tv Students for Liberty Conference - Dave Rubin CSPAN April 2, 2018 3:53am-4:35am EDT
tamika mallory. the 50th anniversary of the assassination of dr. martin luther king jr. live on tuesday and wednesday on c-span and on american history tv on c-span3. >> now, dave rubin is interested -- is interviewed by nick gillespie at liberty gone -- liberty con. this is about 40 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, welcome to libertycon. [cheering] time that it1th has met. admittedly, a little bit of a mouthful. that is one of the reasons why we have changed it. the other is you. you come from all walks of life. all ages.
what unites us tonight are the ideas of liberty. thank you's much for being part of it. thank you to the thousands of students that volunteer to defend liberty every day in this country and around the world. thank you to the donors that make this possible and thank you to this sponsors. i would like to thank the university. a free market university in water mullah and it is a magic guatemalar mullah -- and it is a magical place. theso would like to thank dozens of other sponsors that make this possible. i appreciate you all being here. a criticale to post question. how effective are we, really?
how effective are we when hundreds of universities, the supposed bastions of learning, become places where dissenting thought is unwelcome. how effective are we when universities become places where someone's feelings displace rational thought? how effective are we when universities shun other opinions? now, what has led to this? the liberty movement. the answer is the left has gone insane. complainingakes are and they cannot handle the truth. are white,ther hand righteous, and sane. evil.hers are malicious, that is a terribly convenient explanation.
i see a lot of blame being passed around. for instance, if you look at the headlines they say --has the left gone insane? a nation of snowflakes and the left is anti-intellectual. maybe these headlines have a kernel of truth to them. the fact that we are not using free speech very wisely. i want to give you three reasons why i think so. we do not use free speech wisely because we rather offend people we don't like than engage in a conversation. too many people mistake free speech for offensive speech. admittedly it has become harder to voice your reasonable thoughts are about capitalism, socialism, immigration, and even religion.
instead of seeking conversation and understanding, folks at attack, ridicule, and behave offensively. if you make offensive speech the main focus on free speech, you are doing it wrong. i believe that this phenomenon comes from a place of weakness. both the self-described alt-right and the new left on bepus -- they like to victims. a gives them permission to shut people up, to boot -- to behave like jackasses. the right-field they are being harmed by the left. cultural marxism. globalism. political correctness. on the other hand, you have the left being harmed by the right. hopelessness.
in this game, everyone sees themselves as the snowflake being thrown around in the harsh winds of oppression. everyone likes to be a victim. we in this room are different. liberals have centuries of experiences of fighting big government. we are most of the time in the minority. we trust the individual. theirt themselves, family, and even a nation out of poverty. second reason. we do not use free speech wisely because we rather feel self-righteous than try to make a change. admittedly, the feeling of collective moral superiority is a nice warm blanket during the cold night of the authoritarian uprising. however, groupthink, friend-faux thinking is utterly appealing and we have to understand that
however, these things are based on our minds that have been shaped by lenny a living in tribal societies. people have to convince why free markets and free speech will help millions of individuals. we have to resist this. students for liberty and the movement cannot be insular or not another echo chamber. last week at cpac we saw what an echo chamber looked like. conservatives blindly favor protectionism. understand that our simple, the torch, needs to be carried. we cannot huddle over the fire and protective. because no one else will be able to see it. nobody will see how free markets lead to human
flourishing. on the contrary, we need to carry the port -- the torch despite the totalitarian headwinds. , likeng out to the ideas -- right now, there is so much hate out there. our ideas are not based on hate. they are based on the fact that free individuals can find solutions to complex social problems. we are different and our communications skills should also be different. this is what i always tell our students. yes, we have the right ideas. we can show how free markets
help human beings, and billions of them. we have the right ideas but we have to be the better people , too. the third and the last reason we don't use free speech wisely. because we blame the outside world instead of ourselves. we love to hand out books that other people should read and learn from and benefit from, but how many of us have read a lot of thinkers from the "other side"? how many of us have read mchugh? it is behind much of what we see on campus right now. how many of us understand why protectionism is still so popular? we need to know that because just this week, president trump advocated for trade wars and wants to give special treatment to big steel businesses. yes, boo that. [booing]
