Ben Shapiro: Politics, Kanye, Trump, Biden, Hitler, Extremism, and War | Lex Fridman Podcast #336

Last updated: Jun 2, 2023

The video is a conversation between Lex Fridman and Ben Shapiro, discussing various topics including politics, Kanye West, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, extremism, and war.

The video is a podcast interview with conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro, where he discusses various topics including politics, Kanye West's anti-Semitic comments, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, extremism, and war. Shapiro expresses his views on the issue of bigotry and how it is important to recognize that evil lies in every human heart. He also shares his thoughts on how to alleviate hate and debunk false beliefs. The interview is conducted by Lex Fridman, who seeks to understand different perspectives and add love to the world through his podcast.

  • Evil lies in every human heart and recognizing this is the best protection against it.
  • The podcast seeks to understand people from all sides of the political spectrum and explore fascinating stories and ideas.
  • Kanye West's anti-Semitic comments are reminiscent of German Nazism and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
  • Debunking anti-Semitic comments is important in alleviating hate and requires a multi-faceted approach.
  • Hitler's rise to power shows the danger of a charismatic leader who can manipulate people's fears and emotions.
  • The media has a significant influence on politics and public opinion and should strive for objectivity and fairness in its reporting.
  • The Trump presidency was marked by controversy and division, while Joe Biden's presidency has been marked by a focus on unity and healing the divisions in the country.
  • The polarization in politics makes it easy to fall into supporting someone who is truly frightening and hideous in order to stop someone who is perceived as more frightening and hideous.
  • Evil rarely presents its face so clearly, and people must constantly reflect on whether they are participating in evil.

Ben Shapiro: Politics, Kanye, Trump, Biden, Hitler, Extremism, and War | Lex Fridman Podcast #336 - YouTube

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The Nature of Evil

  • People often think of evil as something that only exists in others, not themselves.
  • Recognizing that evil lies in every human heart is the best protection against it.
  • It's important to reflect on whether we are participating in evil.
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Introduction and Purpose of the Podcast

  • The podcast seeks to understand people from all sides of the political spectrum.
  • The host aims to give a charitable interpretation of the words of guests.
  • The podcast features guests from all walks of life, from presidents to prisoners.
  • The goal is to add a bit of love to the world by exploring fascinating stories and ideas.
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Kanye West's Anti-Semitic Comments

  • Kanye West's comments about Jewish people are anti-Semitic and stereotypical.
  • His comments are reminiscent of German Nazism and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
  • It's difficult to determine whether his words come from pain or a bipolar episode.
  • Bipolarism tends to drive people past the point where common sense applies.
  • He is engaging in textbook bigotry by jumping from an individual to the group.
  • Debunking anti-Semitic comments is important in alleviating hate.
  • Most people who are engaged with these issues are not being convinced to be anti-Semitic by Kanye West.
  • Alleviating hate requires a multi-faceted approach.
  • It's important to address the root causes of hate and bigotry.
  • Education and exposure to diverse perspectives can help alleviate hate.
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Ben Shapiro: Politics, Kanye, Trump, Biden, Hitler, Extremism, and War | Lex Fridman Podcast #336 - YouTube

Anti-Semitism and Extremism

  • Kanye West's statements have been used by some to justify anti-Semitic beliefs.
  • However, anti-Semitic groups have existed for years before Kanye's statements.
  • People have a moral duty to call out anti-Semitic beliefs and not normalize them.
  • It is possible to discuss the over-representation of Jewish people in certain industries without being hateful.
  • Anti-Semitism can take different forms, including ethnic, religious, and political.
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Lessons from Hitler's Rise to Power

  • Hitler's rise to power shows the danger of a charismatic leader who can manipulate people's fears and emotions.
  • It also shows the danger of a society that is willing to tolerate or even support extremist beliefs and actions.
  • Hitler's propaganda machine was effective in spreading his message and creating a cult of personality around him.
  • The Holocaust is a reminder of the horrific consequences of unchecked hatred and prejudice.
  • We must be vigilant against the rise of extremist movements and leaders in our own time.
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Politics and the Media

