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Josh Hawley's crusade against video games and porn is hilariously empty

The Republican senator from Missouri, who helped push former President Donald Trump's election lies, said conservatives must "call men back to responsibility."

Sen. Josh Hawley has a bone to pick with porn. And video games, too. 

The Missouri Republican, widely known for throwing up a seemingly approving fist pump at would-be rioters hours before the Jan. 6 attack, believes adult movies and video games are the true dangers confronting America’s men.

“As conservatives, we’ve got to call men back to responsibility,” Hawley said in an interview with “Axios on HBO,” which aired Sunday. “We’ve got to say that spending your time not working ... spending your time on video games, spending your time watching porn online ... is not good for you, your family or this country.”  

A man, Hawley claimed, is a “father,” a “husband” and “somebody who takes responsibility. He then comically blamed liberals for the popularity of video games and porn — as if Americans need any convincing to enjoy either.

Hawley’s recent crusade against the two activities first made headlines last month after his speech at the National Conservatism Conference in Orlando, Florida.

“Can we be surprised that after years of being told they are the problem, that their manhood is the problem, more and more men are withdrawing into the enclave of idleness and pornography and video games?” he asked at the Oct. 31 event.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., claimed video games and porn are destroying America's men.Justine Goode / Getty

In Hawley’s imagination, Crash Bandicoot and depictions of coitus are more harmful to American men than the dangerous political conspiracy theories he still defends (rest assured, they’re not). His argument — that stances against misogyny and hypermasculinity are destroying American manhood — are just part of the conservative “culture war” on progressive society, and they’re pitiful.

Set aside for a moment that this is one of the most swagless people in human history. On a serious note, men like Hawley have no currency to declare what a man should or shouldn’t be — and that’s what annoys them most. There is nothing noble about the junior senator, so in lieu of having actual values that are worth respecting, he reduces manhood to something he can achieve: abstaining from video games and pornography, or getting married and having kids. 

In reality, manhood — at least, the kind worth reaching for — is far more demanding. As someone best known for raising a fist to hopeless believers in Trump’s election fraud fairy tale, he of all people should know being a man requires more than just a free hand. 

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