wolf: protectionism has been bankrupt for centuries, however these ideas are still popular. [applause] wolf: let me make my point more clearly. "the worst thing that can happen to a group cause is not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended." however, you can only defend yourself and your ideas effectively if you know where your opponent is coming from, and what kind of intellectual ammunition they are using. i believe we need to be better in understanding the ideas and the thinkers we are up against. let me succinctly summarize what i'm try to tell you tonight. stop trolling. stop hating. stop shit-posting. [laughter] [applause] wolf: rather, start improving
yourself, start learning, and start making a difference in the real world. fortunately, this is what students for liberty and our thousands of volunteers are doing. this is just from the last 10 months of activities. our volunteers are getting out there and seeking understanding and mutual respect in civil discourse. we can show the beauty of the ideas when we are writing articles in a newspaper, arguing why free expression matters. and also not talking to ourselves, but inviting others into the conversation. in the light of populism, rising socialism, and nationalism, we need to get out there and show that our ideas are about peace, love, and liberty, not about hate, fear, and big government. this is we are celebrating here
at libertycon. just have a wonderful night and take advantage of it, and get to know your fellow folks here. thank you so much. goodbye. [applause] naomi: thank you so much, wolf, and thank you for everything you have done for students for liberty. all of us here have had a very different entry point into liberty. my boss says he got into liberty for a reason and the reason is he is celebrating his 50th anniversary, which is exciting. [applause] naomi: up next we actually have
nick gillespie, a two-time finalist for the national magazine award and the only journalist who has interviewed ozzy osbourne and milton friedman. davell be interviewing rubin, who is one of the of last offenders of free speech youtube and a host of the rubin report. please give the two of them a warm welcome to the space. [applause] nick: hi. nick gillespie. thanks for having me here to talk to dave rubin. it is our 50th anniversary, we started in 1968, and we have a bunch of panels tomorrow. at 4:30 go to the marriott 2, because the first couple of hundred people we are going to be giving a special gift, and i literally guarantee you will be rolling with laughter at this gift.
be at the marriott ii at 4:30. david: i think it is weed, folks. it's going to be marijuana. [laughter] [applause] nick: this is why we lost world war ii. it is not marijuana, i will tell you that much, but it is pretty good. dave: meet me after the show, in the back. i will take care of you. nick: i'm here with dave rubin of the rubin report. dave has emerged over the past couple of years as one of the great defenders of free speech, and even more importantly, open, honest civil discourse, which is a twin with free speech. dave, i will ask you a couple of questions and, if you would like to ask a question, tweet to me
@nickgillespie, all one word, it is up there now, and i will feed your questions to dave, assuming he is not high as a kite by then. he was smoking like a chimney in the back. dave: people ask why i have such a nice demeanor. nick: it's why you can be so civil, because you have no idea where you are what you are talking about. dave: it is indica. ok, that is enough about weed, folks. let's talk about freedom. nick: you started out as a standup comic. you started out with the young turks and political commentary and you had a break with them over various things. people change and disagree but a lot of it had to do with identity politics. what are identity politics? how do you identify identity politics and why are they problematic to a free, open society? dave: identity politics truly is
the scourge of our time. if there's one thing you have to fight, it is identity politics, the idea that you should be judged on your immutable characteristics. martin luther king jr., what was his most quoted thing, he wanted his children to be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. this is simply the most important thing out there. i can look out there and we have got white people, brown people, gay people, and all that other diversity that the left loves. but that is not actually important unless you want to be judged as something you were born as. what you want to be judged as and on are your thoughts, your ideas, your actions. and this is where, unfortunately, i have tried to help a little bit, but this is where the left has failed miserably over the last couple of years. nick: libertarians are neither right-wingers or left-wingers. we believe in voluntary association as opposed to coercion as a core principle.
