Conservatives need to stop defending their enemies

In my podcast with Chris Mounsey of The Devil’s Kitchen we spoke about how modern-day politicians (and business leaders) are all at sea because they don’t adhere to any principles, and their speech and actions are made up on the fly depending on which way the winds of maximum approval are blowing. In the ZMan’s latest podcast he says what might be construed as the opposite, that the reason the right has lost the culture war on every front is because they are more interested in espousing principles than defeating the enemy.

However, our two positions may not be contradictory. The ZMan believes principles are drawn up and adhered to by the victors after the fight has been won by any means necessary, and there’s probably a lot of truth in that. Half the time the principles are applied ahistorically to explain why their side won: look at the moral posturing from the victors of wars that were won chiefly thanks to greater industrial output and superior logistics. A good example of the ZMan’s example of the right’s problem unveiled itself yesterday. Here’s the story:

A children’s speech pathologist who has worked for the last nine years with developmentally disabled, autistic, and speech-impaired elementary school students in Austin, Texas, has been told that she can no longer work with the public school district, after she refused to sign an oath vowing that she “does not” and “will not” engage in a boycott of Israel or “otherwise tak[e] any action that is intended to inflict economic harm” on that foreign nation. A lawsuit on her behalf was filed early Monday morning in a federal court in the Western District of Texas, alleging a violation of her First Amendment right of free speech.

The child language specialist, Bahia Amawi, is a U.S. citizen who received a master’s degree in speech pathology in 1999 and, since then, has specialized in evaluations for young children with language difficulties (see video below). Amawi was born in Austria and has lived in the U.S. for the last 30 years, fluently speaks three languages (English, German, and Arabic), and has four U.S.-born American children of her own.

Regardless of what you think about the American practice of making people take various oaths, especially those related to Israel, if we’re adhering to classical liberal principles the requirement is an abomination and probably in violation of her First Amendment rights. But here’s the thing. The left imposes political purity tests on swathes of the population up and down the country, including hounding people from their jobs and social media platforms for the slightest wrongthink. They also attempt to destroy the careers of those who don’t succumb to the bullying tactics of the blatantly antisemitic BDS movement; if the only country in the world you’re boycotting just so happens to be the Jewish one, and when the subject comes up you sound as though you’re reading from a Hamas pamphlet, people will draw their own conclusions. (Indeed, the pledge the teacher was asked to sign was created specifically to thwart anti-Israel boycotts and a version of it is included by law in any contract an American company does for work abroad, including the Middle East).

When a right-winger is having their life destroyed for holding the wrong opinions, left either justifies the infidel’s treatment or they simply stay quiet. But when the shoe is on the other foot and it’s one of their own side being violated, they suddenly discover principles have a use after all – namely, to beat conservatives over the head with:


You can be sure that before the day is out there’ll be half a dozen prominent “conservative” commentators denouncing the treatment of Bahia Amawi and sternly reminding us all of the importance of free speech. And they will be right in principle, but it is not principles on which the left are basing their outrage over this, but political opportunism. I’m not saying conservatives and right wingers should defend what the Texas government is doing in this instance, but they could at least just shut up and not dance to the tune of those who seek to destroy them. Here’s a leading conservative intellectual:


Right or left, eh? Strange how this only seems to run in one direction. This is why conservatives have lost, and continue to do so. They need to learn to fight on behalf of those whose values they share, not those who claim to share their principles when it suits them but otherwise seek their destruction. Conservatives should let someone else fight Bahia Amawi’s battles.

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36 thoughts on “Conservatives need to stop defending their enemies

  1. None of these people are conservatives. They take money to write articles that their owners want published. If that money wanted pro-genocide articles written tomorrow, that’s what they’d get. These people are low rent prostitutes.

  2. None of these people are conservatives.

    Indeed. As I asked regarding Bill Kristol and his minions the other day, what have they actually conserved?

  3. In the news tomorrow: ACLU sues Conservative teacher for refusing to sign pro-trans pledge.

    And it’s not quite true to say that the left has no principles. Is it not their fundamental guiding principle to take whatever stance is necessary in any given moment to advance their agenda?

  4. “Conservatives should let someone else fight Bahia Amawi’s battles.”

    I’m uncomfortable about this as a – wait for it – principle.

