Published on [Permalink]
Posted in:

I’m planning a post on my pet theory about the origins of the religious tradition in which I was raised. In preparation for that, I searched my archives to see how much I’d actually written here about those churches. Passing references, mostly. I gave a bit more detail here.

I still believe the main point of that linked post: purity is a fool’s errand. But I’d like to resurrect another point I made there, especially given the American political situation:

This is not an argument in favor of moderation. The truth does not inevitably reside in the middle. I have opinions that people in the so-called moderate middle would call extreme. What I hope to avoid, though, are opinions that are driven solely by opposition to an “other”, in pursuit of purity.

So often I see people in the political middle, the “moderates”–the rationalists, as they would have it–seemingly adopting the belief that the truth always lies in the middle. They are often rightly disturbed by the extremes they see around them; they then make the mistaken leap to the idea that the fault lies in the existence of the extremes.

For me, however, the problem is that the two main “sides” in American politics are mirror images of each other. The exist in perpetual reaction to and dependence on each other. This weird psychological relationship between the sides only heightens the conflict.

So, despite the protestations of the moderates, the problem we have is not that there are people with ideas outside the mainstream. That’s just part of a healthy society. The problem is that the main sides are in a relationship rotten to its core.

✍️ Reply by email

✴️ Also on