GLENN: Chadwick Moore, a lifelong liberal and journalist who has now written this line in his op-ed: When I was growing up in the Midwest, coming out to my family at the age of 15 was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Today, it's just as nerve-racking to come out to all of New York as a conservative.
Chadwick, welcome to the program. May I call you Chad, or what do you prefer? Chadwick?
CHADWICK: You can call me anything you would like, Glenn.
GLENN: I know. What do you prefer though? Do you prefer Chadwick?
CHADWICK: Most people call me -- yeah, Chadwick is fine, yeah.
GLENN: So, Chadwick, is this harder than -- are the consequences greater than when you came out, or the same, or less?
CHADWICK: The consequences are definitely greater. You know, when I came out as a teenager, of course, it was scary for all the reasons that everyone hears about. You're worried about being bullied. Worried about your family rejecting you. But I had at that time sort of -- you know, I had a fake ID. I was going out to gay bars. I sort of -- I already had the sort of network of friends, gay friends that I had made, or at least accepting friends who I could sort of secretly tell.
This -- I didn't know -- I didn't have any conservative friends. I didn't know anyone, and I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which is the epicenter of New York City of sort of the social justice, identity politics brigade.
GLENN: Holy cow.
CHADWICK: Yeah. And -- and so I had -- I was going in completely blind. As we know that coming out as a conservative, you face unemployment discrimination, absolutely, especially in industries like media, which I'm in. We feel this violence in the street. We see people being assaulted and yelled at for no reason. So it was definitely -- definitely more nerve-racking --
GLENN: So, Chadwick, I have a friend who is on the other side of the aisle. I have several of them. And one of them was telling me just the other day that they don't know how to even speak sometimes to their own friends. And they're rock solid liberal. They don't know how to speak to some of their own friends because things are so crazy. And I think it's this way on the right too. That if you're not lockstep against Donald Trump, if you're in a liberal circle, you're -- you're an enemy.
CHADWICK: Oh. 100 percent, yes. You know, I've had conservative-leaning Libertarian values for a long time. And they've been growing. And even just a couple years ago, you know, I could get into political discussions with people, and it would be very clear that I have these views. And they might not like it, and they might yell and storm out. But you could still mostly have a debate. And now that is not the case.
And especially over the last year, if I would start to challenge my friends' political ideas and start to present the other side, you were an enemy. And the next time that person saw you, they would not talk to you.
So it's definitely changed. You know, I'd like to say that my politics has not changed. The line has moved beneath my feet. It's moved me to the right.
GLENN: So what is it -- was it Donald Trump that moved you there? How do you define conservative? Because I'm not sure how to define that anymore.
CHADWICK: Great point. I define -- you know, lots of people can disagree with me on this. I find conservative to be a very useful term, a very useful umbrella term for the sort of diverse political thought that's on the right. So the evangelical Christians, the Tea Partiers, the establishment Republicans, and then people more like me who are the Libertarian classical liberals.
So that's how I use the term "conservative." I find that useful.
Donald Trump was definitely a huge -- you know, I feel like his rise -- and a lot of people who identify more Libertarian on the right, their visibility, has really shifted the borders of conservatism and been more welcoming to people like myself who are disaffected liberals who are against the leftists.
And Donald Trump has really sort of -- you know, no longer is this base of conservatism, these kind of Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan types, who I would have just as little in common with I think as I do Hillary Clinton, even though I've held my nose and ticked her box last November.
GLENN: So, Chadwick, so we're probably then in the same category of conservative. I don't relate to the big government people at all. And I want to leave people alone. I was -- you know, I didn't have a problem with gay marriage, you know, long before Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I just don't think the government has a place in anybody's marriage, left, right, gay, straight -- it doesn't matter. They just don't have a place there.
And so you're more of a Libertarian small government, leave people alone, kind of constitutionalist?
CHADWICK: Absolutely. Yes. Firm, staunch believer in first, Second Amendment. Absolute constitutionalist.
GLENN: Did you have a problem with the Obama administration on the First Amendment?
CHADWICK: You know, they didn't really say anything. With the press, you know, everyone likes to think that Trump is this authoritarian person. But, you know, Obama was going after journalists left and right.
CHADWICK: And, you know, the Democrats are sort of -- his administration, you know, they didn't really get much done. But the sort of liberal base then under his administration seems to have been galvanized in this radical, awful way. And the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton and the DNC have never called them out or try to reprimand them. They've just let them run wild.
So I think in that sense, I think Obama -- yeah, he never tried to stop this, this radical push to the left that his followers have undergone.
GLENN: Talking to Chadwick Moore. He's a journalist out of New York. He was known as a liberal. He's now a conservative. A Libertarian, small government conservative, constitutionalist.
The -- I have said this to my inner circle that I have met with a bunch of people that have, in fact, given lots of money to the Democratic Party who have now woken up for the first time to the fact that, wait a minute, my party is really pretty extreme. They're embracing this authoritarian kind of idea. And they rejected that serious Marxists -- and people who really didn't like the Constitution or didn't like the free market system. You know, had a real serious place at the table. They knew they were in the party. But they didn't have a real serious place at the table.
And they've opened their eyes. Now, many of them haven't been strong enough as you are now. But they have told me behind the scenes, "I'm not with the Democrats either." Do you think there is -- that you're alone. Or do you think that there's a lot of people like this, that are feeling the way you did?
