Interview: Ben Shapiro Talks Bullies
MR. DRISCOLL: This is Ed Driscoll for PJ Media.com, and we’re talking with Ben Shapiro of Breitbart.com and Ben Shapiro.com. He’s the author of the 2013 book, Bullies: How the Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans, and the 2011 book, Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV. [Click here for my 2011 interview with Ben on that book -- Ed] And Ben, thank you for stopping by today.
MR. SHAPIRO: Thanks for having me.
MR. DRISCOLL: Ben, your latest book is Bullies. Today the word “liberal” is still used far too often to describe the left in America, but how did liberals, the left, Democrats, “progressives” – and I’m making air quotes with my fingers as I use that word, become such bullies?
MR. SHAPIRO: Well, I think what's happened over the past hundred years is the left, which always believed that people had to be coerced into doing their bidding, has become more and more egregious in their bully tactics, not just via use of government, but even in bullying individual citizens without the use of government.
And the best way that they've discovered to get people to do things that they don't want to do, is to try and humiliate them into it. So what the left has really focused on, particularly over the last few decades, is trying to paint everybody who disagrees with them as a vicious racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, bad people. We are all bad people. That's why you see, for example, in the last election cycle, Mitt Romney sort of made the case about Barack Obama, that Barack Obama was a good guy and a decent fellow who was not very good at being President, and Barack Obama basically made the case about Romney that he was scum of the earth. And that's how the left wins elections, because they can't win on their own competence. What they do win on is by claiming that anybody who opposes them is just a bad person on a fundamental level.
MR. DRISCOLL: I assume, though, that President Obama and others on the American left don't actively think of themselves as bullies, do they?
MR. SHAPIRO: No. I think that they think of themselves as fighters for righteous truth. And this is -- this is where living in an ivory tower has really helped the left. They live in these echo chambers. And so they truly believe that what they say about politics is not opinion, it's fact. And so they're able to convince themselves that it's all right to slander people as racists without any evidence, because after all, the policies that they support aren't the policies that I support, and therefore they must be racist.
President Obama has made that clear time after time. There's -- the Zimmerman case is a great example of this. And the left has yet to come up with a single -- a single shred of evidence that George Zimmerman was a racist, and yet the entire left has declared not only George Zimmerman to be a racist, but George Zimmerman to be an indicator that there is a broad-based and deep-seeded American racism that still exists, just again, without any sort of evidence. And everybody who thinks that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in self defense, or at the very least that there was no convictable evidence there, is actually doing so out of this racism.
Again, evidenceless is the symptom of everything that the left believes. If there were evidence to back up what they were saying, then, you know, they would use it. But they don't have it, and so they have to demonize anyone who opposes them.