Mon 7 Jun, 2021 03:20 pm
I define an extremist as someone who has the following characteristics.
1) An extremist sees the other party (or parties) as "enemies".
2) An extremist is unable to accept or identify valid points in the arguments of the other party or to see issue from more the perspective of the other side.
3) An extremist sees the nation in crisis and the other party as a threat to democracy (or women or soldiers or decency).
4) An extremist wants people in their political party to be punished for not supporting legislation that is deemed "urgent" by the extremists even if it is not popular with the American voters in their districts.
5) An extremist promotes conspiracy theories (i.e. about the electoral process or the national press) and pushes narratives designed to provoke outrage rather than productive discussion.
6) An extremist changes the arguments of their opposition to accuse them of things that they aren't saying. They call their opponents "fascists" or accuse them of wanting "open borders" or being "racists" or "socialists".
I can provide plenty of examples of this behavior on both the political right, and the left.
A "moderate" is the opposite of this. A moderate may hold positions on important issues, but they support bipartisan legislation. A moderate is able to see issue from more than one perspective and can list places where the other side makes valid points.
Sounds like that pretty much sums it up.