The Conversation Ep. 24: Ben Shapiro
01:16 "... topic at hand which is the conversation ..."

It’s our latest episode of The Conversation, and this month you’re speaking with the one and only Ben Shapiro! Subscribers, ask your live questions over at, and Ben will grace your answers with the knowledge and wisdom you've been waiting for.

Daily Wire Instagram: the.daily.wirebarring Michaels body in the LA River well I mean killing jackhammer through the cement to get there there are some dirt parts though that's true that's true there they re greening the LA River who could use his body as compost oh wait are we live high over here planning our weekend hello everyone I'm Alicia cross we're live with our newest episode of the conversation with me is editor-in-chief New York Times bestselling author my brother from another mother Ben Shapiro wild enthusiasm he will he's just excited because it's Friday and he knows after this he gets to go home for Russia Shana oh yeah you get you hit like your days off good for you now thank you God well played God literally TGIF is this or is this a holiday that you can eat though it's not a fast day right not a fast day although next Wednesday is a fast day and then 10 days after that is a fast day okay so yeah your fasting you could do like a Ben Shapiro Weight Watchers plan this is a yo-yo diet though this is like you eat a lot in Rosh Hashanah you don't need it all on some Gedaliah you don't need it all on Yom Kippur you eat a ton on Sukkot like it's just up and down oh so you're like Renee Zellweger before and after British Jones diary you're just like roller coaster with the wait that's exactly right then I have really a lot of plastic surgery and the movie bet you Garland alright we'll get back to the topic at hand which is the conversation and we are conversing but we want all of you to be able to a spend your questions which is what we will be doing for an entire hour here at the Daily Worker all right please remember that our conversation is live for everyone to watch but only the Daily wire subscribers get to ask the questions how do you ask the questions head on over to our brand new recently updated daily wire calm super fast it's super cool super fast click on the link in our video description if you want to ask a question or become a subscriber and then go back to that page to ask that question of Ben and be sure to turn it in for next month's episode which is featuring Andrew Clavin you're not making a strong case I'll be honest with you he's nice most of the time is he is he Alicia he's like you know it's very bald you know that drew used to scare me like he actually used to scare me because I used to eat him yeah because the dead shouldn't be walking that old Skeletor is scary I was next to the god-king he's the oldest person Anthony Wow well Jeremy taking one right in the girl fall I love I love to give the god-king a hard time because you know he turned 40 this year I do know that you threw him a very nice party I did that was generous of you it also happened we have a good relationship on his birthday I buy him nice things and my birthday he doesn't say anything that's the way you like it though precisely that's my friend as a present to yourself on his birthday you made sure to have his party when Michael Knowles was out of town that's true which we all appreciated but I give Jeremy a hard time I'm like I always talk to people about how like Dale you are so cool we have an office of amazing people and most of us are under 40 because you're in your 30s this is true there's a lot of people here that are real young yeah I have a little while still in my 30s I mean I'm going to enjoy it yeah I'll enjoy it I have a few a few years left so what are you gonna do for the 40th retire no idea I'm sure we'll get like no Ben run for president so we've never done this before but I kinda wanna do this because it is a Friday and we haven't had you for conversation in a while because subscribers get to control what's happening I want you to implore them and beg them what would you prefer to talk about today like what questions do you want them to ask oh man I mean I don't really care I'm ornery and as we know ornery Ben is best Ben so I am I am up for pretty much anything you're right just a fold towards all of our amazing subscribers well no no I like the subscribers it's everybody else ID is Fame and if you're watching this for free let me just say my disdain for you is fairly strong so if you wish to avoid the disdain then truly you should subscribe I mean I know this is a hard sell guys but let's be real about this I mean we are here working for you and let's also be real that there are a lot of people out here who want to take us off the air every single day and destroy our business and the way that you make sure that doesn't happen is by subscribing so I'm not even gonna make the you get all sorts of great stuff pitch because you do you get all sort of great stuff but more importantly like stuff that you support you should actually support because the fact is that there are horrible horrible people who spend every single waking hour of their lives being paid to watch my show specifically so that they can try and take me off the air and this is true for all of our other hosts and pretty much all the hosts on the right so if you like the show if you like what we do you should subscribe and help us out you we appreciate it it also makes sure that Alicia gets paid and probable gets paid everybody around here it gets paid and most of the time they do a mediocre job so you should keep them being paid this is my pitch alright good so ask the questions that you want cuz men said he'll answer them no matter what that's pretty much that's pretty much it yeah that's right okay sweet first question comes from Chase he says hi Ben I have a question about the congressional hearings why do they have hearings when they are not interested in learning anything at all is it all for political gain yes that was a two-part question why do they have hearings at all and is it for political gain it is for political gain yes it's so it's like tied to I got nothing on that I mean that's obviously next question right exactly I know we're stalling for time here but that is that it's obviously the case I mean come on you have all these congressional Schmucks and they sit up there and they speechify for six