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Millennial keepers of the flame: Are Shapiro and Crowder the new Buckley and Limbaugh?

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On Wednesday, I co-hosted a screening for Ben Shapiro’s visit to the University of Utah. Prior to the event, a viewer who’s fairly new to politics and hadn’t heard of Ben Shapiro until a month ago (which, let’s be real, how is that even possible?) told me that while he agreed with Ben on gun rights, he didn’t think Shapiro’s argument was all that great. Then he asked me for my take.

Background

Quickly, for those who are unfamiliar with Shapiro’s history of destroying Piers Morgan on the 2nd Amendment, here’s Ben’s basic approach: “The basis for the Second Amendment is not really about self defense, and it’s not about hunting. It’s about resistance to government tyranny. That’s what the Founders said, and that’s what the right believes in this country.”

I restated Ben’s argument and stressed the importance of shifting the debate to remember the core principle of the issue, but then I turned to another source who one might not immediately consider when citing constitutional scholarship: Steven Crowder.

Crowder’s oft-quoted meme on the 2nd Amendment is, “Why do I need an AR-15? Because go f*** yourself.” The question isn’t whether I need a gun but the mere fact that I want one and it’s my right so I’m getting one. Why do you need your iPhone, flat screen, fidget spinner, or Taco Bell? It’s irrelevant. Your money is yours to spend pretty much however you want, up to and including a gun if you so choose, and except in rare conditions, the government can’t stop you.

The real question isn’t why I need it, but who gave the government permission to stop me.

The man said he thought I had a more convincing argument than Ben, which is 100% the highest compliment a conservative can receive.

But I didn’t let it get to my head for two reasons: 1) it was just a mix of two ideas others have been sharing for years, one of them Shapiro himself, and 2) it made me realize the importance of distinct conservative personalities.

Analysis: Shapiro vs. Crowder

Before I go any further, no one can intelligently refute that Ben Shapiro is one of the sharpest and all-around best debaters in modern history. He knows and implements all the right tactics in just the right combinations based on his opponent’s typical strategy and weaknesses. He literally wrote the handbook on this with his bestseller Bullies, and he frequently speaks on how to use the Left’s talking points against them.

That said, he has a very unique brand that doesn’t lend itself to certain audiences, and depending on his goal, he may speak very differently. In debate, you are not trying to convince your opponent of anything; you’re trying to show the crowd that you know better than your opponent and that he’s a stooge. This is Shapiro’s bread and butter.

In dialogue, however, you actually do want to find some common ground, and Ben’s strategy here, conscious or not, is typically to prove his point analytically through philosophical reasoning. Personally, I love this. But it doesn’t impact everyone the same way.

For example, at the University of Utah, Ben was asked to provide evidence for the existence of God, the soul, and free will. To be fair, this is a deeply philosophical question — the kind Ben attracts because he’s so brilliant. But the first words out of his mouth were, “All right, I’m gonna give you the Aristotelian slash Aquinas argument for the existence of a God,” and he continued in that vein, citing the concepts of actuality vs. potential, contingency, an infinite regress of causes, and the unmoved mover.

Not everyone speaks this language. I’d bet that many people don’t know that Aristotelian (especially when hearing it rather than reading it) relates to Aristotle. Of course, I loved his answer, but I’ve read Aristotle. And although I haven’t read Thomas Aquinas, I’m acquainted. But I also watch C-SPAN in my spare time, so I’m clearly not the metric by which one should measure public political interest.

Bottom line: there is none greater than Ben Shapiro in the modern conservative movement. But going with pure Shapiro as a communication tactic might not be enough to attract the largest base. I don’t think Shapiro believes that either.

Enter Steven Crowder.

Crowder’s approach is comedic, irreverent, and inflammatory. He’s not a provocateur like a certain flamboyant, pro-pedophilia, Alt-Right apologist whose name I won’t dignify; Crowder’s schtick is actually incredibly substantive, and in some cases, as with his recent undercover exposé on Antifa, legitimately groundbreaking.

He intentionally triggers Leftists, but not just for the sake of triggering. He educates by debunking historical myths, exposing corruption, and rebutting culturally popular political lies from the likes of John Oliver, Vox, and Samantha Bee.

Ben Shapiro is fully capable of inciting outrage with witty one-liners (hence the thug life videos); it’s just not how he leads. Steven Crowder is highly intelligent and often delves into deeper territory than just politically infused comedy, or even comically infused politics, but he does so in a way that makes sense to someone with any level of political expertise.

I don’t hesitate at all in saying that Ben Shapiro knows more than Steven Crowder about political theory, I can say with equal confidence that Crowder is more effective at communicating with the average listener.


Perspectives

9/18/17 – Ben Shapiro = William F Buckley? – Glenn Beck

http://www.glennbeck.com/content/audio/91817-ben-shapiro-william-f-buckley/Glenn Beck speaks on the radio and asks the question: Is Ben Shapiro the new William F. Buckley?

Opinion: The argument over free speech: intellectually shallow, vitally important | Opinion | ocolly.com

http://www.ocolly.com/opinion/opinion-the-argument-over-free-speech-intellectually-shallow-vitally-important/article_1fd3ec5a-9ca9-11e7-90fb-c3976233bbd1.htmlOn the right you have individuals like Charlie Kirk and Steven Crowder, two people I’ll admit to otherwise enjoying, who spend most of their time lambasting the millennial generation of being soft and unable take criticism, that they are in social and political echo-chambers. Largely, this line of reasoning is unproductive, meaning it is unlikely to change the mind of its opponents, and, as I’ve been alluding to, it lacks real intellectual heft. That being said, however, this argument has an equally simplistic counterpart.

