SIO28: The Discussion With Dave Rubin That Never Was (and more bad news….)

Yeah, that excitement didn’t last too long. I was scheduled to speak to Dave Rubin at Mythinformation in Milwaukee in September, but despite everything having been agreed to and announced, Dave dropped out due to a previously overlooked scheduling conflict. In light of that, I share some thoughts on what happened, what I tried to do in response, and what the result was. I also looked back through Dave’s guest history at his alleged “liberals” he has interviewed to see whether I haven’t given him enough credit for hearing opposing views. The answer may, or may not, shock you.
After that it’s more bad news… I researched the senate races in 2018 and the results are… problematic. Find out just how problematic, and whether there is any hope to hold onto in terms of finally getting some accountability in the Trump presidency.

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17 Replies to “SIO28: The Discussion With Dave Rubin That Never Was (and more bad news….)”

  1. This episode made me more angry than anything you have done I think ever. Margaret Cho’s interview was 40 minutes and was a bonus episode. Also Rubin is now a libertarian, if you listened to his show you would know that. He started as a classic liberal. Jimmy Dore is on the Young Turks, so super liberal.

    First off, John Fugelsang is a progressive. One of the most progressive people Rubin has interviewed. He doesn’t call himself a democrat because they are too far right for him. He was a regular on the Stephanie Miller show and has his own show on Sirius now. He was also a host on Current TV. If you do not know a person’s history do not make assumptions based on a single interview of where they stand politically.

    Honestly this is the equivalent of not knowing who Tomi Lauren is and hearing she is pro choice and saying she is a liberal.

    I will go through all Rubin’s guests and list the liberals. Being anti feminist does not make you a right winger. This list will start from the beginning.

    Sam Harris, Cara Santa Maria, Jimmy Dore, Felicia Michaels, Maajid Nawaz, Kelly Carlin, Ayann Hirsi Ali, Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar, Sarah Haider, Peter Boghossian, Ali Rizvi, Don Lemon, David Pakman, Sargon of Akkad, Tarek Fatah, Melissa Chen, Arif Rahman, John Fugelsang, Rosanne Barr, Chris Ray Gun, Thunderfoot, Rita Panahi, Lawrence Krauss, Cassie Jaye, Hillary Rosen, Margaret Cho, Jerry Coyne, Trae Crowder, Armoured Skeptic, Vernaculis, Andrew Seidel.

    That is a list of 31 and he has probably done 100 shows and many of those were repeat guests. So about a third of his guests are liberals. There may be some other liberals in his list that I could not say for sure was a liberal.

    Maybe you just do not understand what a liberal is, I’m not sure.

    I’ll come on the show and defend some of these things if you want. Email me:

  2. I wouldn’t call a few of those liberals, such as Sargon, Armoured Skeptic, etc. They align with classical liberalism, which despite having “liberalism” in the name they don’t fit what we would call a liberal these days. Classical liberalism is like a slightly modern liberal leaning libertarianism, which aligns with Dave Rubin’s outlook pretty well.

    I was going to come here to mention Andrew Seidel, though. I don’t watch Rubin Report, but I follow Andrew and I know he was on. In terms of threats to free speech, Seidel is probably the best person to talk to, considering he’s a constitutional lawyer, and any significant threats to free speech rights are coming from laws from conservatives (as per a recent episode of Polite Conversations with Thomas and Andrew Torrez).

  3. Classical Liberalism is liberal. That’s where I fall myself. Those are all people that follow liberal principles, like free speech, like the right to do what you want without harming others, which would include drugs, right to die, legalized prostitution etc.

    Where classical liberals differ from Libertarians is on the financial side. We tend to be for social programs, a government that does provide a safety net, etc.

    If you consider Sargon or Skeptic especially not liberal then that word no longer holds any meaning.

  4. I wouldn’t draw an equivalence between the two. Classical liberalism relies on free market principles far more than what most self-described liberals in the west would agree with. It tends to place less values on social safety nets and programs under the banner of “personal responsibility” without going full conservatism. I can’t comment on either of these guys’ economic positions, but this tends to spill over onto cultural attitudes, such that words can never actually hurt someone or trigger a panic attack a la PTSD, or downplay the effect of implicit bias on hiring practices of minorities, etc.

    Modern liberals, at least in the American sense of liberalism, is more progressive than this, though I would say establishment liberalism or neoliberalism isn’t exactly progressive. If you’re using liberalism in a European sense I think you’d have a case.

