I’ve always been drawn to controversial figures.
I think the reason why is because even if I disagree with their ideas, I usually admire their willingness to come out and take a resolute stand in defense of their values.
Unfortunately, in the era of social media dominance and progressive cancel culture, standing up for one’s values — especially if they are deemed controversial in any way — brings with it a whole lot of negative consequences. Fortunately, that controversy also can translate into a clear-thinking voice that demands to be heard.
One such voice is Dave Rubin.
During the recent FreedomFest conference in Rapid City, South Dakota, I spoke with the talk show host and creator of “The Rubin Report,” ideas activist and author, as he came by for a quick visit to the set of the Way of the Renaissance Man podcast.
Although brief, our discussion covered several interesting topics, including Dave’s journey from progressive to classical liberal, the rising power of “Big Tech,” and the problems it’s brought to the issues surrounding free speech. We also talked about Dave’s entrepreneurial solution to this problem, a solution that’s based on competition and providing consumer alternatives to existing social media platforms.
One thing that I find extremely refreshing about Dave Rubin is his willingness to change his position on issues based on the integration of new facts and based on a questioning of the very premises he once lived by.
For many of us, including myself, it’s hard to step out of our current mindset and try to see the world differently. Yet I think doing so is important for self-knowledge. It’s also important in terms of cultivating a reality-based mindset free of the baggage of what we are taught we are supposed to think.
Rubin does a fantastic job of explaining his evolution from progressive to classical liberal in his February 2017 video “Why I Left the Left,” which can be found at PragerU, the education website of my Salem Media colleague and radio talk show host Dennis Prager.
As Rubin explained, “Over the last couple years, the meaning of the word ‘progressive’ has changed. Progressives used to say, ‘I may disagree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.’ Not anymore. Banning speakers whose opinions you don’t agree with from college campuses — that’s not progressive. Prohibiting any words not approved of as ‘politically correct’ — that’s not progressive. Putting ‘Trigger Warnings’ on books, movies, music, anything that might offend people — that’s not progressive either.”
Rubin goes on to say, “All of this has led me to be believe that much of the Left is no longer progressive, but regressive. This regressive ideology doesn’t judge people as individuals, but as a collective.”
Here is an example of why I admire Dave Rubin, as he was willing to take a look at reality for what it had become, and he was able to alter his views and his positions, and at some considerable cost to his comfortable status as a host of the popular show “The Young Turks,” based on his own rational judgement.
I think that if more of us had that kind of questioning spirit and the willingness to alter our ideas in the face of strong evidence, and/or the absence of evidence, the world would be a much different, and dare I say, a much more rational place.
If you would like to see my discussion with Dave Rubin, which includes more of my thoughts on him and the role he’s playing in the current debate on free speech and social issues, then I invite you to check out my latest podcast, “Five Minutes with Dave Rubin.”
“The question isn’t ‘What are we going to do?’, the question is ‘What aren’t we going to do?’”
— “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
The 1980’s classic about a rebellious and wily teen who lives life to the fullest is one of the best films ever made when it comes to showing the virtue of being a free spirit. If you haven’t watched this film in a while, I recommend doing so. It might just awaken that irreverent inner teen in you, and it will definitely make you smile.
Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote that you’d like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my newsletters, seminars or anything else. Click here to ask Jim.