An Interview with Ben Shapiro: Where Conservatism Stands Today | Merion West

http://merionwest.com/2017/06/01/an-interview-with-ben-shapiro-where-conservatism-stands-today/Erich: Do you see your role, in part, then as guiding the opposition to the Left towards a grounding in a set of principles such as constitutionalism rather than encouraging opposition to the Left by hook or by crook?

Ben: Yes that’s the idea. The idea is to understand why the Left despises the Right and understand that the replacement for that is not a tribalism of the Right but rather a universalism within the founding principles.


The Takeaway

Both are indispensable to conservatism.

Ben Shapiro is the William F. Buckley of our generation. If you’ve never seen Buckley’s show Firing Line, you need to right now.

But Steven Crowder is this generation’s Rush Limbaugh, and that title shouldn’t be treated lightly.

I can’t imagine where conservatism would be without either of these legends, regardless of the contrast between Buckley’s reserved intellectualism and Limbaugh’s affinity for sports and song parodies.

At their core, Ben is a thinker and Steven is a comic. Both are brilliant, and they’re exactly what conservatism needs. And whether you’re cut from the Crowder cloth or you lean Shapiro, whether you’re a mix of the two or something else entirely, conservatism needs you too.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

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Culture and Religion

Dr Paul Lim tells how he went from atheist to Christian… at Yale

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Dr Paul Lim tells how he went from atheist to Christian at Yale

Universities aren’t usually considered likely venues for people to turn to the Christian faith. Ivy League universities rife with atheist professors are even less likely than most to yield a conversions to the faith. If anything, they’re efforts are often directly focused on converting Christians into abandoning their faith.

Dr Paul Lim tells a different tail. His personal journey from South Korea to California, then Pennsylvania on to Yale, is an exception to the rule. His journey is not common, but then again who’s to say what sort of journey to embracing Jesus Christ can be considered common?

It’s not too long, clocking in at just over 48 minutes, and much better than your average network television hour. If you already believe, it may help you open the eyes of others. If you don’t believe, your eyes may be opened.

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Culture and Religion

How likely is it that a single protein can form by chance?

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How likely is it that a single protein can form by chance

To really answers the question of whether life was created or came about by random chance, we need to take a mathematical look at things. It may be easier to form our opinions based on something we read in a junior high science book, but there really is more to it than the surface questions asked and answered by scientists and theologians alike.

For the faithful, it comes down to faith. For the scientific, it also comes down to faith. Whose faith is more likely to be correct?

Part of the answer can be found in this short video. Those who think there’s no faith associated with scientific theories clearly don’t understand the mathematics behind the science they claim to hold dear.

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Culture and Religion

When will people be forced to apologize for anti-Christian Tweets?

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When will people be forced to apologize for anti-Christian Tweets

There’s a trend that has been growing for some time that is reaching a tipping point now. The trend is this: when someone becomes a big story in the news, their Twitter accounts are scoured from beginning to end in order to find Tweets that offend a particular group or protected class. In many cases, this offended group has been the LGBTQ comunity, such as the recent cases of Kevin Hart and Kyler Murray.

Hart was set to host the upcoming Academy Awards when it was “discovered” the comedian used anti-LGBTQ slurs in the past. He deleted the Tweets and apologized, but still felt it necessary to pull out of the Oscars after so much backlash.

Murray, the Heisman trophy winner, was forced to apologize after reports of his Tweets used the same slurs when he was 14- and 15-years-old.

Bigotry in all its forms is contemptible. But where do we draw the line between actual bigotry and unfortunate uses of words or opinions in the past that have been deemed unacceptable today?

Should President Obama (and for that matter, Hillary Clinton) be demonized by the LGBTQ community, mainstream media, and leftists for their perspectives a decade ago? Lest we forget, both announced sharp opposition to gay marriage when they were running for president in 2008. Which is worse, a potential head of state calling for marriage to be defined as being between a man and woman or a teenager in high school referring to someone as a “fag”?

Democratic politicians are apparently allowed to evolve in their beliefs, but comedians and college football players are not.

Anti-Christian Tweets

Sadly, some of the very people who demonize others on Twitter for using unacceptable terms in the past are the same people who also demonize Christians today. I’ve been combing through Tweets of many of the most outspoken proponents of LGBTQ rights, accusers of Islamophopia, and other anti-bigotry leaders. In many cases, these people who are against bigotry demonstrate their own bigotry towards the Judeo-Christian faiths without being big news stories.

I’m not posting the Tweets here. I will not participate in whataboutism, nor do I condone using someone’s past Tweets to highlight their alleged bigotry. There’s a difference between the militant and inexcusable posts by people like Louis Farrakhan and the posts be people like Murray, Hart, or the anti-Christian posts of their detractors. They might see it as okay to demonize people like Hart and Murray for their Tweets, but I will not participate in Twitter witch hunts on the opposite end of the spectrum. Both practices are wrong.

So the question really isn’t about when we start calling out anti-Christian Tweets. It’s about why we should openly debate each other’s perspectives without being condemned for our own perspectives. If someone Tweets something against the Judeo-Christian faith, I wouldn’t expect the Oscars to ban them from being their host. I would see it as an opportunity to share my own perspectives and hopefully show some who are against my faith that there’s something worth exploring.

Today, if you Tweet something deemed unacceptable by the LGBTQ community, you’re in jeopardy of losing much. If you Tweet something against the Judeo-Christian faiths, the left sees it as acceptable. Social media is the most hypocritical medium around.

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