  5. I’m Canadian so I’m coming at it from that angle. The liberal party here has always been a Center left party.

    In the US the term liberal is a dirty word because it’s become equivalent to progressive. That’s why we have to agree on what being liberal means.

  6. Having been a fan of Fugelsang for years (seen him twice in person and heard him dozens and dozens of time on the Stephanie Miller show back when I had a radio), I was taken aback a little to hear that he was not a liberal. I would have pegged him as an ultra-liberal, uber-progressive. Again this is from the horses mouth, as it were, listening to what he actually says, not what somebody says about him.

    We should probably e-mail him and tell him he’s not a liberal progressive anymore. He might not know yet.

  7. Thomas has a huge hard on for Rubin bashing and this is a clear case of confirmation bias. He hears not a democrat and automatically that is not liberal.

    Thomas used to be able to really explore all sides of an issue in a very neutral observer kind of way. I’m sure he had those biases then but he would push them aside at least and take an honest look at issues. It was I really liked about the show. Maybe as he has gotten more political he has shifted into carrying water for his chosen team. I miss old neutral Thomas a bit.

  8. Maybe it would be helpful to set aside the discussion of whether or not his guests can be characterized as “liberals”, “classical liberals”, or “democrats” (et al.) and focus on the more pointed question of whether Dave Rubin has had any serious discussions about the specific claim of the “regressive left” causing harm with someone who disagrees on that point.

    I don’t watch Rubin’s show, and while there are a lot of results when I search for “Rubin regressive left,” they all seem to be clips of him speaking with like-minded people about the danger/absurdity of the regressive left.

    Does anyone know where I can find a clip of Dave Rubin engaging someone who disagrees with him on issues he’s identified as “regressive”, or specifically discussing the idea of the regressive left being harmful with someone who does not share his view?

  9. He has never had that discussion, to my knowledge. That’s what I meant when I said he has never had anyone who defended trigger warnings or safe spaces. But you’re right I could have framed it that way.

  10. Can you think of a relatively high profile person that does defend the types of safe spaces and trigger warnings he rails against? I can’t think of anyone that defends the abuse of safe spaces on campuses.

    Even Eli calls those things abuses of the concept.

  11. Rubin has an open invitation for the usual regressive subjects, Reza et al. No response.

  12. Well, to start off, I don’t think anyone defends “the abuse of safe spaces on campuses,” but rather would argue that there’s validity to those spaces and movements others have deemed illegitimate and abusive. For example, I’ve noticed a lot of internet comments supporting the use of trigger warnings for veterans but not for survivors of sexual violence. As a therapist who has done trauma work, my view on this is that those commenters have a very limited understanding of the nature of trauma. That’s not to say there aren’t examples (real or potential) of safe spaces and trigger warnings that I wouldn’t understand, or that I would assume to be misguided and possibly harmful, but the idea that everyone with common sense can tell and is in agreement about which safe-spaces are valid and which are absurd is ridiculous.

    I think there are a lot of activists, academics, and notable celebrity-esque types who would challenge the idea that identity politics, safe-spaces, and trauma-informed classrooms are dangerous, a distraction, or cause the litany of harms people seem to lay at their feet (e.g., they delegitimize liberal ideals, they’re responsible for Trump, they weaken our academic institutions, et al.).

    Moira Weigel, Michael Brooks, Phillip McKenzie, Shaun King, W Kamau Bell, Hari Kondabolu, Alicia Garza, Noam Chomsky, Kate Manne, Kristance Harlow, Erika Price, Colleen Lutz Clemens, Jeremy Scahill, Sam Seder, Ta Nehisi Coates, Tim Wise, Emma Kromm, Antonia Chan, Alicia Juang, Morton Schapiro, Morris Dees, Matt Taibbi, Cherno Biko, Angela Davis, Bree Newsome, Johnetta Elzie, Dawud Walid, Rachel Maddow, Zellie Imani, Beverly Bond, Michael McBride, Al Franken, Cornel West, Chris Hayes, Jesse Williams, Marc Lamont Hill, J Skyler, Kathleen Hanna, Janet Mock, Linda Sarsour, Laverne Cox, John Lewis, Shane Bauer, Mimi Nguyen, Lindy West, Sister Simone Campbell, Willie Parker, Jennicet Gutiérrez, April Reign, Claudia Garcia-Rojas, Bryan Stevenson… (and many others who are more knowledgeable and engaged in activism, teaching, politics, research, etc. than random internet social commentators whose only real talent is to make edgy claims about their own thought experiments).

