[Rushtalk] Ben Shapiro At His Best

John Quayle blueoval57 at verizon.net
Sun Feb 4 09:38:39 MST 2018

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*What right not to be offended?*

*by Ben Shapiro January 24, 2018 National Review***


A Canadian professor questions a key tenet of current Leftist thinking. 
Earlier this week, Professor Jordan Peterson of the University of 
Toronto burst into the international headlines again, this time thanks 
to a shockingly polite interview with British interviewer Cathy Newman. 
The entire interview was an insipid exercise in Newman attempting to 
cram her own words into Peterson’s mouth; as Conor Friedersdorf of The 
Atlantic points out, Newman’s technique was to “restate what [Peterson] 
said so as to make it seem as if [his] view is offensive, hostile, or 
absurd.” Peterson, with the patience and mildness of a saint, doggedly 
refused to be boxed in that way.

But the segment of the interview that grabbed the public’s imagination 
wasn’t Peterson’s discussion of the wage gap or the biology of 
hierarchical relationships. It was a very simple exchange over the value 
of truth. Newman questioned Peterson on why he refused to go along with 
the trendy leftist cause du jour: using pronouns chosen by individuals 
rather than pronouns that describe their biology. “Why should your 
freedom of speech trump a trans person’s right not to be offended?” 
Newman asked. Peterson, ever the gentleman, answered the question 
without guffawing: “Because in order to be able to think, you have to 
risk being offensive. I mean, look at the conversation we’re having 
right now. You’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit 
of truth. Why should you have the right to do that? It’s been rather 
uncomfortable.” Newman misdirected: “Well, I’m very glad I’ve put you on 
the spot.” But Peterson pursued: “Well, you get my point. You’re doing 
what you should do, which is digging a bit to see what the hell is going 
on. And that is what you should do. But you’re exercising your freedom 
of speech to certainly risk offending me, and that’s fine. More power to 
you, as far as I’m concerned.” Newman had no answer.

Point to Peterson. But despite Peterson’s obvious logic, the Left 
refuses to concede this particular point. Any statement — any statement 
— must be gauged not only on the basis of its truth-value, according to 
the Left, but on the basis of whether such truth is likely to offend — 
or, at least, whether such truth is likely to offend groups the Left 
perceives as victimized. According to the Left, any and all truth must 
take a back seat to “your truth,” so long as you claim minority status 
in any way.

There’s heavy irony to the fact that Victorian prudishness of manners 
suddenly abounds on the same Left that champions wearing pussyhats and 
shouting its abortions. But it’s that Victorian prudishness that tends 
to win the day — or at least has, for the past several decades. Perhaps 
that’s because many on the right tend to value manners; good religious 
men and women studiously avoid causing offense if they have the capacity 
to do so. It’s worked, too. The Left has wielded the Right’s preference 
for manners as a club against the Right, claiming offense in order to 
cow them into silence. The Left has wielded the Right’s preference for 
manners as a club against the Right, claiming offense in order to cow 
them into silence.

Of late, however, the Left has simply gone too far. No longer do they 
ask whether objectively offensive statements ought to be made; they now 
take each statement and ask whether it is subjectively offensive to 
anyone. First person to claim offense wins. Which is precisely why 
Peterson’s logic trips up Newman: He plays her own card against her. By 
demonstrating that anyone can be offended by anything, he returns the 
conversation from the vague recesses of subjective reaction to the hard 
and fast ground of objective truth.

This is the ground on which conservatives should fight, of course: 
acknowledgement that while manners matter, truth matters more. 
Unfortunately, too many conservatives have responded to leftist 
censorship not with truth-above-manners politeness, but with theatrical 
displays of unconcern with manners themselves. Rudeness is now seen as a 
substitute for facts. If the Left uses manners as a weapon, the logic 
goes, let’s just discard manners altogether. But there’s no reason to do 
that. We all ought to behave with decency and truth. Those are the twin 
pillars of conservatism, after all: virtue and reason. Discarding reason 
undermines virtue by replacing virtue with emotion-based reactivity; 
discarding virtue undermines the social fabric necessary to undergird 
the effectiveness of reason. Yes, let’s behave with manners. But let’s 
recognize that only a society that values truth can afford manners.

Ben Shapiro is the editor in chief of the Daily Wire./

  Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro: Leftist chaos is forcing people to
  ‘wake up’
  Dorothy Cummings McLean LifeSiteNews

LOS ANGELES, February 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews 
<https://www.lifesitenews.com/>) – Dr. Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro 
agreed with Dave Rubin of the Rubin Report during a live interview 
yesterday that left-wing "Social Justice Warriors" were largely 
responsible for their surprising rise to fame.

