On Monday, Matthew Paul Turner (you may know him from Jesus Needs New PR) made a political confession:
He hates Christian moderates.
He thinks they’re wishy-washy and they don’t know what they believe. Or they just want people to know what they don’t believe. Or they are just hanging out in moderate land before returning to familiar ground on the election. They parrot talking points without having an original thought.
I have to agree. That kind of “moderate” would make me want to judo chop him right in his moderate bone (the ossicle).
But I’d like to give a playful, but serious response, because I consider myself a moderate…
…a very extreme moderate. I’m the most closed minded moderate I know, in fact. I hope you’re ready because I’m about to open a whole can of moderation on your sorry faces.
I Don’t Ride Fences…I Plow Into Them
That’s right, when it comes to moderation, I am the most extreme moderate I know of. When it comes to riding a fence, I blast through the fence with a bulldozer.
Because to me, being a milquetoast moderate is completely missing the point.
Being “undecided” in my mind means not knowing whether you’d rather have me punch you in the stomach or the kidneys.
Not having an opinion means you just don’t have the mental capacity for logical thought processes. I’d rather you be dead wrong than undecided. At least I can have a debate with someone who’s wrong.
Okay, I’m kind of kidding about all this. But really, being a moderate in no way means that I don’t have an opinion.
When A and B Both Miss the Point
To me, moderation is not about riding fences or being “in the middle.” It’s not about bringing both sides together for hand holding and compromise. It’s not about being “purple” in the fight between red and blue.
To me, being a moderate is an entirely third party. What’s a color that hasn’t been ruined yet? Orange? Is orange being used by a fringe party? I don’t know, but if it’s not, get ready for a blast of righteous orange indignation to your eyeballs.
Being a moderate is not finding the “middle” between A and B. It’s about saying that A and B both miss the point in so
me way. When A is band and B is worse, a compromise between the two is not anything better. So a moderate, at least a real one, isn’t going to compromise. He’s going to get some backbone and say to A and B “you’re both wrong!”
You Can’t Fit Moderation Into a Soundbite
Moderates don’t deal in extremism. But when it comes to the media, extremism is probably the only thing that fits into a soundbite. Extremism is all the media usually deals in. There is no such thing as a moderate war cry. War cries are short, loud and extreme. Extremism rallies people, but rarely fits into real life because it is not realistic. It is a fantasy. It doesn’t solve real problems. It only stirs people up into a frenzy and wins elections.
Traditional politics are about digging in your heels, towing the party line, and proclaiming the end of the world when you lose. It’s about getting people to agree with your side (which almost never happens) and forcing compliance when they do not (which is almost always.)
Being a moderate is about showing everyone that there is a better way than what is being offered. Not a compromise. Not a wishy washy, spineless, no nothing way. A better way. A more logical way. A more practical way. A more realistic way.
What do you think? Do you consider yourself a moderate, or would it be better if I just picked a side?