‘Social Moderation’

by Ramesh Ponnuru

It’s a cant phrase, amusingly deployed in Michael Tanner’s piece on NRO today as a description of former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson’s views on abortion, same-sex marriage, and drug legalization. At best Johnson’s views as described put him to the left of about half the country on the first two issues. On the third he is in a decided minority. So why do these views, and not the opposing ones, qualify as “moderate”?

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