  • The media has a significant influence on politics and public opinion.
  • There is a perception that the media is biased towards certain political ideologies.
  • However, it is important to distinguish between biased reporting and factual reporting that may not align with one's political beliefs.
  • The media should strive for objectivity and fairness in its reporting.
  • Political polarization and tribalism can make it difficult for people to have productive conversations and find common ground.
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The Trump Presidency and Joe Biden

  • The Trump presidency was marked by controversy and division.
  • Trump's rhetoric and actions often stirred up strong emotions and reactions from both supporters and opponents.
  • Joe Biden's presidency has been marked by a focus on unity and healing the divisions in the country.
  • However, there are still significant challenges facing the country, including the COVID-19 pandemic and political polarization.
  • It remains to be seen how successful Biden will be in addressing these challenges and bringing the country together.
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The Collapse of Weimar Republic and Rise of Hitler

  • The power had been centralized in the chancellory before Hitler took it.
  • The struggle between the Reds and the Browns in pre-nazi Germany led to radical sentiment that allowed Hitler in through the front door.
  • Communists could have also taken power, but there were very few good parties.
  • The moderate parties were being dragged by the radicals into alliance with them to prevent the worst case scenario from the other guy.
  • The history of this period speaks to how a democracy breaks down into complete Fascism and then into genocide.
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Franz von Papen and Hitler's Rise to Power

  • Franz von Papen was the second to last Chancellor of the Republic before Hitler.
  • Papen thought that Hitler being a buffoon was going to be usable by the right forces in order to prevent the Communists from taking power.
  • Hitler basically killed all of Papen's friends after taking power.
  • The best protection against evil is recognizing that it lies in every human heart and the possibility that it takes you over.
  • The polarization in politics makes it very easy to fall into the Rock'em sock'em robots that eventually could theoretically allow you to support somebody who's truly frightening and hideous in order to stop somebody who you think is more frightening and hideous.
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The Danger of Extremism and Polarization in Politics

  • The bipolarity of politics or the polarization in politics might be a better way to put it makes it very easy to fall into the Rock'em sock'em robots that eventually could theoretically allow you to support somebody who's truly frightening and hideous in order to stop somebody who you think is more frightening and hideous.
  • The language of political enemies being enemies of democracy and the Republic is dangerous stuff.
  • The Communists had to be stopped in Nazi Germany and so they're the devil and so any useful buffoon as long as they're effective against the Communists would do.
  • The people participating in evil may not understand that they're doing evil.
  • You have to constantly be thinking about whether you are participating in evil.
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The Face of Evil

  • Evil rarely presents its face so clearly.
  • You have to constantly be thinking about whether you are participating in evil.
  • The best protection against evil is recognizing that it lies in every human heart and the possibility that it takes you over.
  • The Nazis wore black uniforms and had Jack Boots, but evil rarely presents its face so clearly.
  • You have to constantly be thinking along those lines.
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Reflection on Doing the Right Thing

  • Ben Shapiro reflects on whether he is doing the right thing.
  • He acknowledges that he may not always do the right thing.
  • He believes that historically aware people should reflect on whether they are doing the right thing.
  • He hopes that he is mentally strong enough to switch sides if he realizes he is on the wrong side of history.
  • He has a list on his website of all the dumb and stupid things he has said, and he is honest and raw about it.
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Kanye's Comments on the Holocaust and Abortion

  • As a pro-life person, Ben Shapiro did not find Kanye's comments offensive.
  • He believes that the slaughter of just under a million unborn and pre-born lives every year is a historic tragedy on par with a Holocaust.
  • He understands that people may view the pre-born differently than full-grown human beings in the Holocaust.
  • He believes that the comparison makes sense philosophically.
  • He acknowledges that people may be offended by Kanye's comments.
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Attacking the Left as a Philosophy

