Meet Me in the Middle?

middle-road

People ask me why I steer toward the middle of the political road. It’s because I’ve discovered that when people veer to the extreme left or right, they end up in the gutter.

That’s not where I want to live.

You?

There is a way out of the gutter. We have to reach out and connect with the people on the opposite side, and then pull each other toward the middle. Which means compromise.

Compromise, not inflexibility, is the heart of democracy. Rule by those who’ve managed to gain temporary control is not democracy, it’s arithmocracy. In such a system, those who’ve “won” rule, and others have no real say. But then the others invariably rise up and wrench back control, producing a constant lurch from one extreme to other, resulting in–let’s call it gutterocracy–a system of stagnation and decay.

That’s not what I want.

You?

No, I’m not wishy-washy, thank you very much–I’m a radical moderate!* And if you don’t like it, well…(deep breath)…

Let’s meet in the middle and talk about it.

⇔ ⇔ ⇔

*P.S. “Moderate” is a much misunderstood term. According to Dictionary.com it means: “Keeping within reasonable limits; not extreme or excessive.” It does not mean dead center, it means steering clear of “unreasonable extremes.”

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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40 Responses to Meet Me in the Middle?

  1. rabirius says:

    Flying over the road and picking the best things from both sides might be another option.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. CSL says:

    Only one problem, Mitch. The middle of the road is where you find roadkill. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. aresonantone says:

    To paraphrase Mr. Myagi. “Politics are like road. Some people say ‘politics do yes’. Others say ‘politics do no’. Those that say ‘politics do guess so’, sooner or later >squish!< just like grape."

    The point is that you need to stay out of the gutter and the middle but firmly in your own lane.

    And one last quote:

    "You will never find a book in the library titled 'Great Moderates in History'."
    Rush Limbaugh

    Both men are correct. You need to stand for something, stand for it with reason, understanding that at times you must swerve to avoid trouble, but quickly and safely get back in your own lane and not try to run other people off the road. America has made a legal "U Turn" and it's time for the left to respect that and work with those who won instead of trying to road rage the world off the political freeway.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      Well, if there is such a book as Great Moderates in History, Rush certainly won’t be in it. ;>) Plus, I’m not sure those who strive to be labelled “great” are the ones we need to lead us; real greats are those who better their world, whether it makes them famous or not. “Moderate” is a much misunderstood term. According to Dictionary.com it means, “Keeping within reasonable limits; not extreme or excessive.” It doesn’t mean dead center, it means not going to “unreasonable extremes.” E.g.: A $15 minimum wage has been touted as a virtual cure for poverty by the left, and a radical job killer by the right. Yet studies show that it is neither. In Australia, it resulted in both a modest standard-of-living increase (for some) and a modest erosion of jobs (for others) due to cut-backs and automation.

      For the record, my post wasn’t about Republicans per se, it was about people who lean toward any extreme of the political spectrum–to the left, to the right, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight. ;>) And not just in the U.S.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. n3v3rm0r3 says:

    Reblogged this on bliss for today and commented:
    Perfectly put, Mitch!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Good post! The pendulum always swings and usually over corrects from the excess of the previous in power. The old taking steps backward and moving forward as painful as it can be at times. I forget who had one of my favorite quotes ” the problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other people’s money”. Helps make the pendulum a little easier to understand.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve always thought of political ideologies like dogs: the purebred are more likely to pass on recessive genes and get ill (and, like the royals of old, have a sort of aristocratic arrogance about their purity). Better to be a mutt, as far as I’m concerned–to have the strength of a diverse range of genes/thought.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. John Sayers says:

    Not sure we are called to be in the middle. I think we are called to be HOT OR COLD. Yet I can be strong in one direction and I hope I am, yet still share in Love.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      John, I’m not sure Jesus (in Revelation 3:16) was saying, “If you’re not an extreme political liberal or extreme political conservative, I’ll spit you out of my mouth.” ;>) To clarify: I think you mean something different than I do when you use the word “middle.” E.g. I don’t believe in compromise on abortion; I’m against it, period. But I do believe that if/when pro-lifers manage to push through a reversal bill, it should be full of “compromises” like counseling and aid for women with unwanted pregnancies, considerations re. life-threatening pregnancies, the recognition of other right-to-life issues such as the death penalty, and more. If it’s pushed through as a pure “we’re in charge, so you lose” policy, it will be bitterly dismantled by pro-choicers the next time they gain a position of strength.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting way to look at it, Mitch.
    It’s also imperative we recognize how all voices are needed. Those on one side want change, the other side wants stability, and those in the middle want to relax and have a beer.
    All are needed! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. smzang says:

    ” Rule by those who’ve managed to gain temporary control is not democracy, it’s arithmocracy. In such a system, those who’ve “won” rule, and others have no real say. But then the others invariably rise up and wrench back control, producing a constant lurch from one extreme to other, resulting in–let’s call it gutterocracy–a system of stagnation and decay.”

