I was listening to Rush Limbaugh the other day and he made a statement that got me to thinking. He proudly proclaimed that he has never been a moderate and that he opposes moderation in all things. I assumed he was making fun of the old slogan that it is wise to practice moderation in all things. I also realized that he was casting a jaundiced eye at career politicians who no longer hold to his conservative views and have become hated moderates. As I was thinking about what he had said I realized that many people in the last election cycle talked about the need to elect moderate politicians. I was told that only a moderate is capable of engaging in the act of compromise that is so essential to get the country moving forward once again. Sadly, moving forward is a slogan for nothing more than writing hoards of new laws, so those who want moderate career politicians are calling for an ever increasing body of oppressive and contradictory laws to be forced upon us. As I continued thinking it occurred to me that a better lifetime principle than the ones mentioned above is moderation in some things. Let's think about that for a while today.
Moderation is not a virtue when absolute truth is involved. I know, I know, nobody believes in absolute truth anymore, except the Welsh. As a believer in absolute truth it is foolish and stupid to not demand total compliance with the dictates of absolute truths. For example, God exists and people who claim to be atheists or agnostics are really just liars since they all know by virtue of being living human beings that the God of the Bible exists. To compromise that truth would be heresy. To compromise that truth would allow people to continue to justify their unbelief in their own minds. That will not do. Christians must continue to offend the world with biblical truth.
There are economic absolute truths just like there are theological ones. Government intervention into the marketplace by means of minimum wage laws that set the minimum wage higher than what the market would establish are guaranteed to reduce employment. That truth is true a priori and by logical necessity. Other economic absolute truths are things such as the fact that taxation always reduces overall wealth and government spending never creates either jobs or economic growth. Did you hear that King-elect Trump? I was shocked and dismayed when I heard that the Donnie has joined forces with none other than air-head Nancy Pelosi to plan for a massive half-trillion dollar government spending program on "infrastructure," whatever that is. Donnie justified it because he claims it will create jobs and economic growth. If that is true, and it is not, then why not spend $27 trillion on infrastructure, thus creating jobs for everyone who wants to work and making us all wealthy beyond our wildest dreams?
Another place where moderation is downright stupid is politics. Prior to the election King Obama, King-elect Trump and Hillary "I didn't do it" Clinton called each other the most colorful names. They did not even attempt to hide their disgust and hatred for each other. I found that refreshing, although meeker and milder souls found it offensive. Now, a couple of days after the election is over, they are all buddy-buddy, talking about how much they respect each other. Now tell me, which of your statements are, or were, lies? Were you lying before the election or are you lying now? Both can't be true. It is not surprising that a career politician would lie (that is all they do) but why not remain consistent and maintain the same opinion about someone after the election? Would it not be wonderful if Obama, Trump and Clinton continued to talk to each other the way they did before? One of the television networks could set up cameras at the White House and we would have a superb reality show.
Much of life has nothing to do with theological or economic absolutes. Indeed, much of life is nothing more than thinking about consumption. People are always thinking about what they want to buy next, except the Welsh of course. As a result, most folks spend a great deal of their time and money obsessing about their future purchases. These crazy people need to learn the principle of moderation. Excessive spending, excessive eating, excessive exercising (hear that Yuppies?), excessive drinking, excessive talking, excessive giving your opinion to others when they have not asked for it, excessive shopping and excessive watching of sports on the television are all harmful to your mind, body and soul. Most of the time the principle of moderation makes sense. And most of the time we would all be wise to practice it.
Most of life's arguments and fights are about silly things of little or no importance. Just listen to the things people argue about. Generally someone will say something and another person will offer up his opinion on the matter and the fight begins. Susie says that she thinks she is going to paint her bathroom blue and her sister Grizelda says she thinks that is a bad idea. Next thing you know they are not speaking to each other. For matters that are not related to absolute truth it is important to always be willing to compromise. What difference does it make to you if someone disagrees with you? Maybe, just maybe, you are wrong! Even better than the art of compromise, in my opinion, is the art of not saying anything at all. Try it some time. Spend an entire day saying absolutely nothing unless you are asked a direct question. If you are asked a direct question answer it as succinctly as possible and then fall silent once again. It will unnerve everyone around you. People do not know how to deal with people who do not continually spout off on their opinions about things. People also do not know how to deal with people who don't care about the great majority of the things they care about.
That brings me to those ignorant folks who declare that it is important for career politicians to be moderates. A moderate is someone who can compromise and work with those of differing opinions so that laws can be made and handed over to the bureaucracy for further expansion into rules. Those rules, often contradicting previous rules and almost always counterproductive for economic growth, are then enforced by the jack-booted, gun-toting thugs who rule over us these days. I have another name for a moderate politician....hypocrite. A person's political views should not be subject to change or compromise. When you believe abortion is murder you should not agree to vote for some other proposed law that says just the opposite. When you believe taxation of the top 49% to pay all of the federal bills of the bottom 51% is theft, you had better oppose all taxes and tax laws that do precisely that. In politics, compromise is not a virtue, it is a vice. Not only is it a vice, it allows career politicians to continually expand the body of immoral law that enslaves all of us. So I conclude that Rush was right about compromise in politics....it should never exist. If only politicians would stick to their guns and refuse to compromise, then we would have the gridlock that would allow us to live in peace.