  • Ben Shapiro distinguishes between the left and liberals.
  • He believes that the left are people who believe that alternative points of view ought to be silenced because they are damaging and harmful.
  • He distinguishes between the battle of competing philosophies when he talks about the right versus the left.
  • He believes that grouping is based on the philosophy rather than something like race.
  • He tries to be exact when he attacks a group and acknowledges that he may mislabel someone.
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Nonchalant in Attacking a Set of Ideas

  • Ben Shapiro believes that attacking a group is ultimately attacking a set of ideas.
  • He acknowledges that he tries to be exact when attacking a group.
  • He believes that it is dangerous to expand the group instead of talking about the philosophy.
  • He believes that it is nonchalant to attack a set of ideas.
  • He acknowledges that he does not always hit the mark when attacking a group.
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Politics and Humor

  • Politics should be taken seriously, but it can also be funny.
  • Politics is often done out of stupidity rather than malice.
  • Watching politicians can be entertaining, especially when they say funny things.
  • Humor can make politics more accessible and engaging for people.
  • It's important to strike a balance between seeing the humor in politics and taking it seriously.
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Blaming Politics for Violence

  • People should not blame politicians for acts of violence unless they are actively advocating violence.
  • Blaming politicians for violence can be a way to avoid addressing the root causes of violence.
  • It's important to hold individuals responsible for their actions, rather than blaming their political beliefs.
  • Playing the blame game can be counterproductive and distract from finding real solutions to problems.
  • People should focus on having productive conversations about issues, rather than resorting to violence or blaming others.
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Labeling Political Opponents

  • Labeling all political opponents under one rubric is not helpful or accurate.
  • People should be careful about making broad statements about groups of people.
  • It's important to have a fair discussion about political differences, rather than demonizing people who disagree with you.
  • People should try to define their terms and be specific about what they mean when they use labels like "MAGA Republicans."
  • People should be open to hearing different perspectives and engaging in respectful dialogue, rather than resorting to name-calling or demonization.
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Responding to Hate

  • People should not let hate drive them to violence or harmful actions.
  • It's important to recognize that hate is not a productive or healthy emotion.
  • People should try to understand the root causes of hate and address them in a constructive way.
  • People should focus on building bridges and finding common ground, rather than letting hate divide them.
  • People should be open to hearing different perspectives and engaging in respectful dialogue, even with people they disagree with.
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Violence and Political Rhetoric

  • Ben Shapiro acknowledges that his large following may include violent individuals.
  • He does not believe that political rhetoric is the sole cause of violence.
  • Blaming broad-scale political rhetoric for every act of violence is not productive.
  • Removing agency from individuals is not helpful.
  • Violence is not a solution to political issues.
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Criticizing Israel

  • Ben Shapiro criticizes the policies of Israel from a different angle than Ilhan Omar.
  • He believes that it is possible to criticize the policies of any government.
  • Ilhan Omar does not believe that there should be a state of Israel.
  • She believes that Zionism is racism and that the existence of a Jewish state in Israel is a great sin.
  • She promulgates lies about Israel, such as suggesting that it is an apartheid state.
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Empathy for the Palestinian People

  • Ben Shapiro can empathize with the plight of the Palestinian people.
  • He acknowledges that he has said some ugly things in the past about the issue.
  • He believes that his past statements were rooted in sloppy thinking.
  • He believes that it is possible to criticize the policies of Israel while still supporting its right to exist.
  • He believes that a two-state solution is the best way to resolve the conflict.
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Extremism and Political Discourse

  • Ben Shapiro believes that extremism is a problem on both the left and the right.
  • He believes that the mainstream media is biased against conservatives.
  • He believes that social media companies are biased against conservatives.
  • He believes that the best way to combat extremism is through civil discourse.
  • He believes that people should be willing to listen to opposing viewpoints.
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Living under Hamas and Palestinian Authority

