Dave Rubin, stand up comic and political commentator, created The Rubin Report to “to talk to people and try to find out what they think about things.” In this week’s episode he shares his thoughts with Bridget on a variety of topics including leaving the Left, Thomas Jefferson, the bravery deficit in our culture, the Intellectual Dark Web, and classical liberalism. They unpack the term “white privilege,” discuss how intersectionality is the essence of bigotry, and expound on the trend of journalism becoming activism. Dave also shares the story of coming out on 9/11, how “woke” comedy is wrecking comedy, and the dangers of the “cancel culture” we are now living in.

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  1. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.

    Regarding associating the worse elements in politics with an entire side of the political spectrum: I think you should consider that your map is faulty.

    The left has been largely successful at distributing their preferred map to all parts of the culture: the left is for sugar and spice and everything nice, but the right is nothing but nazis. The left is for helping people while the right is for controlling people. The left is for tolerance, the right is for hate. To be in the center of this map must be confusing – of course you’re not moving toward the nazi side, but some things like PC culture and imposition of identity politics just don’t make sense and the right seems to be speaking reason. Most righties you meet probably talk about liberty and limiting government – decidedly not nazi type opinions.

    So let me suggest an alternative map: this map plots out the relationship between the collective and the individual. The left is collectivist, the right is individualist. What would this look like with current labels? From left to right: communists, socialists, progressives, left liberal, libertarians, anarchocapitalists.

    You may notice that I left out “conservatives”; I did that so as not to scare you off. I think conservatives fall right in the middle of this spectrum as the only movement which openly acknowledges the truth claims of both collectivism and individualism and the only movement seeking to accommodate both through structure instead of specific policy positions. Conservatives favor limited federal government but more expansive local control if citizens desire. Individual rights are inalienable God given, but communities need structure and order to thrive or to even exist. How to pursue both ends without one abusing the other? Ordered liberty; that is: participatory government, a clear charter (constitution), checks and balances, subsidiarity, federalism, armed citizenry. These are all conservative positions. 

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  2. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.

    Here’s another potential cause of your confusion. The left has been hugely successful at tagging the nazi label to the forces of ordered liberty as opposed to whatever flavor of collectivism. But the Nazis were socialists too. To be sure there were differences from communism/socialism, but at heart they were socialists. Nihilistic socialists. The fascists too. They mainly differed as to which class of people the government should be ordered to: communists/socialists generalized to “the working class” while nazis focused more on a racial component. Back then, the left right split was in reference to the split on the collectivist side – it did not refer to classical liberalism or monarchism.

    Consider: the actual nazis were also socialists (as were the actual communists who murdered millions in the 20th century); Democrats went to war to keep slavery while Republicans ended slavery; Republicans attempted reconstruction of the South while Democrats imposed Jim Crow; most Republicans supported the civil rights act while many democrats opposed; Republicans are for devolving power away from the top back to the local governments or directly to the individual while the Democrats want to politicize and nationalize everything (there can be no dissent with them, all must submit to teh one true way).

    The Republican party is not the same thing as being conservative or libertarian, but it’s the closest vehicle that conservatives and libertarians have. 


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  3. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.

    There are plenty of updated attempts at plotting a new spectrum. Here are a few I thought might be helpful:

    Here’s one that I think has the axis labels correct. It’s hilariously historically blind, though, to think that communism is the only direction that might be sustainable when 1) The US system is still very much alive and kicking, and 2) literally every  communist regime leads to mass murder by the state. Other than that I think the compass is laid out correctly.

    This one might be a tad exaggerated. But I think it has the overall picture correct, including the fact that both Democrats and Republicans are mostly the same, everyone is living in left world, and that this is very much different from where we started as a country. And the direction of travel is clearly to the left – doesn’t anyone see what’s at the end of that trip? 

    This last one is really interesting. Instead of a line or a two axis chart, it’s a circle.

    Here is one that is just funnyEveryone thinks that the rest of the world is crazy. 

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  4. Leslie Watkins Inactive
    Leslie Watkins

    Dave Rubin is a gem! And I say this as a 65-year-old lesbian who’s been on Ricochet since 2010 because, though I disagree with conservatives on abortion (I do not think the state has the right to force a woman to carry a fetus to term) and gay marriage (I’m not into it myself–viewing it as a kind of party crashing after the party’s over–but gay folks should have all the rights of citizens in terms of government-supported marriage, and I’m amazed by conservatives who condemn the desire of gays to have mature relationships.), I am able to honestly interact without being immediately condemned–worse, scorned–as is the case when I try to talk to my leftist friends, who critique ideas before bothering to listen to them. So, it’s a much better fit for me, someone who considers herself to be at the center of political thinking. When I look back, though, mostly I left the left because it is so incredibly boring and getting worse and worse and worse.

    Bridget, you have to make the path you make, but I would suggest that if you look a bit deeper into the leftist meme about right-wing racism, you’ll find it doesn’t fit their narrative. For example, the reported critique of there being a pronounced jump in so-called hate crimes (a category I despise) between 2017 and 2018 gives the impression that blacks and Muslims were the ones being targeted the most, when, in fact, the biggest victim group by far comprised Jews. You never hear that. You just hear that hate crimes have increased, and the dog whistle is that it’s alt-right whites against blacks and Jews. (That Dave has been called alt-right should be a marker for you on this point.)* The major media never goes after the underlining story, so the narrative remains undisputed–just as the idea that Sweden and Denmark are socialist remains unchallenged but is clearly false. Also, for a lot of people these days, especially leftists, everything is an outrage, so they’re becoming more like Chicken Little while running around claiming to be Bobby Kennedy. I was a daily news reporter/feature writer in the early 1980s and left in 1984 because I could sense that reporters were becoming part of the story, and at the time, I just didn’t have the wherewithal to push back. Now I try every chance I get, and it’s easier because I fall back on principle, whereas my critics express nothing but emotion. I hope you’re right that there is still a center-left. I’ll believe it when they too push back.

    *Edit per FBI statistics that I double-checked and do not agree with my statements. But check out the offender stats. Under “race,” 5o% are white, but under “ethnicity” 64.5% could not be categorized. What does that mean?

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