Why Not Moderation?
Letters to Young Radicals
by Aurelian Craiutu
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Pub Date 12 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 28 Sep 2023
Moderation is often presented as a simple virtue for lukewarm and indecisive minds, searching for a fuzzy center between the extremes. Not surprisingly, many politicians do not want to be labelled 'moderates' for fear of losing elections. Why Not Moderation? challenges this conventional image and shows that moderation is a complex virtue with a rich tradition and unexplored radical sides. Through a series of imaginary letters between a passionate moderate and two young radicals, the book outlines the distinctive political vision undergirding moderation and makes a case for why we need this virtue today in America. Drawing on clearly written and compelling sources, Craiutu offers an opportunity to rethink moderation and participate in the important public debate on what kind of society we want to live in. His book reminds us that we cannot afford to bargain away the liberal civilization and open society we have inherited from our forefathers.
"For far too long, “moderate” has been a label used in political discourse as a term of derision, meant to imply weakness and lack of conviction, which is nonsense. Thank you Aurelian Craiutu for producing an overdue, well- researched, witty and robust defense of the ideas of those of us - a plurality - who aren’t represented by those partisan extremists with outsized influence."
- Michael Smerconish, SiriusXM and CNN host
“What could be more radical in our polarized era than a spirited defense of political and intellectual moderation? In this bold and eloquently written book, Aurelian Craiutu engages the most potent arguments of the anti-liberal Left and Right, all the while at once making the case for a more moderate approach and enacting it right before our eyes. Whether you’re tempted by the extremes or looking to maintain your equilibrium through the ideological turbulence of our times, the book is invaluable.”
- Damon Linker writes the subscription newsletter “Eyes on the Right” at Substack
Moderation is not a mushy, middling muddle; it is an time-honored philosophy and a powerful strategy for making the world better off. If you're exhausted by apocalyptic rhetoric, radical posturing, and "Flight 93" politics, you'll find in this learned, practical, and witty book the manual to land the plane. With “Why Not Moderation?”, Aurelian Craiutu launches a different MAGA movement, one which is urgently needed and long overdue: Make America Governable Again.
- Jonathan Rauch, Brookings Institution