One of the most commonly lamented observations of modern politics is how polarised it, and subsequently society in general, has become.

Progressive pundits and corporate media refuse to label traditional thinking as anything less than “far right”, often preferring even more pejorative language. Only those claiming to be right of centre while embracing ideas traditionally of the left, like Malcolm Turnbull, can be graciously described as “moderate”.

Meanwhile, little nuance is entertained when describing those to the right of “moderates”. Nevermind that the founding fathers of Australia, America and our common British legacy in justice and democracy shared at least an affection if not outright devotion to Christian principles. It is now alleged that to advocate the timeless definition of marriage or the sanctity of human life at every stage makes one “far right”.

Further, to agitate for removal of fetters to fundamental freedoms of speech and religion – the central pillars of liberal democracy – is to manifest hatred, intolerance and bigotry (according to Progressives).

Woe betide any who should believe in national sovereignty, strong borders & sensible immigration limits. You might as well admit you’re a “fascist” in the ranks of those who celebrate Australia Day, salute the Australian National Flag and honour the monarchy!

But what of those left of centre, in the eyes of their right wing counterparts?

Conservative pundits and alternate media refuse to label “progressive” thinking as anything less than “progressive”, sometimes preferring more pejorative language like “leftist”. Those embracing ideas traditionally of the left but rejecting their more novel ideas (morality of gender theory and the immorality of mining) like Mark Latham, are warmly welcomed by right wing voters and commentators alike.

Another classical liberal, Dave Rubin, articulates his amazement that “the left left me” in the hurtling rapidity with which the policies defining leftism have left him spinning where he always was while progressivism is now much further away from where they once had much in common.

But that their nature, isn’t it? They believe all change is positive progress: never harmful, degenerative, regressive.

Conservatism on the other hand believes history is instructive, and ancient boundaries should at least be understood before they are moved, let alone demolished. We appreciate that our forebears were fallible, but not fools. We have no interest in changing everything for the sake of it. We are not hurtling with great rapidity from positions Conservatives held centuries ago.

If politics is problematically polarised, it is because the destruction of everything tried and true has been conflated with progress. It is because leftists are determined to destroy, not only the institutions and sensibilities which created the most favourable conditions for human flourishing in world history, but everyone who stands in their way as well.

Progressives are not satisfied with winning elections any more: they must completely destroy those who unapologetically dare to call their corruption out, as is playing out this week in America. They certainly weren’t satisfied with the election they duly lost in 2016 either. For four years they tried desperately to overturn their loss with every trick in the book.

The greatest injury they sustained was the loss of control of the Supreme Court of the United States, previously crowded with “progressives”: justices who believed the Constitution was flexible, and that their job was to reflect preferred political outcomes. They cried foul when President Trump appointed justices who believed their job was to simply interpret the Constitution faithfully to its original intent, and preferred outcomes were irrelevant to their legal decisions.

Last year saw “progressives” sustain riots for seven months, shoot at least 23 people dead, injure more than 700 law enforcement officers, damage over 150 federal buildings, and destroy hundreds of small businesses in the name of “progress”. Corporate media and other “progressive” elites (including all those suddenly decrying political violence), celebrated and promoted the behaviour, rationalising and justifying it – even calling it “mostly peaceful”. They claimed the Constitution, democracy and justice system were inadequate to achieve the social “progress” they desired, therefore political violence was at least understandable if not necessary.

It would be so much more comfortable if there was a “sensible centre”, a third option somewhere between the lunacy of gender theory and the biological reality. There isn’t.

It would be just dreamy if there was a way to end coal mineral mining without making electricity unaffordable to those individuals and industries which can least afford the most expensive electricity in the world, and even better if such a human cost would have a significant slowing effect on historically inevitable changes to global climate patterns. Wake up.

Is there a middle ground somewhere between the Christian belief that all human life is sacred and the “progressive” dogma that a human life in utero is merely a disposable piece of property which can make it sometimes okay to kill? Nope.

But what about law & justice? Surely there’s a third philosophy which appeases the “progressive” demand for an activist judiciary, democracy if convenient and a fluid Constitution? Surely there’s a compromise with the Conservative ideal that elected legislators make laws – not judges; that political violence and other lawless mayhem is never justified in a liberal, inclusive democracy; that justice should be impartial to identity; and that the Constitution can only be changed through the method prescribed by the Constitution? Such a fantasy!

Such a comfortable dream of a middle ground is beguiling because most of us hate conflict. We just want to get on with our lives without all the angst. Yet we can’t escape it because Truth, justice, liberty and even peace are worth fighting for.

There is no middle ground between right and wrong. There is no centre point between Truth and lies. There is no sensible balance between wisdom and folly.

There is only half right, half true, and half wise – half progressive – and who wants to be that?

I am unapologetic about my position on the things that are most responsible for the polarisation of politics. I will not appease the insatiable appetite of “progressives” for destruction of boundaries and institutions.

Of course there are sensible debates to be had about less fundamental things as there always has been, but they are not really what polarise us.

The beguiling “sensible centre” is perhaps more dangerous than the radical left because, while appearing less contentious, they are simply a slightly slower path to destruction; seductive because of their mixing of lies with some truth, folly with some wisdom, and immorality with some morality.

Such is the strategy by which society has been incrementally ratcheted towards the current brazen extremes of “progressives”, and such is the path to political polarisation from those who will not mix poison with their supper.

Dave Pellowe is a Christian writer & commentator, founder of The Good Sauce, convener of the annual Australian Church And State Summit and host of Good Sauce's weekly The Church And State Show, also syndicated on ADH TV. Since 2016 Dave has undertaken the mission of arming Christians to influence culture through events from Perth to Auckland, videos, podcasts and articles published in multiple journals across Australia and New Zealand. [more]

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