there are other things. it on the right, is there another type of identity politics? for a long time, because for you had these immutable characteristics, you are black or you were a woman or you were gay, they didn't want to have anything to do with you. is that also a problem in society? dave: it is a problem. you are black or you are a woman or you were gay, that didn't it is a problem going away a little bit on the right, and that is partly because of you guys. that is because the libertarian movement, being judged as individuals, i think this is actually picking up steam. i spoke at turning point usa a couple weeks ago, and is the largest gathering of conservative college students. i said how many of you are liberal, libertarian, and libertarians got the biggest round of applause. maybe they are the happiest. nick: they were supposed to be here tonight, but they were so high they ended up -- dave: exactly. but this simple idea i think
what is happening now is interesting is that the hysteria on the left has become so obvious to everyone that if you want out, you just want out of that, but you are not a conservative -- for me, i am married to a man, not even gay. i did it just to prove a point. [laughter] nick: you are not really -- if newt gingrich and the conservative revolution of the 1990's taught us anything, you are not really married until you have been divorced. get back to us in a couple of years. dave: by the way, i want to point out with the mustache and the leather jacket, at a gay bar in the 1990's -- nick: i have got to run after this, and i will be in a village people show. [indiscernible]
dave: i was going to say the ymca. nick: the indian chief drove me to it. i think an answer to your question, the hysteria of the left has driven so many people away i suspect -- how many of you would have considered yourselves liberal two or three years ago? any of you guys? that is a nice amount of people. now you are saying ok, i can't defend my principles anymore through that prism. now i can defend for libertarianism. that is beautiful, and whatever disagreements we may have, the ability to be judged as individuals and realize we have to live -- the whole point of this experiment, which is all that america is, is that you are supposed to live with people that look differently and think differently, but we do it within the framework that the government is going to protect our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. that is it. and if you really can wrap yourself around that, you do have a great future in front of you. or at least you do have a future that is yours and not something that is handed down to you by people who want to look at you with those characteristics.
characteristics. nick: what -- do you -- is it hard to be civil? have you had people on the rubin report, and if you have not subscribed, i recommend you do, @rubinreport on twitter, have you had people you disagree with? is it hard to have a civil conversation? dave: it is not hard for me. i have had plenty of people. a few weeks ago i had ben schapiro on. we had an in-depth conversation about abortion. i am begrudgingly pro-choice. it is about a 20-week cut off, but he is pro-life and we went in to it on that. we differ on the death penalty. he is for it, i am against. on, theshop barron diocese in los angeles. he didn't even know i was gay, and in the middle of the interview i said, i have --
nick: he did not know you were gay until you saw him at the bar leader that night. [laughter] dave: you stole the punchline. nick: by the way, i put it 12 in 12 years of catholic school. get off my back. dave: he says hi, by the way. [laughter] dave: in the middle i said, come in. there is a great moment, some of you see it, where he kind of shifts in his chair a little bit. i could see he was kind of getting a little bit nervous. but by the end we got to a place where, look, i didn't think i was going to tell him you should like gay people. what was he going to do, tore the frock off and say "let's go to west hollywood?" that was my gay accent. [laughter] dave: that was like pure like mid-1980's like mr. roper. i didn't think that would happen but it is not about proving a point to people, it's about
showing them you are a human. ironically, i will tell you this, after that interview, he got -- i got him to say his head and his heart were in the same place related to gay marriage. meaning that intellectually because of religion he couldn't accept it, but his heart was there. he got in so much shit with people on the right for saying that. there were all these catholic blogs who were writing -- there were people saying he could be pope one day. and there were all these blogs saying -- nick: not anymore. dave: you see, he sat down with this gay guy and there you go. i am not offended. yeah, i am sure we could find things we disagree on. big damn whoop. nick: we will go to questions from the audience from the twitter storm here, twitter stream, tweeter stream, whatever they say. this is just a block of wood i have been looking at. besides the kind of sexual orientation and gender issues, what are the big hot button
issues do you think that really seem to divide us? abortion is one of them. what about immigration? you are in southern california. i lived there. i remember back in the 1990's, liberals and conservatives both were really hostile to immigration. that cooled off, but now immigration is an issue that donald trump, very divisive character, rose to the white house in many ways. what do about immigration? dave: these issues are not immigration specifically. almost everything trump says, although he doesn't say it articulately, is something you can find a c-span video bill clinton saying virtually the same thing. you can find video five years ago of barack obama saying it virtually the exact same thing. trump just says it differently. he is a liar of different stripes, and that is why i would be for limiting the power of the federal government.
