Being moderate is OK


IMAGE / Mackenzie Atkinson

Senior Connor Earegood believes that Americans do not need to follow party platforms exactly.

Of the many mistakes I’ve made in life, my most embarrassing blunder remains my belief early in high school that I had to fit a party platform. As a young and ill-informed freshman, I believed that any digression from conservative thought compromised my integrity.

And then the Trump administration took office.

Four years of political immaturity from both parties awakened my political opinions far beyond promoting the rhetoric of a single political party.

Watching as a president with a fourth-grade vocabulary sparred with Democrats who thought they needed to sprint past progressive and toward lunacy, I became disillusioned with politics.

But as Hurricane Trump razed my beliefs, I rebuilt without the biases of my previous opinions.

The Grand Old Facade that guarded my values crumbled as I listened not to the names and leanings of speakers but to the messages they carried.

I realized I was the swear word of my politically uninformed youth: a moderate.

As a centrist, I can weigh the merits of any plan instead of clawing it apart with buzzwords and slogans.

Stopping and thinking about what I support, I can use logic instead of ignoring the facts that hurt my party’s stance.

Instead of dismissing the opinions of politically opposite friends, I can find agreement with their stances while also challenging some ideas.

Like watching the Super Bowl as a Detroit Lions fan, I can cheer for both sides of the political ball.

Moderacy offers the best of both worlds — literally.

Thinking outside of party lines is the only way our country can move forward.

When we cling to polar political positions, we trap ourselves in sensationalism, in lunacy, in absurdity.

In order to reconstruct the bombed-out plains of civility in government, we must begin by washing ourselves of party chauvinism and zealotry.

We must find common ground and that begins by noticing the values in which we differ from party platforms.

I implore you to quit following party lines and form your own opinions. We can only benefit from mutual understanding.