The Corner

Politics & Policy

Speaking Truth

People wait for the start of the second day of CPAC at National Harbor, Md., February 23, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

It’s easy to call out hypocrisy among your political adversaries, and much harder to call it out when your own camp is guilty. So it’s really worth your while to watch the remarks made Saturday at CPAC by Mona Charen, who I’m proud to call a friend and colleague.

Her remarks came in the course of a panel on contemporary feminism, which is worth watching in general (C-SPAN had a live stream that’s hard to link to here, but I’m sure a full video will be online). But of particular note are two things Mona had to say.

First, in a discussion of how our culture wars create “bad guys” she said:

Speaking of bad guys, there was quite an interesting person who was on this stage the other day. Her name is Marion Le Pen. Why was she here? She’s a young, no longer in office politician from France. I think the only reason she was here is that she’s named Le Pen. And the Le Pen name is a disgrace. Her grandfather was a racist and a Nazi. She claims that she stands for him. The fact that CPAC invited her was a disgrace.

Then, in answering a question about what most upsets her in today’s political conversation about men and women. Mona said:

So I agree with everything my fellow panelists have said, and I could say the misuse of data like, you know, the “77 cents on the dollar” figure, which is a statistic that’s impossible to kill even though it’s false. But I’m actually gonna twist this around a bit and say that I’m disappointed in people on our side, for being hypocrites about sexual harassers and abusers of women who are in our party. Who are sitting in the White House. Who brag about their extramarital affairs. Who brag about mistreating women. And because he happens to have an R after his name, we look the other way, we don’t complain. This is a party that was ready to endorse — the Republican Party endorsed Roy Moore, for the Senate in the state of Alabama even though he was a credibly accused child molester. You cannot claim that you stand for women and put up with that.

Mona’s comments and the ugly reaction of some in the audience lay out before us two possible paths for the Right. Let’s hope we ultimately choose the right one. It certainly isn’t the one we have generally been choosing lately.

Yuval Levin — Yuval Levin is the editor of National Affairs and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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