but the things we disagree on, whether immigration, abortion, or death penalty, all of those things are secondary to the important issue we need to pay attention to right now, which is identity politics and collectivism. it is this monster. you can all feel it. every time i go to a college, and i get invited by libertarian groups -- i have never been invited by a democratic group. i have never been invited by a republican group. i would love to give the same speech. i see libertarians, you guys, basically afraid to say what you think to your professors and often to your friends. if you don't say what you think now, when you are 19 or 20 and in college, you don't suddenly get braver when you're out. you are not going to suddenly have a mortgage to pay and a spouse and car payment and suddenly you go, i will start telling the world what i think now. that is -- you do the reverse. i think that is the one issue. we can talk about the ins and outs of politics. they are all secondary.
the best example is two of the guys who became good friends of mine, on the show several times, sam harris and ben schapiro, the y disagree on literally everything. everything -- from the existence of god to religion to abortion and the rest of the things we just mentioned -- but they're allies now. they're allies now. because they're both fighting for the ability to think for themselves and speak freely, and that's a beautiful thing. nick: before we go to the questions, who were your battles when you sat down to create a talkshow like, you know, who were you thinking of? dave: you know, larry king has become a friend and a mentor of mine. and you know i remember watching him in the heyday in the 1980's and i just thought this guy is just having a conversation with people.
really, that's it. i mean, when i sit down with people, i do usually have a few things scribbled down, but unless i really have to know some kind of chronological order or specific number, i tried to look at them just as i am looking at them and talk it out and figure out where we are going. i would say larry king and then johnny carson. he retired in 1992, i was only 15 or 16, but i remember watching him and thinking, this is just a decent fellow, and that's -- nick: talking with people. dave: and just chatting and doing this. you know, i truly never have an agenda when i sit down with someone, and i try to, i try to bring the best out of them. nick: ok. so, here's a question from rob, who is in the audience and is also the world's oldest undergrad. rob is -- he is in his 50's. he works for stossel in the classroom, and he is a great guy. he has a great question. what explains the growth of identity politics and what identifies hysteria politics? why is identity politics growing now? you say we don't want identity politics. right at the point when people with different sexual orientations finally get to speak or blacks are moving into
management positions or women are moving into management positions. now you're saying i don't want to hear about this. dave: i think it is lazy thinking. if you don't really want to think about the things you guys care about, about where do rights come from, how is the government supposed to function, what is your purpose in society, if you don't want to really think about those things, and you really just want to look at the world and go, i am aggrieved. i am a victim. i am a victim, and i have to actually make sure everyone knows i'm a victim, because that's a virtue in their oppression olympics game. it is a very easy way of thinking. it is a very sad and depressing way of thinking, because you should be trying to get whatever you can get out of this world , hopefully do it with principle and character, but i thing more than anything else it's easy thinking, and the reason that has become so prevalent because is partly because cable news is horrible. it is partly because a generation that grew up on snapchat and twitter and just no one started --
[speaking simultaneously] nick: you are both the problem and the solution. dave: yeah. nick: nice knowing you. dave: get to work, guys. nick: here's a question from kaitlin, @ladylibertync, who asks -- raises the idea of does social media help or hurt us in the discussion of liberty? you are saying that social media seems to -- identity politics thrive on that, but then is it also true it allows us to connect more easily so we can spread our own ideas? dave: it is a little of both. the ideas of social justice and the hysteria and the people -- that every morning you can wake up on twitter and go, i want to find someone who i never heard of who said something i slightly disagree with, let me get them fired from their job. you can do that if you want, but what i think social media has also done -- i assume some of you guys watch my show. that's probably a little something to do with social media.
and now there is something bubbling. i think you guys can feel it. we talked about it before. there's no doubt that there now is a movement that is countering this nonsense, and we have to use all the tools of social media they have kind of used against us. we got those tools, too, and got we have got to use them to fight back. nick: are you into antisocial media? dave: antisocial media -- i think that's porn. nick: that's true. that's true. [laughter] nick: that's what -- like porn hub, the largest membership group. my colleague at reason, robbie sauve, who writes a lot about campus issues, he said you should ask rubin report what he thinks about some people on the right, framing youtube censorship as a first amendment issue. do you think -- what is going on there? it is a little bit different. twitter bouncing accounts, youtube housing some accounts, but bring them back. people talk about demonetization of youtube videos that have political content in them. where do you stand?
