Michael Gerson makes a crucial point:
"Moderation is not indecision or centrism.... It is the mode or mood of a successful democracy. What [political scientist] Aurelian Craiutu calls 'a difficult virtue for courageous minds' puts an emphasis on reasonableness, prudence and balance. It is a principle rooted in epistemological modesty — a recognition that no one possesses the whole truth."
Indeed, moderation is a Montaignean virtue and Shakespearean strength; it's what the GOP lacks in whole and what some on the left are skirting. In politics, epistemological certainty translates into brashness, and in a pluralistic society, brashness ultimately fails. Witness the stockpiling collapse of the Republican Party. As a democratic socialist I'm more eager than most for swift and transformational progress. But my non-ideological mentors, the Bard and the Skeptic, are forever whispering in my ear: Proceed gently.