Ever wonder what is going on in the mind of kinda-sorta-maybe Senate candidate Harold Ford? Voila!On a related note, check out this post on the definition of “moderates” vs. “centrists”.

The gist, as I distill it, is that moderates are people with open minds that generally hold to the overall platform of their party and sometimes disagree about a particular point in the party line, rather than insisting on making split-the-baby compromises on nearly everything (see, e.g. Evan Bayh).

Although centrists are often moderates, a moderate is not, by definition, a centrist.

Lately, I’ve seen these terms used interchangeably, and it’s disturbingly misleading. Unlike centrism, moderates do not [continually] seek “middle of the road” answers for the purpose of equally accommodating two opposing positions. Compromise for its own sake is not moderate politics.

The true hallmark of a moderate is the ability to engage in discussion with an honestly open mind. A moderate therefore recognizes that most positions, however strongly held, stem from valid concerns. This does not, however, mean that all positions are rational and must — or even can — be accommodated.

Finally (this last one might bother some folks), a moderate is not afraid to shift a position when confronted with rational reasons to do so. From the above, the why’s and wherefore’s are probably pretty clear on this one.

Harold Ford: the quintessential “centrist”.

There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos
– Jim Hightower

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  1. @kevinista says:

    if youre gonna campaign so hard against Harold Ford then you should at least talk about an alternative, because Gillibrand is just as conservative as he is.

  2. Metavirus says:

    Lol, maybe a smidge :)

  3. Metavirus says:

    That's generally what I heard too

    • @kevinista says:

      so Gillibrand can change her positions to please the voters, but Ford can't? Come on man, you're really not making any sense here. this is just a problem you have with Ford himself and I have no idea why.

  4. Metavirus says:

    I guess I haven't been clear. I'm not familiar with gillibrand's priorhistory but I've heard that she's done well in her current role. I amfamiliar with ford and his strong corporatist, anti-progressivecampaign in tennessee. For him to have done such a complete 180 injust a few short years strikes me as the height of principle-freeopportunism. And lest we forget he waas president of the DLC, the mostunapologetic principle-free centrist dem group out there.

  5. Metavirus says:

    No; back to square zero. I specifically believe that ford can't do it(and is a fraud). I am writing in opposition to him, not in support ofgillibrand.

  6. Metavirus says:

    Yeah, the DLC had its time and place.  Especially considering that Bill Clinton was our best right-of-center quasi-Republican President in a long time.

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