find out what the majority really thinks. The pro small business agenda of the Republicans appeals strongly here.
I also think you are conflating Protetsant Fudamentalists and Evangelicals. The distinction may be subtle, but it is there. The latter group is larger by far and this is the group that is most responsible for the Bush win. These people have broadly social conservative views, but more diverse than you might imagine. Many oppose YEC. Many could accept civil unions. They are not uneducated morons - many have college degrees and some even advanced degrees.
I think Hangdawg13 is probably a typical Evangelical although I don't want to speak for him.
If the Democrats want to win national elections, they need to take these groups (Hispanics, Catholics, and Evanegelicals) seriously. The sneering disdain that the party leadership had for these people's views was palpable and they saw right through the pandering.

This message is a reply to:
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