1 April 2005
Sort of centered
I have generally described myself as a "centrist," a word which in today's political context means something like "moderate," a word which in today's political context means absolutely nothing, according to Francis W. Porretto:
"Moderation," shorn of all context, is not only value-free but semantically empty as well. The same could be said for its linguistic opposite, "extremism."
Name a political subject; that is, name a condition, process, or hazard that might conceivably be improved by State action. Conceive of a position on that subject. How does one judge it to be moderate or immoderate? By where it fits into the range of possible positions on the subject? Or by where it stands in opinion polls? Or by how dramatic its results are likely to be?
Were I completely given over to cynicism, I would be inclined to say that, on this particular scale, the "moderate" position is the one that is least likely to work: its results will be the most dramatic (or most ignominious) failure.
Most issues are, to greater or lesser extent, binary: any intermediate positions are derived from the desire to create exceptions to a rule.
(Note: This was written on 4 December 2004, never posted, forgotten, and rediscovered during routine maintenance; I decided to put it up anyway.)