What is a moderate in today’s political environment? When someone describes themselves as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal,” they are often seen as just being moderates. However, this conclusion couldn’t be farther than the truth.
The term “moderate” is as loose and ambiguous as defining one’s political views as “independent.” The issue at hand is that one person who identifies themselves as a moderate could be completely different than another person who identifies themselves as a moderate.
One moderate could be pro-life and another could be pro-choice. Another independent could be a split ticket voter every election and another independent could vote Republican for reasons other than a regular conservative. Perhaps the best way to define moderates and independents is as being part of a broad, undefined group of individuals without a guiding political ideology.
Libertarians could potentially be independents if we are talking specifically in partisan terms, especially when you take into account there are libertarians Democrats, Republicans, and members of the Libertarian Party itself. However, you cannot justly define libertarians and libertarianism as being a moderate ideology whatsoever. Libertarianism is based on the concepts of natural rights, non-aggression, and voluntary cooperation.
Libertarians view individual rights as inalienable and private property rights as the bedrock to a civil and a free society.
Libertarian thought amongst those who believe fully in individual liberty and economic freedom is consistent in their views on certain matters regardless as to what party is in power and who sits in the White House.
The fact is, public institutions wish and actively shut out libertarianism from civics courses and U.S. Government classes since the ideals of liberty go directly against our civil religion’s views of the omnipotent state.
Therefore, politicians in both parties and progressive academics would rather most voting Independents consider themselves politically moderate so that they are directionless and therefore more easily swayed to make drastic decisions based out of sheer emotion each time a tragedy or severe challenge upsets the status quo.
The next time someone defines you as a moderate for your fiscally conservative, socially liberal views, you can smile and tell them that your guiding principles are life, liberty, property, and the freedom for individuals to define and pursue their own definition of happiness in a world without force or coercion by any monopoly of power.