Recent polls indicate that an increasing number of Democrats are growing more fearful of the extreme left in their party, resulting in a further leaning toward the professed centrists. A significant number of voters consider themselves moderates when approaching the electoral process. The notion of moderation suggests a middle-of-the-road attitude, where issues and candidates are weighed individually upon their own merit. Even the Scriptures say, “Let your moderation be known unto all men.” Interestingly, the word “moderation” is used only once in the Bible, and close examination of its usage and companion passages reveal its purpose is to regulate human behavior. The concept is quite simple: don’t eat, sleep, speak, work, or play too much or too little. It has nothing to do with zeal in a person’s spiritual or political life.
The difficulty with the moderates of both parties in Congress is that they usually lack distinct principles. They are looked to as the representatives who will finally forge a compromise between the opposing opinions. Political temperance sounds sophisticated, intellectual, and educated, but does it really benefit the masses? Those on the far left and the far right express clear convictions about issues of great importance. For example, the liberals adamantly support abortion, higher taxes, increased social programs, welfare expansion, depletion of the military, open borders, gun control, suppression of free speech (unless it fits their agenda), massive spending and in general, big government. Principled conservatives oppose all of those ideas with similar vigor of their supporters. When moderates build bridges of compromise by virtue of their numbers, it is always the right that gives up the most ground, which results in gains for the left.
John McCain and Mitt Romney both attempted to position themselves as men who could work with both parties, but their moderate stances presented them as persons lacking bedrock beliefs, thus contributing to presidential defeats. Even Donald Trump’s enemies have to admit there is no doubt what he is willing to embrace or reject. The media tried to convince the public that his message was unpopular – yet he won. When Congress passed the 2000 page ObamaCare, it embraced all the items the left desired. It was the moderates who fell off the port side and made its passage possible. In spite of all the plastic platitudes of the so-called center, they are typically jaded left. There is a necessity of disguise to maintain appeal to the “culturally refined.”
Jesus Christ addressed the church of Laodicea in Revelation 3 with some startling words: “I know thy works, that thou are neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” This church is the last in a list of seven and consequently, representative of the last days’ thinking. Dispositions of the religious community and politics always mirror each other. The Europeans, who lean left on nearly all issues, no longer enjoy the influence of the religious reformers. The Great Reformation turned the continent to the right, but as the churches have drifted left, so have the politicians.
In reality, moderates are individuals who are constantly attempting to run the gauntlet of sentiment with the lowest possible risk. The Republican Party is regularly being urged by the middle to move in their direction if the hope of attracting more voters. This is simply a denial of firmly fixed truths. The majority of Americans still consider the Bible a sacred document. One reason for that assessment is a universal recognition of its unwillingness to compromise. The Ten Commandments remain commandments. Moderates would seek to reduce them to “suggestions” to mollify those who completely reject them.
The ancient Assyrians were a constant threat to Israel and “Because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them” (II Kings 18:12), the ten northern tribes were carried away into Assyria. It didn’t take long for the same enemy to be knocking on the door of Jerusalem demanding a large payment of tribute. King Hezekiah was a good right wing conservative, but the folly of fear compelled him to meet the ultimatum. “And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king’s house. At the time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.” (II Kings 18:15,16)
In spite of Hezekiah’s capitulation the extortionists went nowhere – they never do - which is why they must be defeated. The concessions only emboldened the Assyrians to mock the Jews who were clinging to their God, religion and guns (in modern lingo). The Lord eventually granted Hezekiah and his people a miraculous victory, but it did not come as a result of negotiating with moderates but at the hand of an uncompromising God.