minutes and then they sin and you sir how dare you and then the witan is like well I would like to answer the question like well you're out of time you can stuff yeah the hearings are really stupid I've taken part in a couple of them they are there in two they're not stupid we are there but they're stupid oh no they're stupid all the way through but the question is can you use the stupidity to your own personal advantage that's pretty much what all of this is for for witnesses for people who are hosting it when's the last time you saw something get done during a hearing nothing everyone sad this is why I'm with Justice Thomas Justice Thomas even during the oral arguments for the Supreme Court is it listen I've read your briefs I'm not interested this is a waste of my time I understand that you're all here to put on a show and all that but you know I'm gonna do I'm gonna sit here and I'm gonna play Angry Birds and you guys can do what you want and at this point Justice Clarence Thomas is an expert at both constitutional law and Angry Birds so he now has a skill that no one else has on the Supreme Court so can you make the case for and against c-span because I have friends that have made an argument that c-span even though its intention was to make it plausible for the American people to see what's happening with our legislators it's actually created this mentality that they do grandstand more and then get nothing done I mean I think that's fair I really do I mean the fact is that the viewership of c-span does not necessarily justify this like all the important stuff that's happening in Congress is not the stuff happening on c-span yeah all the negotiations are happening behind closed doors of the really important talk is happening behind closed doors you're just privy to people you know cutting a campaign ad so if you really enjoy watching people cut campaign ads or you really love watching people take calls from from people abusing them on everythin c---span is a wonderful place to be all right MJ says what do you think of the contract with America it was good it was it was the first it was good in one way and not great in another it was wonderful in the sense that it was the first attempt at an overt and comprehensive conservative move in governance for a long time so right and from the legislative branch the Ronald Reagan dinner from the presidential branch unfortunately American policymaking has been done increasingly from the executive branch since the beginning of the 20th century contract with America was an actual attempt to put forward a legislative agenda which is something you really haven't seen from Democrats or Republicans before or really since and and that was a very good thing the one way I think that it was not great is that it did nationalize every congressional election and I'm not sure that's a good thing because as we move into the era of everything being nationalized through social media people are getting more and more contentious one of the things that prevents politics from being so contentious is when you think okay what they do in DC doesn't really affect me what do I care what some Congress person in North Carolina has to say they're not my Congress person I only care what happens in my local community or if I do care about that it's at least very secondary when you nationalize every election and every issue becomes paramount and every issue is something that everybody is supposed to weigh in on what that ends up doing is it makes all politics homogeneous meaning that you end up with a right-wing position and a left-wing position and no in between and no crosstalk and no localism and that makes people more polarized and more angry so their upsides and downsides to that this is a conversation that you and I would have a lot when we did a morning show here in LA together of how people have made the presidency a celebrity status and they've in a lot of voters Minds like that is the most important thing and that's why everybody freaks out when Obama wins or freaks out when Trump won because they think that that is world ending to them instead of recognizing the politics that are local well the politics that are local have lost a lot of appeal they're not as interesting those people can't name their congressperson they certainly can in their City Councilmembers five people vote for City Council and when you're living in a city like la that actually makes a pretty large difference considering how terribly the city of Los Angeles is governed so that that's been a disaster and again it has wiped moderation out of the parties too because when every issue is nationalized you end up with everybody who's running in a purple districts having to answer AOC on the left or having answered for Steve King on the right and that's not the way the politics really should work because you're the Congress person for your particular district you are not the Congress person for the United States at large everybody's running for president though now right yeah that's true army MLB playoffs are right around the corner this is our next question I know you're a big fan of baseball what are your predictions for the the is that the National League yes the National is they're asking about the National League yeah they're they're rushing about the NLCS in the ALCS okay that's the championship series so the World Series will be in my opinion Houston and the Dodgers I think that that will be the World Series I think Houston will win again Houston has the best pitching staff it is not particularly close so I'll take Houston I think probably the ALCS will be the Yankees versus Houston I believe that's how it will match up and then in the NLCS I'll be honest with you I haven't followed the National League nearly as closely but I believe maybe Dodgers Nationals maybe ok Rogers I don't even know if that's it I don't know if that's how the brackets are working this time yet honestly yeah I'm not sure it's committing completely decided yet because there's still a few games left in the season but everyone knows that you're not a Dodgers fan uh no I mean I'll let my kid be a Dodgers fan really yeah my kids can be used so that they will be White Sox fans ok because that's our team and it's an American League team but there's the American League in the National League and I would like for them to grow up like I grew up without having a hometown