dave: it is not a first amendment issue. you guys know that. it is not the government. you can argue there is some collusion between google and big some of these big tech companies and the government, but strictly speaking, it's not the government that is doing these things with youtube and twitter. so the argument right now, which is really -- it is an interesting one and why i like talking to libertarians so much is, is this case with google -- because google controls so much information, and because google is the number one search engine and you know what the number one two is? it is youtube. because their power is now so unique for your ability to connect with people, they have access to all of your e-mails and all of the information basically that you put out there, is this a unique case where the government should step in? now, i would argue no. i would argue no that i just don't think that the government -- i don't think the government does anything well, and basically don't think they can
-- the amount of problems it would create down the road i think would be far worse than what is happening now. what should happen is what is happening is capitalism and freedom, and guess what? hopefully one of you guys sitting here will find some vc people, and you will develop a block chain version of youtube or whatever or just some other player that actually we can all start going to -- nick: also, blockchain version of porn hub. dave: yeah. nick: finally. this intermediated porn. well, there's a followup question on that from christopher hudson who writes -- why does rubin spend most of his time platforming pseudo-intellectuals and racists? dave: you can yell out a name if you want. nick: i think he may be talking about -- one of the controversial people you have had on recently is jordan peterson. dave: sure. nick: how many people out there -- do you like jordan peterson? [cheering] nick: i guess -- do you like
that because he is standing up to political correctness or his specific insights? ok, it is insight. dave: i would say this. i've gotten to know jordan peterson quite well, and he has has been on the show a bunch, we have traveled together, we have done live events together. nick: you share pronouns together. dave: we share pronouns. all of that stuff. he is a wonderful woman. nick: that he is. dave: look, this guy -- i am pretty sure -- i don't know who the twitter person was referencing. i do not know that they would say jordan is a pseudo-intellectual and certainly not a racist. jordan -- the reason you guys like him i think is twofold. it is the same reasons i like. he is just saying be responsible for your life. number one. he is just saying, clean your room. he's saying take care of your stuff first and then go fix society. it's so simple, but it's
important to be said. but number two, he, i think, is the best academic at really unpacking what the left has become, what this post-modern cultural marxist collectivist set of ideas has become. the reason the reaction to him is so insane -- if you notice in the last amount of weeks the number of hit pieces on him or from the guardian to vice and just a slew of them, is because they don't know how to deal with ideas anymore. so now a guy who has been doing clinical psychology 30 years, extremely well-read, can drop dostoevsky like that, starts telling them the truth, but they don't know how to deal with the truth, and if you don't know what i am talking about, watch his interview with kathy newman. i think some of you guys got it. nick: we got some questions left. keep the questions coming, and by the way, while you're doing it, follow me on twitter. why not?
one of you may win a prize if you go to mariott ii tomorrow at 4:30. here's fazal. as a person of color -- dave: where is he? nick: as a person of color and then in parenthesis, red, what do you think of muslim dissidents being censors on u.s. campuses in a country claimed to be the home of the free? obviously, you are all about censorship. dave: i love censorship. nick: especially of muslims. no. how do you respond to something like that? dave: this is a huge problem. it goes to the soft bigotry of low expectations which believe it or not -- although people credit bill mahr with the phrase , it came from george bush. fazal moved from iraq, he was a secularist fighting for freedom in iraq. great person, hope you guys get to meet him out there. he has fought for all of the right principles here. which school did you get deep platforms from this week, university of oklahoma? so as a brown man, survived saddam and everything else,
because he talks about the ideas and the problems, which radical islam, etc. etc., now he is being deplatformed. so this is soft bigotry. this is -- everyone should be judged as an individual, and the more we say, ok, there's one set of ideas. you know, you can mock christianity all day, all of that. you can mock mormonnism, but we will put a play on broadway, but there is one set of ideas you can't touch. you see the problem in that? there is a lot of other things they don't want that you like about freedom, and they would be more than happy to take from you. nick: we are going to do one final question. this is from the liberty wire. @thelibertywire, who has a bruce lee avatar. any advice on speaking with progressives on issues as divisive as healthcare and gun rights? these two policy areas involve such emotion that making
discourse is almost impossible. dave: i saw a friend, childhood friend of mine in the city a couple weeks ago and he is a big lefty. known everyone other our whole lives and he is not pleased with me or my politics anymore, and we sat down, and we were at a bar and kind of got it into a little bit and i really wasn't in the mood -- every now and then i like to talk about basketball, maybe or something else. and i didn't want to do politics, and he just kept going and going and going. finally i said, do you think that you believe what you believe -- i am sorry, i said that backwards. do you think i believe what i believe as much as you believe what you believe? and without hesitation he said, no. and i thought, how profoundly warped is that from someone i've known my whole life? and that is where we have gotten to in society, that people that know each other -- he knows i am not a racist or a homophobe or any of those things. nick: but also that you could -- this is not a scam for you. this isn't a performance.
