Monday, February 27, 2017

The problem of being a moderate

I didn't intend to write anything here so soon but then I saw someone commenting elsewhere negatively regarding moderates. Since moderates are held in disdain by strong liberals and strong conservatives, I feel a lot of what a moderate is gets defined by them-- not us. Since, many of us are introverts, and not likely to be joiners, that's probably an inevitable result. Here's what I said in the blog comment:
Being a moderate doesn't mean accommodating. It means not agreeing with either party on all they want and with equally strong feelings. Most moderates are socially pretty liberal and economically pretty conservative. There is no word for not being in a partisan box. Conservatives and liberals can make deals-- we see it all the time and some in ways that are disgusting like okaying a bill for pork that is added into it and benefits their state.

Moderates could call themselves Independents except that implies the others aren't. We could also say we think for ourselves and don't accept a party telling us how we should feel about gun control, taxes, environment, gay rights, abortion, etc. I would like a name for us but it would not help. We'd still be disliked by the strong liberals and conservatives (Limbaugh regularly blasts moderates as meaning nothings). To be a moderate doesn't give us a group identity and in some ways that's frustrating but there is no choice if someone just doesn't see it the way they are supposed to if they want to belong.
One thing about the extremes of both sides is they totally know what should be done and if you disagree, you are the enemy-- hence moderates (leaning left or right) tend to be put into a box ;). In my rant blog, I wrote that I felt frustrated that I no longer had someone to cheer for after many many years of thinking I did. Ah well, as the old saw says-- to thine own self be true. Can't please everyone and often not anyone.
I turned those words purple since moderates aren't red or blue but have some similarities to either. In Oregon to vote in a primary, registered independents are not allowed :(. 

Ever since I registered to vote at 21, the age back then, I've been a Democrat, one who throughout the years has donated to candidates both for the Presidency, Senate and House. It was always Democrats, but something began to change and it wasn't in 2016. It began to seem the Democratic party had left me and was dictating conditions that I felt went against the good of the country. They did this by having stands on social issues that mattered a lot to me but then where it came to economics, environment, and globalization, to support the Democratic party forced me to overlook what I saw were bad trade deals or talk of a minimum wage while allowing a situation to continue where illegal entries kept wages lower than they would be if immigration was regulated. 

Democrats began to manipulate language in ways Republicans have long been good at. They would move heavily toward globalization but not use the word-- and Obama only did it after the election was over. Has there been a real discussion on what globalization means to average citizens? Do we want the federal government or a world government body to tell us which vitamins we can buy? One of the concerns with Obama's  TPP was that it meant more than trade-- it enabled regulations of us with a world court deciding (their end goal for this is a world tax where the citizens would have no say over how it was used).

Globalization vs. nationalization (which liberals label as bigotry) was not in the debates that I saw. When Hillary said she wanted a day to come of no borders, she was speaking to a private group with her words being secretly recorded and released (much like Romney in 2012). When she called followers of Trump deplorables, again she didn't intend for anybody outside that room to hear the speech. It was how she felt, how the establishment (media and government) feels. 

Moderates better define themselves as they sure aren't being accurately portrayed by right or left. When I meet a fellow moderate (right or left leaning) it will be someone who thinks on issues and does not allow a party or leader to tell them what they should believe. 

As a moderate, I can favor a woman's right to decide on an abortion from conception until the the baby can survive outside the womb (the earlier the better as a baby at 20 weeks looks like a baby and isn't far from when it can now make it with help). 

Moderates don't agree on many issues. In my case, I favor the right to own a gun but not if someone has had a violent felony or is mentally impaired in a way that leaves them either potentially violent or unable to discern reasonable actions. I also don't see a need for extended magazines or guns easily changed into full automatic human killing weapons.

I believe in environmental regulations but not to have the government take over someone's right to use their land to protect a three-toed squirrel or frog or beetle, not when other species are plentiful with minor differences. The irony here is the ones that want to protect that species, easily replaced in the ecosystem by another, also believe in evolution.

Environmentalists went after a rancher who built a small containing pond with runoff that never went off his own land-- why did they do it? Because they could.

I can see the value in regulations but only to a point. If we wanted to stabilize our creek bank, which was heading toward eroding the highway bridge downstream, we would have to secure in writing permission from four agencies and even then could have someone at the last minute demand it be undone with a big fine, due to something in fine print. Regulations that go too far do limit businesses and often for a bean counter's power game.  

Environmentalists would stop us from raising livestock-- bad for CO2 dontchaknow-- and if they could, they'd push our animals far enough back from the water (fence along the creek is not good enough), effectively to end any animals on this place as the creek runs its length and it's not a thousand acres. 

A lot of ranchers and farmers are conservatives and some is because unlike city folk, they have run up against those who want to put them out of business-- and generally speaking they are Democrats. It was not always this way as we've been in the business for almost forty years. It has changed and much of it not to the good of small business owners in agriculture or elsewhere.

An example of one of these issues that Americans should be thinking about and from the farm paper to which we subscribe:


Basically, moderates will read both opinions, and a lot more before deciding which is best for their own situation and the country as they see it.

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