The Rubin Report Strikes Back: Dave Rubin comes to USC to moderate Ayn Rand Institute talk on free speech with Colin Moriarty and Steve Simpson
Rubin’s previously planned appearance was ‘indefinitely postponed’ by DPS in March
“Express yourself or suppress yourself?” Seeing as political commentator Dave Rubin had already been previously barred from speaking at a campus event “indefinitely” at USC, the question seemed fitting for a Thursday night discussion with Colin Moriarty and Steve Simpson. While neither could be described in earnest as provocateurs, both Rubin and Moriarty found themselves ideologically edged out of their companies due to revelations and ideological departures from mainstream leftism.
“You tweeted one the most offensive things I’ve read in my entire life,” Rubin told Moriarty, who resigned from the online gaming network he founded after tweeting a joke on March’s “A Day Without Women.”
Ah. Peace and quiet.#ADayWithoutAWoman
— Colin Moriarty (@notaxation) March 8, 2017
“My gut instinct when all of this happened to me,” Moriarty said, “I wanted to use this as a springboard to fight back.”
However, Moriarty resisted it. Rather than succumb to the knife fighting and reputation ruining of Twitter eggs, Moriarty refocused his efforts into his YouTube channel, Colin’s Last Stand.
Moriarty never intended to become a figurehead against leftist orthodoxy, yet media furor fueled him to anti-politically correct celebrity.
“The International Business Times, and this is a legit — or supposedly legit — paper, they wrote an article about your tweet and they called it racist,” noted Rubin.
Although the packed audience in Seeley G. Mudd laughed at the irony, a hysteria over ideological diversity and free speech has struck college campuses across the country, from violent riots at Berkeley shutting down a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos to the assault of a teacher assisting a Charles Murray discussion at Middlebury.
Outrage or aggression?
“The attitude basically is that you’re opposing a kind of orthodoxy and we’re going to shut you down,” said Simpson on the emerging group punishments against individuals who exhibit the slightest deviations from political norms. While conservative pundits have deemed this phenomena as “outrage culture” or snowflake culture,” Simpson, the director of Legal Studies at the Ayn Rand Institute, thinks that campuses have progressed one step further.
“We’ve moved from outrage to physically shutting someone down.” A laundry list of physical attacks accompanying the Middlebury and Berkeley incidents may stand as testament to Simpson’s claim.
“These are the tactics that the brownshirts would use to silence people,” said Moriarty, “The antifascists are acting like fascists.”
While the election of President Donald Trump may be attributed to a reaction against the so-called outrage brigade, Simpson noted that the MAGA effect directly gives into the tribalism that fuels this chilling effect.
Tribalism as a cause and effect
“[His success come from] this idea that we can sort of control the debate, we can order people to live their lives a kind of way and there will be no blowback whatsoever,” said Simpson. “But it’s also a part of this idea that inherently our identity is a part of some group.”
Rubin defected from The Young Turks in 2015 after claiming to face some of this ideological control from TYT head Cenk Uygur. Today he hosts the crowdfunded Rubin Report on YouTube, where he interviews people across the ideological spectrum. While Rubin has had stalwarts of the provocateur class like Yiannopoulos on his show, Moriarty charged him to take it one step further and interview neo-Nazi and white supremacist Richard Spencer.
“Richard Spencer speaking is the biggest thing to get him to shut up,” said Moriarty. Simpson concurred.
“It’s not hard to rebut the racism of Richard Spencer unless you deep down secretly agree with him,” Simpson said. “If I were [a tribalist] who believed we were all defined by race or class, I would be scared.”
An existential threat
While the existential meme war between the rights of free speech and comfort may be waged among millennials and Gen X-ers, the panel found particular grievances with the government’s encroachment on college campuses. Refusing to mince words, Simpson, a Constitutional lawyer railed against Title IX.
“Title IX is creating this incentive for administrators who are already prone to being pussies, administrations [which] are afraid of offending anyone, giving them a financial incentive to shut down free speech,” Simpson said.
Hostile environment cases have increasingly been brought against professors and students who write or speak against political correct virtues. One of these, the infamous and disputed gender wage gap, had Moriarty on a roll.
“We know everyone’s reading the same data, we know everyone knows it’s not true,” said Moriarty. “If we can’t talk on a foundation of facts, we can’t talk at all.”
As Rubin and Moriarty’s successes speak to, a prevalent distrust in the mainstream media has led to the rise of independent media outlets.
“The Rubin Report is a threat to CNN,” said Moriarty. “Even the Young Turks is a threat.”
Rubin refuted this.
“Well, they’re a threat to sanity.”
Still, Moriarty argued, the status quo of what he deemed the “PC brigade,” is just grasping at straws.
“These people are under existential threat, they’re in the death throes, and that’s why they’re acting like this,” Moriarty said.
“The #resist thing has to do with Trump, but really I think we have to resist bullshit.”