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In politics and religion, a moderate is an individual who is not extreme, partisan, nor radical. 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.
Aristotle favoured conciliatory politics dominated by the centre rather than the extremes of great wealth and poverty or the special interests of oligarchs and tyrants.
As a political position
Voters who describe themselves as centrist often mean that they are moderate in their political views, advocating neither extreme left-wing politics nor right-wing politics. Gallup polling has shown American voters identifying themselves as moderate between 35–38% of the time over the last 20 years. 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.
- Calhoon, Robert McCluer (2008), Ideology and social psychology: extremism, moderation, and contradiction, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-73416-5