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Moderating Meanness

June 6, 2013
Charles Laquidara - Contributing Writer ( , Maui Weekly

One of my best Texas friends who is politically to the right of Attila the Hun recently told me that he no longer wants to be called a Republican. He feels that the Republicans currently in Congress are just plain crazy and he would like to be addressed as a "conservative" from now on.

This started me thinking

Maybe we could all reassess our normal way of judging our political enemies. We could start by separating the moderates from the extremists, separating liberals from eco-terrorists and separating conservatives from Tea Party ideologues rather than tossing all conservatives and all liberals into the "idiot enemy" category.

Someday, when we've all achieved Gandhi-like status, maybe we will find a way to forgive all of our fellow, unlike-minded political opponents, look starry-eyed at each other and agree on every political issue that divides us. Until that magical moment in American history comes, perhaps we can at least settle on taking the somewhat higher road by conceding that, although extremists on both sides may not necessarily be idiots, they often say and do very idiotic things.

I, for one, might be considered an extremist for my own particular political way of thinking. But I'd like to see the rest of moderate America get back to some kind of civility again. A Blue-Red Civil War would not be a good experience for anyone!

Perhaps we can continue with our own agendas while at the same time showing tolerance of each others' differences. We can understand that even though our philosophies separate us, we can look at each other in a less hating way. After all, we all have the same goals for America in mind--we just disagree on how to achieve them.

Maybe those with moderate views out there can actually have sensible, respectful dialogues with their moderate opponents--the same people they wouldn't have sat at the same table with only a few months earlier.

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