David French, the self-proclaimed “libertarian” and “conservative,” finds himself in the limelight yet again, armed with his latest foray into redefining what it means to be conservative. His recent New York Times article launches yet another salacious assault on conservative biblical values, an exercise in intellectual contortion that is both striking and alarming. But a closer look unveils a masterclass in sophistry, rooted in blatant misrepresentation and hypocrisy.
French’s article attempts to distort DeSantis’s actions and positions, particularly those focused on leveraging state power to penalize businesses that go against conservative values. The lens through which French views these actions is tinted with bias and a knack for embellishing the facts. To the unsuspecting reader, it may seem like DeSantis is overstepping his boundaries. Yet, those familiar with the governor’s commitment to protecting children and preserving the sanctity of family would see through French’s artful misdirection.
Despite his own history of supporting controversial and progressive policies, French now seems shocked and dismayed by the idea that a state might use its power to protect the most vulnerable among us: our children. He presents himself as a defender of liberties, yet remains conspicuously silent on the very liberties of those too young to defend themselves. French’s hypocrisy here is astounding – feigning outrage over supposed overreach while openly endorsing practices that many would consider to be nothing short of child grooming.
In his essay, French tries to paint DeSantis as an oppressor trampling on businesses and free speech. Yet the reality could not be more different. DeSantis’s actions aren’t aimed at silencing dissent or crushing business; instead, they are centered around preserving the safety and innocence of children, something French seems either unable or unwilling to comprehend. The sophistry in French’s arguments is clear: distorting facts and redefining conservatism in ways that conveniently align with his peculiar views.
Indeed, French’s propensity for redefining conservatism, twisting facts, and glossing over troubling stances is on full display in his latest piece. Rather than a thoughtful exploration of DeSantis’s actions, what we find is a loaded argument brimming with intellectual gymnastics and groundless assertions, carefully crafted to malign a governor committed to safeguarding our youth.
At the core of French’s New York Times article lies a disconcerting disconnect with the principles he purports to defend. His public commentary consistently betrays an alarming aptitude for the obfuscation of radical concepts, dressed up in the seemingly palatable garb of pseudo-conservatism. This capacity to misrepresent and distort is a key feature of sophistry and it appears to be French’s modus operandi. To some, French might come across as a critical conservative voice, challenging and refining conservative thought. However, this perspective falters when we scrutinize the content and implications of his endorsements and criticisms.
The question then arises: is French genuinely interested in a balanced critique, or is his real goal to subvert the very foundations of conservative philosophy?
Let’s examine French’s perspective on parental rights and the deeply contentious issue of gender transition among children. By equating the secrecy of schools regarding a child’s gender transition information to the protective laws against genital mutilation enacted by conservative states, he creates a false equivalency that is not only inappropriate but also deeply misleading.
In another article at the same leftist rag, French compared the intervention to protect children from genital mutilation by red states to schools in leftist states withholding information about a child’s “gender transition” from the parents—as though these are two equal wrongs. He attempts to paint the picture that conservatives are just as guilty as liberals for stripping parental rights.
French’s argument essentially defends a parent’s “right” to consent to their child’s permanent and irreversible surgical and pharmaceutical interventions. In doing so, he warps the very concept of parental rights. Such rights do not—and should not—encompass the potential to inflict permanent harm on a child’s body based on transient confusion. This position isn’t merely radical; it’s harmful and deviates from what true conservatism stands for.
French’s rebuke of “fight club” conservatism, embodied according to him by DeSantis, perverts the essence of conservatism as conservatism fundamentally aims to preserve traditional values and shield American citizens from an overreaching government. DeSantis’s policies, at least in the arena that French is “fighting” with him in, are consistent with these principles, while French’s narratives promote debauchery, child abuse, and a refusal of protection of the innocent—a decidedly non-conservative position.
French’s defense of the contentious Drag Queen Story Hour program, where drag performers read to children in public libraries and schools, is particularly disturbing. Labeling it as a “blessing of liberty” flies in the face of conservativism and a Christian worldview as an attempt to normalize and impose sexual behaviors and identities on impressionable young minds through social change.
His disdain for evangelical support for Trump similarly reveals a dismissal of the complex moral and political decisions Christian voters had to grapple with during Trump’s administration. Instead of acknowledging these dilemmas, French simplistically condemns their association with Trump, neglecting the challenging compromises many had to consider, particularly as it related to the alternative: more abortion, more LGBTQ propaganda, more socialism, less freedom.
In short, David French’s understanding of conservatism is a distorted rendition of the ideology. His narratives frequently parallel progressive ideologies more than they align with authentic conservative principles. The criticisms he hurls at figures like DeSantis, Trump, and Christian voters are misguided and serve only to undermine the values he claims to champion.
We must challenge such misrepresentations of conservative principles from faux conservatives and fake Christians like French, not embrace them. The need of the hour is for leaders who genuinely embody and represent our values, not those who distort them to fit personal agendas. David French’s brand of conservatism, which is no conservatism at all and is riddled with contradictions and misinterpretations, is a brand that true conservatives, myself included, refuse to acknowledge as having the least bit of legitimacy.