No Allies Who Buy Babies
The problem of gay surrogacy reminds us that the right's alliance with anti-woke liberals cannot and should not survive.
Dave Rubin began his career in the late 1990s as an intern for Jon Stewart, the putative comedian who was then host of The Daily Show. In the first years of the new millennium, he transitioned to the podcast game, heading up such smash hits as Hot Gay Comics and The Ben & Dave Show, “the irreverent show where anything goes,” under the aegis of here!, an LGBT TV network. By 2013 he was hosting The Rubin Report, an online political talkshow, for Cenk Uygur’s left-wing outfit The Young Turks. He went independent after a few years, and ever since has been making a kind of public journey, from progressive to liberal to self-styled conservative (read: still liberal).
In an interview last year with the Daily Signal, Rubin explained that, while he has started to call himself a conservative, he doesn’t actually mean conservative:
I actually think that, even on the conservative side, there’s a wide tent on all sorts of issues. So you could even take an issue like abortion, which for conservatives is like, you know, usually is thought of as the one that, you must be pro-life. Well, look, there’s people like Rudy Giuliani—who’s obviously a conservative, who obviously worked for President Trump—he’s pro-choice, he’s begrudgingly pro-choice. He wants very specific limits on it and things like that. No one is running around saying he’s not a conservative.
I am. If we cannot draw a line in the sand between ourselves and those who would sanction the industrial slaughter of unborn innocents, then American conservatism is not just pointless but actively destructive. I don’t care how big the tent is; if it has baby killers in it, I’m leaving.
Yet we cannot afford—if only as an electoral matter—to be purists on every single question of less grave moral substance. Alliances, by nature, entail tensions between each party’s interests. The question is where we draw the line. Do we bring along socially conservative Reaganites who insist on a laissez faire economic agenda? Sure. Folk libertarians who might not be incensed at the legalization of marijuana? I suppose we might as well. Foreign policy hawks who are solid on domestic issues? That’s a tougher question.
And what about the trendy conservative ally of the week: the anti-woke liberal, who is more likely than not to be a gay political commentator (Rubin, Andrew Sullivan, Chadwick Moore, Douglas Murray, Bari Weiss, etc.)?
If there was any hope that such people belonged in the new conservative movement, Dave Rubin did away with that this week with the announcement that he and his legal husband (also named Dave) are expecting two children this coming fall. The announcement was met with effusive congratulations from some leading lights of the Very Online Right—including many whose good work suggests they ought to know better, from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s press secretary to anti-CRT crusader Christopher Rufo. Even high-profile accounts devoted to exposing the insanity of the LGBT left crossed sides to declare their approval of the Rubins’ impending procurement of two children. Et tu, @libsoftiktok?
In a video posted to his YouTube channel Rubin explains in graphic detail the process by which he and the other Dave created these two children. First, though, he explains that he was so career-driven that he had never seriously considered having children. He reflects, “In a weird way I guess the gay thing kind of gives you, like, an easy out on that, because, uh, I’m not a scientitian but, uh, it’s hard for two biological men or two biological women to actually reproduce without some help.” (Hard? Does that mean they can pull it off if they really put their minds to it?)
Rubin explains further that, growing up in the Dark Age of 1980s New York, he didn’t quite think it was normal for two men to have babies together. He catches himself quickly, though: “I don’t like that word, normal.”
But the other Dave finally wore him down, and the two men jumped into a process that seems to a sane observer intensely dystopian:
These are young women who are willing to donate their eggs, and women obviously make a lot of eggs—uh, some make a lot of eggs, some don’t make eggs. But the donors are usually young and healthy, and if they want to help people that otherwise can’t have children, they can donate their eggs. So you basically go on all of these websites, there are all of these sites, and it’s sort of like Tinder or whatever app you were dating on, where you just kind of swipe through people and you say “Oh, I like the way she looks,” or “This girl had a great education,” or some combination thereof. … And, you know, there are different rates and all of these things.
That last sentence presumably refers to the amount of money Rubin would have paid to a given woman for the purchase of her eggs.
The podcaster goes on to explain that a number of eggs—18 the first time around—were taken from this woman and split into two groups, each of which would be fertilized with one of the two men’s semen. “Some of it takes, some of it doesn’t take,” but suffice to say that quite a few zygotes—biologically distinct human beings—were created in the process.
And then you need surrogates. So the surrogate, obviously, is the woman who then carries the child. So basically what we’ve got cookin’ here is that we have one baby that is from my stuff and one baby that is from David’s stuff, but they both will have the same biological mother—and we wanted them to have that sort of genetic connection. And right now there are two really fantastic women—and, you know, it’s not an easy thing to be a surrogate. This is not something people really do for money. They do it for a higher purpose, for sure. And really two absolutely amazing women are carrying our babies right now.
This is evil, plain and simple. Dave and Dave paid for the creation of roughly 18 unique, individual human beings, just so that two of them could be successfully implanted in rented wombs and delivered to their purchasers after a nine-month interval. The fate of the other 16 need not be spelled out.
This, of course, is the primary issue: the moral abomination of surrogacy itself, the commodification of the human child, the relegation of women to the status of incubators. But there is a secondary concern as well.
The same people who make a living being outraged that Lia Thomas, who is a man, is allowed to swim in the women’s races for his college cannot turn around and tell us that there’s nothing wrong with two dudes having babies together. Is there a difference between men and women, or is there not?
The normalization of homosexuality, and especially the normalization of homosexual parenthood, necessarily leads to the more radical gender ideology advancing from the left today. If men and women are perfectly interchangeable in sex, and in the role of a mother or a father—those things most closely tied to biological reality—then of course they must be interchangeable in everything else. The premises underlying the acceptance of L, G, and B logically lead to T, sooner or later.
A conservative movement that makes its peace with the former three will have to reckon with the latter—with all the torment and chaos it entails. It will also have to answer for the children who became laboratory waste so that Dave Rubin could feel just a little more fulfilled, and the two survivors forced to grow up without a mother. It will bear the weight of an order in which eggs and wombs and babies are bought, sold, and rented, and helpless children made and paid for by the sterile West are left stranded in a war zone.
Rubin has a book coming out next month. It’s called Don’t Burn This Country. I wish he’d make the prospect a bit less tempting.