Rubin of the Rubin Report was hosting Peterson of the University of 
Toronto and Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the /Daily Wire/. Both are 
internationally recognized intellectual mega-stars who champion free 
speech, reason, and common sense. Rubin said that all three of them 
should be grateful that their opponents had sharpened them 
intellectually, given them influence in the public square, and brought 
them together.

The live show, streamed over YouTube, was upbeat, with Rubin gleefully 
predicting a huge audience.

“We are going to crack the internet today,” he said, “because I am 
sitting between two people who I think are really at the forefront of 
what I think is an ideas revolution on Planet Earth.”

It was an accurate prophecy, for the live feed cut out 6 minutes 40 
seconds into the show, and was restored only after a long pause. The 
show had over 245,000 views within 20 hours.

Rubin indicated that people are turning to both of his guests for 
answers in the intellectual chaos that has ensued “post-Trump.” Rubin 
said that Peterson's profile had “exploded” in recent weeks. Shapiro 
agreed that Peterson is “the man of the hour.”

The theme of the show was the growing fellowship, or “crew” of 
intellectuals coming together in an “ideas revolution” against the 
"identity politics" offered by postmodern philosophy. Reason-based 
thinkers like Peterson and Shapiro are advocating for "meaning" based on 
"purpose" and "personal responsibility" over grievance politics.

“What I‘m hoping is happening,” said Peterson, “is that we’re beginning 
to elucidate the fundamental problems of identity politics. Like the 
real errors in it... Because I think [postmodernists] are wrong…. That 
the path they are choosing is improper.”

He continued, “I think we know enough now to subvert the fundamental 
postmodern claims.”

Among these claims is that objective truth does not exist: there are 
only “narratives” that advance the power and well-being of one group 
over another.

After the guests reflected on the “flashpoints”  that had made them 
famous — Shapiro’s televised “shellacking 
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHIQtxLCgrM>” of Piers Morgan, 
Peterson’s interview 
with Cathy Newman, and Rubin’s discussions with Sam Harris about Islam — 
they examined how left-wing media tries, but ultimately fails, to 
misrepresent its ideological opponents as villains.

Among other newsmakers the media get wrong is Google ex-staffer James 
He was fired from Google in 2017 for circulating an internal memo he 
wrote suggesting that there were benign reasons why gender parity does 
not exist in technological fields. His employers were horrified by his 
assertion that there were biological and psychological differences 
between women and men.

Nevertheless, Rubin asked if they all didn’t owe Social Justice Warriors 
thanks for forcing their opponents to come out and become part of the 
ideas revolution

Peterson, a Canadian, is both a professor and a clinical psychologist. 
He is the author of the current bestseller /12 Rules for Life: An 
Antidote to Chaos/ and an internet sensation.  Peterson’s YouTube 
channel, “Jordan Peterson Videos,” carries over 300 of his lectures, has 
702,000 subscribers, and has had over 30 million views.

A fierce opponent of totalitarianism of any kind, the 55-year-old 
professor rose to fame last year after refusing to follow laws enforcing 
the use of genderless pronoun preferred by transgender activists. The 
psychologist argued that policing language is the first step towards 
totalitarianism. Peterson was a leading critic of a Canadian bill (C-16 
which added “gender expression” and “gender identity” to Canada’s Human 
Rights Code and to the hate crimes section of the Criminal Code.

Shapiro, an American, is a lawyer, conservative journalist and author of 
various bestselling books, including /Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of 
Fear and Intimidation Silences America/ (2012) and /Brainwashed: How 
Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth/  (2004). At age 17, he became 
the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the USA. He is also the 
host of the top-ranked podcast “The Ben Shapiro Show.” Shapiro is a 
noted defender of preborn children. Numerous videos of him out-arguing 
abortion activists in front of college audiences have gone viral on 
YouTube and Facebook.

Like Peterson, a critic of the far-left stranglehold on the academy, 
Shapiro, 34, has worked to loosen its grip through cross-country 
speeches and debates. He is a frequent guest on college campuses 
throughout the USA.  He has been frequently targeted for protests by the 
far-left, including violent Antifa activists.

The two men also have Harvard University in common: Shapiro graduated 
from Harvard Law School in 2007, whereas Peterson did research and 
taught in Harvard’s psychology department as an assistant professor and 
then an associate professor from 1993 to 1998.

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