We must understand the necessity of moderacy

October 27, 2017 — by Ryan Kim

“I’m with Her.” “Make America Great Again.” By themselves, these slogans sound nice. However, these dichotomous slogans are problematic — they create a no-man’s land on the political spectrum.

Whether one supports a “lying, cheating and dirty crook” or a “sexist, immoral and disrespectful pig,” the average American is hounded upon by their political opponents. What most people fail to realize, perhaps, is that the most attacked is neither side: it’s the person in between, the so-called moderate.

It is virtually impossible to be a moderate in today’s political climate. Isolating rhetoric from both sides of the political spectrum is dangerously polarizing, throwing biased information at the moderate as the only truth. For example, Yes California, a group that advocates seceding from the U.S., has been growing stronger since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, and alt-right protesters at the other end have emerged as a threatening (and deadly) force in  Charlottesville, Va.

The result: The moderate is increasingly pressured from both sides to demonize one or the other, enlarging the disparity between the two sides. “Pick a side!” “The only bad American is a non-voting American!” they say.

This should not be the case. The point of a democracy is to have a choice; misleading propaganda and divisive rhetoric takes away this choice by supplying biased and skewed information, no matter which side of the spectrum a person is on.

Although the argument remains that if people aren’t voting, they aren’t exercising their democratic right, it isn’t equal to being passive bystanders who are letting a bully have his or her way over the nation. If the only thing a moderate sees are two bullies on the playground, by refraining, they are simply taking the side of the victim: a divided America.

Granted, it is easier said than done to be moderate in America today. With more divisive rhetoric spewing from leaders, the average American doesn't know which side to run to. But change starts with the people; it is crucial for the American people to clarify what is within the bounds of reason and morality, siding neither with the far-left nor the far-right. Politicians like Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democratic Sen. Susan Collins are both viable moderate candidates in future elections.

Voters should consider both arguments of a debate before making a decision, and ponder the effects of a policy on the whole country, not just a local community. Only by keeping level heads and not being blinded by personal biases can the American people come together again.

Being a moderate is arguably more important now than ever. Moderates are not bad people, uncultured swines or passive bystanders. Moderates offer something necessary when solving national issues: They can suggest solutions based on a compromise of everyone’s best interests and look for alternative solutions to bypass the agendas of narrowly focused parties and political candidates.

All over social media, the disparity between moderates and passionately sided individuals is apparent. Social media platforms like Facebook are flooded with hateful comments berating “the enemy,” while the moderates are drowned out in torrents of: “You don’t support Hillary, so you must be a sexist pig like your favorite dotard!” or “It’s because of people like you that our economy is floundering; if you’re not with us, then you’re with those thieving immigrants!”

This is the pinnacle of the problem. The “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” sentiment has gone too far. This thought process was one of the main causes of the Civil War in the 1800s and history shouldn’t be allowed to repeat itself. Touting personal agendas and shaming others’ ideas for their faults without looking for compromise damage the country as a whole.

This is not to say that having strong political beliefs is wrong. It’s all right to fervently support a candidate, just like it’s all right to be a moderate who leans toward one side more often than the other. However, it is most important for people to respect each other’s political choices and allegiances in order to get along and do what democracies do best: work together with multiple perspectives to solve a problem.

Trump’s presidency may be terrifying for some as a Clinton presidency would have been to many others. Yet, it is not the time to pit one side against another in endless bickering. Rather, it is time for a Moderate Era: a time of peace and acceptance, of concession and compromise. A time of progress and cooperation.

 

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