No, This is Not a Matter of Political Correctness

The Atlantic magazine, generally pretty liberal, hired a conservative writer named Kevin Williamson last month to offer perspectives from the other side of the political spectrum.

This week The Atlantic fired Kevin Williamson.


The Atlantic fired Williamson because he endorsed hanging women who get abortions.

Not a misprint.

He tweeted this sentiment in 2014. The Atlantic apparently knew about that when it hired him.

But earlier this week a liberal group found a podcast in which Williamson said the same thing in language The Atlantic characterized as “…callous and violent,” and before you know it, Williamson was gone.

To be precise, Williamson said that

I would totally go with treating [abortion] like any other crime up to and including hanging — which kind of, as I said, I’m kind of squishy about capital punishment in general, but I’ve got a soft spot for hanging as a form of capital punishment. I tend to think that things like lethal injection are a little too antiseptic.” 

 I’ve got a soft spot for hanging.

The Atlantic apparently did not know about this.

“Callous and violent” seems about right.

Conservative groups are not happy. One conservative radio host suggested that “the left” – apparently The Atlantic is now the center of the left – wants a “monopoly on the public square,” conveniently overlooking that if the folks at the magazine really felt that way they never would have hired Williamson in the first place.

Another called the firing “chilling” and one said it was “deplorable.” One declared that “The Atlantic is essentially declaring that it cannot stomach real, mainstream conservatism as it actually exists in 21st century America.”

The Curmudgeon, for one, refuses to believe that “mainstream” conservatives believe women who have abortions should be hung. He knows enough mainstream conservatives to reject that argument.

At the same time, however, The Curmudgeon also is uncomfortable with firing people for expressing their views when they specifically were hired to… express their views. But hanging for women who obtain abortions? That’s so extreme, so beyond the pale, that firing is justified, if not entirely desirable. The Curmudgeon would have preferred that The Atlantic let its readers weigh in on this before acting, but he certainly doesn’t begrudge the people who run the magazine from seeking to disassociate themselves from this guy as quickly as possible.


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