Two Tweets About the Qatar World Cup Show How the Right and Left Have Switched Roles

Amid liberal protests of 2022 World Cup host Qatar’s legal restrictions on women and LGBT people, conservatives have come out in defense of the Islamic kingdom.


The right is often the side criticizing American power these days.


Journalist Grant Wahl was one of several reporters who publicly resisted Qatar’s illiberal policies, which include criminal penalties for homosexuality and barring Wahl from entering a World Cup match unless he removed his LGBT pride shirt.

In response to Wahl’s tweet Monday documenting his protest, the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh suggested American liberals are intolerant and have no right to judge other countries.

  • He was joined by others on the right, like British political commentator Maajid Nawaz, who characterized liberals criticizing Qatar as “neocolonial” virtue signalers.
  • “None of you forced-jab supporting, baby-injecting, lockdown-loving, mask-mandating, science-denying transhumanist cheerleaders for globalist technocrats have ANY moral authority,” Nawaz agreed.
  • The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher also sided with the Qataris against Wahl, writing in an essay Tuesday, “Western liberals are very quick to universalize their particular moral innovations, and to behave with supreme arrogance towards peoples around the world who don’t share their views. You want to know why lots of people around the world hate America? The missionary armies of Grant Wahls have a lot to do with it.”


Observers across the political spectrum have noted that the American right sounds increasingly dissident whereas the left is often protective of national institutions at home and abroad.

  • “One of the master keys to understanding our era is seeing all the ways in which conservatives and progressives have traded attitudes and impulses,” conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat opined arlier this month. “The populist right’s attitude toward American institutions has the flavor of the 1970s — skeptical, pessimistic, paranoid — while the mainstream, MSNBC-watching left has a strange new respect for the F.B.I. and C.I.A.”
  • Vox correspondent Zack Beauchamp wrote last year of conservative criticism of “wokeism” among American Olympians: “These attacks on Team USA are not just culture war red meat; they are a reflection of a rising tendency in the conservative movement to reject America itself. In this thinking, the country is so corrupted that it is no longer a source of pride or even worthy of respect. In its most radical versions, you even see cheerleading for revolution or civil war.”
  • “Conservatives must make a clear break with neo-neoconservative foreign policy,” “new right” thinkers Sohrab Ahmari, Patrick Deneen and Gladden Pappin argued in a February Times op-ed, “and instead emphasize widely shared material development at home and cultural nonaggression abroad as the keys to U.S. security.”