"don't be so extremist"

Has someone ever tried that line on you? You share a strong opinion, and the response is, "Come on, don't be such an extremist."

I experienced that recently, when I posted #fuckethenra. I wasn't sure whether the response was agreement or criticism, so I clarified my stance on "extremist" just in case:

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I was unclear if "I'm not a fan of extreme thinking either" meant "I'm [also] not a fan of extreme thinking." The implication in this interpretation being that the NRA is extremist.

But I often hear that sort of statement intended as "I'm not a fan of extreme thinking [by the way]." The implication being that #fuckthenra is extremist, which is bad.

Regardless of what the person meant in this case, in the case of the latter—this is easy, right? We all know that everything is relative. And everything can be skewed.

For example: "I'm an extremist about freedom." What does that mean? Do you believe that all people have the right to marry? That stance is extreme for some people. Or that it's impossible for slander and libel to exist? That's an extreme interpretation of our current laws.

So, at accusations of extremeism, bring on the perspective.

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