Does “Moderate” Now Mean “Liberal”?
Commenting on Jon Stewart’s Million Moderate March, Anne Applebaum suggests so:
It’s bad enough that the only way to drum up enthusiasm for a "Rally to Restore Sanity" is to make it into a television comedian’s joke. But it’s far worse that the "moderates" in attendance will have been bused in by Arianna Huffington and organized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
This is how words, and then ideas, vanish from our political lexicon: Whatever connotations it once had, the word "moderate" has now come to mean "liberal" or even "left-wing" in American politics. It has been a long time since "moderate" Republicans were regarded as important, centrist assets by their party: Nowadays, they are far more likely to be regarded as closet lefties and potential traitors.
"Moderate" Democrats, meanwhile, no longer exist: In their place, we have "conservative Democrats." Nobody pays attention to them either — unless, suddenly, one of them threatens to vote against health-care reform. And then he is vilified.
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