team and so I have an instinctive Drive whenever I go to a ball game of any sort to root for the visiting team because I've spent my entire life rooting for the visiting team so I'm not like I don't know what to do when I'm in a stadium and we're all rooting for the same team like you thought I'm like no this is not right this is not right somebody's got to root for those other guys because that's how I grew up and politically that's how we are this is just actually your entire lives my entire life respect so my kids I feel like it would be nice for it like they can go to Angel Stadium and root for the White Sox but I feel it could be nice for them to go to Dodger Stadium and be able to actually enjoy when a member of the home team hits a home run like I literally get a sinking feeling when I go to Dodger Stadium and the Dodger hits a home run and I don't hate the Dodgers it's just because I have this natural inclination to my condos that visiting team they're really put upon the only thing I know about sports ball is when the Thunder came to Oklahoma City and because Oklahoma has no teams yes it was really cool and really unifying how the entire state was rooting for a team right and I just like they will now root for fertile is both Warren and also former Oklahoman no Turkey people Cherokee tribe but I don't know that she has their votes lock down yeah yeah she might she might have some trouble there also I I'm familiar with when the Thunder broke up a three MVP team for no apparent reason that was a smart move anyway you're the beard harden why all right hi Ben how would you go about pitching the American Constitution to the British because we're better okay here's how I would do it remember that time when we broke away from you and then created the greatest country in the history of the world and you're not a part of it remember that hey I'm actually I'm actually an Anglophile like I'm very grateful for the heritage of anglo-american law I'm very grateful for Magna Carta I have a lot of fondness for Great Britain I love British history I will say that a constitution that that is focused in on checks and balances and has the idea of guaranteed rights lying at its centre is is a very very good idea and has preserved a lot more Liberty particularly in the area of the First Amendment in the Second Amendment then has Great Britain like I have a lot of respect for the parliamentary system but it just has not preserved central liberties the same way that the United States has and people should go watch your Sunday special with Daniel Hannan right that one's great also if you want to see me talk to another Brit Piers Morgan that was good times that was really good that was fun there's a good guy like there's I actually listen to it once Spotify yeah well can listen on Spotify which I love because I can do it in the car it's amazing and then I went back and watched it because I wanted to see the body language yeah I like Pierce I mean the weird thing I mean you know this because we're friends yeah the weird thing is I actually kind of am nice to people and kind of like them but I just destroyed my brand only though that setting is turned on though like it has to be turned off that's your body and hanging out and listen if I have to if I have a treasure scene hang out my family and anyone else yeah there's no chance I'm gonna hang out with anyone else yeah like I am best friends with the with my business partner at this business we have never in ten years been out to dinner by ourselves when we were not on a business trip and spouses were not aníbal like it's never happened yeah ever like I don't I get invited to dinners all the time not interested and I mean you and I have been friends for a very very long time when have we ever seen each other outside of work absent our spouses oh never ever it's never happened now ever so yeah no it's not a thing even functions you don't come to Krauss house barbecues no no that's right I mean like baby showers and birthday parties yeah exactly and if and if it is something where we come it's always like your family comes exactly all right hello Ben big fan what if anything can we do to bring Adam shift too just so we round up a posse and then we go down to CNN headquarters and we find a pup tent and Adam Schiff is in there that's all he does all day long just sits in the pup in round him up we bring him to justice that's all I got I mean is that your impersonation of the people where I'm from no that's good just checking I don't know about your turn there Cowboys from places that are not in Oklahoma yeah but the best ones are from Oklahoma I don't some would say the best ones are from Dallas anyway how can we get Congress back on track women this is the age-old question they've done nothing but waste our money answer stop giving the money there you have it no really that that is the solution the answer is that Congress should not have so much power they should not be able to legislate on as much the states should be the central repositories of lawmaking and local governments should be the central repositories of lawmaking yes Congress will continue to waste your money because wherever there is money to waste people will do it I mean there is never yet been an institution with lots of money where people don't waste lots of money like that's just the way that it is because also because in government there's no profit incentive right he ain't have a big company and it doesn't waste lots of money because if it did it would be bankrupt the government never goes bankrupt the nice thing is that if they waste lots of money they know where that came from and it is from you so they can just keep taking your money all right Wow okay favorite era to study in American history oh man so when I was younger when I was a when I was a kid it was Revolutionary War history I loved that loved it yeah I was super into it as folks who are fans know I used to dress up as John Adams for Halloween every single year and fan for him and sing all the songs from 1776 of course I know all of them and all the words and all so Revolutionary War history I was big into and then when I was in middle school I was big in the Civil War history so I and then that lasted probably through I mean I still find civil war and pre Civil War history absolutely riveting not just because of the inherent drama of a country's going to