CHADWICK: Oh, Glenn, I know for a fact that there are a lot of people. And the evidence is in my inbox. I've gotten thousands of messages from people since that post ran. And I would say legitimately 50 percent of those messages are conservatives from all walks of life, evangelicals to Libertarians, the other half I would say are disaffected Democrats who have been saying to me, I feel the exact same way you do. I'm scared to come out. I don't agree with this. I consider myself a moderate, but there's no place for me in the party anymore. I'm scared if I speak up, I'll lose my job. That's a big thing. I'll lose clients. You know, I'm an independent contractor. And I don't know what to do. And people have said, like, thank you for being a vessel for this voice of reason. You know, especially coming from the left.
And what you said about -- it's like President Reagan said, if fascism comes to America, it will be in the guise of liberalism. You know, it will be private ownership with absolute government control.
GLENN: Yeah. How do we grow this? Because, Chadwick, this is something that I have been, you know, working towards for a while and felt really alone for a long time, that there would be strange bedfellows, that we're not going to agree on everything, and we're going to come from the left and the right. And we're just going to stand for basic principles. And people will say, what principles would we have in common? We could start with just the Bill of Rights. And if you could give me nine out of the ten of the Bill of Rights, I think we have enough to build strong coalitions. And I don't think it's that hard.
How do we empower the people on both sides that are afraid to come out? Because I've seen it on both sides. It's -- it's bad.
CHADWICK: Yeah. And that is an excellent question and an excellent point. I agree with you that -- that the strongest weapon we have is the Bill of Rights. It is the Constitution.
You know, a few months ago, you know, I was thinking, this country is either on the verge of a bloody civil war or a really radical wonderful political enlightenment and it looks like staunch constitutionalism. And I think that's what you see happening. I think there are tons of people like me, who -- you know, the sort of liberal I was, was what this term -- a lot of people are using now called the "classical liberal," which is a constitutionalist. It's someone who supports free people, free markets, free speech, free thought. And I think that is -- nobody disagrees with that. So I think that you're right, that that is the greatest weapon we have.
And the sort of authoritarian element on the left, I still believe, is so small and so fringe. But they're so violent. And their biggest weapon is their -- is their, you know, racist homophobic Nazi bigot. That's all they can say because they have no argument. And nobody wants to be called of those things. So if you challenge them, they throw those words at you. Shut up! And that's why the media doesn't challenge them because the media doesn't want to be boycotted. They don't want to be this and that. I think most people in the media are terrified of these people too. But I think there are signs that that's no longer working. People see that Donald Trump isn't, you know, a white supremacist. So I think it's beginning to crack. And I think you're right that the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, is the greatest weapon to unite the most patriotic and fair-minded people in this country. Because our country, if you look at Europe, how authoritarian the culture is becoming in Europe, we really are the last hope for the sort of great idea of free people and free markets and individual responsibility.
GLENN: How do you argue with people who will say this to a Republican? They said it under George Bush. And they will say it again because of Donald Trump. And they say it to people like you, who voted for Barack Obama, assuming that you did, voting for Barack Obama, supported or was relatively quiet during Barack Obama. What do you say to those people that say, "Well, where were you as a staunch constitutionalist when X, Y, or Z were happening?" And you could say that to both sides. How do we tell people, "The past is the past, and I'm sincere in standing with the Constitution?"
CHADWICK: That's another great question. Right. So I was thinking about this just the other day. You know, when Obama was president, it was very much like, I'm just going to close my eyes and let him take the wheel. I think a lot -- you know, if I just speak of my own personal experience, people are allowed to make mistakes. I didn't know any better. And also, at the time, I just felt I didn't have -- it's strange because I've been on both sides now. I didn't feel I had a choice. Especially when the religious right was in control of the Republican Party, and as a gay person -- and the sort of very anti-gay, non-Libertarian rules they were trying to enforce, you just feel like you didn't have a choice. So you were like, "Well, these are my people. I'm a Democrat. I have to be a Democrat."
And this is what we were saying earlier about the sort of lines being changed. And Donald Trump -- Donald Trump is the first president to take office being for gay rights, Democrat or Republican.
And so it's -- now that the culture has shifted so rapidly, I think a lot of people don't feel like they have to find blindly with their party affiliation because the other side is evil. Because they're just being told that.
So I think that most people in this country have just been falling into party lines. But now there's such an anti-establishment vigor amongst the people in this country, on the left too.
That's why Bernie would have been the nominee. He was a nationalist. He was anti-establishment. He would have been the nominee if the Democratic Party had not colluded against him and all these other things. And the superdelegates and all this other stuff. So I think most people are on our side. And it's just the misbehavior of the establishment that's finally reached a breaking point where people can actually come together.
GLENN: Chadwick, I'd love to talk to you some more. I think you're fascinating and extraordinarily brave. Extraordinarily brave.
CHADWICK: Thank you.
GLENN: And congratulations on sticking to your principles and come what may. It's -- it's a rare thing.
CHADWICK: The exact same to you, Glenn. Great admirer of yours.
GLENN: Thank you very much. Appreciate it. We'll talk again. Thank you.
STU: It's interesting to hear that --
GLENN: This is happening. I'm telling you, if we -- if we walk together, if we don't open arms, those who feel like he does, left or right, if we don't close ranks and open arms, right now, we have a chance to gather so many people, so many people.
STU: I really like the -- his answer to, well, wait a minute. What about when this side did this and this side did this? Well, you know, maybe I made a mistake. I didn't have all the information, and now I do.
GLENN: I really like him a lot.
STU: That sort of attitude is so missing from our society that you can admit that, you know what, maybe I had the wrong perspective back then, and now I have the right one.
GLENN: Yeah, like him a lot.