Conservative relativism, where conservatism and conservative values are negotiable based on the politics of the situation, is alive and well following recent news concerning social media bans.
After the QAnon-led insurrection in Washington last week, social media companies like Facebook and Twitter are deplatforming Trump, his army of Trumpists, and many other faux conservative voices. Needless to say, the cult is displeased.
Banning Trump has inspired traffickers of Trumpism like Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Dan Bongino, and others to flee these platforms.
“I’m leaving the [Twitter] platform permanently for Parler. I’ll post my final tweet and message for Twitter tomorrow when the 12-hour lockdown ends,” Bongino told the Washington Examiner. “F*** these a**holes. “Twitter needs me, I don’t need them. I provide them with content. Hopefully, this leads to more high-profile accounts leaving Twitter.”
Levin called Twitter’s decision fascism. “I have suspended my own Twitter account in protest against Twitter’s fascism. I ask all my followers to join me now on Parler and Rumble,” Levin ironically tweeted on Friday.
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) January 8, 2021
Republicans in Congress, along with past and present members of the administration, put on a display of conservative relativism when they spread the lie that social media was engaging in censorship of political speech — an act equal to that of communist countries:
Silencing speech is dangerous. It’s un-American. Sadly, this isn’t a new tactic of the Left. They’ve worked to silence opposing voices for years.
We cannot let them silence 75M Americans. This isn’t the CCP.
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) January 9, 2021
Even those who oppose Trump should see the danger of having a small & unelected group with the power to silence & erase anyone.
And their actions will only stoke new grievances that will end up fueling the very thing they claim to be trying to prevent.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 9, 2021
Silencing people, not to mention the President of the US, is what happens in China not our country. #Unbelievable
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) January 8, 2021
Big Tech’s PURGE, censorship & abuse of power is absurd & profoundly dangerous.
If you agree w/ Tech’s current biases (Iran, good; Trump, bad), ask yourself, what happens when you disagree?
Why should a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires have a monopoly on political speech? https://t.co/ehgVYtHX7H
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 9, 2021
Of course, Facebook, Twitter, et al are privately held companies free to conduct or not conduct business with whomever they choose. Deplatforming doesn’t violate the First Amendment, and it doesn’t deny anyone of their free speech rights. But in a world where Trumpism has replaced conservatism, this fact is meaningless.
As if the lie about free speech violations wasn’t bad enough on its own, believers in conservative relativism within the Republican Party are using the situation to attack other conservative values: such as capitalism and the free market.
When White House Correspondent for NewsMax.com tweeted how big tech was openly discriminating against Republicans without consequence, faux conservative Michelle Malkin blamed the free market for the situation:
And most Republicans have not and will not ever do a damn thing about it because…"muh free market." And also: campaign $$$$$$. https://t.co/H68CX3zIei
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) January 12, 2021
It should be noted that Malkin has been an active promoter of the alt-right, so much so that Young America’s Foundation cut ties with her a little over a year ago when she defended “Holocaust deniers, white nationalists, street brawlers, [and] racists.”
Recent deplatforming events aside, conservative relativism has become the default position of faux conservatives looking to advance their political ambitions.
I’ve written plenty about Sen. Josh Hawley and how his “conservative values” are a matter of convenience, not conviction. Hawley has been after big tech and social media for some time, accusing them of violating the First Amendment rights of conservatives for fact-checking Trump’s social media posts, for example. Under the banner of nationalism — socialism with an “R” attached — he blames capitalism and “traditional conservatism” for the “discontent of our time.”
In its coverage of the 2019 National Conservatism Conference where Josh Hawley gave a keynote address, Reason.com provided this conclusion of behind the nationalist’s conservative relativism:
“The true object of the nationalists’ ire is much closer to home: They cannot abide individual Americans making social and economic choices they do not like. For consumers, the question might be whether to buy foreign or domestic. For a business owner, it might be where to open a factory.
“Regardless, the new nationalists have decided not only that there is a right answer from a moral perspective but that government should force you to choose correctly.”
The root word of conservative is conserve. Conservatives are supposed to work to conserve the principle that our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are given to us by God, not government. Additionally, conservatives work to conserve our values and the Constitution that protects and guarantees these rights.
And since these rights come from God and not the government, conservatives have the added responsibility of conserving morality. As John Adams once said, “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Even before Trumpism replaced conservatism, there to were those who embraced conservative relativism to fit their non-conservative agenda. Social conservative. Fiscal conservative. Christian conservative. These and many other variations were created in an attempt to carve a niche out of the conservative movement without actually taking a stand for conservative values.
The growth of conservative relativism is how responsible for Trumpism and the hijacking of our conservative values, and it’s been foundational to the strategy of Republican “leaders” like Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump to wipe out conservatives within the party.
Compromise is a key aspect of conservative relativism, and it’s often touted as a good and necessary “evil” to get things done.
I’ve shared this before, but it bears repeating. Whenever I’m told to compromise now in order to see America turned around later, I’m reminded of a scene in the movie Kingdom of Heaven,” where Queen Sibylla tries to convince Balian to reconsider his decision not to join in a plot to kill her evil husband, Guy, to prevent him from assuming the throne when her brother dies. Balian would then marry her and become king for the good of Jerusalem. When he rejects her for a second time, she says these words as he walks away:
Sibylla: “You say no…”
Balian: “Do you think I’m like Guy, that I would sell my soul?”
Sibylla: “There’ll be a day, when you will wish you had done a little evil to do a greater good.”
A little evil for a greater good? This is the attitude of conservative relativism; even those I refer to as the Fellowship of the Pharisees. These heretics use “religious” political rhetoric to call good evil and evil good in a vain attempt to justify their political and spiritual laziness.
In another scene from the movie, Balian is again pressured to reconsider his decision not to join in the plot against Guy, this time by Tiberius, a knight in the King’s service. After all, such a compromise would be for the greater good.
Tiberias: “Who is he that you save his life? He’s a man who hates you, who has insulted you…I play Devil…but for the salvation of this kingdom. Compromise yourself. Jerusalem does not need ‘a perfect knight.’ This is the world.”
Balian: “No. It is a kingdom of conscience or nothing.”
In a culture dominated by conservative relativism and ethical compromise, Republicans have become a party unwilling to make value judgements, and this is particularly true when their political ambitions are at stake. But once Republicans compromise their values, they surrender the right to lead; and if anyone follows them, they will be led down a road of ruin and destruction.
This means that when it comes to our values, we must reject the compromise of conservative relativism. America must be a kingdom of conscience, or nothing!
The lie that social media deplatforming is a “rights” issue proves that liberty in America is on its last legs. And unless we reject the putrid peddlers of conservative relativism, genuine conservatism will die . . . the constitution will die . . . liberty will die.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.