Ben Shapiro

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When truth doesn't matter, lies about policy are sure to follow.

Benjamin Aaron "Ben" Shapiro (born January 15, 1984) is an American conservative political commentator, nationally syndicated columnist, author, radio talk show host, and attorney.

Quotes[edit]

  • Very often these days, we hear about the wonderful richness of the international community. Americans are chastised for failing to go along with the international community on climate change; failing to follow the consensus of the international community on health care; failing to mirror the priorities of the international community in foreign policy.

But here's the reality: There is no international community. There is merely a group of states motivated by self-interest. Sometimes those self-interests overlap. Other times they don't. But let's not pretend that the international community somehow maintains a sort of collective moral standing merely by dint of numbers. In fact, precisely the opposite is often true.

    • The 'International Community' Isn't A Community. It's A Rogue's Gallery., December 12, 2018, Dailywire
  • Hamas isn't hiding the ball. It is evil. It celebrates evil. It pays terrorists to commit acts of evil. But the international community isn't hiding the ball either when its members refuse to condemn terrorism as terrorism when it is directed against disfavored members of the international community.
    • The 'International Community' Isn't A Community. It's A Rogue's Gallery., December 12, 2018, Dailywire
  • Here's the truth: Radical Islam is dangerous. The Islamic world has a serious problem with radical Islam. And large swaths of the Muslim world are, in fact, hostile to Western views on matters ranging from freedom of speech to women's rights.
    • Ben Shapiro, The Left Capitalizes On Terrorism To Target Political Opponents, March 20 2019, Daily Wire

Is Truth Becoming Irrelevant to Conservatives? (December 5, 2016)[edit]

Is Truth Becoming Irrelevant to Conservatives?, The Daily Wire (December 5, 2016)
  • Just because the left has ignored and disparaged truth for years is no excuse for the right to do so as well. And unfortunately, truth-free politics seems to be growing exponentially on the right.
  • These demagogic non sequiturs undercut conservative claims to value the truth. And that has policy consequences: the supposedly conservative Pence and company have been pushing the lie for a week now that the free market is a failure and case-by-case economic fascism from above is the solution to lost American jobs. When truth doesn't matter, lies about policy are sure to follow.
  • This is pure ends-justify-the-means logic. And the means are pushing falsehood. The notion here seems to be that Trump is helping America avoid perdition, and thus must be given leeway to lie; if we didn’t allow him to lie, the left would continue to do so, and then they’d win and drive us straight into Hell. But that suggests that truth no longer has the capacity to drive voters or Americans. If that’s true, republicanism is finished as a principle – if we can only lie to voters to get them to vote for us, that undermines the decency of republicanism altogether.
  • Conservatives used to care too much about values and republicanism to buy ends-justify-the-means logic. But it increasingly appears that political expedience now outweighs basic morality. At least one side of the political spectrum seemed to care about truth. Now both sides are competing to see who can race to the bottom fastest.

Quotes about Shapiro[edit]

  • According to his supporters, and even many who might not support him, Ben Shapiro loves facts. Why? Well, because he says he loves facts. He’s not basing his assertions on feelings, and we know this because he says that he isn’t. [...] By insisting on this interpretation of his own character, over and over, buoyed by the idolatrous support of his loyal fans and the snarky titles of his clickbait videos, Shapiro conjures into being an image of himself as The Rational Man. Say the magic words enough times, and the spell will be cast over your audience.
  • I’ll admit that I was not immediately dazzled by the force of Shapiro’s intellect. I started with his controversial recent Berkeley speech. Toward the beginning, he addressed Antifa protesters, whom he called “communist pieces of garbage”: “You guys are so stupid… you can all go to hell, you pathetic, lying, stupid jackasses.” According to the Times, there is a wide gulf between Trump/Yiannopoulos-style vulgar conservatism and Shapiro-style Logical conservatism, but I just am not sure that I see in “Go to hell, you communist piece of garbage” the kind of “polemical brilliance” that Shapiro is reputed to demonstrate.
  • What dispirited me about Shapiro’s approach is that he’s clearly not actually very interested in Facts at all. The role that race plays in American life is a serious sociological question, one that isn’t answered easily. But Shapiro plucks only the statistics that suggest race doesn’t matter, and pretends the statistics that suggest it does matter don’t exist. Nobody can trust him, because if he comes across a finding showing that incarceration rates more closely follow crime rates than racial demographics, you can bet it will appear in his next speech. But if someone shows that a white man with a criminal record is far more likely to receive a job callback than a black man without a criminal record, you’ll never hear it mentioned. It would be perfectly reasonable for Shapiro to critique these findings; sociologists critique each other all the time. Instead, he selects only the parts of reality that please him.
  • One thing we do know is that, since black people were enslaved for 246 years (and free for 152), and Jim Crow was in operation during the time of people who are still alive (thereby being a core determinant of both their life outcomes and the capital that they were able to pass onto their own children), anyone who says “culture is everything” and “race is irrelevant” is not actually seriously interested in trying to figure out how the world works.
  • It’s amusing that Shapiro can see Gazan children swimming in sewage and think “Wow, Arabs must just really have a thing for sewage,” a train of reasoning roughly akin to “Wow, Haitians must really love dying in earthquakes, since a lot of them seem to have done it.” Though I am reliably informed that Shapiro is a master of logic, so I am sure there is more to this than mere simple-minded prejudice.
  • Usually conservatives are careful to draw a distinction: they are not condemning an ethnicity, but rather adherents to an ideology, namely Islamism. Not so with Shapiro: for him, the problem is not Islamism or even Islam writ large. It’s Arabs: “The Arab-Israeli conflict may be accurately described as a war between darkness and light. Those who argue against Israeli settlements—outposts of light in a dark territory—argue for the continued victory of night.” Arabs “value murder” while Israelis “value life,” and “where light fails, darkness engulfs.” [...] Again, it may just be my failure to understand Facts and Logic, but I am having trouble understanding how population-level generalizations about the moral characteristics of particular ethnic groups can be anything other than bigotry.
  • In a tribal nation, he’s just one more partisan mobilizing his troops ... Mr. Shapiro has always been deeply conservative and does not pretend to be objective. But he says his market niche is giving cleareyed reads of current events, not purely partisan rants. He is often compared to his former colleague at Breitbart, Milo Yiannopoulos. On the surface, they seem the same. Both speak on college campuses. Both draw protests. Both used to work for Mr. Bannon at Breitbart. Both are young. In fact, they are very different. Mr. Yiannopoulos, a protégé of Mr. Bannon, was good at shocking audiences, saying things like “feminism is cancer.” But critics say that he was empty of ideas, a kind of nihilistic rodeo clown who was not even conservative. Mr. Shapiro broke with Mr. Bannon last year, saying Breitbart had become a propaganda tool for Mr. Trump. Mr. Yiannopoulos’s act collapsed this year. But the fact that it lasted so long says a lot about the right’s fury against mainstream liberalism, Mr. Shapiro said. ... But Mr. Shapiro does it too. He thinks it’s easy to provoke the left, which he says has become intellectually flabby after decades of cultural dominance. It’s not good at arguing and relies instead on taboos and punishing people who violate them. That is the essence of his stump speech. ... Critics say that is great red meat for his audience, but it’s nonsense. Even if straight white males are low on the left’s pecking order, they have most of the power in Washington, in statehouses, in every corporate boardroom. They run America. Mr. Shapiro says he’s about more than tribal polemics.

External links[edit]

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