These days, it seems for all the fact-checking they do, the mainstream media has forgotten what the word "moderate" really means. The definition? "Average", "ordinary", or "less extreme". So why is it that Iran's leaders are defined as moderates? Iran, a country that was once somewhat friendly towards Israel and the West before 1979, is now a country that has "won" the world record for executing the most people per capita.  They are the world's number one state sponsor of terrorism. Just a few weeks ago, Tehran violated a UN resolution by launching yet another ballistic missile, this time writing on the sides of the missile in Hebrew and Farsi that "Israel must be wiped off the pages of history". Iran also continues its barbaric practice of executing members of the LGBT community to the point where many LGBT Iranians have fled the country, including Payam Feili, a gay poet who sought safe haven in Israel. Meanwhile, the Tehran government praised by Britain's liberal newspaper, The Guardian, for having a "reformist" in charge continues to assist the brutal Assad regime in slaughtering his own civilians; pays Palestinians for carrying out terror attacks against innocent Israelis; arms Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon; and instigates a civil war in Yemen that ultimately leads to the deaths of thousands of civilians and the spread of terror groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. 

At the same time, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News regularly refer to people like Florida Senator Marco Rubio, former Florida Governor Jeb! Bush, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as "moderates". Yet Senator Rubio vehemently opposes the right of a woman to control her body, Governor Bush infamously told single mothers that they should "find a man and get married" if they are financially struggling, and we all remember Mitt Romney's 47% gaffe as the GOP nominee in 2012. 

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These are not the words or actions of "moderates". No, this is something far worse. It is what happens when society begins to lose its moral compass and fall apart. People, and sadly, many on the Political Left, accept radicalism and evil as "the new normal", as The Economist, a left-leaning British newspaper, put it after this week's tragic terrorist attacks in Brussels. Rather than trying to truly be progressive and fight for treasured liberal values such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, equality for women, and LGBT rights, the big push is for a "live and let live" mentality, one where anything goes. I hate to break it to you, CNN, The Guardian, and The Economist, but many of your recent viewpoints are regressive, not progressive. It is wonderful to protest right-wing bigotry and call it out for its ugliness. But if you are a true progressive, you must stop making excuses for homophobic people like Senator Rubio just because he might be more welcoming to immigrants than Donald Trump or Texas Senator Ted Cruz. If you're a true progressive, you can believe in the two-state solution and dislike Likud's policies as of late, but that doesn't mean that you should overlook the egregious ways in which gays are lynched in Gaza or Christians oppressed in the West Bank by the Palestinian populace. If you're a true progressive, it's wonderful that you condemn Saudi Arabia's lack of religious freedom, democracy, or women's rights. But that should also mean you do so with passion in regards to Iran's financing of terror and violent homophobia. Laziness and armchair activism never brought about any kind of change or "political revolution". Neither did shutting down events with speakers that college students disagree with. But the Civil Rights Movement, Suffragettes, and most recently, the LGBT Rights movement all did, in the face of violence no less. 


Indeed, you can also think of moderate from the verbal standpoint of moderating, as in "presiding over". Moderators on online forums must search for offensive or inappropriate content and sometimes delete it. A truly moderate or progressive person would do the same in the real world, by fighting for justice and against inequality wherever it may be, not just because it is the "lesser of two evils". 

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