VAN NATTA: Dave Portnoy and the Collapse of Barstool Conservatism


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy is an icon among many on the right. He is a regular guest on Tucker Carlson Tonight and was invited by President Trump to the White House in 2020. His anti-woke rhetoric and entrepreneurship have garnered him a loyal fan base.

Dave Portnoy is by no means a traditional social conservative—quite the opposite in fact. Beyond Portnoy, he represents a political bloc of “Barstool Conservatives,” predominantly young men who are no fans of political correctness but also have a strong aversion to traditional values.

Portnoy was a vocal critic of the COVID-19 lockdowns that decimated small businesses. Big corporations flourished while many small businesses were destroyed and will likely never recover from the economic devastation. Portnoy raised almost $30 million for small businesses with the nonprofit, “The Barstool Fund.” He even invested $500,000 of his own money in the charity.

While both political parties are culpable in COVID fearmongering and subsequent lockdowns, the Democratic party has been at the forefront of advocating for draconian restrictions. Zachary Faria, writing for The Washington Examiner, notes, “Voters aren’t going to ignore what happened over the last two years, no matter how hard Democrats try to convince them to.”

Unfortunately, Portnoy’s right-leaning tendencies may end there. In an unintelligible and profane rant, Portnoy lashed out at Republicans over Justice Alito’s leaked Roe v. Wade opinion. He went so far as to say he would vote Democrat if Roe were overturned.

He claimed, “…it would be a brilliant tactic by the Democrats to be like, ‘let’s leak this’ because Republicans will vote, I do believe, like me, I don’t care- taxes, I don’t care, nothing. If that is an issue. I vote Democrat.”

Dave Portnoy passionately rambled on about abortion, putting his ignorance of the topic on full display. It no longer mattered if small businesses were crushed by the state or millions of families suffered financially because Dave Portnoy’s hedonistic lifestyle had been threatened. He’d elect the very people that would smash small business on a whim, provided it didn’t interfere with his access to casual sex. 

Therein lies the problem with “Barstool Conservatism.” When it comes to the pressing cultural issues where conservatives cannot afford to compromise, Barstool Conservatives are either silent or in lockstep with the left. While they are often crusaders against wokeness and the ruling class, they crumble at the slightest cultural tension.

In honor of Pride Month, Barstool Sports is emailing its fan base about LGBTQ merchandise. Barstool can sell whatever clothing they want, but conservatives should be wary of aligning themselves with those who virtue signal to the same regime that despises them.

Dave Portnoy exemplifies a longstanding issue with right-wing “allies” who stab conservatives in the back when the liberal order requires them to. At a time when pro-abortion terrorists are vandalizing pro-life clinics and Drag Queens are performing for children, conservatives cannot afford to associate with those who bend the knee to the cultural revolutionaries.

Erin is a college senior pursuing journalism and writing. She enjoys reading, art, and listening to podcasts about politics. She can be found walking her golden retriever, Gus.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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About Erin Van Natta

Erin is a college senior pursuing journalism and writing. She enjoys reading, art, and listening to podcasts about politics. She can be found walking her golden retriever, Gus.

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