After such a polarizing election, it’s not surprising that so many people are talking about “moderation.” In fact, it’s currently being held up as the ideal position to have these days. While on many issues, reaching across the aisle and compromising is important to moving the country forward, I have to admit that I’m not really interested in becoming a “moderate.” As Joseph Loconte has written recently in The Huffington Post: “… No leap forward toward a more just society was ever brought about by political or social moderates. The anti-slavery novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” the blockbuster which helped ignite the Civil War, was not written by a moderate. The daring conspiracy against Nazi Germany, the plot to risk all and “put a spoke in the wheel” by assassinating Hitler, was not attempted by moderates. The Letter from Birmingham Jail, a plea to “make real the promise of democracy” and to reject racist laws that “degrade human personality” was not conceived by a moderate. The Polish Solidarity Movement, which defied communist thuggery and created the first crack in the wall of Soviet totalitarianism, was not led by moderates.”
In today’s politics, as in business, cooperation often greases the wheels of change. But during times of great challenge – especially moral challenge – it’s the visionaries driven by extraordinary commitment, passion, and determination that move us forward.
As Loconte continued about Dr. Martin Luther King: “”I agree with Dante,” wrote the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., “that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” On the great moral questions of our day — such as the sacred worth of every member of the human family — self-styled moderates should entertain the possibility that they’re not on the side of the angels after all.”
Moderates may make friends, but they don’t change the world.
What do you think? Will you stick with moderation?