Dave Rubin: Fake Liberal, De Facto Republican/Conservative & Trump Supporter
I was excited when the Rubin Report first aired. Finally an atheist/liberal who was willing to take on the annoying and toxic SJW (Social Justice Warrior) phenomenon. Finally someone who thought for themselves. Finally one more person willing to tackle political correctness for the RIGHT reasons. For f*ck sakes, finally a fellow liberal who didn’t automatically blame cops without waiting for something so simple as an autopsy.
Alas, countless episodes later and in the wake of a catastrophic Presidential election, Rubin’s channel has turned out to be little more than a megaphone for Republican/Conservative types. Sure, Rubin CLAIMS to be a liberal, and to simply want to clean out his own house. But what he in fact doing is giving the right a platform to share their views (unopposed), and argue against left/liberal views (unopposed). Very rarely are their liberal/left counterparts given a similar platform.
In retrospect, while Rubin claims to have has has mind changed over time, his “liberal positions” appear to have been set up to fail from the beginning. He almost never defends his liberal positions and he’s invited no one who can adequately explain those positions. When he does invite someone from the left, they almost never policy wonks, but rather people who just “happen” to be left (like comedians). In effect, he has acted as a strawman who lobs softballs at conservatives so they can jump into their monologues.
The Manufactured University Controversy
Rubin claims to visit universities because he’s trying to solve a problem by talking to students. So he’s spending the time and effort to visit universities across the country in order to talk in front of 300 students at a time, when it’s perfectly within his means to reach thousands if not hundred of thousands through a live stream /Q&A. This would reach far more students, but that’s not what Rubin actually wants. That’s just his “noble cover story.”
What Rubin wants from these events are video clips of a handful of students interrupting him or otherwise acting out in some childish manner. THIS is why he expends this much time and energy to talk in front of 300 people. He KNOWS this will happen. This is his right of course, just keep this in mind when he pretends to have some noble cause for doing these talks. He’s not really trying to fix a problem, he’s trying to grow his Patreon donations and perhaps even increase funding from sources like the Koch Brothers.
Here is how Rubin is a De Facto Republican/Conservative and Trump Supporter
Conservatives are given a platform to argue their views and argue against liberal views. Rubin not only DOESN’T defend any of those points, he then joins in to argue against the liberal views he tends to disagree with. He then defends people like Donald Trump against the bad arguments that liberals/the left tends to make and spends little/no time asserting the valid anti-Trump arguments (video below). Hence. he is in practice, SUPPORTING Donald Trump.
In all likelihood, Rubin is simply riding the anti-SJW movement/trend. His position as a “liberal” gives him a unique angle to attract viewers he would not normally not attract. What’s more: the anti-SJW rhetoric has been beaten into the ground. Yes, SJW’s make some hyperbolic (and usually, wrong) claims filled with emotional hysteria. Yes, they are annoying and toxic and are deserving of the rhetorical b*tch slaps they’ve been receiving. But their “arguments” boil into a few catchphrases regarding “racism,” “white privilege,” “gender pronouns,” etc.
Once you’ve heard 2 or 3 thorough bashing of SJW arguments, you’ve pretty much heard them all. SJW arguments don’t really have substance. Their “positions” make creationist arguments seem overwhelmingly academic by comparison. Yet Rubin continues to ride the wave of a long-dead horse and continues to provide a conservative platform.
Of course, his argument that “if you allow someone to speak long enough, they hang themselves” is laughable. These speakers are essentially advertising, not having their views cross-sectioned and fact-checked. He’s basically allowing to use his show as free advertisement (if letting someone advertise their point of view is “hanging themselves,” then the entire advertising industry is built upon companies of all sizes budgeting to “hang themselves”). A perfect example of Rubin simply allowing a conservative to ram their (incorrect) argument across:
Dave Rubin and Larry Elder
He recently had Larry Elder on (again) who incorrectly stated that economists generally agree that the Obama stimulus package didn’t help. As someone who was actually following economic news at the time, I know off the bat that this is untrue (IGM Forum, The Economist, NY Times, USA Today). But to anyone who wasn’t paying attention(or whose economic news is/was limited to Fox News) it might ring true. Elder did not “hang himself,” he was laughing himself all the way to his ideological bank. He was allowed to advance his own political ideology unopposed and un-fact checked.
In his initial interviewing (and by that, I mean allowing him to go on endless monologues) of Larry Elder, Rubin sets himself up to be “schooled” on the concept of systemic racism. No surprisingly, he offered no defense (not even the MIT study showing that companies that were hiring were less likely to respond to resumes with traditionally “black” sounding names). Not surprisingly, he has not had anyone who could articulately the concepts of systemic racism or white privilege on his show. His “political evolution” has consisted platforming conservatives/libertarians and gradually being “swayed.”
