Catching up after a year, the last time they appeared together on the Rubin Report, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro and Dave Rubin discussed everything about the 2016 presidential election, including the ascendancy of Donald trump and the alt-right, “fake news,” and most importantly, the desire both men have for speaking the truth as they see it without being swayed by partisan sentiment.
Early in the discussion, as they spoke of Trump’s actions, Rubin commented, “Even if you don’t like any of the positions he’s taken or the moral center that seems to be all over the place, you do root for him as a president.”
I root for him to do good things. I don’t like the phrase, people used this with Obama also, “Root for him.” I don’t root for Trump, for Obama, I didn’t root for Hillary. It’s not a team sport. I like the White Sox, and the Bears, and the Celtics; I root for them; I would like to see them win.
But in politics, it’s not just about winning, it’s about what you do to win; it’s about the policies you implement that constitute winning, how do you gauge winning. So for me, when Trump makes a bad deal that’s good for him politically, that’s not something I’m in favor of. I’m not rooting for him, even though it helps him politically; I’m rooting for him to do good things.
So I’m rooting for me; I’m rooting for the country; I’m rooting for him to do the things that will help the country, more than me, because I’m fine, that will help the country, but what I fear is that I think people are rooting for him or rooting against him. I said this on my podcast today that if your moral center is “Good for Trump is good for the country,” or “Bad for Trump is good for the country,” you need a different moral center.
After an extended discussion about how the Democrats have a decision to make, whether to double-down on their radical leftism and ignore the white blue-collar voters that elected Trump, or moderate their approach, Rubin commented “I don’t think most people vote on the color of their skin,” prompting Shapiro to agree, then add:
I think they vote like their neighbors vote. If they see that their neighbors are voting a certain way, and there’s a certain “revenge politics” to everything, (and this is not unique to one group), it’s like, “The system has screwed us.” “The system has screwed us” is one of the ways that politics dies. That notion, “The system has screwed us,” if you can show that the government is consistently damaging your group that’s one thing, but when you just say the system broadly is screwing us, and it’s “us” as white blue-collar workers, or it’s “us” as black people, or it’s “us” as Hispanics, that’s a real damaging thing, and that, I think is rising pretty dramatically.
That’s partially because the only way that politics operates. I’ve spoken about this at length recently, the only way that politics actually operates, the only way society operates, is through building of the social fabric, the idea that we are individuals and we’re going to treat each other as individuals; we’re not going to treat each other as members of groups. The left has spent so long in breaking people down into identity group politics that the right responded with its own form of “Screw you; you’ve already boxed us in, so now that we’re in the box, we’re in the box.”
Shapiro continued, “I am essentially a radical individualist in the sense that I think people ought to be treated as individuals, they shouldn’t be treated as part of groups … I’m more of a conservative-libertarian mash-up than anything else: I think the government sucks at everything. Like we’ve talked about same-sex marriage before, I’m personally against same-sex marriage but I don’t think the government has any business in it; I’m personally against smoking marijuana; I don’t think the government has, pretty much, any business in it. If you’re not creating externalities I don’t think that the government has any business messing with you.”
Rubin, who is openly gay, agreed, “So you can believe what you want to believe.”
Shapiro nodded. “It’s so funny; I was talking to somebody one time and they said, as a religious person you think homosexual behavior is a sin. Right, as an Orthodox Jew, it’s in the Bible, I think it’s a sin. Here’s the beautiful thing about America: you don’t have to give a crap. You can think I’m an idiot, that’s fine. Welcome to America. You can seriously disregard everything I’m saying because I’m not trying to use a gun to enforce my opinion against you.”
For the whole fascinating back-and-forth, see video below, starting at 5:21: