Where in the world have people gotten the idea that “moderate” equals “independent,” or vice versa?
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. In political parlance, the two seem to be lumped into the same shapeless blob, as if it is necessary to dismiss any opinions held by these folks.
The moderates are going to be voting (if they even bother to vote) for the most liberal candidate, and history bears this out. They are the ones who will dither until they are in the booth. This is NOT independent thinking, and it does not illustrate the behavior of an independent voter. It’s laziness and a disengaged mind. Moderates might be libertarians, or, they might not. Whatever views they hold often appear to be bland and unformed.
An independent, on the other hand, is one who has decided political opinions, but who prefers not to be officially affiliated with either major party. As a rule, an independent voter is simply classed as a “U,” or “unaffiliated,” but the word moderate does not describe them. The unaffiliated voter most often aligns himself with the more conservative political party or platform. The terms “independent” and “moderate” are not interchangeable, and never were.
Take a look at their definitions:
Moderate: 1. kept or keeping within reasonable or proper limits; not extreme, excessive, or intense: a moderate price.
2. of medium quantity, extent, or amount: a moderate income.
3. mediocre or fair: moderate talent.
1. not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself: an independent thinker. 2. not subject to another’s authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; free: an independent businessman. 3. not influenced by the thought or action of others: independent research.
Now, I don’t see any similarity at all between the two words. It’s very annoying for independent people to find themselves lumped in with the lazy thinkers of the moderate persuasion in most punditry. It’s as if the writers themselves are moderates who can’t be bothered to take the time to look up the two terms, and see for themselves that there are differences between them, and they are not insignificant.
Please, pundits, don’t lump us feisty independents in with those lazy moderates any more. To quote Queen Victoria: We are not amused.