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Moderate Ideologues

Moderation in pursuit of justice is a virtue for New York Times columnist David Brooks.

“The truth is plural,” writes Brooks in “What Moderates Believe”—a column he was born to write.

Brooks puts fresh finish on the worn out bipartisan-compromise trope arguing that “politics is usually a tension between two or more views, each of which possesses a piece of the truth.”

Unlike the poles, “moderation is not an ideology; it’s a way of coping with the complexity of the world,” according to Brooks.

In his tribute to situational ethics, Brooks doesn’t consider that people can work together to end racial discrimination just as they can work together to rob a bank. The means is less important than the ends.

Brooks characterizes moderates as courageous for recognizing what they don’t know only to turn around and claim that government “can create a platform upon which the beautiful things in life can flourish.”

So an individual moderate is humbled and thus restrained by his ignorance but a group of moderates given the power of the state is transformed into an omniscient force for good.

The nattily-attired Brooks in his pressed sweater vest is the archetype of the moderate ideologue.

He is who conservative U.S. Senator Malcolm Wallop (R-WY) was describing when Wallop, on the occasion of his retirement, said, the problem with Republican Party is if the Democrats introduced legislation to burn down the U.S. Capitol, Republicans would compromise and agree to phase it in over three years.

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