In a political climate defined by the harsh winds of extremism, there’s never been a greater need for balanced voices who understand and acknowledge the complexities and multiple dimensions of politics.
Too many Americans have adhered to the ideology that you must pick a side, that you must be left or right, that you must be Democratic or Republican, liberal or conservative. Too many have assimilated to extremes, surrendering their own true values for others.
I have seen friends from both sides give up their unique political identities for those who believe that everyone must fall in line with their ideology in order for peace and prosperity to exist in a civil society.
But when did we surrender logic to these false dichotomies of left versus right? When did we exchange critical thinking for political bandwagons? When did we, as a society, reach a point of such dangerous fanaticism that we think the only way to conquer one extremism is with an equal and opposite extremism?
This week, SVSU is hosting a guest speaker to discuss the importance of liberty, character, and civility in politics. This is a conversation long overdue, and I sincerely hope it serves as a wake-up call to those Americans who believe the only way to serve their country is to join one of the two violent extremes.
Often lost in political debates are those with moderate views. Because of their balanced perspectives, and their ability to understand both sides of the political spectrum, they attract little attention. The news wants to capture the juicy details of division, violence, and hatred, so moderates are unheard of, as prevalent as they are.
The solution to the violence, the hatred and the division in our society is not necessarily a reminder to remain civil. A solution is to give moderates more time in the spotlight.
Give attention to those who acknowledge all sides and facets, all concepts and caveats that inform our political leanings. These people use their ability to step outside of themselves for a moment and view the labyrinth of politics with impartiality, free of fallacy judgment.
It may be difficult to hold multiple views simultaneously. But why do they seem so mismatched? Are some views not allowed to go together? Are our thoughts and views like computer code? If this, then this? If not this, then this? If this, then not this?
We aren’t robots. We are unpredictable, intricate, intelligent beings who don’t always fit the mold of society we are expected to fill. If moderate views received more attention in the media, people could break out of their political echo chambers and be exposed to balance rather than bias.
There are more moderates out there than the news networks and the politicians would lead you to believe, and if we as a country wish to heal our divisions and unite as a nation, we must give moderate views an opportunity to pour oil on troubled waters.
We may learn something about our fellow Americans we either didn’t know before. Most importantly, we may finally realize that if we lose our balance, we will fall.
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