Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro sat down with his old nemesis turned friend Piers Morgan on Wednesday as the two commentators covered a wide range of issues from wokeism to gay marriage to the 2024 presidential race.
Shapiro joined Morgan for Wednesday’s episode of “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” at times discussing, debating, and joking with each other a decade after their first contentious meeting on television. That 2013 meeting was an important moment in both men’s lives, with Morgan leaving his show on CNN shortly after and Shapiro’s national profile exploding.
The men spoke deprecatingly Wednesday about their first meeting; Shapiro, now 39 and sporting a beard, joked he “hit puberty” since then, while Morgan, 57, said Shapiro back then was “a hell of a lot smarter than you appeared” and got the better of Morgan in that meeting.
The show quickly turned to more serious subjects, with Morgan and Shapiro discussing a tweet pinned to the top of Shapiro’s Twitter page, a 2016 post that says: “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” Shapiro said that a radical sense of individualism has taken the place of objective reality, resulting in what conservatives have denounced as woke cancel culture.
“The moment that you start to identify ‘your truth’ with ‘the truth,’ then anybody attacking your truth is attacking you as a human being,” Shapiro said, identifying the shift as unique in human history. “Where we’ve gone is this movement away from we’re having a political debate, but we can go out and have a drink afterward … to my politics are who I am, or my feelings about who I am, or my feelings about the world, that’s the thing that matters more than anything else.”
The conversation drifted through the falsehoods told by politicians and into the tribal attitude that dominates much of politics in the United States, which Shapiro attributed to an attitude of “emotivism” in which people base their political beliefs on their emotions rather than on evidence.
Morgan, who identifies as center-left politically, said that he has shifted in relation to the general culture because of how dominant leftist ideology has become.
“I’d never identified as a conservative, but the further lunatic that the Left woke go, the more the pendulum swings. And eventually we all get sucked into thinking, well, okay, actually by comparison to this, I probably am getting a bit conservative because I think they’re lunatics,” Morgan said.
The men agreed that most people are “craving any sense of normality,” as Shapiro put it.
The most disagreement during the interview came during a discussion on gay marriage.
“Why shouldn’t two men who are gay actually be able to bring a child up? Why shouldn’t, if they want to, get married? How is it equal or fair for them to be excluded?” Morgan asked his guest.
Shapiro broke the questions of gay marriage and gay parenting up, addressing the former first. On gay marriage, Shapiro argued that as a matter of public policy, the government should protect the definition of marriage in its traditional form.
“The question is which relationships society chooses to sanctify, so I’m not in favor of, for example, laws that criminalize homosexual activity or two men living together or two men making a lifelong commitment to one another in whatever context they wish to do that,” Shapiro said. “What I’m objecting to is the idea that marriage as a term is equally applicable to relationships that are designed to produce the future generation and then raise them as opposed to two people who love each other.”
“As far as gay parenting,” Shapiro continued, “there are sort of hierarchies of options, meaning that the ideal is man, woman, child. And then, you know, if you can’t fulfill that ideal, then there’s obviously gradations. I would rather that two gay men are raising a child than have that child be in an orphanage, for example.”
Morgan then asked if gay people should be allowed to “have the same rights in law [as] straight couples?”
Shapiro drew a distinction between rights and benefits, defining the former as a “government non-intervention with particular activity,” in effect saying that heterosexual marriage does not preclude a gay man from having a relationship with the person of his choice.
Morgan argued that he has seen good and bad examples of parenting from both straight and gay couples. “I don’t really see any particular distinction about what combination you have as your parents,” he said.
“I do,” Shapiro answered. “The reason I do is because, again, I think there is a fundamental distinction between woman and man, and what that means is that mothers and fathers are both necessary. And so the idea that two men can simply supplant a man and a woman on a generic, average level, I don’t think it’s true.”
The conversation later moved to the 2024 race for president, with Morgan getting Shapiro’s thoughts on the state of the race so far. Shapiro predicted that the eventual matchup would be between President Joe Biden and Republican Ron DeSantis, favoring the Florida governor to top former President Donald Trump in the GOP primary.
“When [Republicans] look at the board, the person who’s putting the most Ws on the board right now is DeSantis in Florida,” Shapiro said.
The interview ended on a high note, with Morgan asking Shapiro what he sees that gives him optimism about the future.
“My good news is twofold. One is that the era of Anglo-American dominance is not yet over. What we’re seeing in Ukraine is actually rather heartening because it suggests that the post-World War II system is not yet dead, so that’s a good thing. The other thing that I think is good is that I root for reality. Reality always wins. And so all of these kinds of forces that we’ve unleashed, they are running up directly against the rocks of reality and there will be consequences to that,” Shapiro said.