An excellent piece on Ben Shapiro is “That Shapiro Meltdown: What It Says About Him—And Conservatism, Inc.“
- Shapiro was expecting to promote his new book The Right Side Of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made The West Great, the latest in the long series of Beltway Right slop defining the West and/or conservatism as post-Enlightenment prattle about “individualism” or “liberty” or “Judeo-Christianity” or anything other than a people (white, by the way) with a real culture and civilization.
- Shapiro expected to appear in his traditional American role as gatekeeper, eager to condemn populist nationalism and to portray himself as an “intellectual conservative.” But Shapiro’s popularity, such as it is, depends on titillating a conservative audience. Like every would-be celeb in Conservatism Inc., he must simultaneously push and enforce boundaries. This inevitably leads to problems.
- [B]aiting transgenders is edgy on campus, while safe (for now) within the general conservative movement.
- Shapiro claims to be part of the “Intellectual Dark Web” (IDW), which has emerged as sort of faux Dissident Right. And in a 2016 interview with one of its supposed members, Dave Rubin, Shapiro declared,”Of course, there are legitimate racists and we should target them and we should find them and we should ruin their careers because racism is unacceptable.”
- Shapiro has a platform precisely because he is allowed to have a platform. He complains about campus protests and online abuse he suffered during the 2016 campaign, but I can confidently predict that Ben Shapiro will never lose his Stripe account, his PayPal account, his checking account. He will never lose his Twitter—while his critics (some undoubtedly abusive but definitely not all) mostly have.
- He is “New Media” only insofar as he is promoted by Legacy Media, and because any competition to his right, including the grassroots activists who drove the 2015-2016 Trump insurgency, is being persecuted and purged by Big Tech.
- Neil was right when he identified the lack of intellectual energy coming from the Beltway Right. Again, partially this is because most of the incisive critics have been deplatformed, cut off from financial resources, or simply intimidated via direct threats. Yet it’s also because the Beltway Conservative Movement is fundamentally a product of corporate donors. Not surprisingly, they aren’t coming up with anything except the usual calls for tax cuts and deregulation.
- Ben Shapiro has no stake in political success, no skin in the game. His job is to remain in the political sweet spot of triggering the hysterical campus left, while gatekeeping for the Beltway Right. This allows him Main Stream Media access, fundraising, and bookselling opportunities, while repeating the same tired slogans like it’s still the Reagan years.He and those like him love to mock Leftists for staying in their safe spaces. But as we’ve now seen, once Shapiro is out of his Conservatism Inc. safe space, he really has nothing to say.
“While Shapiro finds Trump supporters “vile” and “disgusting” for chanting “send her back,” he himself openly advocated for ethnically cleansing all “5 million Palestinians and Israeli Arabs” from Israel in a column titled, “Transfer is not a dirty word.”