    We don’t have to fight the battle – let someone else take on the legal cost of raising the challenge etc – but I think it is a position worth defending. Why should we give the left any purchase at all on the idea that your freedoms are dependent on your political views? The whole point is to say that that approach is nonsense and to call out the left when they infringe.

    Let this bandit call for BDS, then clobber her for being the anti-semite she very likely is.

  5. We don’t have to fight the battle – let someone else take on the legal cost of raising the challenge etc – but I think it is a position worth defending.

    It’s absolutely a position worth defending and a principle worth dying for – but not on behalf of someone who doesn’t subscribe to that principle and is almost certainly on the side of the enemy.

    Why should we give the left any purchase at all on the idea that your freedoms are dependent on your political views?

    Because in reality they are sadly, and we’ve arrived at this point because conservatives have talked principles instead of chopping the heads off their enemies.

    The whole point is to say that that approach is nonsense and to call out the left when they infringe.

    We’ve been doing that for years, and how’s that worked out? The left don’t care they’re infringing because they never recognised the rules in the first place.

  6. Quite.

    Corbyn just called May a “stupid woman” at PMQ’s. Now watch the spittle-flecked loony left feministas not give the slightest f*ck cos it’s not in their interests.

    However even the mildest criticism of Labour women is screeched about as misogyny.

  7. Tim: “Prior Restraint,” maybe? It is a concept that the Supreme Court, as a certain film character notes, has roundly rejected.

    This might be a worthwhile case to fight, because as ZMan notes, principles and law get written by the winners, and this Islamic Headbanger can be subsequently wheeled out in the future as an example of freedom of speech, that the likes of James Damore and others could cite when their opinions are being policed by the exact same people who are championing her cause right now.

    Like laws upon Flag Burning, and in the case of the ACLU defending the American Nazi party’s right to march in Skokie, the law is merely fudged and here it would finally be settled, backfiring spectacularly upon the very people who are bringing this case.

  8. Re the “have principles and apply them” vs the “have principles but apply them at your convenience” camps:

    You’re both wrong, because it just doesn’t matter.

    The dissonant worldviews between collectivists and individualists, which have found uneasy compromise for a century or so in the West, are becoming untenable. Neither side understandably wants to concede their core principles so violent resolution is unavoidable. Just a matter of when.

  9. Did you really mean to use the term conservative because conservatives aren’t generally known for the defence of free speech, unless it suits them? Defence of free speech in the USA as a fundamental principle usually falls to organisation like CATO, FIRE and other classic liberal or classic libertarian organisations.

    And yes this woman should have her rights defended and from my limited knowledge this is a 1st Amendment issue, but I’d bow to the scholars who study these things. If we become selective about who’s free speech we support we are no better than them and by supporting her we can take the moral high ground when its someone they don’t like.

    I know this is a bit of a cliche in these discussions but its always a good reminder of how we should approach difficult freedom issues.

    Whilst I agree that James Damore shouldn’t have been sacked and the more we learn about sex differences and variance within sexes he was not just right but prescient, but his wasn’t a 1st Amendment issue and Google was within its rights to fire him.

  10. If we become selective about who’s free speech we support we are no better than them and by supporting her we can take the moral high ground when its someone they don’t like.

    Okay, so we’re better than them and we’ve occupied the moral high ground for decades, but we’ve been beaten so badly that if this were a boxing match the referee would have stopped the fight years ago.

  11. As someone who generally believes principles should be arrived at carefully, modified slowly, and defended universally – otherwise they’d be called “rules of thumb” – I also recognize that they hamper those who wish to achieve greater liberty and smaller government.

    But the thing that irks me Tim is that a large segment of the rightosphere, here including you, loves to thump their chest online and bemoan the lack of violence committed for the cause of liberty. And that’s fine if used to vent frustration but you’ve no serious, actionable advice to dole, just hypocritical hyperbole. I mean, why didn’t you literally bring a machete to your MBA class to lop off the head of some budding HR power skirt, but instead chose to bitch at conservatives (not YOU of course, those OTHER jelly-spined right wingers) for not beheading those damned hippies?

