There are 16 comments.

  1. Joseph Stocks Member

    I loved this podcast because I believe it crystallized the difference between Sohrab’s conservatism and David’s conservatism. 

    And the example is this; Drag Queen Reading Hour at the public library. 

    Ought a community have the authority to stop such an event?

    David’s conservatism says you cannot stop the drag queen from reading to children while Sohrab’s conservatism says a community does have this right.

    And I don’t believe Sohrab is advocating for a Catholic theocracy for believing communities should have the right to stop drag queens from reading to their children. 

    And I agree with Sohrab in that a conservatism that cannot envision a scenario where a community says that drag queens reading to our kids is not how we want to live shows a lack of imagination. 

    I’ve always leaned on Sohrab’s side here and I believe he makes a compelling case in this podcast. 

    • #1
    • June 7, 2019, at 8:49 PM PDT
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  2. HeavyWater Inactive

    If you allow the government to squash book readings featuring drag queens, it seems very likely that this government power will be used against Christians and conservatives and libertarians.

    So, this willingness to have the government clamp down on book readings could backfire in a major way.

    The drag queens will likely still be leading book readings but Christians, conservatives and libertarians will not.

    Sohrab Ahmari needs to rethink his worldview.

    • #2
    • June 8, 2019, at 5:28 AM PDT
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  3. Joseph Stocks Member

    @heavywater,

    There in lies the philosophical divide. A community that’s morally opposed to drag queens reading to their children cannot stop it. Sohrab, I think, correctly says that this is ceding the entire culture to the left. 

    This is like not being able to live by our self sorting. I’m sure drag queen’s in San Francisco are given many opportunities to read to children and do so but what about a rural community in Alabama? You are arguing that a conservative community doesn’t have the right to enforce a standard that says we don’t allow drag queens to read to our kids?

     

    • #3
    • June 8, 2019, at 6:47 AM PDT
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  4. HeavyWater Inactive

    Joseph Stocks (View Comment):

    @heavywater,

    There in lies the philosophical divide. A community that’s morally opposed to drag queens reading to their children cannot stop it. Sohrab, I think, correctly says that this is ceding the entire culture to the left.

    This is like not being able to live by our self sorting. I’m sure drag queen’s in San Francisco are given many opportunities to read to children and do so but what about a rural community in Alabama? You are arguing that a conservative community doesn’t have the right to enforce a standard that says we don’t allow drag queens to read to our kids?

    Maybe we could simplify this discussion if we ask the question: Should a local government be allowed to have a “we will not hire a homosexual” policy?

    That’s a different question than the question of whether we should have an anti-discrimination law governing private businesses and corporations.

    As for me personally, I do not have a moral problem with homosexuality. So, for me the question might just be the question of how much latitude a local government should have and whether a local government can have a policy that is different from a policy held by the federal government (which currently does not have a “dire not hire homosexuals” policy).

    I would allow a local government to have a “do not hire a homosexual” policy, though if I were a voter living in that community, I would vote to support candidates for mayor and city council intending to reverse such a policy.

    I would also oppose the agenda of making consensual homosexual sex illegal, even in Alabama. However, I don’t live in Alabama and I don’t think the federal government has the right to veto laws written in Alabama.

    Drag queens? I am a married heterosexual man who doesn’t support drag queens except for taking a live and let live attitude towards drag queens.

    Maybe I haven’t answered your question. If not, I’ll try again.

    • #4
    • June 8, 2019, at 7:08 AM PDT
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  5. Joseph Stocks Member

    @heavywater,

    Here is where the discussion usually devolves and I believe sets up this bifurcation fallacy; you either let drag queens read to your kids in a public library or you allow governments to ban homosexuals. 

    Are these really the only two choices? It seems this is what the David French conservative wing believes and that is intellectually disappointing. 

    Aren’t there a myriad of choices in between those? 

    And this is where I also believe Sohrab is correct because if you adhere to the David French wing of conservatism and believe it is wrong for a local community to stop drag queens from reading to their kids then you have elevated autonomy over tradition in an absurd sense.

    So, this community believes that kids shouldn’t be exposed to overt sexual figures (and I believe drag queens are overtly sexual) and that families should be the primary movers in shaping their children’s attitudes about sex. This is the tradition of the community. Seems like a fairy uncontroversial tradition but the David French wing of conservatism equates this tradition with something akin stoning gays or instituting Catholic sharia law. 

    My point and I believe Sohrab’s is this tradition isn’t theocratic and that sometimes tradition is superior to individual autonomy. 

    • #5
    • June 8, 2019, at 8:58 AM PDT
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  6. HeavyWater Inactive

    Joseph Stocks (View Comment):

    @heavywater,

    Here is where the discussion usually devolves and I believe sets up this bifurcation fallacy; you either let drag queens read to your kids in a public library or you allow governments to ban homosexuals.

