About Porn Stars and Conservatism

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Before I get into this article, I want to make it clear that I don’t think pornography is a good thing. I see stories about how the women who partake in it have been taken advantage of, suffered abuse, and how the industry is so rife with sex trafficking that entire websites have been shut down or taken drastic steps to make sure their site doesn’t play host to trickers.

Delving into the science of pornography seems to be a biased mess of contradicting studies. They say it is addicting, others say it’s not. Some say it ruins marriages, some say it has the potential to help make them stronger. Personally, I’m erring on the side of it being destructive as I’ve seen personal testimonies of the industry causing addiction and heartbreak. There are those out there that have the opposite experience, but the bad reports have outweighed the good by and large.

Now, the conversation has begun on the internet (read flame war) about where pornography fits into the big tent of conservatism after a right-leaning porn star, Brandi Love, showed up and was subsequently booted from a Turning Point USA event due to her profession.

As reported by the Daily Caller, Love called this an “egregious” example of cancel culture:

Is this an example of cancel culture? It’s one of the more egregious examples of it. TPUSA literally opened the show talking about how we need to fight back against big tech censorship, cancel culture, the deterioration of our 1st Amendment etc. Charlie Kirk literally talked about making sacrifices as outspoken “conservatives.” Something I’ve been for years at great risk and great loss. And then they expelled me. It’s hard to make that up. It’s a worst case example of cancel culture.

This sparked a debate about whether or not Love can actually be a “conservative” and be a porn star with many of conservatism’s big names saying she can and others saying she can’t. I’d post multiple tweets, but I think the conversation between Matt Walsh and John Cardillo are excellent examples.

Here’s the deal; they’re both right.

Firstly, Love shouldn’t have been at a conference for teenagers and I’m not entirely sure why she thought it was a good idea to be there. I’m a firm believer that what adults do is their business, but these are kids, many of which are impressionable. There’s no way her career wouldn’t have come up in conversation, and when it did, what was she going to say to these kids about it?

We get really angry at the left for introducing sex, and sexualizing, younger generations, but how many young men and women would have gotten into conversations with Love about her profession, been charmed by her, and as such been introduced to pornography? How many young men would have become hooked on it? How many young women would look forward to starting an OnlyFans? How is that any different on principle?

I know these are what-if scenarios but they’re scenarios that become far more likely with Love’s influence. I highly doubt she would have pushed them away from her profession. She makes it very clear on her Twitter that she loves it.

But the inconvenient flip-side is that many people are going to call themselves conservative, and each one of them is going to have an argument about why they can do such a thing. Every single one of these people will have others making arguments about why they’re not conservatives.

But saying they aren’t conservative doesn’t stop them from being conservative. The honest truth is that you and Brandi Love agree on a whole bunch of topics, you just don’t agree on this one. You’re both probably going to vote for a lot of the same people based on a lot of shared principles, many of which have nothing to do with the one you both disagree on.

You may say “conservatism and Christian principles are one and the same” but the truth is that there are a lot of people in the Conservative moment that aren’t Christian and I’m not sure it makes them less conservative. I agree that the founding American principles are Judeo-Christian by nature, but many would argue that liberty and the right to pursue happiness is the thing they’re trying to conserve, not the origin of the principles themselves.

The bottom line is that we should protect liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but decency goes a long way in allowing that to happen. We do have to look after the moral health of our nation if we’re to have a prosperous and healthy one, and one of the most solid ways of doing that is to make sure adult activities of a more explicit nature aren’t introduced to kids and keep adult things in adult places.

What Love does is Love’s business so long as she’s not attempting to influence the youth to do what she does in one form or another, but should she be banned from any event where conservatives gather? I don’t believe so. I’m sure she has a good many things about our country she’d like to discuss and she probably has some very valid points about them. At an event not meant for teens, her voice is no less than anyone else’s.

And I’m not entirely sure it’s wise for the right to become so exclusionary to the point where we begin immediately tossing people to the curb for not meeting certain definitions of “conservatism.” If you want to talk about slippery slopes, that’s one that could wind up stopping everyone from being a “conservative.”