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I've been thinking about embracing the term 'moderate' as a descriptor for a while now. Here's the deal: For as long as I've had political opinions, I've always thought of myself as left wing. Strongly left, in fact. Although I have learned and grown over the years, this much hasn't changed. Until recent years. It's not that I've moved a lot, it's that it's very clear that the left does not wish to be associated with me anymore. Things I consider secondary differences of opinion with the mainstream progressive movement have now been rendered dividing-line matters that merit dissociation with me. I'm banned from the Revolutionary Left forums, banned from the Democratic Underground forums, banned from Pride, the main subreddit I visit have been banned and you'll never guess who the instigators of that were. It does make one question whether or not these are the right people to call allies. It increasingly feels like maybe the progressive movement is changing in a way that excludes me by definition and maybe I should accordingly think about embracing a different term formally.

I do worry a tiny bit though that calling myself a moderate from here on, like on the social medias and such, may be misleading in that I think many people's definition of a moderate is like a neoliberal or just somebody who basically favors the status quo and that ain't me. No, I am not undergoing a "red-pilling" or anything of that nature. I've not had some revelation that's changed my fundamental worldview in substance and I kinda think that these terms the left and right have like "red pilled" and "woke" are rather arrogant and pretentious in fact in that everybody seems to assume that they're the only ones 'awake' and everybody else is apparently just too oblivious and dumb to understand their deeper truths or whatever. Most of the views I hold still feel like left-leaning ones to me. But I hold a few opinions strongly that are most often classified as right-leaning (whether that's really fair or not) and I'm frustrated though with how every difference of opinion, particularly on social issues, is treated as a dividing line that requires the severance of ties. That's why I'm thinking moderate might be the right term by which to describe myself henceforth. But like I said, I'd also prefer that people not feel misled like on the social medias and such by my use of that descriptor.

So what do you think? When you hear the term "moderate" do you hear "unprincipled person who stands for nothing" or more like "somebody who's combination of views doesn't fit neatly into a progressive/conservative categorization"?