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February 27th, 2007

Friends and America II: Moderates

Anyone out there?  I swear there will be a pole soon that asks how LJ peeps use this thing because I don't understand the dynamics of responses v. non-responsed-to entries.  On to the second part of my Friends and America entry ...

A second characteristic of my recently upsetting interactions with people stems from false dichotomies, or I should say people's addiction to differences of the "us" v. "them" kind.  The first rebuttle to my rejection of these dichotomies would be to accuse me of being one of these extremists who is taking sides against those who take sides.  Well now, that is a quandary of accusations to which I see no end.  The only rational and finite resolution to such a series counter-accusations is to say that I stand firmly in the middle of these extremes.  What I mean is fence-sitting: one nibbles a ittle from your side, as one extreme, and a little from their side, as the opposite extreme.   This is the only resolution to the exclusionary and perennial "us" or "them" debates.  It requires moderation.  And I have noticed that this moderation seems to really piss people off.

I should have realized that nibbling from two people's plates would not only piss off one person but both people.  Whereas extremists are attacked by their counterparts, I now realize that moderates are flanked by both extremes.  It's a double blow: a moderate is too right for the left yet is a Leftist in disguise to the Right.  So I end up arguing against people with whom I partly agree.  This just happened to me.  I bumped into a gay Republican who, despite having many things in common, exclaimed that he wanted to 'bring down Speak Pelosi'.  I wanted his reasons.  'Pelosi is evil' just isn't convincing to a moderate because we see no dark side of the Force, so to say.  Particularly in the case of a gay man, I think one would need very solid reasons to campaign against someone well known for her defense of civil liberties and privacy.  Otherwise, we return to  discrimination based on sexual orientation as Texas law had codified.  Thankfully that damned, Republican dominated Supreme Court invalidated these in Lawrence v. Texas.  So my discussion with this guy ended abrubtly because he complained about how it seemed like I wanted him to recant his opposition of Pelosi.  No, I just wanted his reasons, and it also happens that reasons ought to be well-justified and might even be convincing if one invests time and energy for a campaign ... you know, I'm just sayin' ...

My moderate approach permeates more than just politics and law.  Balance and harmony are my life's work.  But this large inertia of people is quite content to pick sides and it stands in my way.  It claims that I ought not to say things -- upsetting things -- though their side contributed to things I say.  So who is responsible?  I say me and you and everyone.  :)