How Much Do you Hate Moderates?

I consider myself a moderate lefty. I'm pro environment, pro-choice, anti-war, anti-affirmative action,  pro-sensible gun ownership, anti-eminent domain, anti-long term welfare for healthy recipients and on the fence on the rest.

 

How much do you hate moderates?

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Moderate are the only ones that actually make sense. It’s the die-hard party people that make everyone look dumb. 

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Moderate is a meaningless term

Generally the most sensible people , so yeah prolly some hate here 

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AnotherTMAguy -

I consider myself a moderate lefty. I'm pro environment, pro-choice, anti-war, anti-affirmative action,  pro-sensible gun ownership, anti-eminent domain, anti-long term welfare for healthy recipients and on the fence on the rest.


 


How much do you hate moderates?

You sound reasonable.


But then I am moderate too.


In the current world folks want you to pick one side or the other.  Smart folks realize each side has some good ideas and some shitty ideas...


 

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Sandy Pantz - 

Moderate is a meaningless term


I consider a moderate to be a voter who has ideologies on both side of the political spectrum.  They look at the merits of each issue without feeling the need to cloud it with identity politics.

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Soup and Beer -
Sandy Pantz - 

Moderate is a meaningless term


I consider a moderate to be a voter who has ideologies on both side of the political spectrum.  They look at the merits of each issue without feeling the need to cloud it with identity politics.

So if you hold extremist positions from both sides, you average out to moderate?  That's a bit silly.  I often see people try to claim both the libertarian and moderate or centrist label because they agree with either side depending on the issue.  Libertarians are extremists, not moderates.

I am center-right, but should, for professional reasons, lean further left. I can't bring myself to do it in our 2 party system, as the Democrats are too busy pandering to the lowest common denominator to care about me, the working taxpayer.

I dislike hypocrisy, and there's far more of that coming from the left side than the right these days.

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The interesting (or not) thought experiment is to consider that extremists on either side should be able to find common ground with any moderate...

...but then consider that they almost universally instead find reasons to disagree with them.

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I'm moderate.  I think the government should take care of all my needs and keep my home at a moderate temperature.

No one’s less moderate than moderates

By Ezra Klein@ezraklein  Updated Feb 26, 2015, 11:05am EST

 

Ideonexus/Flickr

 

There is no creature more revered in American politics than the moderate voter. Unlike the ideologues and partisans destroying politics, the moderate is free of cant and independent of party. She yearns for politicians who get along, who govern reasonably and incrementally, who steer a course between the extremes of the left and the right. The problem with Washington is that her pleas so often go unheard.

The only problem is moderates are largely a statistical myth. When you dig into their policy positions, the people who show up as moderates in polls are actually pretty damn extreme — and efforts to empower them may, accidentally, lead to the rise of more extreme candidates.

The statistical mistake behind the myth of the moderates

What happens, explains David Broockman, a political scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, is that surveys mistake people with diverse political opinions for people with moderate political opinions. The way it works is that a pollster will ask people for their position on a wide range of issues: marijuana legalization, the war in Iraq, universal health care, gay marriage, taxes, climate change, and so on. The answers will then be coded as to whether they're left or right. People who have a mix of answers on the left and the right average out to the middle — and so they're labeled as moderate.

 

But when you drill down into those individual answers you find a lot of opinions that are well out of the political mainstream. "A lot of people say we should have a universal health-care system run by the state like the British," Broockman said in July 2014. "A lot of people say we should deport all undocumented immigrants immediately with no due process. You'll often see really draconian measures towards gays and lesbians get 16 to 20 percent support. These people look like moderates but they're actually quite extreme."

The result is that voters who hold gentle opinions that are all on the left or the right end up looking a lot more extreme than voters who hold intense opinions that fall all over the political spectrum. Broockman offers this table as illustration:

Moderate_table

 

Digging into a 134-issue survey, Broockman and coauthor Doug Ahler found that 70.1 percent of all respondents, and 71.3 percent of self-identified moderates, took at least one position outside the political mainstream. Moderates, in other words, are just as likely as anyone else to hold extreme positions: it's just that those positions don't all line up on the left or the right.

 

For Ahler and Broockman, this solves a puzzle. They note that many states have implemented election reforms to wrest the process away from partisans and empower average voters to elect the moderate politicians they really want. These reforms include open primary elections, nonpartisan redistricting, and public funding of elections. But "the bulk of studies on these reforms finds little evidence that they improve moderate candidates' fortunes."

The answer, Ahler and Brookman realize, is simple: these voters don't want moderate candidates because these voters aren't actually moderates.

What moderates want is often extreme

In a draft paper, they prove this through a battery of surveys and experiments testing whether people want a candidate who agrees with them on the issues or a candidate who is described as moderate. Unsurprisingly, they want the candidate who agrees with them on the issues. For that reason, Broockman says, "It's just not clear that empowering average voters will help moderate politicians win."

There's even reason to believe "average voters" — which is to say, less politically engaged voters — hold more extreme opinions: engaged Democrats and Republicans tend to adopt the positions held by their parties, and parties tend to adopt positions that are popular, achievable and workable. So voters who follow their parties end up pushing ideas in the political mainstream. Voters who aren't as interested in politics and who don't attach themselves to a party push the ideas they actually like, irrespective of whether they're popular or could attract 60 votes in the Senate or would be laughed at by policy experts.

The other problem is that the term "moderate" makes it sound like there's one kind of moderate — which is where the idea emerges that there's some silent moderate majority out there waiting for their chance to take back politics. But someone who believes in punitively taxing the rich and criminalizing homosexuality is not going to form a coalition with someone who believes in low taxes and gay marriage, even though both of these voters would look moderate on a survey.

