The Need for Extreme Moderates

Goldilocks, the famous larcenist and squatter of bear homes, was once noted by the New York Times [This is not true.] as being an extreme moderate. Unfortunately, she was devoured by her victims, so the world missed its chance for her to expound on her positions.

But in the current political world of the USA, extremism rules the day. The extremes of corporatism and corporatism. Gone are the extreme moderates that have never existed and yet have prevailed by virtue of the fact that the government used to need to be functional.

These days, the corporations don’t depend on the government being functional, as they have the legal muscle to dodge any stray bullets from the contraption that is the modern government. Indeed, some of the corporations actively bet on dysfunction to keep their businesses thriving.

The only honest course for the world is one of extreme moderation. We must cut spending and raise taxes. We must invest in our infrastructure while avoiding supporting industries that ought to decline. We must provide a climate of relative certainty for our citizens, both against undue regulation and affirmatively that if they take a risk to start a business, their very lives aren’t at stake.

If you read the Constitution, you find extreme moderation. The right to religious freedom is extremely moderate, neither recognizing nor barring any set of religious beliefs. The right to free speech is extremely moderate, neither favoring nor barring speech. The right to keep and bear arms is extremely moderate, neither forcing the issue nor allowing it to be overtaken by an overzealous government.

The whole document is utterly balanced, at least in its intention.

When it comes to our current predicaments, it seems as though moderation is the filthiest word available. Nobody is willing to take the moderate position, in fear that one extreme or the other will drag them askance.

Let me be clear I am not speaking to social issues when speaking of moderation. Social issues have little place in the law. Gay peoples’ right to marry exists, and the government’s failure to recognize it is not legitimate. Women have the right to determine their bodily activities, and the government’s attempt to thwart that is not legitimate. Individuals have a right to due process, and national security is only a legitimate defense if the government can show that they have taken all necessary steps to attempt to mitigate that issue and protect civil rights.

Most of our current issues involve the size and scope of government. It is there that I point to moderation. There is a bright line, where on the one side you have private businesses engaging in public commerce using private resources, and on the other you have private businesses engaging in public commerce using public resources. In the former case, only minimal regulation ought be allowed. In the latter case, the public has the right to the benefit of our shared resources.

On defense, we have an interest in defending our nations, but only to the point needed, and that point is not based on the geopolitical climate of 60 years gone. When you have crossed the river, you do not carry the boat around on your back the rest of your life.

It is disrespectful to the generations past, present, and future, that we would waste our precious time trying to have everything at once, rather than one thing at a time.

The one side speaks of limited government, seeing the glass nearly empty. The other speaks of limited government, seeing the glass as nearly full. I’m not that thirsty, but I am yet thirsty. I’ll take a half-glass of government.