I’m generally a fan of Quillette, but a recent article The RedState Firings and the Decline of Viewpoint Diversity on the Right gets some things wrong.
The firing of ten anti-Trump Red State writers and its editor-in-chief, Caleb Howe, is not a free speech or ideological diversity issue, but rather a business one. It’s categorically different. My guess is, being anti-Trump was costing the parent company, Salem, money, so the anti-Trump writers had to go.
There is plenty of ideological diversity on the right…in fact, as I have argued before, there is way more intellectual diversity among the ‘right’ than on the ‘left’. Liberalism is centered around welfare and oppression (powerful exploiting the weak). Conservatism is more nuanced, and seeks to find an optimal balance of government/state versus individual liberty. Unlike liberalism, it’s not absolutist in this regard.
Regarding the right-wing media, there is considerable diversity. There is Reason magazine, which caters to libertarians. There is The American Conservative, which caters to paleocons. There is NRO, which to caters to anti-Trump brand conservatism. I’m sure NRO would welcome some of these fired writers.
Nothing is stopping any of these fired writers from starting their own blogs in order express their anti-Trump views. No one owes them an audience though, not Red State at least.
Of course, writers and radio talkers are fired or rescheduled all the time, and the owners of an online publication or radio network have an absolute right to determine the editorial direction of their website and broadcasts. The importance of the mass firings at RedState, and of Salem’s cautionary emails to its radio hosts, lies in the way they reflect widespread changes in the conservative movement in America—in particular, a narrowing of viewpoint diversity, and a rampant fear of speaking one’s mind.
Exactly, private companies have this discretion. But again, it’s not a free speech issue. Many writers are independent contractors–they can be fired with impunity. There are afforded no such rights to espouse ideological diversity, unlike, say, tenured professors. That’s the harsh reality of the publishing industry.
Conservatives have often said, with justice, that a lack of viewpoint diversity is a problem of the Left and not of the Right. Historically, it is members of the Left, not the Right, who shout down speakers, physically attack people because of their views, and attempt to use the power of organized boycotts or government authority to stamp out speech they don’t like.
The Left typically employs this despotic set of behaviors in the service of identity politics, paternalistically creating classes of people who Cannot Be Criticized in polite society. These groups are usually defined by race, gender, sexual orientation, and other similar characteristics. If you happen to fall in a protected group, the Left will shout down any criticism of the behavior of your group. They will visit real-life consequences—including job loss, destruction of reputation, shunning by advertisers, and even physical violence—on those who violate their speech codes.
It’s not the same thing. UC Berkeley is funded by taxpayer dollars. A private magazine firing writers is not thee same thing as leftists protesting speakers at public institutions. Also, leftists trying to get people fired is not the same as a private institution terminating at its own discretion an employee. The leftist is imposing his or her own standards and values, without consent, on others, whereas an employee or contractor enters voluntarily into a business agreement, in which possibility of termination is at the very least implicit.
But what used to be a problem only on the Left is now a problem on the Right as well. Donald Trump has fractured the conservative movement, and with the entrenchment of the fault line between Trump supporters and Trump critics, the Right now suffers from its own political correctness. But the protected class that is officially Free From Criticism is not gays, or women, or blacks. It is Donald Trump.
Again, that is not true. NRO hosts plenty of anti-Trump content. Even Unz Review, which is far-right, has anti-Trump content (for being to close to Israel, not tough enough on immigration, etc.).
But if there is a pro-Trump bias, why is that? Because in 2015-2016 there was justifiable and genuine concern among the ‘right’ that Trump would be a disaster for the economy, foreign relations, etc…Now, 17 months into his presidency, nothing bad has happened. Trump has exceeded even the loftiest of expectations. The economy has not collapsed, foreign relations are on good terms, etc. The anti-Trumpers and the left-wing media owe everyone an apology for being so wrong in 2015-2016. A magazine that keeps parroting the tired line that “Trump is a disaster” or “Trump is incompetent” is woefully out of touch with empirical reality.
Trump. Before Trump, conservatives believed in free trade and rejected tariffs. They advocated a dramatic reduction in the size of government, and opposed the never-ending growth of our national debt.
Yeah like how George W. Bush reduced the size of the govt. and national debt. lol.
They channel the leftists at sites like Vox as they explain that the national debt is really not a problem, as long as people continue to buy our debt.
Obama supporters said the same ting too. Both sides say this when such spending is for things they approve of.
As a result, those of us on the Right who often criticize Donald Trump have largely become isolated amidst the rubble of what used to be our movement. We don’t share the policy views of the so-called ‘Resistance,’ with its enthusiasm for socialistic solutions to inequality, and its relentless quest to squash any challenge to racial and gender tribalism. But nor are we willing to pretend that a largely illiterate and immoral buffoon afflicted with a pathological narcissism is a fit occupant of the Oval Office.
Like what? The author cites no specifics has to how Trump is socialist, but rather passes of a hunch as fact. There’s evidence that suggests that the Trump tax cuts will widen inequality. If Trump is supposed to be signaling socialism, I at least didn’t get the message. I dunno when tribalism became such a dirty word. One can interpret it to mean a tendency of people to form a collective and shared identity based on certain characteristics–be it ethnicity, ideology, sexual orientation, race, IQ, etc. This occurs all the time, even among high-IQ populations, such as for example Mensa (and other high-IQ societies), the IDW, and intellectualism culture. Perhaps though tribalism implies a hostility to outsiders. And at the end, calling Trump a “largely illiterate and immoral buffoon afflicted with a pathological narcissist” the author abdicates any pretense of journalistic objectivity and it turns into just another generic Trump-bashing screed. The author complains about the lack of ideological diversity among the right, and ends the article on a tone that sabotages any effort at reconciliation. With this attitude, is it any wonder that people are tired of anti-Trumpers? Overall, a disappointing piece for a magazine that is supposed to prize nuanced discourse.