 

The deeper point here is that the idea of the moderate middle is bullshit: it's a rhetorical device meant to marginalize some policy positions at the expense of others. There's no actual way to measure it, or consistent definition animating it, and it doesn't spontaneously emerge in any of the data.

"Moderate" as a political weapon

In one of their paper's most interesting sections, Ahler and Broockman look at the results of a survey that gave people seven policy options that ranged from extremely liberal to extremely conservative on 12 different issues.

12_issues

"On only two of the 13 issues — environmental/energy policy and gay rights — is the truly centrist response the modal preference," they write. "This equals the number of issues on which the modal preference is one of the outside-the-mainstream policies."

On marijuana, the single most popular position was full legalization. On immigration, it was "the immediate roundup and deportation of all undocumented immigrants and an outright moratorium on all immigration until the border is proven secure." So are these positions really the moderate ones? Or is the moderate position discovered through some process of averaging out the poll results? Or is the moderate position just the one espoused by people in power — because, after all, that's where a lot of survey respondents are taking their cues from.

 

"When we say moderate what we really mean is what corporations want," Broockman says. "Within both parties there is this tension between what the politicians who get more corporate money and tend to be part of the establishment want — that's what we tend to call moderate — versus what the Tea Party and more liberal members want."

That's the problem with using a term that doesn't describe either an identifiable group of voters or a clearly defined ideology to describe policies. "Moderate" is simultaneously one of the most powerful and least meaningful descriptions in politics — and it's become little more than a tool the establishment uses to set limits on the range of acceptable debate. It's time to get rid of it.

 

https://www.vox.com/2014/7/8/5878293/lets-stop-using-the-word-moderate

Soup and Beer, I believe this line in particular speaks to the mistake you are making:

 

"What happens, explains David Broockman, a political scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, is that surveys mistake people with diverse political opinions for people with moderate political opinions."

IronHands -

I am center-right, but should, for professional reasons, lean further left. I can't bring myself to do it in our 2 party system, as the Democrats are too busy pandering to the lowest common denominator to care about me, the working taxpayer.


I dislike hypocrisy, and there's far more of that coming from the left side than the right these days.

Arent they also the ones who make sure you are well paid in the first place? I think yes 

I don't. I have a hard time finding a generalized label that fits me though. I most recently decided that 'centrist' was the closest current fit, but someone pointed out in another thread that that could be interpreted as someone who doesn't have strong opinions of their own and just coasts by. Simply not true.

I think you and I can agree on the base concept of some of what you posted, but wildly disagree on the best way to implement policy to achieve goals in that direction.

It's all a big clusterfuck IMO, our current (and for the majority of my life) political system does not have a party that represents me fully.

Sandy Pantz - 
Soup and Beer -
Sandy Pantz - 

Moderate is a meaningless term


I consider a moderate to be a voter who has ideologies on both side of the political spectrum.  They look at the merits of each issue without feeling the need to cloud it with identity politics.

So if you hold extremist positions from both sides, you average out to moderate?  That's a bit silly.  I often see people try to claim both the libertarian and moderate or centrist label because they agree with either side depending on the issue.  Libertarians are extremists, not moderates.


I don't think I've ever heard of anyone holding extremist views on both sides of the spectrum.  When I take a political spectrums test it comes out as me being a cunt hair left of center with heavy libertarian leanings.   I do like some libertarian ideals but also understand a pure libertarian society would be a fucking disaster.


And you also have to consider what direction the parties have moved over the recent years.   It wasn't very long ago the Democratic party was in favor of strong borders and stood up for the Consitution.  Now, half the Democratic Party thinks borders are racist and the Constitution is a worthless outdated piece of paper written by a bunch of old racist white men.

Sandy Pantz - 

Soup and Beer, I believe this line in particular speaks to the mistake you are making:

 

"What happens, explains David Broockman, a political scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, is that surveys mistake people with diverse political opinions for people with moderate political opinions."

 

There might be a case for using proper definitions.  But whatever the term is for someone who isn't influenced by identity politics to decide an issue is what I am.  There are literally people who have no opinion on an issue until the herd they have identified with tells them how to think.

For example.  If for whatever reason the political ideologies of both parties reversed, orcus would be a gun toting, bible thumping proponent of the top 1%

 

Soup and Beer -
Sandy Pantz - 

Soup and Beer, I believe this line in particular speaks to the mistake you are making:

 

"What happens, explains David Broockman, a political scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, is that surveys mistake people with diverse political opinions for people with moderate political opinions."

 

There might be a case for using proper definitions.  But whatever the term is for someone who isn't influenced by identity politics to decide an issue is what I am.  There are literally people who have no opinion on an issue until the herd they have identified with tells them how to think.

 

Those people are swing voters aka moderates.  They can be pulled in either direction, often depending on things like the height, looks, and charisma of the politician rather than the issues.

Surely you guys have seen people on this forum say stuff like, "I voted for Trump, but I'd consider voting for Bernie if the DNC didn't screw him."  That's not a moderate, that's someone with really no clue what they believe or want.

Sandy Pantz - 

Soup and Beer, I believe this line in particular speaks to the mistake you are making:


 


"What happens, explains David Broockman, a political scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, is that surveys mistake people with diverse political opinions for people with moderate political opinions."


I am fascinated by this study.

I consider myself a moderate (which makes me a flaming liberal, here), but I am willing to be challenged on that, so I'll read about what you've posted.

Thanks, man.