My answer: no.
Or yes. Yes, I can simply be an X. It is possible in some PU ("parallel universe" ... boy is that term going to get a scathing blog entry!) and it may be possible here. Here's the recipe:
1. Remove frontal lobe.
2. Simply be an X.
I am an Auclair. We Auclairs are simply NOT simply anything. Everything we undertake is hard, in all its aspects, or we do not undertake it. When we stop to smell the Roses it's to pull off the interstate and to stop traffic in both directions and demand everyone pay the toll of smelling the roses.
Don't believe me? Ride in the car with me, or my father, or my father's father. We pull over to stop at cemeteries, and read every single gravestone.
"Can't you simply be an X and ..."
And here's the other problem with 'being a moderate.'
If the other side is wrong, then compromising one's position means compromising one's position. I'd prefer not to have other people see my compromising positions.
Case in point.
Ayn Rand: people are material. You are either a producer or moocher. Bullets or dollars, those are the only true motivators. How many children to existentialists/objectivists/materialists have?
Buber: I and Thou.
Where is the compromise there? "I'll treat you like shite, but lovingly?"
That is the compromise today, isn't it? The consumeristic philosophy has reduced people to numbers, but we sure love our customers, don't we.
To be holy is to be separate. I am not holy, but I am wholly separate.
How many philosophers are moderates?
Socrates? He'd rather die for his views then be made to alter them one iota. And he was condemned not for what he said, but because what somebody thought he said could possibly offend a rich citizen.
How would your "Can't you simply be a moderate and ..." work on Socrates?
I am an unreasonable man. Reasonable men see how the world works, and work within that world.
It is the unreasonable man that changes the world, and for that, we have light bulbs and penicillin. Because I am an unreasonable man, three children have found their way back home to their families.
And other things have, and have not, happened.
Also, the moderate, reasonable man does not write this messed up tale of angst and what the hell is this anyway piece of fiction called MSR, because the reasonable, moderate man does not write nor does he create.
And create what? Moderate, reasonable shite that more than 90% of the stories are on ffn?
Or beauty. Or truth. Or faith, hope, and love.
Benjamin Franklin chose the speckled ax, but he didn't. He was irascible, uncompromising in his principles and politics. Thomas Jefferson was a ... and John Adams ...?
I may or may not respect their causes or principles, but I do respect that they stood for something, against everyone, against the whole world.
I find when I don't stand for something, ... well, I'll fall for anything.
And that's the sad statement that reflects the much more than 50% of the "citizens" of the U.S.A. who do not vote nor write nor march nor anything.
"The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" happened not because of lead pipes, it happened when their "citizenry" stopped participating as a warriors, senators, and started becoming entitlement-centric slobs attending the daily circus and letting the barbarians at the gate to crash the orgies.
Hm. Decline and Fall of which Empire?
No. I can be simply an X and ... but I choose not to be simply an X.