Is there a term for someone whose preferred policies are a mix of left and right?

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The Politicus
Jun 12, 2019 01:59 PM 0 Answers
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I, um, know a guy, 'Bob'.

  • Bob is in favor of social safety nets and LGBTQ rights (leftist).
  • Bob is also very pro-capitalism and in favor of gun rights (rightist).

We have terms in the political discourse like conservative, liberal, progressive, etc. The closest one to the above is, as far as I can tell, centrist.

The problem is that it doesn't really fit. While the aggregate of Bob's positions might "average out" to the middle, none of Bob's opinions on those issues are actually towards the center of the spectrum: Bob is pretty far to one end or the other. If Bob tells people that he's centrist, they are typically surprised later when Bob espouses strong viewpoints that are actually left/right positions on the subject in question.

This is difficult to explain to people when they ask, so is there an easy-to-grok term for this? I actually encounter people like Bob reasonably often.

To avoid any confusion, I'm not looking for a label that captures Bob's specific mix of positions as I am a label that connotes the idea of a mix of strong left and right of center opinions.


Apparently Paul Graham wrote an essay about this where he terms such people "accidental moderates".

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  • June 12, 2019