The Moderate[1,2] Perspective is found somewhere in the middle of every issue. Buried deep within the pandemonium whipped up by Extremists is a calm and rational majority point of view. The problem is that it is a calm and rational majority that doesn’t holler incessantly, doesn’t overstate and doesn’t sensationalize.
The Moderate Perspective Problem
We normally don’t think it a problem when people are quiet. We like when others are respectful and act with proper public decorum. We consider it a benefit. But when it comes to public issue debates, being quiet can also be a severe handicap.
Decision Making in America
We humans tend to pay the most attention to the loudest voice. Unfortunately the loudest voices are also those at the extremes. It’s only natural that our most powerful thoughts and feelings come from those same loud voices.
These days we are forced to make decisions in a context of increasing pressure. Demands on us have increased while our decision time has been slashed. To save time we take shortcuts to a mostly successful solution. And the easiest shortcut to take is to listen only to the loudest.
As a result, we make near instant decisions based on viewpoints shouted at us from the extremes. We decide quickly and without ever hearing the calm, rational moderate views. That’s not how it’s supposed to work.
Restoring the Balance
As more people align themselves with extreme points of view, it has begun to feel like our country is out of balance. In the past it was true that the Moderate Perspective was also the majority point of view. But lately it feels like the majority have moved to the extremes. True or not, we need to make sure the Moderate Perspective is in the majority or we run the risk of a future dictated by the whims and fancies of extremists.
Shouting the Moderate Perspective
It simply won’t do for Moderates to start yelling their opinions at people. It’s self-satisfying but it doesn’t really solve any problems. The source of our imbalance is the way people use media to make decisions. The best way to restore balance is to make sure the media always include a strident Moderate Perspective. What we need is a “media machine” that can publicize the Moderate Perspective through the major media outlets.
Forcing the Moderate Perspective
Forcing a particular point of view on people never succeeds. Far too much human history proves that people do what they want to do. All that is really needed is to give people a balanced set of views that includes the Moderate Perspective. Americans will naturally tend toward the typical Bell Curve distribution of opinions. As long as the Moderate Perspective is among their choices, most people will choose moderate views.
The Militant Moderate
We cannot force people to adopt a Moderate Perspective, but we can do a better job of promoting it to the media. Understanding how Mainstream Media works will help make it even easier. We can do a lot just by putting our Moderate Perspective into a form and style preferred by media outlets.
The Middle Majority in this country is already very good at understanding and obeying the rules. What we must change is the self-imposed silence that keeps the Moderate Perspective hidden from popular view. We have a long-standing tradition of Free Speech and Peaceful Militancy in this country. We must be more outspoken, more Militant, in putting the Moderate Perspective into the Media Spotlight.
Militancy In Speech Alone
Moderates have a strong belief in the Right of Free Speech. It is one of our most precious rights in this country. But our precious rights are not free. We must protect the Right of Free Speech by obeying the law. Breaking laws by violent demonstration does not strengthen our message, it only alienates others.
Many people throughout history have inspired great changes without once raising their fists. No matter which heritage you claim, you will find a person in your history that shook the world purely with the power of their words. Simply put, we can succeed without ever resorting to violence. To cross the line into violence is to step outside acceptable boundaries. That is something we will never condone nor excuse … ever.