Life as a centrist, often misunderstood by both sides

To start, I guess I should confess I’m neither a conservative nor a liberal.  I identify as neither a Republican nor a Democrat in terms of a political party.  I guess you could say I’m an independent, which doesn’t get me invited to sit at either the GOP or Dem lunch tables.

When cable news became popular, I would find myself watching the big three cable news networks CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News because I wanted to see how all three would present the same news story and to get their perspective.  Sometimes I would agree with CNN, sometimes with MSNBC, and gasp… even Fox News.  To me, I’ve always been fascinating in knowing what others think about a certain issue and how the factors/evidence that led them to come to this conclusion.  I’m also one of the few that doesn’t like first person writing in books because I want to know what all the characters are thinking, not just the main character (I still think Sex and the City would have been better if we 86’d Carrie’s limited omnipresent voice over, but that is a topic for another day).

So I’m a resident of Chicago, a very liberal city, and one would think being a moderate/independent/centrist would be easier than a full blooded conservative, but you’d be mistaken.  I’ve been told I need to pick a side, that I’m wishy washy, and a betrayal to the values of a democracy.. and this is coming from both sides.  I guess you could say the silver lining is the right and left actually agree about something… their extreme dislike for those whose feet are planted firmly in the middle.

From the outside, I can understand both sides being confused by someone like me.  Human nature dictates one has to be labeled and put into a pretty box, so when someone like me comes along that doesn’t fit into any of the pre-made boxes.. they don’t know how to  handle it.  It’s fascinating for me to watch both sides get worked up and emotional over not being able to put me in the ‘Racist’ right wing box or the ‘Snowflake’ left wing box.  I bet both sides would be surprised to know there are more people like me than either of them, but they’d probably just dismiss it if they came upon that vital piece of information.

centrismWhen trying to come up with an image to show how both sides perceive centrists, I found a perfect example and sharing it on this post right now to showcase the misperceptions both sides have about people like me.  As you can see from the image,  it lays out what centrism really is vs what people from either party assume is centrism.

In a complex issue, I don’t take a hard line stance because every situation has shades of grey within them.  My biggest example is the issue of I.C.E… the far left want it abolished, the far right think it is working just fine… but my thought is to look at all the processes and elements of I.C.E. in order to keep what is working and fixing what isn’t working (after determining if fixing what is wrong won’t cause problems down the road.).  To me, I believe in compromise and balance in fixing an issue because I truly think both sides have good ideas, but also some misguided ideas that should be taken off the table.

I guess in conclusion, I’m a centrist and I’m not afraid to admit it.  I don’t feel bad that I don’t base decisions and beliefs on emotion.  I prefer researching issues, listening to both sides, calling out both sides when they’re wrong and also complimenting both sides when their ideas are right on target.  Let the backlash begin!


Filed under: Musings

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