10 March 2006

Great Moderates of our Times

I am moved by a recent Michael Medved program to compile, impromptu, a short list of the greatest moderates of recent history. You see, several callers expressed dismay that there are no moderates in much of American politics. So, here it is, my short list of Great Moderates.

1. Neville Chamberlain is the first person I normally think of when it comes to great moderates. And everyone knows who he is, right? Long after Churchill is forgotten, people will remember Chamberlain whose political legacy is defined by his dealings with and appeasment of Nazi Germany. He signed the Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler in 1938 which effectively allowed Germany to annex the Sudetenland, leaving Czechoslovakia vulnerable to German attack, one of the steps on the road to World War II. Chamberlain remained in office during the Phoney War, from September 1939 to May 1940, but resigned the premiership immediately after Germany invaded the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Sure, he failed to act to avert war, a war which ultimately became a world-wide war; but—and this is important—he brought peace in his time. Of course, his time didn’t last very long. (Hmmmm. On the other hand, he wasn’t very moderate about avoiding war, at any cost, including not acting to enforce the terms of an international treaty violated by Adolph Hitler. Kind of like the UN.) Long after Churchill, Hitler, Stalin, and Roosevelt are fogotten, the world will remember Neville Chamberlain.

2. Arlen Spectre. Who could be more moderate than a Republican who is pro-choice on the abortion issue? This guy is a Republican senator from a largely liberal state. He must work overtime trying not to piss off a sufficient number of both Democrats and Republicans in order to continue to be elected. Hmmmm. On the other hand, he isn’t moderate on the abortion issue. How could one be?

3. How about Joe Leiberman?

Oh, never mind.

This is a waste of time. Moderation for the sake of moderation is ridiculous. I think it was C. S. Lewis who said, “You can’t be a good egg all your life. Sooner or later you must hatch or rot.” Moderates are people who apparently stand for nothing except not standing for anything, or not pissing anyone off. In other words, they are people without commitments; or, if they have commitments, have not the courage of their convictions. More to the point: they are pussilanimous whimps.

Tags: Michael Medved, Neville Chamerlain, Arlen Specter, Joseph Leiberman, moderates, Munich Agreement, Sudentenland, Phoney War


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James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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