fight itself but also because of the moral the the moral ambiguity of a lot of the stances that were being taken like the Stephen Douglas is stance on slavery anti-slavery but also he wants to keep the country together the the evolution of the country in that period is so is fascinating you know the dark side of the American experiment is is absolutely worth studying so all of that is riveting when I was in college I was big into the Progressive Era so you know I would study Woodrow Wilson a lot and TR you know now I was into I was doing a lot of World War 2 era stuff but it really depends I mean I read history incessantly so I'm there are certain areas of history that are sort of under covered like everything basically from the Civil War to 1900 is wildly under covered yeah and there's a really guy just recommend on the show there's a great biography of Grant that's out right now by Ron chernow that's really fascinating and a lot of that is about the post-civil war era and the Radical Republicans and the attempt to reconstruct the south and how that failed one of the great tragedies in American history I love history as fascinating stuff so it's hard for me to choose one particular era I can and well usually when people ask that I ask give me an era and then I'll try and give you a book that's good about that era and you're like an exciting cycle be your library I mean I have something I mean I feel bad now my wife is doing the konmari method and we were talking out this before and I'm thinking about which books to get rid of yeah and I want to make a list of the books that I have at least so I can refer back in my mind to where I got stuff but I have at home something like 75 hundred books and so I have to I have to go through all of that and figure that many books yeah I probably read 80% of them maybe Wow maybe 85% so when you walk into a bookstore or you're perusing online what makes you have you ever gone to buy a book that you didn't intend to buy and what made you buy that book so I used to do this a lot when I was in law school so when you know they know you have kids you know once you have kids you have no time for anything right okay well my kids actually like it but my kids my kids like it too but then it's also you have to put all the books back well that's true my son yeah my son's a wreck I mean he'll just like burn down the store but my daughter will sit there and she really enjoyed yeah but you know when I when I was in law school every spare minute basically cuz there's nothing to do in Cambridge in the winter I mean it's just dark and cold terrible yeah and so every spare minute I would just walk down to the Harvard bookstore or some of the used bookstores they had down there now just browse and they usually I would go to a particular section and yeah I would use the blurbs on the back of the book as sort of a guide as to at least where I was gonna stand politically if it was a nonfiction book when it came to fiction I would usually go through you know top hundred lists and see what people had to say yeah and then I would check to see if the premise was interesting yeah and so that's why if I look at top hundred lists of top hundred novels all dread most of them you know but I do the same thing with movies like if I wanted to watch a movie when I was back in college or law school I would go to the AFI top hundred list and I would just watch something on the list so I've literally seen every single movie on the AFI top 100 and that's and that I mean it's not a bad way to do it I mean at least you you've read the stuff that's supposed to be great even if it doesn't end up being great or seen that sort of stuff but it's a cool thing to go off of that yeah I mean now when I go to a bookstore it's more like is there an author who I like and is there a new book out by that author so there's a book I'm reading right now called deep river by Carl antes and I think he's he wrote a book called me at her horn about the Vietnam War this book is about logging in the in the late 19th century in Oregon but he's a great author I mean he could really write and so for him is like a new book came out Wall Street Journal book review section is the single best thing in print it's great there are a few section is just fantastic and so every Shabbat my parents who subscribe bring that over and I read that through and I get a lot of my new book recommendations from there cool all right in a recent conversation about the Second Amendment with a friend I mentioned that it is important because it is a right protected by the Constitution to which she responded quote but the Constitution is old close quote how would you have responded to him by laughing hysterically at his stupidity that's that's that's the dumbest response ever you know what is old a lot of stuff and you know it's good a lot of stuff and you know what's dumb a lot of new stuff like why is the age of a thing or an idea somehow representative of its quality there are a lot of dumb new ideas the idea that a man can become a woman is idiotic this is a new idea you know it's an old idea that a man cannot become a woman that happens to be far more intelligent you know it's an old idea the stuff than ten commandments seems pretty intelligent to me fine fine yeah I mean there's lots of stones watches I mean there's auntie right that but in terms of principles I mean my whole book is about the idea that a smart person looks at the past and tries to call from the past what is quality and then carve away what is not a stupid person looks at the past and says all those old idiots and they didn't know anything and if I had been them I'd be saying exactly the same thing I'm saying today and it's a really stupid irritating and juvenile way of reading history this is why you see people in they're like well George Washington held slaves I'm a better person than George Washington it's like nope you're not I'm sorry to tell you this you're probably not smarter and you're probably not better and you didn't live then so you don't know and this idea that you would have you'd have been there and you'd but you would have said to George Washington you know what's wrong with you you're not for gay rights if you were living in like 1780 sure I'm sure that's what you would have said also in your fantasy world you get green energy from unicorn farts like what like what what are you what are you