Just a while back, someone created a thread regarding The Daily Show's host John Stewart's comments to his guest, conservative author Ann Coulter. He said something along the lines of, '...there is no more fight between left and right...now it's between extremists and moderates...' Now the original thread was locked, so I thought I'd revive the debate here...but let's keep it civilized, people. First of all, I'd like to say that I agree with Stewart's comments in some respects. The traditional left vs. right debate is now an ancient artifact of the early 20th century, and certainly does not incorporate modern social issues. In fact, the traditional debate was essentially all about the economy. Liberals wanted things to change, conservatives wanted things to stay the same. And in fact, the dictionary's definition of the words 'liberal' and 'conservative' mean just that. However, although the liberal ideals applied to Democrats and the conservative ideals applied to Republicans back then, things have changed. It's impossible to classify one's political persuasion based solely on their economic ideals these days. Browsing the Internet, I was able to find [link=http://www.futurenet.org/22art/ray.htm]this article[/link] which supports my statements. In today's world, you can no longer place someone on the old left/right line, as politics have become much more dimensional. The [link=http://www.politicalcompass.org/]Political Compass[/link] is a great example of this. Basically, The Politcal Compass is a test that determines your location on the 'compass' of political persuasion. I urge everyone to take this test and carefully read the last page, which describes the problems of the traditional left vs. right argument. But going back to John Stewart's comment, indeed there is much more than the left vs. right argument today. However, I'm not sure that the fight is really between extremists and moderates, either. Although I believe that the majority of the Western world is 'moderate' in a sense, and we are fighting the 'extremists' such as terrorists and tyrannical leaders. And I think that Stewart's comments were directed at the Republican party, where the center-right (Powell, McCain, etc.) is being ignored by the traditional conservatives (Bush, Cheney, etc.), who have been strongly supporting the ultra-conservatives (Helms, Lott, etc.). So in some ways Stewart was right, but it doesn't take into consideration the fact that the fight between extremists and moderates is a multi-dimensional thing, occurring in multiple parties. The Political Compass is essentially divided into four boxes: Authoritarian Left, Libertarian Left, Authoritarian Right, and Libertarian Right (I was placed in the central corner of the libertarian right). But it's still difficult to say where Republicans and Democrats fit into this square. Traditionally, the line went straight across, and then it began tilting to pass through the libertarian left and the authoritarian right. So, the two parties have always remained somewhere close to a central line...which today often ignores the authoritarian left and the libertarian right. Now, this brings up a very interesting question. Is it possible...that the American party system is too constricting? I mean...does that mean that we need more than two major parties? It certainly seems that way to me.