    If you don’t show up to vote – local, state, national and the UK equivalents – you won’t win. If you continue to use the service of a company who’s leadership actively despise you, you won’t win. If you fail to support competitors to said companies or fail to attempt to create your own company in competition, you won’t win. But no, let’s fuck off with our stated principles online while doing nothing IRL and chide everyone else for insufficient rebelliousness.

    There’s 2 ways this shakes out:
    (1) We elect slightly less awful politicians (which includes donating time and money to campaigns) and stay on their ass until they scale back the state. We choose competitors or substitutes for private companies that offer services based on adherence to leftist ideology.

    or

    (2) We keep bitching about everything including how random allies choose to uphold their principles – ones which we agree with no less! – and ensure the ammo stays dry while we wait for the inevitable conflict.

  12. But the thing that irks me Tim is that a large segment of the rightosphere, here including you, loves to thump their chest online and bemoan the lack of violence committed for the cause of liberty.

    Admittedly I wrote it a few hours ago, but I’m reasonably certain my suggested course of action in this post is to not leap to the defence of Bahia Amawi. Did you get your definition of violence from a feminist?

  13. we’ve arrived at this point because conservatives have talked principles instead of chopping the heads off their enemies.

    I described this as hypocritical hyperbole, and I stand by my description.

    Also, I’ll give you a hard time but I’d never accuse you of thinking like a feminist. Low blow, man. Low blow.

  14. I described this as hypocritical hyperbole, and I stand by my description.

    Hypocritical, eh? Well, I’m blogging right wing opinions under my own name while trying to subvert the HR industry. What are you doing? Voting? Good luck with that.

  15. I’m blogging right wing opinions under my own name and trying to subvert the HR industry.

    And I appreciate the efforts on a daily basis. But I still don’t understand how that’s going to get those pesky heads removed from our enemies.

    As for me? I’m resigned to the fact that war is inevitable, and wish to enjoy the last few sane years (or decades) fruitlessly venting on blog comment boards. My ammo is nice and dry though, for whatever that’s worth.

  16. “The restriction is on businesses doing business with the Texas government. The restriction does not apply to what this woman does on her own time, only on the actions of her business.”

    Is that not a bit difficult to determine, when a person is the business? When XYZ Inc is contracting with the Texan government, its quite easy to see that XYZ Inc can be obliged to not indulge in ABC activities anywhere at any time, while the owners and employees can do what they like in their private lives, being separate legal entities, whereas if you say Person X as an individual must not as part of their business activity be involved in ABC activities, then where is the line drawn?

    If she is a vocal BDS advocate outside of work, how exactly can she stop being that person when in work? Equally if she is allowed a dual personality – mild mannered equal opportunity therapist by day, strident BDS activist by night, why are companies not allowed the same? As long as they abide by the rules while working for the State, they can indulge in whatever they like when not?

    Or to put it another way, if the rules mean companies are forbidden from a given activity anywhere at any time if they contract with the Texan government, do those rules not also apply to individuals anywhere any time too?

  17. Or to put it another way, if the rules mean companies are forbidden from a given activity anywhere at any time if they contract with the Texan government, do those rules not also apply to individuals anywhere any time too?

    Dunno, let her lawyer work it out. Not our concern.

  18. I agree with Sam’s point about not supporting companies etc. that are opposed to your own principles. The Left do it and, I am happy to observe, the Right are actually implementing the same tactic.

    Dick’s Sporting Goods store announced that it wasn’t going to sell those eeeevil black assault machine gun baby killing rifles, AR15’s and were going to fund their own set of gun control lobbyists. They lost so much business that they are closing thirty five stores in the USA and their profits are down.

    they might have picked up some one off sales of $30 spandex gym tops from the SJW’s but that isn’t going to make up for the lost $1000 to $1500 sales of AR15’s plus accessories, consumables and ammunition that would normally be part of their sales revenue.

    No matter how cheap, no matter how tempted, don’t support the people working to destroy your rights.

  19. “Dunno, let her lawyer work it out. Not our concern.”

    But it is very much our concern. If the Texan government does not have the right to stop her being a BDS activist outside work, then neither does the Texan government (or any other State body, or possibly even any private body) have any right to refuse to employ a person advocating some more right wing political viewpoint, in their private time at least.

