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Hammer At ‘First Things’: Porn Is Not A Blessing Of Liberty

By  Josh HammerDailyWire.com
Porn typed on search bar
Paulus Rusyanto / EyeEm via Getty Images

Daily Wire Editor-at-Large Josh Hammer has the following piece today at First Things, the conservative journal of religious and political thought. 

Last week, four Republican congressmen sent a missive to U.S. Attorney General William Barr. This one-page letter beseeched Barr to actually enforce extant obscenity law as it applies to legally relevant hardcore pornography. It would be prudent for Barr to “declare the prosecution of obscene pornography a criminal justice priority,” the congressmen argued. Accordingly, Barr ought to urge federal prosecutors to “bring prosecutions against the major producers and distributors of such material.”

My colleague at The Daily Wire, Matt Walsh, wrote a column arguing for regulating or banning pornography. “At some point conservatives decided that government should not be used to advance the common good,” my coworker tweeted. “And at that point conservatism became limp, shallow, and ineffectual.”

For these grievous sins of calling for government to play a greater role in regulating a noxious industry complicit in human trafficking, retarding children’s sexual development, and destroying marriages, the libertarian mafia on Twitter went haywire. “If you don’t like porn, don’t watch it,” tweeted high school activist CJ Pearson. “Social conservatives need to realize that we can handle pornography and other social ills without turning America into a Christian version of Saudi Arabia,” warned Casey Given. “We must never let lazy moralizing force us to surrender our freedom to the government.” Only libertarians understand “how the Founders wanted our government to run,” the Libertarian party’s official Twitter account hectored yours truly.

What utter tripe.

Once upon a time, opposition to the spread of pornography was a unifying political principle for self-described conservatives. Alas, it seems that in our increasingly liberalized conservative movement, such opposition is no longer unifying.

For those who erroneously conflate liberty with libertinism, it is easy to focus on the Preamble’s avowed dedication to “secure the Blessings of Liberty” to the exclusion of its equally clear vows to “establish Justice” and “promote the general Welfare.” The result is that many on the so-called “right” now issue apologia for an industry whose lofty denizens were recently charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California with “forc[ing women] to perform certain sexual acts they had declined to do, or they would not be paid or allowed to leave.” It is embarrassing just how far, in 2019, are the depths to which some wings of the conservative movement have plunged.

Knee-jerk classical liberal urging to merely “[l]et parents do their job” is sophomoric in the context of our pornography public health crisis. Rote sloganeering about rebuilding the culture from the ground up is an inadequate remedy for a systemic national emergency. The sheer ubiquity of and ease of access to pornography renders hollow meager pleas for civil society-centric solutions. Libertarians and classical liberals fail to recognize that using political power in the pursuit of national solidarity and wholesomeness can be both just and necessary.

Read the rest here.

Related: A Group Of Republicans Want The Government To Start Fighting Hardcore Pornography. They’re Right. Here’s Why.

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