Lately, I’ve been listening to podcasts of Ben Shapiro speaking at Yale and other venues. I even watched the two-hour talk that he gave recently at UC Berkeley.
I had never heard of Ben Shapiro before. I also had never heard of Milo _______________ (long last name that begins with a “Y”) until recently. But with all the publicity about Milo and Ben’s attempts to speak at Berkeley, I had to check them out.
(Side note, here: Doesn’t trying to crush free speech actually defeat the purpose? Doesn’t it entice people to actually tune in to see what the brouhaha is all about? And — earth to Berkeley — isn’t calling yourselves the home of Free Speech while rioting and beating up conservatives just a tad hypocritical?? But reason, logic, and common sense don’t actually rule in these parts.)
So now that I have checked out these supposedly notorious conservative speakers what do I think? Not all that much. I listened; I was curious for about three minutes, but now I’m pretty much done.
Milo is bright, witty and cute, and, yes, I love a British accent. But his humor is way over the top, way too obscene and graphic for a Christian gal like me.
Ben Shapiro comes across as the boy next door — that is, if the boy next door wears a yarmulke and sports a law degree from Harvard. If you haven’t checked out his event at Berkeley, you should. He is highly intelligent, well-informed, pleasant, and civil.
While there was pandemonium prior to Ben’s talk, those at the actual event behaved themselves; the progressives asked their questions in a respectful manner. If anything, the most annoying aspect of the talk for the leftists was that some of it was a snoozefest.
The whole event was heavy on erudite questions about the free market system. Lucky for me, I was listening to a podcast so I could fast forward the more mind-numbing questions about economics.
The event ended on an amusing note, with the last questioner doing a shout-out to some girl he met at the event, asking her for a date. (Oh, those college students — you think that they are preoccupied with revolution when actually they are daydreaming about that cute gal or guy in physics class.)
If you take the time to actually listen to Ben, there isn’t anything remotely “hater” or “KKK” about his speech. The same can be said about Milo; he’s only over-the-top in his descriptions of why he’s not a racist (which has something to do with liking black men, and that’s about all I will say about that).
There were plenty of arrests at both Ben Shapiro’s talk and Milo’s brief appearance at the campus last Sunday. Valuable taxpayer money was frittered away to protect the speakers and the crowds. But I think that all of the drama is a smokescreen for what’s really going on.
The leftists at Berkeley become apoplectic about conservative speakers not because the latter are haters. And, frankly, the idea that the frenzied leftists have to shut down speakers to protect the delicate nature of blacks, gays, women, college students, etc. strikes me as very paternalistic.
The expensive and often violent attempts to crush free speech have to do mostly with fear: that is, progressives are afraid that people will actually be influenced by Ben, Ann, and Milo. The Left’s worst fear is reflected in this person’s comment on YouTube: “I’m a liberal but Ben Shapiro makes a lot of sense.”
The main way to keep people inside the progressive bubble is by ignorance. . . and ignorance is maintained by a close watch over what people can see and hear and read. The greatest danger to social control is an independent press and a free-thinking people.
Though Ben and Milo, et al. aren’t very scary, there is a whole lot of fear around them. But most Americans are a freedom-loving people who don’t look favorably on having their speech and information censored. Come the next election cycle, my guess is that those Americans will be expressing their deep disapproval of the sad and dangerous state of the Democratic Party.