Political moderate

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Moderate is an ideological category which designates a rejection of radical or extreme views, especially in regard to politics and religion.[1][2] A moderate is considered someone occupying any mainstream position avoiding extreme views and major social change. In United States politics, a moderate is considered someone occupying a centre position on the left–right political spectrum.

Political position[edit]

In recent years, the term political moderates has gained traction as a buzzword. The existence of the ideal moderate is disputed because of a lack of a moderate political ideology. Voters who describe themselves as centrist often mean that they are moderate in their political views, advocating neither extreme left-wing politics nor extreme right-wing politics.

Gallup polling has shown American voters identifying themselves as moderate between 35–38% of the time over the last 20 years.[3] Voters may identify with moderation for a number of reasons: pragmatic, ideological or otherwise. It has even been suggested that individuals vote for centrist parties for purely statistical reasons.[4]

Religious position[edit]

In religion, the moderate position is centered and opposed to liberalism or conservatism.[5]

For Christianity, moderates in evangelicalism would oppose the ideas of Christian right and Christian fundamentalism, may be for or against same-sex marriage but oppose discrimination based on sexual orientation, as well as liberal Christians oppose the idea of Christian left.[citation needed] For Islam, moderates oppose the extreme views of Islamic extremism and Islamic fundamentalism.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schmid, Alex P. (2013). "Radicalisation, De-Radicalisation, Counter-Radicalisation: A Conceptual Discussion and Literature Review". Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Studies. The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism. 4 (2). doi:10.19165/2013.1.02.
  2. ^ "Types of social movements". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved January 10, 2020. Social movements may also be categorized on the basis of the general character of their strategy and tactics; for instance, whether they are legitimate or underground. The popular distinction between radical and moderate movements reflects this sort of categorization.
  3. ^ Saad, Lydia (January 12, 2012). "Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S." Gallup. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  4. ^ Enelow and Hinich (1984). "Probabilistic Voting and the Importance of Centrist Ideologies in Democratic elections". The Journal of Politics. Southern Political Science Association. 46 (2): 459–478. doi:10.2307/2130970. JSTOR 2130970.
  5. ^ Peter Clarke, The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, Oxford University Press, UK, 2011, p. 512
  • Calhoon, Robert McCluer (2008), Ideology and social psychology: extremism, moderation, and contradiction, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-73416-5