|average margins of victory in the past five presidential elections. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
I don't think this assessment speaks to my political elasticity as much as it speaks to the political egocentrism of so many liberals and conservatives. A lot of the politically opinionated folks I know surround themselves with like-minded people, and articulate their doctrines as if nobody could possibly think differently than they do.
I must admit to a certain level of hypocrisy, though. Although I won't back down from a good debate once it is initiated, my innate tendency is to avoid conflict. For that reason, I allow my silence to be interpreted as agreement when I really shouldn’t. I'm working on this. But it is a balancing act between being absolutely truthful all the time (hard and dangerous work) and being comfortable and friendly (easy and safe work).
From my unique perspective as a centrist, I notice that both groups too often assume the worst about the other. Each group thinks the other is morally corrupt and downright dangerous, not just wrong about the issues. I'd like for people to start assuming that the other side is simply wrong about the issues, and only arrive at the “morally corrupt and downright dangerous” characterizations if the given individual deserves it.
I'm not saying everyone should be a moderate like me. I'm so open minded sometimes that I'm afraid my brains will fall out. But I am saying everyone needs to be respectful of others, and resist the urge to personally demonize those who see the world differently.
Advertising by political candidates and mainstream media coverage of politics only serve to further whip us into a frenzy of extremism. But that's a subject for another blog post.
I’ll make this plea here. No matter how much you may differ with the political philosophies of the party at the opposite end of your spectrum, please don't assume that their motives are insincere. Everyone I know wants to make the world a better place – a more just, fair, happy, and prosperous world for everyone. If we all accepted this notion then political discourse would become more civil, and real work could be accomplished.
Think about it.