A moderate political party recognizes the limits of what can be said and what is appropriate in politics. These candidates know there are barriers to the American dream and worry about racial discrimination. But what are the advantages of being a moderate? Here are some examples of the benefits of being a moderate politician:
Moderate candidates accept limitations to what can and should be said.
Conservatives and moderates are almost evenly split on crucial issues. The two major groups agree that corporations should be allowed to make a fair profit but are split on issues such as oil, coal, and natural gas expansion and developing alternative energy supplies. They also disagree on issues ranging from same-sex marriage to abortion and government policies reflecting religious beliefs. However, the only groups that show little change are conservatives and strong liberals. Both groups feel intense pressure to hold back their views.
Moderate candidates accept that there are obstacles to the American dream
Although moderates tend to be more conservative than liberal, they share elements with both groups. For example, while most liberals and conservatives favor the larger government, only one in four moderates agree. On the other hand, moderates favor smaller governments and are against higher taxes. The reason they are so opposed to higher taxes is unclear. However, one moderate presidential candidate has many points in common with both groups.
The American Dream is not attainable for everyone. For example, Hispanics and African Americans are the two groups most likely to be poor and unemployed. But they are more optimistic about achieving the dream despite systemic racism and other obstacles. Moreover, a CNN-Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 55 percent of African Americans believe it is easier to achieve the American Dream today than it was for their parents during the Jim Crow era.
Most moderates see undocumented immigrants as hardworking Americans and disagree with the idea of rewarding bad behavior with citizenship. They are concerned about excessive government monitoring but do not worry about the next terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Further, 86 percent of moderates think the government is going too far and punishing the “undocumented” population. If elected, they are likely to be a great choice to represent the middle class.
Moderate candidates worry about discrimination against racial minorities.
In an April 2016 survey, 45% of voters rated Democratic and Republican presidential candidates as concerned about racial discrimination. The results confirmed that racial attitudes were statistically significant for influencing vote preferences. However, while racial attitudes are a variable of high importance in politics, they are not the sole determinant of vote preferences. While some candidates are more worried about discrimination, moderate candidates are often unaware of their influence on their election results.
The study also found substantial changes in perceptions of racial discrimination after the BLM protests. However, the timing of these changes increased the likelihood of voting effects. While perceptions of discrimination against Blacks were flat throughout the Trump presidency, between waves five and six of the panel, they increased dramatically. The BLM protests did not seem to affect the perception of discrimination among Republicans.
While racial discrimination is a significant issue, few Americans change their presidential vote from election to election. The Black Lives Matter movement has heightened attention to racial injustice, and these views influence voting decisions. This attention primes people to weigh their choices more heavily. However, the effects of the Black Lives Matter movement on presidential vote change have not been determined yet.