  • Hamas is a national terrorist group, Palestinian Authority is a corrupt oligarchy, and Islamic Jihad is an actual terrorist group.
  • If these groups were willing to make peace with Israel, they would have a state tomorrow.
  • If they are not willing to make peace, there will be no peace.
  • If Palestinians put down their guns tomorrow, there would be a state.
  • If Israelis put down their guns, there would be no Israel.
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Dealing with Internet Criticism

  • Twitter is an ego machine, especially the notifications button.
  • Twitter was making Ben Shapiro's life miserable, so he took it off his phone.
  • Surround yourself with people who have your best interests at heart and can make serious critiques of you.
  • Most critiques on the internet are just cruelty, not actual critiques.
  • Twitter is a place to smack and be smacked, not for intellectual conversation.
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Elon Musk Buying Twitter

  • Ben Shapiro is hopeful about Elon Musk buying Twitter.
  • Elon seems committed to broadening the Overton window and allowing a variety of perspectives on the outlet.
  • Twitter was essentially an oligarchy in which certain perspectives were allowed and others were not.
  • Legacy media is freaking out because Elon's takeover threatens their power.
  • Media in the US was dominated by three major television networks and a few major newspapers until the 1990s.
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History of Media in the US

  • Media in the US was dominated by three major television networks and a few major newspapers until the 1990s.
  • After the 2017 election, social media became a reimposed oligarchy.
  • Twitter was part of this oligarchy, allowing certain perspectives and banning others.
  • Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter threatens this oligarchy and allows for a broader range of perspectives.
  • Ben Shapiro is hopeful that Elon's takeover will broaden the Overton window and allow for more intellectual conversation.
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The Rise of Social Media and Centralization of Information

  • Before the internet, there were limited sources of news and information.
  • The internet exploded and people could access news from everywhere.
  • Social media centralized information and made it easier to access.
  • However, after Donald Trump became president, there was pressure to crack down on misinformation and disinformation.
  • Social media companies began to control what people could see and hear.
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Elon Musk and Free Speech

  • Elon Musk is taking over one of the social media services and saying he's not playing by their rules.
  • He wants to let a thousand flowers bloom and allow perspectives that are mainstream but not mainstream in academia or media.
  • There will be limits, but it will be on a more case-by-case basis.
  • He got himself in trouble for tweeting out a speculative and untrue story about Paul Pelosi.
  • He deleted it when he found out it was false, which is an example of free speech working.
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The Tricky Balance of Free Speech and Politics

  • Elon Musk is putting his thumb on the scale by saying he is more likely to vote Republican.
  • He's showing himself to be center-right and having a political opinion.
  • Most of the employees at Twitter are left-leaning, so he's sending a signal that's important for the company itself.
  • He's expanding the Overton window by posting conspiracy theories and figuring out what is and isn't true through discourse.
  • It's a better mechanism in action than what it was before, but it gave people who hate his guts the opening to slap him for no reason.
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The Importance of Free Speech and the Responsibility that Comes with It

  • Free speech is important, but it comes with responsibilities.
  • People need to be more responsible in the dissemination of information.
  • Elon Musk should be more careful in the stuff that he tweets out.
  • He should enact responsible free speech himself.
  • It's a tricky balance to strike between free speech and politics.
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Free Speech and Social Media

  • There is unilateral polarization in politics with regard to social media.
  • One side believes that shutting down free speech from the other side is the solution to disinformation.
  • The other side believes that letting a thousand voices speak is the solution to disinformation.
  • Platforms should not be editorial sites, but rather mechanisms for people to decide what is and isn't allowed.
  • People should not be banned from the Town Square unless they have violated a criminal statute.
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Trump and Alex Jones on Twitter