  20. But it is very much our concern.

    Yes, I know. The present situation is our concern, as is the outcome of any case and the legal precedent it sets. But I’d rather pick up the cudgels on behalf of one of our own when they need assistance, not one of theirs who would be giddy with delight were the boot on the other foot.

  21. “But I’d rather pick up the cudgels on behalf of one of our own when they need assistance, not one of theirs who would be giddy with delight were the boot on the other foot.”

    Its simple – if you champion the case of a right winger treated similarly, in an attempt to get the precedent set, then the Left (being completely one eyed) will oppose it regardless, and you’ll get nowhere. On the other hand when the Left are up in arms about a mirror image case, the Right should get in behind them in support, because its the best chance of getting a ruling that can be used by both sides.

  22. Its simple

    If it were we’d be winning, but we’re not. As I say in the post, I’m unconvinced all the right needs to do to gain a victory is to uphold its principles and defend the left.

  23. “If it were we’d be winning, but we’re not. ”

    Precisely. So when you’re on the back foot, up against the wall, and inexplicably your enemy makes a strategic error you should do everything you can to encourage him to continue in that error……..

  24. We will never persuade or placate them so we should never waver in the fight against the society destroying forces of the left and their allies.

  25. This is why conservatives have lost, and continue to do so.

    Yes, yes, yes.

    Major, Cameron & May et al constantly appeasing Left, Green, LBGT, SJW etc by bunging them money and enacting laws they clamour for is stupidity beyond belief.

    They’re rewarding blackmailers for nothing in return.

  26. @abacab on December 19, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    I don’t get the hysteria about Corbyn allegedly muttering “stupid woman”. A top story on C4 News!

    Is it the word Stupid or Woman which is offensive?

    Stupid cat, stupid dog, stupid boy, stupid man, stupid child, stupid girl – are they OK?

    imho May is a stupid woman as she does stupid things every day/week.

    Stupid: wrong, damaging, counter-productive, injurious, self-defeating, negative consequences…

  27. “Is it the word Stupid or Woman which is offensive?”

    The combination. No negative can be attached in any way to the female of the species, as we all know they are living saints, every single one of them……………..

  28. This dude here aint taking no prisoners when it comes to confronting his enemies, shithole or not.

    ………………………………………………………………………………

    ‘white people brought crime to South Africa, they brought things they know we would be tempted to steal, just to make us look bad’,General Kehla Sithole

    The South African Police Commissioner General Kehla Sithole says he blames people for coming to South Africa. Speaking at a police briefing on Monday, Sithole told about five hundred police officers in attendance at a conference in Pretoria that if it wasn’t for white people, there would be no crime in South Africa.

    “They brought TVs, cars, jewellery, and other things our people will be tempted to steal, if it wasn’t for that, our people were never going to learn to steal, they all of this to make us look bad”

    “we are now fixing this country, but first, we must fix the past. White people came here, they tricked us and stole our land, we must first fix that by giving land to our people” he said.

    The commissioner says he whole heatedly supports land expropriation without compensation, as it is a means to an end.

    “without it, we can never fix this country” the commissioner said.

    https://www.abcnews.co.za/2018/10/white-people-brought-crime-to-south.html

  29. There is a certain kind of blinded person whose response to rampant cheating in a game is to adhere ever closer to the spirit and letter of the rules so when they are completely destroyed they can say “at least I didn’t cheat”. They’d like it on their headstone, in fact. In the real world, history is made by winners and the people who got things done and it doesn’t matter how they got there. The principled pacifists are nothing but an anchor around the necks of the right, constantly urging we do less, say less, disrupt less and generally make ourselves small targets in the hope we are missed. This is a strategy for suicide.

  30. This was a dog-whistle designed to draw tweets that could later be used against the tweeters.

  31. @Jim on December 20, 2018 at 12:37 am

    the female of the species, as we all know they are living saints, every single one of them……………..

    Except Esther McVey, Jayda Fransen….

    Jayda Fransen: arrested for breaching bail condition. The condition: “Not allowed to live at home, must live in X Hotel and pay hotel”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8-rFX6dNyY

  32. @Bardon

    Might want to have a look at the front page of https://www.abcnews.co.za before forwarding any more of their “articles”…

    Wonder how much money they bring in though. Not enough to retire on, I’m sure, but quite possibly a tidy amount by South African standards.

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