The New Reality of Liberals Pegging Moderates as Conservatives

Adam Furgang
The Land of the Forgotten
6 min readSep 30, 2020

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I’m a moderate liberal who gets pegged as a conservative by some of my liberal friends. I likely agree with every big left-leaning issue you can think of but still some people I know assumed I was a Trump supporter just because I have been critical of the radical left.

I’ll try and make this very clear. I voted for Clinton. I voted for Obama. And I voted for Hillary. And I’m not voting for Trump. I still think Trump will likely win, although I hope I’m wrong.

So why am I pegged as a conservative? I think it’s mostly because any dissent among the liberal ranks is considered heresy and you’ll find yourself unfriended, blocked, unfollowed, canceled, or “called out.”

I am often critical of issues on the left that irk me—particularly cancel culture, unproductive infighting, the erosion of free speech, and the inability of the left to talk to, discuss, or consider people on the right human beings with a pulse. Another thing that confuses my peers is that I will watch and read (and post) any and all manner of news without fear of bleeding from my eyes and ears, turning to stone, or melting. Somehow I’m fine.

The reality that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia were BFF might elicit an insincere nod from liberals. In theory, they know they should agree with that type of tolerant behavior. In reality, however, that fact rolls off most liberals like water off a duck. I don’t think many liberals would be willing to live like RBG and be friends with an individual who held beliefs like Antonin Scalia. They’d avoid him like the plague.

Politically I gravitate toward journalists and commentators on the left (Anthony Bourdain, Joe Rogan, Glenn Greenwald) who are open enough to listen to, talk with, and break bread with people who are sometimes different, conservative, ideologically unidentifiable, or, heaven forbid—lunatics. Rogan, in particular, will all talk to people with ideas that he does not share and will try and understand where they are coming from. This is helpful. Greenwald just reported about this and examined why liberals can’t stand this. I admire reporting like this. This video he did is worth watching too. I like people on the left who are not afraid to criticize the right but will also criticize the radicals on the left. The problem is moderate liberals like myself wind up getting pigeonholed as conservatives.

Waaaa! That’s unfair. I’m kidding.

I’m OK being mistaken for a conservative but I do think this is happening a lot on the left because of increasing levels of intolerance on the left. Also, many people are just becoming quiet. Some might not give this all much thought and they may just go and vote for TRUMP. Lol. Have you ever considered that radical screeching liberals may be inadvertently creating Trump supporters?

“Oh, he’s being critical of the left. He’s a Republican Trump supporter!”

LOL. Really? Have you met me? I’m an artist who has been running with an artsy crowd for about 40 years now. I used to tag graffiti in NYC. My favorite artists are Andy Warhol, Banksy, Mark Ryden, and John Currin just to name a few. I also admire Hunter Thompson, Orwell, Nabokov, and Salinger. Not exactly right-wingers, although now who the hell knows? Something might have changed last night and they’d all get dumped by the left for once having uttered the wrong pronoun 75 years ago.

If you want to change the country to suit you, voting blue in a blue state (NY) to oust Trump is almost near useless. Vote for sure, yes. But we all know NY is blue. Voting to oust Trump here in New York State is about the most low-level thing you can do. At least speak up. Blog. Write a letter. Discuss. Protest. Make a T-shirt. Anything. Something aside from arguing amongst the 300+ liberals you know and calling some of them who don’t tick off every checkbox on your liberal list a conservative.

My hunch is that the radical left attacking other moderate liberals is hurting the left as a cohesive whole more than one might suspect. If we can’t even get along with one another, how on earth will we ever talk to the other side and bring the country back together? Isn’t that what we want? Or are you just happily barreling towards an ideological or physical civil war?

Had Anthony Bourdain not killed himself he very easily could have been canceled by the left too. That crap with Asia Argento and that kid sort of went away but had Bourdain lived it very likely would have blown up bigger and dragged him down. Who the hell knows? Maybe that’s part of why he committed suicide? Now Joe Rogan is getting hysterical criticism from the left because of his unapologetic predilection to have any and all types of individuals on his show. He might even ask or entertain an uncomfortable question or two now and then. And he might even be wrong from time to time. That’s why people like his show. It’s real!

We are tired of only listening to Wolf Blitzer or Anderson Cooper talk for three minutes and cut to commercial while we nod drooling in agreement. You want to listen to something different? Watch the 4.5 hour Joe Rogan YouTube video with Alex Jones. Holy hell. Aliens. Human-animal hybrids. The government using DMT to communicate with aliens. If you do listen be sure to have a few shots of bourbon ready first. Rogan even drank during that episode, I’m guessing, just to get through it himself. Rogan will also have liberals like Oliver Stone and Edward Snowden on too. That does not matter to the cancel culture crowd. If Rogan utters even a single peep that even a single liberal dislikes, a giant roaring train engine of cancel gets up and running to full steam and begins barreling his way to drive him off of a Spotify cliff.

The left may be unknowingly canceling themselves out of existence. I think the driving force on the left, or at least the loudest part of the left, is the emergence of bottom-up, irrational, and reactionary behavior — not cohesive top-down rationalism that could help the left.

I doubt a Joe Biden win will be able to put a halt to all the hysterical knee-jerk reactionary cancel culture on the left. In fact, if Biden wins, I expect the radical left to become even more emboldened — if that’s even possible — and continually make demands for more ridiculous and ever-changing adjustments, ironically often amongst themselves.

Glenn Greenwald, who wrote the Intercept article about Joe Rogan also broke the Snowden NSA scoop and won the Pulitzer. Rogan is on the left too, albeit a different rougher area of left than Greenwald. The point of Rogan’s show is to engage in long format dialogues and discussions, rather than just silence people.

So why do liberals I know assume I’m not liberal? I think it’s because I don’t fit into the typical cut-and-paste tweet-length liberal wireframe. Just how I never picked a religion, I never picked a political party either. I never felt ideologically compelled to firmly plant myself on one side or the other. And it’s a good thing too, as the left is now often going off on a wild anti-free speech tangents where I will not go.

I also don’t like large groups where in order to belong I have to go along with no matter what is the flavor of the day. I’m better off writing alone in a corner. And life is far too nuanced to eat from such a bland political diet as the utterly lame two-party menu choice of liberal or conservative…Republican or Democrat…red or blue. That’s boring. It’s better to remain open.

I like getting my news from a buffet. I like to learn more today than I was aware of yesterday. I aspire to stay humble and perhaps change my mind from time to time. And I also hope to understand where other people are coming from. You won’t get any of that if you assume everyone who thinks differently is your political and ideological nemesis and simply ignore them, or worse, silence them.

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Adam Furgang
The Land of the Forgotten

Writer • Editor • Visual Artist • Gamer • Troublemaker