Moderate Extremists

Radical Moderate Just about anyone and everyone in the Civilized World has heard of Left-Wing Extremists and Right-Wing Extremists and people in general have a picture in their minds’ eyes of who they are, what they want, and what sort of danger they pose.

It’s just part and parcel of our cultures.

What is seemingly never considered, much less mentioned aloud, is the possibility of Centrist or Moderate Extremists.  It’s axiomatic that the Center and those with more flexible or moderate socioeconomic and/or -political agendas and goals are not going to produce Extremists who might resort to dangerous methods to enact those agendas and reach those goals.

Is this anything more than an assumption predicated upon nothing but anecdotal evidence, and is it a wise assumption?

I would have always unequivocally said yes; political moderates are not a source for extremist behavior. Then I got a comment on a recent post:

There is a 3rd, although unlikely option.

That is for those of us who hate extremists to finally get fed up and kill both sides.

This would, of course be the best possible option. It’s about time that the majority, who do not belong to either of the crazies, finally have enough of this crap and put an end to it once and for all.

Unfortunately, we’re all busy trying to make a living off what the extremists are doing to our economies, and don’t really have the time or energy to do the right thing.

But eventually it’s time to weed the garden.

Unsurprisingly, my initial response was a mixture of humor and sarcasm. Then I sat back and thought about the situation and realized that there’s no reason why there wouldn’t be and/or couldn’t be a radical Centrist or Moderate movement that was more than willing to use Extremists’ methods to reach their ends.

There’s certainly no reason that I can think of for why such Moderate Extremists would be an impossibility. An individual’s place on the political spectrum – Left v. Right – doesn’t have any intrinsic bearing upon how committed they are to their ideology or to what extremes they would go to achieve dominance or hegemony.

With an increasingly frustrated and angry electorate extremism of action is always a possibility and, as Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear showed, that anger and frustration is shared by the Centrists who decry both the Left and the Right.

Perhaps we should finally fully scrap the the idea that the Center is “safe” and consider them as a potential source of extremism as well…

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4 Responses to “Moderate Extremists”

  1. Charles Sifers Says:

    I couldn’t be more proud than to add to the enlightenment of the discussion.

    Funny how we “moderates” are taken for granted.

    The idea that Moderates are “wishy washy” or have no strong beliefs is nothing but an insult to those of us who really do represent true American ideals.

    Will we actually rise up and eliminate the nut jobs on either “side”?

    Probably not, but anyone can be pushed to a breaking point.

    It’s time that we started getting the respect that we deserve.

  2. jonolan Says:

    I think it stems from the centrist / extremist sociological theories that were put forth in the 1950’s to attack Conservatives. They were false theories, and have since been deprecated – though only as part of another Leftist attempt to vilify the Right – but have become entrenched in the culture’s collective psyche.

    As I said, even I got caught by it and I’m trained to think in terms of stress points, risk analysis, and sociodynamic trends as they relate to group movements.

  3. Jim Sears Says:

    This was thought provoking, although I have always thought in terms of radical right and left and not extremist. The terms extremist and “extremist tactics” have gained a negative connotation much like the terms liberal and conservative have with many people. If by extreme tactics you mean doing anything in my power to repeal national health care, or to implement a fair tax, or to pass a balanced budget amendment, then I too am an extremist. I oppose the views of both major political parties and would probably be placed with moderates although I tend to think of myself as independent. I personally would like to see some extremism from the center to counter the destructive forces at work in our congress right now.

  4. jonolan Says:

    Where the Extremism comes into play, in my opinion, is what you or anyone means when they say, “doing anything in my power to… .” It means different things to different people – e.g., with a properly zeroed in rifle of the correct caliber (.300 Win-Mag or .338 Lapua) and hand-loaded ammunition I rarely miss my target at under 600m with the 300 Win-Mag or 1200m for .338 Lapua.

    That dramatically changes what “is in my power” and, hence, could make that phrase more of a threat if I truly meant that I’d do anything within my power to affect political change or prevent political change.

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