On February 11, journalist and lifelong liberal Chadwick Moore “came out” in the New York Post — but not as gay (he did that when he was 15). This time, at the age of 33, he came out as a conservative.
Moore’s transformation began last September, after penning a profile on the controversial Milo Yiannopolous for Out magazine. Moore describes how, after its publication, friends and acquaintances began shunning him. His best friend called him a “monster.” A stranger in a bar called him a “Nazi” for wanting greater border security. Though he voted for Clinton in November and has opposed Trump’s travel ban and some of his cabinet picks, Moore says, given the Left’s increasing opposition to free speech and growing intolerance, that he is “closer to the Right than where the Left is today.”
Moore is not alone. Just days before, Dave Rubin, the host of the internet show The Rubin Report, announced his departure from the Left. Also a lifelong liberal, Rubin explained in a video (produced by PragerU, affiliated with conservative commentator Dennis Prager) that much of the Left has ceased being “progressive” and instead had come under the spell of a “regressive ideology.”
The regressive-Left, he says, wants to censor politically incorrect speech, view people not as individuals but as members of groups, and judge ideas not on their truth or merits, but on how they make one feel. With the growing influence of the regressive-Left, he says he can no longer call himself a progressive. “I’m a classical liberal, a free thinker,” he says, “and as much as I don’t like to admit it, defending my liberal values has suddenly become a conservative position.”
As a member of the Left myself, I have to say, I can sympathize with Moore and Rubin. I too have been appalled by what has unfolded on college campuses. I too am ashamed of those on the Left who have forgotten how to engage in a genuine argument and attempt to end a discussion by smearing their opponents with defamatory labels like “sexist,” “racist,” “bigot,” and “Islamophobe.” I too am tired of identity politics, with its encouragement of “competitive victimhood” and its conception of politics as a zero-sum contest among distinct groups.
Yet, despite my frustration, I have never seriously considered leaving the Left. Continue reading