Sen Josh Hawley Lambasts ‘Liberal Language Police’ After Critics Seize On His Use Of ‘Cosmopolitan’ As Anti-Semitic

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter
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Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley lambasted the “liberal language police” Friday after facing backlash for referring to “the cosmopolitan elite,” something his critics found to be anti-Semitic.

He was accused of anti-Semitism after speaking at the Edmund Burke Foundation’s National Conservatism Conference. (RELATED: Trump Goes After NYT Columnist Who Predicts His Reelection)

“The cosmopolitan elite look down on the common affections that once bound this nation together: things like place and national feeling and religious faith,” he said in his keynote address. “They regard our inherited traditions as oppressive and our shared institutions — like family and neighborhood and church — as backwards. What they offer instead is a progressive agenda of social liberation in tune with the priorities of their wealthy and well-educated counterparts around the world.”

Some treated Hawley’s references to the “cosmopolitan elite” and “cosmopolitan consensus” as veiled anti-Semitic language.

Sen. Josh Hawley delivers keynote address at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. YouTube screenshot/Senator Josh Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley delivers keynote address at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. YouTube screenshot/

“So [Hawley] is an antisemite. Full stop,” wrote Adam Blickstein of the Glover Park Group on Twitter Friday.

“If you’re Jewish and the use of ‘cosmopolitan’ doesn’t scare you, read some history,” The New York Times opinion columnist Paul Krugman wrote Thursday on Twitter.

“Yale-educated law professor [Hawley] chose the word purposefully,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Messenger wrote Friday on Twitter.

Others defended Hawley from the allegations of anti-Semitism. The junior senator had expressed his frustration with “rank anti-Semitism that I didn’t think existed in this country” on “The Guy Benson Show” the same week.

“Sorry but ‘cosmopolitan’ is a normal term in political theory, history and other academic disciplines. It means ‘citizen of the world’ and has no anti-Jewish valence. [Hawley] used it correctly in his National Conservatism speech,” Yoram Hazony, chair of the institute that hosted the conference, wrote Friday on Twitter. Hazony is an Israeli author.

“It’s foolish to act like using the term cosmopolitan upper class is a code word, and doing so comes dangerously close to making any critique of corporate power out of the bounds of liberal discourse. Which may be the point…” Matt Stoller, a former Senate Budget Committee aide under Bernie Sanders, wrote Thursday on Twitter.

Hawley is the youngest sitting senator who is known for calling out Big Tech and recently announced legislation that would put universities on the hook financially if its students are unable to repay their student loans.

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