So whether or not Rubin is ideologically a Republican/Conservative and Trump Supporter, he is one in terms of the effect he has. My guess is that he understands what he is doing, is pretending not to, and simply riding this nice little niche he has created for himself as a “liberal” platform for conservative/anti-liberal arguments. Whereas people like Milo Yiannopoulos and Steven Crowder are clearly conservative ideologues (or in Milo’s case, probably just pretending to be), Rubin gets the liberal pass which adds “credibility” to his anti-liberal platform.
Dave Rubin and Joe Rogan
Do Rubin was recently only the JRE podcast again. He was back to repeating the straw man argument about the left wanting the government to control everything. He delved into conspiracy loony territory but fortunately Rogan put him on the spot.
Dave Rubin’s Patreon
It’s clear at this point that when it comes to crowdfunding, spouting conservative/libertarian economic views and lambasting SJW’s is highly profitable on Patreon.
Dave Rubin, Learn Liberty, PragerU and the Koch Brothers
Rubin is also banking on the Koch-funded Prager“University”.
For those not familiar with Dennis Prager, he is religious crazy who Sam Harris demolished in a debate some time ago.
One other reason to doubt Rubin’s liberal card: He rarely makes a good case for being a liberal. He claimed to support Bernie Sanders but never had a good reason as to why (“He’s a nice person” is what he told Yiannopoulos). In fact, Rubin appears to have actually believed that Sanders wanted to raise the top marginal income tax rate to 90%. This is a myth, that many fell for but given Rubin’s position on taxes and government involvement it’s difficult to imagine he would have supported Sanders, especially if he believed Sanders intended to raise taxes so high for the wealthy.
And on the subject of Milo Yiannopoulos, it takes very little Googling to find out that the reason he was banned from Twitter was that he was impersonating Tweets (clearly outlined in Twitter’s TOS as grounds for a ban, and these forged Tweets resulted in racist attacks on the person he was impersonating) and instigating sustained attacks from his followers. Yet Rubin has perpetuated the false meme that Milo was banned over his political stance and has avoided mentioning the spoofed tweets or the fact that Milo’s targeting has resulted in a deluge of harassing (including racist) Tweets from his followers (against people who aren’t involved in the political sphere).
If you’re looking for an intellectually honest liberal, The David Pakman Show and Liberal Viewer are the best I’ve found. And you always have people like Sam Harris, though his attention to politics is occasional/sporadic at best. But The Rubin Report is a sham, possibly a Trojan horse. It’s just a platform for right wing rhetoric. Any liberals actually watching the show are being duped. Rubin is almost certainly just riding the anti-SJW wave by providing right wing view points with a platform.
Apparently Rubin refuses to have Sam Sedar on his show. To be perfectly honest, I can’t stand much of what Sedar says and he and his goons continually post bullsh*t straw man versions of what people like Sam Harris are actually saying. He’s a total regressive — butTHAT’S why he would make a perfect interviewee. He is a counterbalance to the Larry Elders of the world. But of course, Rubin is here to ride the anti-SJW wave, and to continue to cater to the right/ALT-right.
Dave Rubin’s Responses to this sort of criticism
Dave Rubin’s “responses” to criticisms like the ones on here have been a series of deflections and just overall non-sequiturs. For example:
“The Right is more Tolerant than the Left” or “Most of my critics are on the Left”
Dave throws this around as if it makes his case for the left being the intolerant side. But in fact, the right has no motivation to criticize him because he’s doing THEIR bidding. He’s the alleged “liberal” who continues to criticize other liberals, gives right wingers an unfettered platform, and pushes his selective outrage and criticism against “dire threats,” like college students who prevent YouTube personalities from trolling in front of 300 people, all of whom have access to YouTube (Lord save us from this threat to The West).
Imagine a “conservative” who made a name for themselves doing nothing but lambasting Neo-cons and religious fundamentalists, claiming he was “cleaning up the right” and selectively overlooking crazies on the left, including regressives. You can bet Dave’s “liberalism” that all of this person’s critics would be on the right, and that that the left would happily provide this person a platform at their venues. The fact that his critics were on the right would not be proof of the right’s intolerance, but rather an expected outcome.
Also, notice how Dave equivocates intolerance with criticism. It’s eerily similar to the way traditional conservatives treat the existence of other ideas as attacks on or persecution of their beliefs.
A more objective comparison would be Sam Harris. Harris is someone who actually does criticize elements of the left and the right, fairly equally, and he is lambasted by both sides. On the left it’s regressives and on the right it’s religious fanatics, and they can both be pretty vitriol, though I’m pretty sure the religious right has been more so.
