The shaky moorings of an ideological centerist

I had a more cooler title for the post but I can’t remember it for the life of me! The title could be misleading in many ways, because the definition of a centrist varies depending on who you ask; from a spineless rat to a highly practical deal breaker. I am personally not very comfortable with the tag of a centrist seeing that there are too many pseudo centrist out there, which brings us to the question of the definition of a centrist.

The reason I find the moorings shaky is because they do not have the adamantine morality of the right or the freewheeling social boundaries of the left. This is further compounded by the fact that they hate both extremes but are equally poised to embrace either on most issues.

On the topic of definitions, I have seen – all the more frequently now-a-days – that conservatism and right-wing are used interchangeably. I beg to differ on that synonym as all right-wingers are social conservatives but not the other way around. A simple point of reference is that the right-wing in the US generally tends to be the Christian right while in India they would be the Hindu right. Conservatives on the other hand tend to be hard to define along religious views. Same applies for the left too, while the serious left have no religious underpinnings, the liberals are from all religious and non-religious persuasions.

That being said, I am ready to prod on with my rambling. So how does a left of the right of the center conservative liberal find myself at the crossroads? that question hides the answer!

There are times when I wish that things were simple and right and wrong was black and white like the conservatives want us to believe. The very idea seems Utopian and gives you the familiar longings of a simple life. Then there are times when I wish people would understand that traditions were made for men and not the other way around. Growing up in an ultra-conservative society with very rule based and sometimes hypocritical values I have come to recognize and value the solid comfort that conservative ideas provide. There is not much of a grey area when it comes to conservative ideals while across the spectrum its a lot more grey with no idea of the were the black and white start.

I have often wondered how this ultra-conservative boy could move to the non-conformistic and shifting sands of the center? It was probably the cultural shock of the contradictory characteristics of conservatism in different cultures. More importantly though, it was the realisation that the conservations “WWJD” Jesus I was raised to believe was more a non-conformist liberal who challenged the prevalent traditions and cultures. I never thought to question the fact that Jesus ate with “sinners” while I would not be allowed to talk to “morally bad” people.

Does this make me want to be a hippie? (A lot of people in South America really think that all Indians are Ganja smoking hippies). Far from it, I could never truly be a snob (Inspite of various attempts). And why would I not be able to call myself a liberal? The fact that I would have to care more about animals than humans, the perpetrators than victims and assign all responsibility of evil to the society rather than the individual.

Starting on this blog I really didn’t know where I was going with it, neither has then position changed in the last couple of days that I have been trying to finish it. It started out more as a attempt at putting down my frustration in finding people with exactly similar views. I do realise now that by my definition I am not going to find somebody else with the same exact views on all topics. I have also come to realise the fact that inspite of the shaky moorings, I would not want to be self righteous, condemning right-winger nor a snobbish, superficial left-winger.

I also did realise that I needed to finish this post!


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