I have zero interest in starting any rivalries between Matt Walsh and myself, much less the DailyWire and RedState. I’m a constant reader of the DailyWire and have quite a few friends who work there. I wanted to put this first because the internet loves a flame war and I’m not interested in making this any bigger than it has to be.
The thing is, Matt Walsh recently published an article that argued for state intervention when it comes to pornography. My colleague Jeff Charles already responded to the article, putting forth some very good arguments as to why Walsh is wrong about his stance.
Like Charles, I want to make it clear that I’m not defending the porn industry in any way. Unfettered access to pornography has brought with it a whole host of problems, from mental health to sex trafficking. Recently, there’s been a rise of anti-porn sentiment among the younger generations, and certain commentators have begun speaking out against it from Paul Joseph Watson to Steven Crowder. This is a good thing. After years of having pornography pushed onto the public in various ways, it’s time we started talking openly about how bad it is, whether we come off as prudes or not.
I strongly recommend you go read Charles’s article, as his argument against Walsh’s position is very good, but while I was reading both articles, I got a sense of dread. Charles highlighted well the idea that Walsh’s plan wouldn’t even work, to begin with, due to the fact that making things illegal only makes everyday people still do them, but now do them illegally. The problem, however, lies with the sentiment in the first place.
Walsh, a self-proclaimed conservative, wrote this:
“To be clear, what they are requesting is the enforcement of existing laws that would help to tamp down some forms of pornography. They are not calling for new laws to be put on the books. Personally, I’d hope that this is a first step towards a wider-ranging war on hardcore porn, though that’s not what the lawmakers are advocating.”
Here, we see on display the problem that begins all problems within a state. The “let the government handle it” mentality. Walsh thinks highly enough of the government that he believes they can solve the problem.
After so many years of watching the government try to govern on the basis of morality and failing, why would Walsh want to rely on the government to do that? Isn’t one of the principles of the right the idea that the less government we have the better? Furthermore, are we not watching, day after day, the government rule on the idea of right and wrong in manners that horrify us?
For instance, we’ve watched as state governments ruled that it’s wrong to restrict someone who identifies as the opposite sex from the locker rooms and restrooms of the gender they “feel” like. We’ve raised eight kinds of hell in conservative media over the idea that our children aren’t going to be safe in schools in states where they’re obligated to allow a boy to view a girl in the nude because said boy feels like a girl. The state leaves behind science and biology in order to embrace what it considers a moral stance.
We’ve watched as the government has told us that it’s unsafe for us to own certain kinds of guns if any, and that work should be done in order to restrict our Second Amendment rights because something needs to be done in order to stop these killings. Many people have rightly turned away from this kind of thinking and provided facts and statistics showing that banning guns won’t help a thing, and may, in fact, make things worse. Yet the government continues to speak as if this is a moral obligation that we must undertake. We’ve fought back every step of the way.
We all spoke out when a gay couple attempted to force a Christian baker to violate his principles and craft a cake celebrating homosexuality. It’s wrong to force a private citizen to do tasks, not only because it may violate his religious beliefs, but because if the state can dictate someone do something then we’re looking at a form of slavery. Many voices made it very clear that this was wrong.
Walsh seems to understand that the government can’t be trusted with some things, but still thinks they’re good on others.
This is not a wise position to take. Don’t get me wrong, the government has its uses, but it also has its place. Deciding what is and isn’t appropriate for us is definitely not within its purview. You’re putting your foot on that proverbial slippery slope whenever you invoke the government. It is the mouse you gave a cookie to.
The wise thing to do would be to turn to the private companies who either allow or create pornography and try to work out some way to make it harder to access for children. Scientific studies should also be done to further study the effects of pornography on the brain, and the results of those studies should be spread far and wide. Laws that are already on the books should be better enforced. Charities and institutions that help people looking to leave the porn industry should be created, and if they already exist, promoted.
These are just a few things we could do that do not involve getting the government to intervene, and opening the door for more intervention down the line. These little suggestions do not invite the government to weigh in on what is and isn’t morally proper for our society.
There are a few things that I think the government should uphold. Don’t murder, steal, rape, harm or commit treason. You know, the basics. Aside from particulars, the government really doesn’t have any business telling us what we can and can’t do. If someone wants to watch hardcore pornography on a constant basis, then that’s their business. It may be ill-advised, and not at all good for anybody, but it’s their business.
It’s not Walsh’s call to tell people what they can and can’t do. He may disagree with quite a few things people do in our society, and that’s fine, but the moment he calls the government to come down on something is the moment he has decided that he knows better than the rest of us and must impose his will in order to save us.
We get angry with social justice warriors, gun grabbers, and feminists when they do this kind of thing. It’s not okay when they do it, and it’s definitely not okay when Walsh does it, too.