“I’m like Larry King”
In response to criticism over allowing his guests to say controversial things and go unchallenged, Rubin has used Larry King as an example of someone who simply listens and doesn’t challenge his guests. But here is the difference:
Larry King didn’t inject his opinions like this:
Dave Rubin has these monologues where he heavily injects his own opinions. Even as an “evolving liberal” (before he went full libertarian) he was strawmanning liberal positions with monologues like this below, where he implies that left wants government to solve everything.
While Dave Rubin doesn’t give pushback in his interviews, he does have the habit of saying “I agree with that,” especially with his right wing guests.
Larry King DID push back against the right.
Here we have Larry King getting into a heated debate with Michelle Bachmann
Here is a video of King referring to people like Rush Limbaugh as soapbox screaming idiots. To be “like Larry King” Rubin would have to make similar remarks about his right wing contemporaries, like Steven Crowder and Ben Shapiro.
“Holding Trump’s feet to the fire”
There is perhaps no better example of Rubin’s disingenuity than his obvious lack of follow through on holding Trump’s feet to the fire. Rubin claims to be a supporter of Single Payer Healthcare (though, as Pakman pointed out in the video below where he pressed him on the issue, Rubin’s fiscal libertarianism is at odds with his alleged support of SPH, to which Rubin had no coherent response) and to accept climate change.
So where is his outrage at Trump for dismantling our one inround to Single Payer Healthcare and leaving millions of people without healthcare? Where is Rubin’s outrage at Trump’s move on the Paris agreement? Rubin claimed to be a Bernie supporter (who he mistakenly believed was going to raise taxes on the wealthy to 90%). So where is his outrage on the Trump tax cuts? Instead, Rubin continues to focus on the “threat” of social justice warriors.
“No such thing as hate speech”
In a recent back and forth with an angry student, Rubin claimed that there’s no such thing as hate speech and claimed that the supreme court agreed with him. Yet somehow this non-existent concept has a dictionary definition.
Of course, what Rubin really means is that the Supreme court doesn’t make an exemption on free speech to anything that falls under the above definition. Once again (and not surprisingly) Rubin is playing this ambiguous game (in favor of this right).
Another criticism I have of Dave Rubin is his highly shallow outlook on current events. Rather than diving into policy specifics, he dives into these monologues about the “marketplace of ideas” (because YouTube personalities with millions of viewers not being able to speak in front of 200 college students, all of whom have access to YouTube, really threatens free speech) “classical liberalism,” etc.
His constant focus on a “free exchange of ideas” is also highly suspect given the fact that the conversions on his show generally go one way. He claims to have moved to the right fiscally because of the libertarians he’s had on his show. Of course, he’s had no real counterweights (David Pakman, Tom Hartman, Sam Seder, Paul Krugman, etc) to give the adult versions of economics. Hence, his “quest” to learn economics has been much like Stefan Molyneux’s quest for the “truth” regarding climate change (which has amounted to interviewing on denier after another).
Dave Rubin goes batsh%t Crazy on Video Games
One of Rubin’s more insane ideas is that the left hates gaming? Why? Because video game requires problem solving, which the left hates.
Not only is his assumption bat $shit crazy, but it’s largely contradicted by a Entertainment Software Association survey they conducted on gamers. While a larger portion of gamers consider themselves conservative as opposed to liberal (48% vs 38%), there is an even number of self-identified Democrats and Republicans, and strong support for several positions that are considered to be “left.”
- 48 percent identified as conservative and 38 percent as liberals.
- 38 percent said they aligned with Democrats, 38 percent with Republicans/Tea Party, and 24 percent called themselves independents.
- 76 percent said they believe humans play a role in climate change.
- 67 percent said they support stronger investment in renewable energies such as solar and wind.
- 61 percent said they support cutting existing programs to help alleviate budget concerns.
- 41 percent reported being better off financially than they were eight years ago.
- 61 percent said there should be a more equitable distribution of wealth in the U.S.
- 42 percent support government providing parents more educational choices by providing taxpayer-funded vouchers to help pay for private or religious schools.
- 40 percent said the military should be used “as often as is needed to promote U.S. policies,” while another 40 percent said diplomatic solutions should be the aim of foreign policy.
Ana Kasparian on Dave Rubin
Dave Rubin as a “Comedian”
Dave Rubin bills himself as a comedian (or at least ex-comedian). It’s difficult to imagine him being a comedian but apparently he was. Here is a clip of his stand up.
David Pakman presses Dave Rubin on his nonsense…Apparently this is the last time they spoke
Skeptical Human’s take on the Pakman-Rubin Interview
Cult of Dusty crucifies Dave Rubin
- * I understand that liberal, left wing, and Classic Liberal are not not necessarily the same thing.
- ** I wrote this in a super hurry because I have virtually no time to blog these days.
Last updated: 06/18/2018