But just because someone does not necessarily agree with the far right, or the far left, but instead derives his or her opinions from the facts that present themselves, filtered through certain applicable principles he or she holds in high regard, thus arriving at a different or opposing opinion than both, that does not mean that he or she is not just as 'radical' as those who many consider 'radical' to the left or right. Although it can be, political centrism is not necessarily due to a lack of authoritative opinion or strong feeling. It is simply that one's relevant opinions are founded upon certain criteria or principles that differ from the far right and the far left. Regardless where those opinions may fall on the political spectrum, those opinions are no less valid.
No one toward either end of the political spectrum owns the truth, or the best way in every instance. And the true best way today, is not always the best way tomorrow. That is because circumstances change over time. A deciding principle that is applicable today may loose its applicability by in the morning. For this reason, a rigid adherence to any particular ambient opinion or principle, no matter the time or circumstance, is likely ill-founded.
Lincoln tells us that we should not decide on ambient principles or opinions, beyond our abilities to understand the latest facts:
The pilots on our western rivers steer from point to point as they call it--setting the course of the boat no farther than they can see; and this is all I propose to myself in this great problem.So according to Lincoln, rigid adherence to any particular opinion, regardless of the latest available information, is a prime mode for human error. The man who made the decisions that guided America through the American Civil War is one who should know.
And in one of his letters, Abraham Lincoln wrote of the importance of using principle during its appropriate time. Lincoln wrote:
Had Jefferson been a day late, that abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, would have missed its time. I argue that the history of the world from that moment would have been much different, all for the lack of utilizing the correct principle at the proper time.All honor to Jefferson--to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so to embalm it there, that to-day, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of re-appearing tyranny and oppression.
Regardless of how our opinions might come to us, we all have the right to hold and express them. God gives us that right. But I believe that an opinion most worth considering, on issues that affect our nation, should derive from some source of legitimate national authority.
In these pages, I will do my best to derive my opinion from beyond any personal feelings I might otherwise possess on a matter at hand, and arrive at it from an appropriate source of authority, beyond myself. We all have our preferences of the truth. But my goal here is that my own personal preference will be for the truth itself, whichever way the truth may fall. That is a tall order, I know. But that is my goal here.
And I will not confine myself to politics. That is because to derive an authoritative political opinion, one must connect a pattern of thought back to one's source of authority. So that source, and all that is related to that source, is fair to consider as well. Of course, in my mind, the ultimate authority of truth is God. I expect that in these pages, at some juncture I will derive that conclusion for others to consider. But for now, I simply want to say thank you for considering my remarks, and please feel free to offer your own in return. And please return to The Radical Centrist often. And please subscribe to updates! We may not agree, and that is OK. But I promise it will not be dull and we will learn from each other, and the facts.