dave: precisely. precisely. right. yes, i am selling out for that big libertarian money. [laughter] dave: yeah. you guys. someone buy me a perrier when i get out there. nick: the great failing of the libertarian movement is nobody ever got rich being an professional libertarian. dave: yeah, i go out there, you guys give me a joint. i would say -- how do you talk to them? and the most important thing is make it personal. they say they haven't had their ideas challenged in an honest way because of what the universities have done, because of what media has done -- make it personal. make your -- if you are sitting there with a friend, and you say, i don't think we should have handouts for poor people from the government, because i think actually it should be done by private enterprise or churches or whatever, and they tell you you're a racist, make them repeat it. i mean, stare at them in the eye and make them repeat, yeah, i'm a racist, really? tell me, tell me something racist you ever heard me say and , and you can get them -- you can get them. it is hard, you'll lose friends
, and many of you have, i know i have, but keep fighting for the things you believe in because the people that want to take away the things you believe in but i would say punch a little harder. nick: we'll leave it there. let's give a big round of place for dave rubin. thank you. [cheers and applause] dave: thank you all. thank you, naomi, and remember you're going to roll with laughter at marriott ii 4:30 tomorrow. come down and check it out. thanks, dave rubin. >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. theng up this morning, foreign policy fellow at the brookings institution on u.s.-russia relations and recent -- and finder of the free range
kids movement talks about utah becoming the first state to pass a law legalizing free range parenting. and john thompson, former director of the u.s. census bureau on the cost of the 2020 census and some of the controversies surrounding it. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal, live at 7:00 eastern this morning. join the discussion. the c-span bus is traveling across the country on our 50 capital store. we recently stopped in sacramento, california asking folks, what is the most important issue in their state? >> right now, affordable housing and homelessness are two issues that are critically important. we are losing jobs. have peopleford to live here. affordable housing is critical. the homeless population has
just exploded in california. and cities are trying to do their best to help. the federal government has not -- is cutting back on being a partner in housing issues. we are looking to the state to step up and be a partner. taxes.worried about the i am concerned that some of the money from the high-speed rail is getting into taxpayers having to pay for the problems going on with the high-speed rail. >> as a first-generation college student, immigration policies are important. to give access to higher education to everyone in the u.s. >> being a veteran, the most important thing to me is veterans affairs and benefits. and things like us being veterans i feel we are entitled
to a couple of benefits that seem to be either really slow in bying or are being eroded budget cuts in washington. >> we need counselors in elementary schools throughout the state of california. every elementary school should have a counselor because of the problems we are having with mental illness and the guns issue. and i think this bill should be passed through the state of california. they have tried to pass it and they did not because the government -- the governor said he was not going to support it this time the cause it was too expensive. i would like to see that happen. i think we will solve a lot of problems with teachers and schools. witness from the states. on c-span. now, a discussion on public
opinion in the u.s. and abroad on the global trend toward nativism and its effect on politics. the george h w library hosted the event. this is one hour and 15 minutes. >> hello, everyone. and i willliff young be the moderator of this panel. i am president of public affairs. a polling and social research company in the u.s. it is a global company with offices in 90 countries. 130 countries. we have a great panel and a great discussion. we will be talking about immigration, nativism, and changing politics. the cosponsors