    Are these really the only two choices? It seems this is what the David French conservative wing believes and that is intellectually disappointing.

    Aren’t there a myriad of choices in between those?

    And this is where I also believe Sohrab is correct because if you adhere to the David French wing of conservatism and believe it is wrong for a local community to stop drag queens from reading to their kids then you have elevated autonomy over tradition in an absurd sense.

    So, this community believes that kids shouldn’t be exposed to overt sexual figures (and I believe drag queens are overtly sexual) and that families should be the primary movers in shaping their children’s attitudes about sex. This is the tradition of the community. Seems like a fairy uncontroversial tradition but the David French wing of conservatism equates this tradition with something akin stoning gays or instituting Catholic sharia law.

    My point and I believe Sohrab’s is this tradition isn’t theocratic and that sometimes tradition is superior to individual autonomy.

    I don’t think David French ever really addressed the issue of drag queens reading in a public library. If he did, I am not familiar with how French would deal with the issue.

    If the issue is simply individual autonomy, I am for individual autonomy.

    For example, on the other hand, a government can decide what events to schedule. A government library can feature a movie/documentary or not.

    So, on that sense, a library could decide not to schedule a library sponsored book reading lead by a drag queen and there would be no push back from me (or likely David French).

    You are correct. We have more than just two choices.

    We certainly have more than two choices when it comes to which church to attend or whether to attend church at all.

    • #6
    • June 8, 2019, at 10:35 AM PDT
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  7. Joseph Stocks Member

    @heavywater,

    Sohrab mentions David French’s position on Drag Queen reading hour in the podcast. This could have been a conversation he had with French and not in print, I’m not sure. 

    But by advocating individual autonomy above anything else I believe you have shown the profound emptiness of this kind of conservatism. Edmund Burke said that society is a partnership with the dead, the living, and the unborn but you would view this Burkean conservatism as authoritarian because it takes into account history and tradition and in some ways elevates those values above individual autonomy. 

    And that’s why your individual autonomy David French conservatism isn’t neutral but is actively hostile to tradition and history and tells local communities they cannot govern themselves. This type of conservatism eventually collapses on itself because you have severed any connection to the past or tradition.

    My best friend converted to Orthodox Judaism. I believe anyone would argue that Orthodox Jews prize individual autonomy over their traditions but I know few who would argue their communities aren’t healthier than this sacredly secular individual autonomy conservatism.

    • #7
    • June 10, 2019, at 7:41 AM PDT
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  8. HeavyWater Inactive

    Joseph Stocks (View Comment):

    @heavywater,

    Sohrab mentions David French’s position on Drag Queen reading hour in the podcast. This could have been a conversation he had with French and not in print, I’m not sure.

    But by advocating individual autonomy above anything else I believe you have shown the profound emptiness of this kind of conservatism. Edmund Burke said that society is a partnership with the dead, the living, and the unborn but you would view this Burkean conservatism as authoritarian because it takes into account history and tradition and in some ways elevates those values above individual autonomy.

    And that’s why your individual autonomy David French conservatism isn’t neutral but is actively hostile to tradition and history and tells local communities they cannot govern themselves. This type of conservatism eventually collapses on itself because you have severed any connection to the past or tradition.

    You have to remember that this is Sacramento, California we are talking about. The Left controls local government in Sacramento.

    So, in that situation, when the government is in favor of drag queens, you can at least use your individual autonomy to [a] not attend the drag queen reading hour or [b] move to another city.

    Or perhaps you could hope for a nationwide ban on drag queen reading hours and hope such a ban, presumably passed by Congress and signed by the president, would not be struck down by the US Supreme Court.

    David French says he’s a fan of Edmund Burke. So, what would Edmund Burke do? Would he simply ban drag queen reading hours? Would he ban drag queens in general? Would he ban rock music, since there are many drag queens in rock music?

    What’s the solution that Sohrab is asking us to support? Complaining about David French isn’t going to accomplish much. French is more socially conservative than most Americans are. If your political coalition sees French as on the wrong side, it looks like you are in a tiny minority. 

     

    • #8
    • June 10, 2019, at 12:56 PM PDT
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  9. RufusRJones Member

    I thought this was devastating. 

    What David French Gets Wrong About David French http://bit.ly/2WyKGR3

    • #9
    • June 10, 2019, at 4:06 PM PDT
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  10. Joseph Stocks Member

    @heavywater,

    So, we have two scenarios:

    A.) Sacramento public library wants Drag Queen Reading Hour.

    B.) Mobile, Alabama public library wants Drag Queen Reading Hour.

    Under David French’s conservatism, even if the community of Mobile opposes drag queen’s reading to their kids they can’t have an impact on whether it happens.

    That’s the poverty of David French’s conservatism: liberal communities are free to live by their values (Sacramento have drag queens read to kids) and conservative communities must live by liberal values. 

