What does “middle” really mean? We carry this preconceived notion that it means we are perfectly centered between extremes. We order a medium fry, call ourselves centrists, and even feel comfortable being “middle class citizens”. You see where Im going with this?

Im going to be honest here; this post will very medium sized. It will contain moderate material, and has some very centrist views.

We gravitate towards extremes; I used to be about 60 lbs heavier than I am today, and I lost it all through a series of changes I set in my life. I started eating a more reasonable amount, and I started working out. We look at Jared’s before pictures in the Subway commercials and pity the man, but do we exalt the huge guy in the gym as he grunts out his reps on the bench? No, what we see is another extreme. We dont want to be “Fat Jared”, but  most of us dont want to look like Schwarzenegger in his glory days either.

So what happens? Why do we slip into these extremes? Many times it feels like it happens overnight. We wake up 40 lbs heavier, and wonder what caused it all. What happens is that we make a series of subtle changes, and never notice the difference.

No this isnt a blog about weight loss, thats just the metaphor, its about extremes.

Lets look at the term “Middle Class”. Im not going to post some dictionary reference, but I think that we can all agree that a Middle class family is  a family that earns around $60K a year, has a stable job, and owns their own house, but compared to any third world country, those people see us living as kings and queens.

Now lets go back to food for a second. I love food (hence the fact I had to lose 60 lbs). Go to Starbucks and order a medium (grande) latte, and you will get a 16oz drink. Now head to Sonic for a medium lemonade slush, and you will get 20 oz of sweet lemony goodness. Now go to Hardees (Carl’s Jr.) for a medium Dr. Pepper, and you will get a 32oz cup of delicious sugar! The term is completely irrelevant as far as drinks go, because there is no standard. Ive been told that a medium fry from McDonalds in France is about the same size as what you get in an American Happy Meal… So did the fries just shrink crossing the Atlantic? No, we just slowly kept increasing our portions.

Declaring yourself as a political centrist works the same way. In the 1800s, just after the constitution was ratified, a centrist would be seen as someone who wanted to transfer more power to the federal government than just the Post Office and Military. They would have seen the states as the absolute power, and there was no federal income tax! Things shifted but by bit; when the federal income tax was first instated, it only applied to the 1% richest population, and now look at how we all wait by the mailbox waiting on our returns!

Just think of this: how do we keep ourselves from sliding all over the place when we have no idea what size a medium is? Set your principles like a stake in the ground and dont let your views shift because one day your ideal fry is a kids’ size or because your views are one day seen as “radical”. Dont be mad or hate someone because they have differing principles, just remember and be ready to defend your own.

There you have it. I tried to be as morally, politically, and religiously ambiguous.