Where does “the left” end and “the right” begins? Is there a middle somewhere where people are neither left nor right? Or is it that people who are in the middle — if it exists — just don’t post on the Internet or make it on to NPR?
These are the questions I considered as I listened to Steve Inskeep’s interview with journalist Chadwick Moore, who has left “the left” and joined “the right.”
Moore wrote a post for Out Magazine profiling Milos Yiannopoulos, the senior editor for Breitbart News.
His friends shunned him and so he decided to now be a conservative.
Inskeep asked him whether he’s a moderate or a conservative — he’s described himself as both .
“To come out as a moderate is to be more aligned with the conservative,” he said.
“If you value things like free speech, if you value free thought, if you value individualism over collectivism, then you’re on the right now,” he said.
On NPR’s Facebook page, a listener suggests there’s a difference between defending free speech and being able to handle the criticism that comes with the job.
It is funny how the words ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ are thrown around as if they are clubs with standard rules. Did anyone curb your free speech? No. You are just mad that it was criticized. Critical thought is free speech too. I’m sure it sucked to reap the social consequences of what you did but that’s a democracy dude. Come talk to me when someone tries to take your press credentials for doing what you did. I just think you are whiney and you compromised your values in the face of criticism.
But the commenter misses an important point. As a journalist, Moore wasn’t guilty of doing anything but his job in profiling Yiannopoulos. He owed no allegiance to anyone but the ethics of telling a story.
Ironically, the utter inability to understand that distinction presently constitutes common ground between “the left” and “the right”.