Williamson is surprisingly controversial and incendiary for someone who the far-right deems a ‘cuck’ and is a ‘never-trumper’. I have a lot of respect for Williamson’s realism and unabashed style, and many of his ideas are correct or make sense, although his views on abortion are possibly inconsistent with his libertarian tendencies.
Let’s not equivocate: Abortion isn’t littering or securities fraud or driving 57 in a 55-mph zone. If it isn’t homicide, then it’s no more morally significant than getting a tooth pulled. If it isn’t homicide, then there’s no real argument for prohibiting it. If it is homicide, then we need to discuss more seriously what should be done to put an end to it. For all the chatter today about diversity of viewpoint and the need for open discourse, there aren’t very many people on the pro-choice side, in my experience, who are ready to talk candidly about the reality of abortion.
This passage shows his abortion position may have been misunderstood, because he’s saying that if abortion is the same as murder, then the appropriate punishment is possibly the death penalty, not that he personally advocates such a punishment. He’s simply taking the pro-life argument to its logical conclusion.
Regarding abortion and libertarianism, the issue is complicated. Capital punishment is state-administered, which goes against libertarian ethos. Anti-abortion does not imply pro-death penalty for abortions. And then the question is, is killing something that is non-sentient count as a capital crime. In the context of the NAP, is something that is not sentient capable of being aggressed-upon? Also, abortion has few externaltities, being that it involves only a single entity, the fetus. On the other hand, playing loud music in one’s apartment has many more externaltities, those being the annoyed neighbors. The latter may constitute aggression in the context of the NAP more so than abortion, because multiple people are involved that did not consent to the noise. This can lead to potentially absurd or iniquitous conclusions, that playing loud music which annoys many people is a worse offense than murdering a single person, assuming we consider abortion to be murder.
I’m an unassimilated conservative from Lubbock, Texas. Much of my career for the past 20-odd years has consisted of writing pieces that tell people things they don’t want to hear. My angry critics on the left think I’m a right-wing monster; my angry critics on the right don’t like the fact that I’ve reported extensively from Trump country and haven’t thought very highly of what I’ve seen. If I’d been hired for a new job at some conservative outlet, you can be sure there would have been talk about how I pray each night for the death of the white working class.
Since we’re on the topic of Kevin Williamson, here is his first (and final) article for The Atlantic: The Passing of the Libertarian Moment
As I argued yesterday, but also as evidenced by the post-2016 rise of centrism (in continuing with the post-2013 rise of rationalism and centrism), it’s actually the opposite. The election of Trump and the rise of the alt-right tested classical liberalism–and classical liberalism, with its checks and balances, passed with flying colors. Jordan Peterson-brand centrism and pragmatism has seen immense gains in popularity following the election of Trump, not far-right or far-left ideology. The alt-right has stagnated since early 2017. Many assumed that Trump’s win would strengthen the alt-right even more–it didn’t. Same for Brexit, which many predicted would usher in substantive reforms, turned out to be a ‘big nothing’, having only symbolic significance than actually changing anything.
Those who celebrated Trump the businessman clutch their heads as his preposterous economic policies produce terror in the stock markets and chaos for the blue-collar workers in construction firms and manufacturers scrambling to stay ahead of the coming tariffs on steel and aluminum. The Chinese retaliation is sure to fall hardest on the heartland farmers who were among Trump’s most dedicated supporters.
What terror in the markets? Despite some recent volatility, the S&P 500 is still up nearly 20% since January 2017, back when the left were certain Trump would be a disaster for the economy. Regarding tariffs, the good news is, despite all the media hype, they will have only an imperceptible effect on the economy. I agree they won’t create jobs as Trump says they will, but they will not destroy them either. Remember, Obama and Bush implemented tariffs and the economic impact was minimal to non-existent in either case. The Chinese are not going to retaliate, because they would have much to lose by doing so.
Although I have respect for Kevin Williamson, his dislike of Trump at times clouds his ability to see reality objectivity.