Centerism

What are those things you should never mention when trying to ingratiate yourself at a social event? Religion and politics? And perhaps more recently your thoughts on vaccinations and the shape and inclination (or lack thereof) of the terra firma beneath your feet.

I must admit I recently felt very ill disposed to one particular mother at a child’s birthday party who was waxing on lyrically about her anti-vax stance to anyone who would listen. Eventually I had to walk away… lest I propel my forehead into her orbital socket at an acceleration that may have been deemed more confrontational than friendly. In my defence she was especially odious. Maybe that’s what I make people feel like when I waffle on about libertarianism and humanism though. Although I don’t ever do it at parties. Probably because I’m too busy stuffing my face with those delicious tiny hotdogs and washing it down with carbonated sugar water. (I tend to really cut loose when the opportunity arises, going full Epicurean)

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The center, if you don’t help define it, how will you know where it is? – Christopher Hitchens

To be fair centrists, these days, seem few and far between and since they are generally reviled by both sides of the political divide, parties (childrens or otherwise) are generally not the best proving ground to grind out your kooky libertarian theories of personal ownership, minimal government and a single egalitarian tax bracket. People are likely to look at you askance and then shuffle off to find safer topics, like… ‘how bout them Mets’*.

*which doesn’t really help me either, because my loyalties lie above 161st street

Of course I could just keep it all to myself, bottle it up and avoid raging against the status quo. Instead I could self critique my views on the affairs of state every night before I fall asleep (or potentially more likely, rehashing it alone on the toilet, where most of my deep philosophizing gets done).  I think peer review (of a sort) is important and at the very least it can be indicative that you may have gone too far down the rabbit hole. Echo chambers are a dangerous thing. And so I blog… trying to figure out where the center is (for me at least).

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