Middle = Reasonable
Apparently the “middle” position between the polar “extremes” is always the most reasonable position. This general assumption makes it easy to utilize the following handy rhetorical device: whatever your position is, portray it as between two other “extremes.” This should be easy—whatever position one holds, there are bound to be people to the left and to the right.
Obviously this is bullshit. The idea that the middle position is (probably? always? necessarily?) the right one is something that generally props up the status quo and so-called “common sense.”
Yet this “taking the reasonable middle position” is something we see time and time again in scholarly literature. I’m reading it right now …