Joco Opinion

Don’t call me far right ... I’m taking the ‘moderate’ label back

Updated: 2013-05-02T16:00:13Z

By Danedri Herbert

Special to The Star

Justin Timberlake can have sexy. I’m taking “moderate” back.

I’m tired of being called “far-right” or “ultra-conservative” when the majority of Americans agree with me on most issues. I’m a moderate and everyone who doesn’t agree with me is a crazy, maniacal fringy.

And I have bona fide credentials and the polling data behind me to prove it. “Moderate” means “avoiding extremes of behavior or expression: observing reasonable limits; tending toward the mean or average amount or dimension; professing or characterized by political or social beliefs that are not extreme.”

By my definition, a “moderate” is someone whose opinion or belief on a topic is held by the majority of the people. Yes, that means Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is a “moderate,” despite what Washington Post reporters write.

Annie Gowen, a Washington Post reporter, wrote that Brownback’s election to the governorship in 2010 marked a move from moderation by the state of Kansas. “…At the state level, Kansans have routinely elected moderate Republican governors. More recently, the state elected Democrat Kathleen Sebelius, now President (Barack) Obama’s secretary of health and human services. Then came Brownback,” she wrote in a feature that describes Kansas as moderate no more.

You see, all Democrats are “moderate,” and a “moderate” Republican is defined as a Republican who supports abortion on demand. Sadly for the pro-abortion people, recent polling reveals that more than 50 percent of the population agrees with me and calls themselves pro-life.

Pro-life is the moderate position!

A 2011 Galllup poll found that 50 percent of Americans call themselves “pro-life” — just like me — while only 41 percent of Americans label themselves “pro-choice.”

A Rasmussen poll this year also showed public support for the pro-life position. In that poll 51 percent said they thought abortion was morally wrong most of the time.

So can we just stop with the conventional “moderate” Republican nonsense? The pro-choicers are on the lunatic fringe.

And so it goes on many issues. Take government spending as an example.

It isn’t crazy or extremist to think that spending more money than you bring in is a bad, bad idea. Of course, you can’t say that out loud without running the risk of being deemed a right-wing zealot, despite it being the reasonable opinion.

The crazy leftists get credit for being “moderate” when really their position on an issue isn’t shared by the majority of Americans.

Now right-wing extremists, or moderate Americans like me, are being targeted as potential terrorists — and not just by nutjob political pundits on CNN — the government is in on the game, too.

Take this report from the Department of Homeland Security on domestic terrorism. It reads, “The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis has no specific information that domestic right-wing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but right-wing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues,” including the election of the first black president.

Shortly after the Boston bombings, several pundits took a page out of the DHS handbook arguing that the blasts may have been the result of those crazy people from the right. Everyone from a CNN national security analyst to a reporter from the Huffington Post assured people in the immediate aftermath that it may have been the work of right-wing crazies.

They were wrong, of course. And they may want to rethink their portrait of people on the right. There are an awful lot of us moderates these days, and our numbers are growing.

If I could define the word “moderate,” I’d stick a picture of myself right next to the word in the dictionary. I once won $50 at a Rotary Club Camp for being the most “moderate” or average person there. I’m even listed in the book, “The Average American: The Extraordinary Search for the Nation’s Most Ordinary Citizen.”

I no longer accept the designation given to those who share my beliefs of “far right” or “ultra-conservative.”

You’re all on the fringe, and I am the true center. But you can just call me “moderate.”

Freelance columnist Danedri Herbert writes in this space once a month.

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