By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – These are tough times to be a moderate, if you hadn’t noticed.

In Washington, moderates in both parties have been pretty effectively marginalized for years.

Remember when former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson co-chaired a commission that drew up a plan for budget-balancing and tax reform that drew praise from moderates for making tough decisions in a balanced way?

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Arch-liberals and arch-conservatives shouted it down.

That’s the way it goes down there, where politicians who care more about their own egos and political careers pander to the noisy ideologues in their constituencies, in their chambers, and in the media.

The Tea Party Republicans are careless with their effort to use the budget as a bargaining chip; too many Democrats are careless with their reliance on partisanship to pass sensitive legislation like Obamacare, and with their use of inflammatory language like calling their peers “terrorists.”

Right now, there are a number of readers furious to see me criticize both parties, because they believe their side is good and the other is evil.

Moderation has no place in their universe.

I’m sorry, but I don’t get it.

You do, I hope, use a moderate approach to most things in life, in what you eat and drink, how you spend and drive.

Do you use moderation in your personal relationships, or are you constantly shouting at and issuing ultimatums to your friends and loved ones?

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If so, notice anything about how few of them there are?

Moderation is a profoundly good thing, a virtue to be pursued.

How foolish of us not to demand it from our political leaders.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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