    And I should be clear, I don’t know how each of these people would approach the specific topics of trigger warnings, safe spaces, and de-platforming. I’ve heard/read many of them argue from different perspectives on those topics and reach different conclusions, but any of them would be more than capable of addressing the notion of the “dangerous regressive left” informed by more than just assertions about the way they reckon things ought to be. Moreover, I think even those who agree with Dave Rubin that these issues are problematic, or even hurting our own cause, may have legitimate objections to the way he contextualizes these issues, who he blames, and how he fails to be an effective voice for change by just consistently parroting a right-wing talking point as if it were some great insight.

    Also, I think it’s important to note that, as I understand Eli’s statements, there’s some distance between “group A abuses the concept of safe spaces because they’re 18 years old, dealing with some intense internal shit, and still trying to understand what it means to be who they are in relation to a society that interacts with them in ways that can be unjust and traumatizing, so there’s going to be some super annoying behavior” and “group B abuses the concept of safe spaces to shut down dissenting opinions and institute authoritarian rule over facts they don’t like.”

  13. Only Erika Price is someone I can confirm would defend some of the obscure trigger warnings. She has given a trigger warning for jello because a student asked her to.

    Trigger warnings is something I see no issue with. However I do think the label of having PTSD is being abused by people self diagnosing. My step daughter does have severe reactions to snakes and clowns. Actually being triggered with uncontrolled reactions.

    Where the abuse comes is from people that think they are triggered when really they are just feeling an emotion to a certain topic. Theresa Caputo makes me angry every time I see her con artist mug on tv, some call that being triggered, it’s not.

    What we should be doing is creating terms for the non counselling uses of safe spaces and trigger warnings to differentiate them from legit use. Then we can have meaningful conversations about the two very different uses of those things. Currently they are comflated into a single thing and the legit use is being dragged through the mud by the abuse.

  14. How is all of that going to get Bubba and Mrs. Bubba of Akron, Ohio who’ve been out of work or nearly out of work (working McJobs) since the tire plants closed interested in voting for a Hillary clone? The folks we’ve forgotten while pandering to very small minorities have, with good reason, forgotten us. I’m not in favor of abandoning small minorities of marginalized people, but if every one of them votes and every one of them votes Democrat, Trump will still be president in 2020.

    Sam Harris speaks of the Left being “irredeemable.” I would like for that not to be true, but I fear that it is. Back in the 2000s I had this image of the Great Greyhound Bus of State nose-over in a ditch with the rear wheels spinning wildly flinging dirt and mud everywhere and going nowhere while those in the driver’s seat (Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld—that crowd) kept yelling, “Stay the course!” I get that same feeling from the current Left; we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and we can’t correct our course. We’re going to spend the 2020 elections in Roswell at the UFO museum. The good news is that in 2024 when the US is in a deep depression and on the verge of civil war, whatever has grown up in place of the “irredeemable Left” will be a shoo-in to take over the recovery process. The bad news is we will almost certainly have to wait that long. We are every bit as blind as the Neo-Cons ever were.

  15. Bullshit. Sam Seder & Michael Brooks of the Majority Report have repeatedly made clear they’re open to coming on the show. Rubin will avoid any leftist who would call him out on his idiocy while publicizing every instance of a liberal blocking him on twitter. He’s a lying coward.

  16. Yes, a million times THIS.

    When I can’t find a job to feed my family I really dont care which bathroom someone can or cannot use.

    When candidate A says they will bring back my lost job and candidate B says nothing about how she will get me a job but assures us that trans people will be protected I have no choice but the vote for candidate A.

    Trump and Hillary both played identity politics but Trump played to 60% and Hillary played to 40%, that’s a losing formula. Hillarys strength was policy and she had the lowest add about policy of any candidate in memory. Just 25%.

    The current power on the left wants to double down on failed paths to victory and they are paving the way to a trump second term.

  17. How did you come to the conclusion that Rubin is lying and not Sam and Michael?

    One side is lying because both sides have openingly said they are willing to talk.

    Please don’t call people that believe Islamophobia is a real thing liberals. That is the exact opposite of liberalism.

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