talking about people exist in the context in which they live and there's something also deeply self flattering about that and deeply insulting to people who live in parts of the world that disagree with their values by the way you know you have all these people who are like oh yeah all cultures are equal and all ideas are equal well the same people will then suggest that their ideas are so eminently correct and so eminently obvious that they could have born been born at any time in any place and they would have held those values regardless say well guess what you know the number of people who hold your values across the vast span of human history is like seven really like the people who are living right now some of them hold your values not the vast majority of humanity the vast majority of humanity does not hold your values and so maybe you should think about how did your values arise where did they come from what are the roots of those values even the values that you think are different and new very often they have roots in values that are older so the the roots of same-sex marriage for example that the the argument the libertarian argument is I'm not hurting anybody and so it's nobody else's business what I do well that is a that is a value that is found in a belief in individual rights and an individual Worth and value and that in turn is found in a belief that you are an individual human being with unique value and that's actually a biblical value so you can take biblical values in a wide variety of directions and that doesn't mean that the current interpretation of the biblical value is necessarily correct but if you don't examine the roots of your own values and you just pretend that you tabula rasa came up with your own values you're being purposefully ignorant and self flattering and extraordinarily arrogant but back to that constitutional question though of oh we shouldn't follow it because it's oh yeah this is dumb so again the the age that the question is can you make an argument against the value on its merits not on the basis of its age like there very few things you can make an argument against it on the basis of its age I'm buildings really you know food that's been left out too long let made the political candidates depending on who they are but other than that not much all right what are your thoughts on academic freedom and free speech on the professional side or sorry the professorial side of education so my general belief is that you should not be fired for expressing your views as a professor I do not and that holds true if you are on the right and that holds true if you are on the left I know I don't think that that should be the case now do I think that students have to go to a college or take the classes of people who you know are providing these viewpoints no I don't and I think that universities can be responsive to market forces meaning that you don't want a Nazi teaching I think there's a limit to that I think the universities can draw certain limits we don't want a Nazi teaching on campus because he's a Nazi and we disapprove of those values but as a general rule once you hire somebody and the person says something in line with what they've said before I find that difficult you know I don't like that in general and I don't like it in academia too and so I've actually said like they're they're professors who are full-on socialist they'll say something people protest want them removed and I've said I'm not really in favor of that I don't want them removed they were hired as a socialist they've been a socialist you just notice now like get over it if the person suddenly converted into becoming a communist that sort of changes the math but honestly I think everybody needs to lighten up a little bit and recognize that a different viewpoint is not necessarily threatening to you but do you think that we should ask for universities to have kind of like an affirmative action of political thought like no actually publicly funded one so I don't think that that there needs to be an affirmative action of political thought I do think that the there needs to be a non-discrimination policy with regard to conservative thought which is a slightly different thing so affirmative action is the idea that you should get additional points for being conservative my point is you shouldn't get points taken away from you for being conservative which is really how it works at universities all right boomer sooner hey hey beat tech I like that whoever that subscriber is I hurt you forever do you have advice on discovering one's individual purpose I understand my capacity but struggling to find my purpose in the world oh well this is a shameless plug for sure so this is you know that that is obviously a reference to the model that I lay out in the right side of history when I say that if you want meaning you have to have individual purpose individual capacity communal purpose and communal capacity so communal purpose very often is driven by sort of the values in your community if you're in Jewish community that creates a communal purpose and the capacity is driven by what the community can do together individual the individual capacity is driven by your belief that you have freewill that you can go out and that you can do something valuable in the world and that you have the obligation to do so individual purpose if finding individual purpose to me is about fulfilling duty and so you have to find the things that you believe you have a duty to I think that people focus a lot too much on on rights when it comes to purpose and very little on duty and rights don't provide purpose duties provide purpose so people make this mistake though well my purpose is to is to go out and have a good time or to fulfill my rights a right does not a right it's just the purview is just the field you're playing on but it doesn't tell you which direction you're supposed to actually run toward what do you feel a duty to do whom do you feel a duty to protect so I think that a pretty good starting point in in life is the duty to protect the innocent okay and the most innocent among us are children and so that means that on a political level the thing I'm most concerned with is making sure that my children are not harmed or damaged and that others children are not harmed or damaged I have a dut

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