    And your response to the people of Mobile is for them to leave their communities? 

    My point and I believe Sohrab’s is why can’t Mobile decide it doesn’t want drag queens reading to their kids? When did that principle of self government get taken away from them? 

    • #10
    • June 10, 2019, at 7:35 PM PDT
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  11. Joseph Stocks Member

    @rufusrjones,

    I like that article because it points out something that Sohrab is ironically too nice point out: in some ways David French sounds like any lunatic Trump hater. 

    Some of this ‘David French is the nicest guy in the world’ schtick runs a little thin. 

    My eyebrow first was raised when he told Andrew Klavan that Trump was irredeemable because of his past infidelities. My first thought was, ‘isn’t this the super nice Christian guy?’ 

    • #11
    • June 10, 2019, at 9:08 PM PDT
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  12. HeavyWater Inactive

    I think you have imagined David French to be some sort of cultural liberal when David French is actually very socially conservative.

    Sohrab Ahmari said on one of the Commentary Podcasts that he voted for Hillary Clinton. But somehow David French is the bad guy. It makes no sense.

     

    • #12
    • June 11, 2019, at 1:45 AM PDT
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  13. Joseph Stocks Member

    @heavywater,

    I do believe David French is a social conservative but he, like you, elevates individual autonomy as the highest common good. This is the divide between David French-like classical liberalism and Burkean conservatism.

    I don’t believe individual autonomy divorced from any sense of history or tradition is sustainable and I believe we are seeing the disintegration before our eyes. 

    • #13
    • June 11, 2019, at 9:33 AM PDT
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  14. HeavyWater Inactive

    Joseph Stocks (View Comment):

    @heavywater,

    I do believe David French is a social conservative but he, like you, elevates individual autonomy as the highest common good. This is the divide between David French-like classical liberalism and Burkean conservatism.

    I don’t believe individual autonomy divorced from any sense of history or tradition is sustainable and I believe we are seeing the disintegration before our eyes.

    You are using very abstract terms. Let’s get specific. Would you ban divorce? Would you ban music?

    Would you force everyone to serve in the military for 6 years?

    It’s easy to bash individual autonomy. But try waging a campaign where you tell people, “Government will control your life” and see how many votes you get.

    What you are proposing is outright totalitarian.

    No thank you.

     

    • #14
    • June 11, 2019, at 2:09 PM PDT
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  15. Joseph Stocks Member

    @heavywater,

    I believe that is why Sohrab chose the drag queen case because it was a.) specific, and b.) such common sense to a lot of Americans. 

    But we see in this version of conservatism, a local community deciding not to have drag queens read to their children is a totalitarian act. I think most people would get a puzzled look on their face when they heard they were Catholic sharia theocrats for not wanting drag queens reading to their kids. 

    I live about an hour north of Austin, TX. They have a saying, ‘Keep Austin Weird.’ Under your political philosophy we keep Austin weird but we must make Mobile, AL weird as well even if the residents of Mobile don’t want to be all that weird. 

    I know it’s a tiresome cliche to use that phrase, ‘that’s why you got Trump,’ but an aspect of is true here. We see people keeping Austin weird and San Francisco woke and we’re fine with that but can we make our communities more conservative, more traditional? We know liberals are going to call us totalitarian for doing so but now conservatives like you also call us totalitarian for not wanting to be like Austin or San Francisco or Sacramento. 

    Hence the cleavage (which I would not ban by the way … bad boob joke) we have in conservatism. 

    • #15
    • June 12, 2019, at 8:40 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. HeavyWater Inactive

    Joseph Stocks (View Comment):

    @heavywater,

    I believe that is why Sohrab chose the drag queen case because it was a.) specific, and b.) such common sense to a lot of Americans.

    But we see in this version of conservatism, a local community deciding not to have drag queens read to their children is a totalitarian act. I think most people would get a puzzled look on their face when they heard they were Catholic sharia theocrats for not wanting drag queens reading to their kids.

    I live about an hour north of Austin, TX. They have a saying, ‘Keep Austin Weird.’ Under your political philosophy we keep Austin weird but we must make Mobile, AL weird as well even if the residents of Mobile don’t want to be all that weird.

    I know it’s a tiresome cliche to use that phrase, ‘that’s why you got Trump,’ but an aspect of is true here. We see people keeping Austin weird and San Francisco woke and we’re fine with that but can we make our communities more conservative, more traditional? We know liberals are going to call us totalitarian for doing so but now conservatives like you also call us totalitarian for not wanting to be like Austin or San Francisco or Sacramento.

    Hence the cleavage (which I would not ban by the way … bad boob joke) we have in conservatism.

    Does the public library in Mobile, Alabama hold book readings hosted by Drag Queens?

    If not, maybe our system where we allow differing local communities to have differing laws is working just fine.

     

    • #16
    • June 12, 2019, at 1:20 PM PDT
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