Sat, Jun

Moderation - The Unsung Hero Of Democracy


MARK, MY WORDS - Have Americans become so divided that moderation is no longer valued, considered or even recognized as a political option? 

These days, a political moderate is looked upon by most, to be a person who won’t commit to one philosophy or the other. In the simplistically binary and politically tribal landscape we currently find ourselves in, moderation “does not compute” for most voters. After all, alongside the preferred digital “my tribe or death” approach, it’s hard to picture an enthusiastic mob of tik-tockers rising up in support of an idea that requires contemplation in place of a silly dance. For the well-intended communal- harmony enthusiast though, it is a conscious and often risky choice, especially for a political candidate. 

The proverbial fence perched upon by people who “just can’t make up their minds” or commit to a decision, is a gross misrepresentation and an excuse to avoid spending the required time to carefully think before thoughtfully speaking. Moderation is in itself, an enduring ideology that necessitates common sense, objectivity and a patient attention to detail. It involves compromise, which after all, is the most traveled path to real social progress. What it lacks, is the manufactured chaos that social media is fueled and financially sustained by, thus relegating it to a purgatory where better ideas take a number and wait for disaster to ensue. Consider, if you will, moderation as the electromagnetic force that holds the neutrons and electrons of political ideas together. Society is a collection of individuals who themselves have a wide range of ideas. Without a nucleus, the field becomes unmanageably expansive and descends into chaos. Moderation is where common sense is illuminated, and common ground attained. Life is hard, but some things can’t be “hacked” and maybe shouldn’t be. “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you just might find, you get what you need.” Mick Jagger knew back then, what we seem to have forgotten since. 

Mainstream for-profit corporate media and social media, survive on perpetually growing numbers of ears and eyeballs. Extreme stories and views attract subscribers who generate the advertising dollars necessary for the company’s survival and growth. Together, we built a zoo in which only the most polarizing ideas are displayed for all to see and force onto one another. If we don’t like what FOX, or MSNBC are peddling, we could choose to just stop feeding the wild animals, but that would require that we all work together which seems unlikely these days. Real news production follows the story, but for-profit production follows the money. It will always prioritize money over truth because truth doesn’t pay the bills. 

Republicans and Democrats do have at least one thing in common, and that is to maintain control of government. Unfortunately, neither party has the best interest of the people in mind and the people can’t seem to grasp the alternative. Life is not a true or false question on a pop quiz...it’s an essay question full of nuance and complexity. As woke ninnies and corporate apostles whisper marching orders into the ears of willing and rudderless career politicians who are more than willing to sacrifice country for self, solutions sit quietly waiting in between the absurd verbosity. Democrats and Republicans, like crows attracted to only the shiniest of things, won’t even consider the possibility that they may be missing half the picture. 

Our current obstructionist Republican congress is arguably indefensible, but at least they don’t hide their misguided intentions. Democrats choosing a more palatable grift by speaking in more inclusive metaphors does not substantially distinguish them as a better alternative. Both parties understand the need to fund government, but the difference lies in what they fund and how much they fund it. They can both talk about how “the American people are hurting” till the cows come home, but unless we start paying less attention to what they are saying and more to what they are doing, our Republic will continue to degrade in the form of richer rich and poorer poor. 

Democrats who used to be the “pro science” party, are now waging war on science and language in the name of political correctness, and it is not going to age well. It certainly is not the party to rescue us from the clown car traffic jam that the freedom caucus republicans are all too happy to maintain. “Adulting” is not the same as being an adult, and until real adults take back the reins, there will be no end to the parade of fools willing to compliment the king on his new clothes. Is moderation destined to be relegated to the “forbidden concept” bin where time honored ideas are sent to die by intellectually challenged and emotionally coddled “gen-whatevers”? There is a bottom of the barrel folks, and if we don’t refill it with some reasonable and actionable ideas soon, we may not be able to scrape our way back out. 

As I see it, the only way forward is a third moderate party populated by revisionist public servants who hold country over, not only party, but self. In a January 2022 Gallup voter registration poll, Democrats lead with about 48 million registered voters, Republicans followed with about 36 million and Independents (the closest thing we have to “moderate”) came in at a very close third with about 35 million! Understanding that liberal and conservative views are not bound by party is crucial to breaking the corporate hold that the DNC and RNC have on American politics.  

Any person who denies having a mixture of both conservative and liberal views is knowingly or unknowingly lying to you or themselves. When enough sick and tired voters stop posting and start voting smarter, our political system will function as it was intended. But as long as we allow ourselves to continue electing captured politicians who have no problem peddling special interest agendas over democratic ideals, our system will remain broken. So the next time someone tells you that the government is corrupt, remind them that it is only as good as the men and women running it...and voting for it! 

Rule passion – faith – tradition – and all things with tempered reason. -Robert C. Christian 


(Mark Dutton is a lifelong musician, music producer, writer. Mark was arguing politics with his parents since he was a pre-teen. Majored in psychology and left college in his 3rd year on a 30 year magic bus trip around the world playing and writing music with some of the best in the biz. )