Friday, December 30, 2005

Why Are Centrists Scary?

Patriotic Mom (Pam) went ahead and took the World’s Smallest Political Quiz and scored Centrist. I told her I consider Centrists scary. She wanted to know why. First of all, scary might not be the right choice of words, but I like to use it, especially since it gets Pam going. I'm actually more leery of Centrists in the legislature. One on one, I might find more common ground in conversation with a Centrist but, you never know how a Centrist might vote in an election, and that's a concern.

Centrists are what the Main Stream Media call "moderates", those that hold views that are a mix of those from the Left, Right, Libertarian or Authoritarian areas of the political spectrum. In practice, the Centrists are likely a threat to freedom just like the Left or Right.

This might well be overly simplistic as I’ll refer to the Left and Right when so many of our legislators are Authoritarian, but here’s how I see it:

Whether the legislature is dominated by Left or Right, each side will pass legislation to support their cause. Since most legislation either costs one group or another their money or freedom, once the Left and Right have had their turn, both the Left and Right (and everyone else) end up in the end with less money and freedom.

Enter the Centrist, or moderate. Their political philosophy consists of a mish- mash of just about every political persuasion, but likely evolves from what they’ve seen on two minute sound bites on the nightly news or, like many of their colleagues, whoever gave the most to their election campaign.

While they might not vote exclusively for Left or Right Wing legislation, they’ll likely vote to approve some legislation from each side of the aisle. As a result, just like after the Left and Right have been in control, everyone ends up with less money and their freedom diminished.

In the real world it’s unlikely libertarians will be elected any time soon in sufficient numbers to affect legislation. So, I’d much prefer a polarized legislature, hopefully with fairly even numbers on each side (unlike California) where they can get caught up in gridlock over supposedly strongly divergent views. Since most legislative action results in taking people’s money, their freedom diminished or simply in business the government shouldn’t be involved with in the first place, the less that gets done the better. With Centrists, Left and Right Wingers in charge, gridlock is good.

"Given the low level of competence among politicians, every American should become a libertarian. The government that governs the least is certainly the best choice when fools, opportunists and grafters run it. When power is for sale, then government power should be severely limited. When power is abused, then the less power the better."- Charley Reese


At 10:53 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

So it's wrong to change ones stance when new information is presented? Should the politicians "stay the course" even when new info tells them its wrong?
Doesn't the centrist represent the person who is continuously learning and thus inspires the people to learn? Or are you the type who believes learning ends at a certain age, that ones mind should be set in stone and break at the slightest gale force wind.
Look at the trees Fred, the ones that withstand windstorms are those that are flexible at the top and well rooted at the bottom, anything else gets shredded and broken.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Could be, depending on your definition of Centrists. When the media, at least in California, says we need more moderates in the legislature, what they really mean is they want legislators willing to pass legislation and raise taxes, rather than a philosophical opposition to either.

Yep, they may withstand the storm by being flexible, but we also may lose a lot as a result of their flexibility. I realize it can work both ways but, since most legislation is detrimental to liberty, I think the less legislation passed,the better.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

By flexible I in no way mean wishy-washy. Consistency is good in the right amounts, but so is flexibility. read sometexts on alchemy and you'll find that the "superior" being is one that has a balance of all opposites.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Understood. No way of knowing what you're getting in the end, either way.

Seems to me, at least on the state level, flexibility isn't an issue with most of the critters in Sacramento as so much of what goes on is one group banding together against another. Republican vs. Democrats in partisan struggles. Hence, so many votes along party lines.

There's an occasional "moderate" that goes against the party line vote. For instance, Bruce McPherson (I believe he's Secretary of State now), is hailed as a moderate by some. His moderate label came about because he broke with the rest of the Republicans and voted for tax increases and gun control measures.

That's the kind of Centrist, or moderate, I'd rather not have around.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Speaking of Centrists, how about I throw another one out? Some call him Conservative, but I nominate President Bush, although the Centrist label comes only from the actions of his administration. I've said before I don't think he has strong feelings one way or another himself. Hey...doesn't that make him a centrist.

His administration has been all over the place, although usually pushing for more government. The drug war seems to have escalated. While we don't seem to have a big push for gun control on the national level right now, Bush said he supported the Assault Weapons Ban and said he'd sign it. Thanks to the Republicans, the bill never made it to his desk for signing. I'm sure I could come up with some more results of the Bush Administration's Centrist policies (No Child Left Behind Act?).

He tries to please everybody. He's probably a good example of why we should be leery of Centrists.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Pamela Reece said...

Fred, thank you for your point of view on a "Centrist". I apologize for calling you "left minded" on my blog...I mis-typed that and I corrected it. At any rate, I agree with Nick Bravo... I believe Centrists are those, like myself, who are continuously learning based upon information from the past and present. I think we are good listeners and base our opinions on certain issues as flexible to a certain degree. However, the moral fiber remains the same.

Great post, Fred! Sorry for it taking so long to type back. I appreciate your perspective..even if I don't agree.. then again what else is new? :-)


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