A recent article in the New York Times actually draws attention to a real issue. The author notices that there is a problem in communication between the left and the right. This is for the most part true. However, the author’s solution will never work.
One of the fallacies of our modern time is thinking that extremism is the problem. As long as people weren’t so extreme they could actually have dialogue with one another and make progress. This could not be further from the truth. Someone who is extreme in regard to their love for others does not need to be moderated. Similarly, someone who is extreme in regard to hating others does not need to be moderated. One needs to be championed and the other defeated.
The author seems to think that the solution for our political problems is going to come from the moderates. The moderates though are just as human as the liberals and conservatives. Consider the reason someone may describe themselves as moderate. Perhaps they have not thought through the issues as deeply and therefore are unwilling to take a side. It should go without saying that no solution will come from someone who has not thought through it. Or it may be that they have an alternative view on a particular topic. If this is the case then a third potential for extremism has just developed. Problem not solved. Still a third option could be they may have a chosen side but their tone is softer and more attractive. This probably comes close to the moderate described by the author. So potentially sneaky extremists, or extremists with better manners are going to save us?
What the author is really complaining about is a left and a right devoid of Christian value. The solution is to go back to Christian standards of belief and etiquette. Those will not come from moderating between two standards devoid of them. They will come from adhering to the once cherished standard of Christianity- something that Is not part of the make up of the ideal moderate because it sounds too conservative. Political discourse got worse when Christianity became less influential. A failure to recognize this is why the author’s solution will not work.