Moderate Wannabe

On Monday Henry Brinton wrote a USA Today oped piece titled The race for the religious center. It got me to thinking.. is there a religious center? If there is one then people identifying with that group would probably be called moderates or centrists. I liken myself as a part of that group.. ideologically anyway.. but practically.. in the way that I live every day.. fiscally and socially.. I am very conservative. I am anti-credit card debt.. I think that one should save first then buy a car. I think that one should be married before they live together. I believe that abortion is absolutely wrong. So why do I think of myself as a moderate/centrist?

I think that moderates are people who embrace other peoples ideas.. they see the positives aspects of the right and left sides of life. When they vote they look for candidates that are both strong on fiscal responsibility and are advocates for the poor in our country.. tough on foreign policy but have an accent on diplomacy. They try to look past polarizing issues and give their attention to the candidate instead of their positions. In January 2005 I proffered the following incomplete list of positions that I found attractive:
  1. Tangible commitments to the working poor,
  2. Moderate trade agreements that helped US labor,
  3. Sensible restrictions on abortions (i.e. 2nd trimester viability),
  4. Gun control that excluded hunting rifles (i.e.shotguns),
  5. Middle ground health care coverage for everyone,
  6. Some limits on liability for healthcare professionals.
Maybe I am way off base on this one.. maybe I am just tired of being a part of the right side of the voting block.. I have to admit that the republican politics of the new century has pushed me closer to the center. Yet when I voted last week I mainly voted conservatively.. voted against new local taxes.. voted for a conservative congressional candidate (one that I know personally).. but I also voted for the more left-leaning school board member. This is the first year in a long time that, in August, I am still undecided about the presidential candidates. Maybe I am just a moderate wannabe?

How about you? Has your voting tendencies changed over the years or do you still pretty much vote the way that you always have? I have let down my guard a bit in this post so.. maybe, instead of railing against my moderate-wannabe position, you can give us a peek into your voting life this year?


  1. It used to be that "liberal" and "progressive" and "moderate" meant how money was spent. Now it means how morality is legislated, upheld or denied

    Now, I have to dismiss all those tags and look at the candidate's specific positions on everything. It's frustrating: why should I have to worry about a mayor's position on gay marriage or partial-birth abortion? Because Gavin Newsome in San Fran took the law into his own hands. Because today's mayors are tomorrow's state reps and senators and congressmen and judges.

    My voting tendencies therefore have become ones of much more research than before. Except for school board voting, which I take advice from local teachers and neighbors, and local judges, where I listen to cops and attorney friends, I collect recommendations from many sources and think about each and every candidate. (There was a time, sorry to say, that I would pull the straight ticket and then flip a few back here and there). I really work on my vote.

    (By the way, related to our discussion in an earlier post, read this about where we could be heading with an Obama presidency: (what tag makes a link appear in these comments?)

  2. Thanks for the comment and the link TZ. Yeah, Obama on life is definitely no moderate.. from what he said when he was a state senator he would not support the idea of viability.. which to me is a sane position. My supposition is that he still holds that position.

  3. You ask a good and personal question. I resonate with a lot of what you offered in your post. As for me, I have no idea where I will be in November. Right now, I am trying to figure out if God wants me in the political arena at all or if He cares. I have been reading books by proponents of both sides such as Shane Claiborne and William Wilberforce. I have also been studying the Bible, specifically, Christ, and also citizenship. I'm learning a lot, but I am still not any closer to having an answer, save one, Christ.

  4. You bring up a great point Cheryl.. for me voting is a part of citizenship.. it honors my son's sacrifice in Iraq.. okay.. maybe I just couldn't face him if I didn't vote.. he would really be on my case :)


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