    The above wisdom needs to be highlighted. The people who need to read this will not read it…They will see compromise and dismiss it, But
    If they see the word ‘Rule’ first they will read every word and maybe they will absorb even a modicum of the concept.

    I would like to post just that quote (attributing it to you of course) on my blog with a link that leads back to the original post, if you will allow it.

    Not just in politics but in every ‘head-to-head’ the person with the power uses it relentlessly. If we all would just pause and think of the pendulum’s swing and articles like yours, maybe we can change this inhumane human proclivity.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. oneta hayes says:

    But, Mitch, there is one thing which I cannot compromise; that is, abortion. I believe it is murdering babies. If the crisis is such that one chooses to murder the baby, then call it murder, don’t pretend it did not happen. All can be forgiven if acknowledged and repented, but turning a blind eye to it …. I cannot do. Do moderates not have any issues in which they cannot compromise? Since abortion is now legal I could compromise on counting down and save as many as possible. But if it were not legal I could never make it legal.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. So well said that I wish I said it myself!! 👍🏻😄🎉

    Liked by 2 people

  12. chattykerry says:

    I’d love to meet you in the middle (from the left) but I doubt the majority are able to leave their entrenched ditches. I don’t look Hispanic but someone recently asked why I was learning Spanish for ‘those’ people…give me strength!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Pingback: Found Gold | Pitching Pennies Poetry

  14. smzang says:

    the quote is added to my blog.. Thank you!!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. vlmrhm says:

    After everything that has went on in the political scene lately your post was so refreshing to read. And yep, so true.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dede says:

    That’s me and it’s why I wrote in a candidate for president

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: Meet Me in the Middle? – Roslucas Blog

  18. Lucie says:

    I’m a pretty “meet me in the middle kinda gal” for most things. I think I’m objective, fair, tolerant of differences and compassionate, but as an older (gay) woman who has faced YEARS of discrimination and hate from people, this election (unlike past elections) has been very traumatizing and scary to me. If taking a stand against any (and ALL!) forms of discrimination has me “on the other side of the road”, than so be it….I’m a “safety pin wearing woman” and want all to know that I am a “safe person” and will not allow any kind or form of discrimination (verbal, etc.) while in my presence. I am totally for a change in our current system of politics, but I can not (and will not) allow
    forms of discrimination to be tolerated as we go forward…..respectful discourse, of course. I encourage it, but this election feels more “hostile” to me than from years past and I see our country more divided than ever and I’m feeling very, very sad….very, very sad……I pray that our current elected representatives find a “middle of the road” kind of way to govern and bring us back to a course we strayed from long ago……That’s the way I see it, anyway, “looking at life from my shoes”… ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Dede says:

    I always find it interesting people including politicians and the media say we live in a democracy. We don’t and never have. We live in a representative republic. And each side sees the other as extreme. People from both sides make judgments before knowing all the facts. Case in point, when I’m in Austin,TX a hotbed of liberalism, people assume I’m a democrat. Same day, different location, Temple, TX a hotbed of right wing conservatism people assume I’m a republican. And Americans don’t seem to appreciate we have the right to disagree. It’s just been so disappointing seeing how both sides acted.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Great post Mitch. Reminds me of a recent blog post I wrote – “Pastors ought to be non-partisan.” Within two days this became my most read post ever. It set off a firestorm on a clergy group in Facebook – lots of critical comments. Mostly because people were confusing political and partisanship. Too many pastors seem to confuse their loyalty to a political party with the advancement of the Gospel and that upset me, especially as a future pastor. But I stand by what I wrote. And I’m a proud moderate – standing in the middle of the road with you. Thanks for the encouraging post.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Pingback: Meet Me in the Middle? | Just Thinkin'

  22. Julie Holly says:

    “Let’s meet in the middle and talk about it.” Refreshing post! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Pingback: Meet Me in the Middle? — Mitch Teemley – Teaching is a work of art

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