Robin heard an interesting debate on the radio, which he then brought home so that he and I could discuss it, too. Fortunately, it didn’t turn out like the infamous gift card debate of 2002. Look! In 9 years of marriage, we have learned at least one thing: how to disagree about things that are completely irrelevant to our relationship without making them all about our relationship. Woo!
I am curious what the wider world thinks of this particular question. The interviewee on the radio was extolling the virtues of the center in American politics, saying how important the undecideds and in-the-middles are to the culture and course of the country. She was asked by an audience member about progress – don’t we need extremists (like, say, feminists or abolitionists, who were considered extreme at one time) to push the middle when it grows complacent with things that are immoral?
I wished I could have heard the answer, because it seems to me that for every extremist who turns out to be right, there is one who is running around in a bedsheet, burning crosses on somebody’s lawn. So does that put the middle in charge of deciding, in the long run, which “extreme” positions amount to progress and which do not?