What We Value
We Modern Moderates have core values we try to uphold – and we expect our leaders to set a good example and uphold them, too. These values are neither Left- nor Right-Wing, and Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree on them (if nothing else). We believe they have stood the test of time and are essential for our democracy.
These values were ingrained in many Modern Moderates by parents, spiritual leaders, teachers, coaches, or other adults significant in our lives. No matter where they came from, however, they are precious to us and vital for our leaders. Here are some of them:
No surprise, moderation is Modern Moderates’ first core value. Not sexy perhaps, but a key to successful living – and leading. The idea “all things in moderation”, traced back to ancient Greece (c. 700 BC), has similar variations throughout history. In politics, it means extreme views are short-sighted and ineffective.
Always the best policy. From George Washington (“I cannot tell a lie”) to “Honest Abe” Lincoln, America has been served best by leaders who tell the truth. We reject recent assertions that there are “alternative facts” and “the truth is not the truth”. The Bible (Book of Ephesians, Chapter 4, Verse 25) says it best: “So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another”.
“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, what that word means to me” (in tribute to the recently departed singer/civil rights icon Aretha Franklin). What it means to us: we should respect our fellow Americans and their beliefs, including those different from our own, and show them the respect they deserve. In return, we demand respect for our own views from those who disagree with us.
Major religions worldwide specify helping the poor, elderly and sick as a basic tenet of their faiths. Modern Moderates realize we have much to be thankful for, while many in America and around the world do not. We want our country to extend a helping hand to those less fortunate, and we want our leaders to display compassion on our behalf.
Also known as humility or meekness. In his Sermon on the Mount, the prophet Jesus proclaimed “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”. Many Modern Moderates grew up with dictums like “don’t brag on yourself”. We were taught to do our best; and if we did well, others might compliment us. But we learned not to shower ourselves with praise, and our leaders shouldn’t, either.
Also known as faithfulness, includes loyalty. Most of us are faithful to our mates, and loyal to our families, friends, and business partners. We are also loyal to our country; a great example was set by the “Moderate Maverick”, the recently departed Senator John McCain (see our post “Respect IS a Moderate Value” for more about him). A critical way for our leaders to display their loyalty: work together to keep America safe, united and prosperous.
“All men are created equal” is a founding principle of our country, stated at a time when “men” referred to all Americans, male and female. Therefore, prejudice and discrimination, based on race, gender, religion (or lack thereof), country of origin, sexual orientation, or other reasonable factors, are decidedly unacceptable and UN-AMERICAN.
One of the first lessons we were taught as children still applies, no matter how old we are: Threats, insults, intimidation, and violence (including bullying) are NOT acceptable ways to address conflicts. The Civil Rights movement succeeded because it was, at the insistence of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders, nonviolent.
For now, these values provide a starting point for our discussions – and a moral compass for our leaders.
If you have other core values we Modern Moderates should consider, email them to us at:
Or post a comment at the end of this post.
Speaking of that, we Modern Moderates had better start respectfully debating the issues facing us and demanding compromise solutions – because our politicians aren’t. And we’d better start insisting they abide by these and our other core values. If we don’t, those who don’t share them could transform our beloved country into one we would barely recognize, one no longer great. That would be tragic, indeed; so please, join us now.
Finally, if we can agree these values are constructive, they could provide a foundation for working together. As Martin Luther King taught us, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools”. We Modern Moderates believe these core values can help us live together – so we do not perish together.