I'm a Moderate

Updated: Aug 29

We all have different world views, priorities and deeply-held beliefs which inevitably bring conflict into shaping public policy. It is what we do in that conflict that determines success or failure.


I’m a moderate. What does that even mean? Does it mean I don’t have any positions? Does it mean I just react to others’ issues? Does it mean I don’t stand for anything?


It doesn’t mean any of these things. Here’s my simple definition: moderates value creating sound policy over clinging to political power. Moderates seek to unify through listening, finding common ground, and moving forward from there to find solutions.


There are times when everyone agrees on the same great solution for an issue, and policy makers can then easily implement that solution and everyone is happy with the outcome. The unity this creates binds us together and lifts us all. The reality is that this rarely happens. We all have different world views, priorities and deeply-held beliefs which inevitably bring conflict into shaping public policy. It is what we do in that conflict that determines success or failure. And here is where the Army leadership value of “duty” is important.


Duty requires true leaders to do the work necessary to find common ground and unify around that. Unlike party extremists, moderates understand that we represent all of our constituents, not just our voter base. We’re interested in putting in the work to involve as many people as possible to find solutions that last. This takes time and effort, but every legislator should understand that creating unity is their primary duty. Party extremists who ignore this duty to unite more than just their base are more interested in political power than serving you as a constituent.


As a moderate, I understand that no party holds a monopoly on sound policy. I understand that expensive lawsuits are much less likely when we listen to each other and work out a compromise that isn’t perfect, but which unites us. Listening and working together on solutions yields sound policy that lasts longer than one election cycle. But it requires a willingness to admit that our positions are not the one true answer. It requires us to listen to and understand others' deeply-held beliefs as much as we want them to listen to and understand ours. It also requires the personal courage and integrity to take the long view of good, sound policy rather than the short, easy view of clinging to power through the use of questionable policy directed at placating a voter base.


What is a moderate? It is someone who is willing to take their leadership duty seriously in unifying for the common good rather than focusing solely on re-election by pandering to extremes. In other words, my dedication to duty means I am willing to listen to others' beliefs as much as I expect them to listen to mine.

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