  • Donald Trump's account should be restored on Twitter.
  • People who are worse than Donald Trump, like Alex Jones, should also be allowed back on Twitter.
  • Banning people from the Town Square is unpersoning them.
  • Adidas is right to terminate Kanye's contract, but Twitter is not Adidas.
  • Bad speech should be fought with more speech, not censorship.
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The Cost of Freedom

  • Allowing people like Trump and Alex Jones back on Twitter will mean a lot of things that people don't like in the short term.
  • The cost of freedom is people doing things that others don't particularly like.
  • Freedom with all the stuff people don't like is preferred over not having freedom at all.
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Being Nicer on Twitter

  • There are a lot of tweets that Ben Shapiro deletes before they go out.
  • Twitter's new function that allows users to think about their tweets for 30 seconds is a friend of his.
  • It has occurred to him to be nicer on Twitter.
  • He deletes tweets that he thinks are unnecessary or hurtful.
  • He believes that people should be able to express their opinions, but they should also be mindful of how they express them.
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Twitter and Snark

  • Ben Shapiro agrees that Twitter can be too much fun.
  • He tries to be equal opportunity in his derision of politicians.
  • He used to post snarky tweets about virtually all of the candidates in the 2016 primaries.
  • He has reduced the amount of snark on his Twitter feed.
  • He uses Twitter more for strategy to get information.
  • He still makes jokes about Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
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Positive and Negative Things about Trump and Biden

  • Ben Shapiro admires Trump's willingness to go out of the box and do things that haven't been tried before.
  • Trump's best example is cutting a bunch of peace deals in the Middle East or moving the embassy in Jerusalem.
  • Trump has no filter between brain and mouth, which is not an excellent personal quality in a person who has as much responsibility as he has.
  • Ben Shapiro likes that Joe Biden seems to be a very good father.
  • Biden seems like a slap on the back kind of guy, and Ben Shapiro doesn't mind that.
  • Ben Shapiro thinks that sometimes Biden allows the prevailing winds of his party to carry him to incredibly radical places, and then he just doubles down on the radicalism in some pretty disingenuous ways.
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Extremism and War

  • Ben Shapiro thinks that extremism is a problem on both sides of the political spectrum.
  • He thinks that the left is more prone to extremism than the right.
  • He believes that the right is more prone to violence than the left.
  • He thinks that the United States should be more cautious about going to war.
  • He believes that the United States should only go to war when it is necessary to protect American interests.
  • He thinks that the United States should not be the world's policeman.
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Kanye West and Politics

  • Ben Shapiro thinks that Kanye West is a fascinating figure in American politics.
  • He believes that Kanye West is a genius in his own way.
  • He thinks that Kanye West has a unique perspective on politics.
  • He believes that Kanye West is sincere in his desire to make a difference in American politics.
  • He thinks that Kanye West's support for Donald Trump was genuine.
  • He believes that Kanye West's presidential campaign was a publicity stunt.
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Joe Biden's Approval Rating and Afghanistan

  • Joe Biden's approval rating has dropped from being a popular guy to an unpopular guy.
  • Joe Biden has not pursued a unifying agenda, unlike President Trump.
  • President Trump never had a high approval rating, whereas Joe Biden did when he entered office.
  • It is almost impossible for Joe Biden to flip pulling out of Afghanistan as a pro for him.
  • The American people are inconsistent about their own views on foreign policy.
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The Hunter Biden Laptop Story

  • The case for the story being a big deal is that it is clearly relevant if the president's son is running around to foreign countries picking up bags of cash.
  • The story raises questions as to influence peddling for either the vice president or the former vice president using political connections.
  • The reaction to the story is a major story in and of itself because of the media blackout.
  • The biggest problem with this story is that it wasn't allowed to take the normal life cycle of a story.
  • The house is pledging to investigate all of this again if it goes Republican.
  • It is highly likely that there was no direct involvement of Joe in this sort of stuff.
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Politics and Conspiracy Theories

  • Politics is Veep, and half the scandals that you see is that everybody assumes that there's some sort of deep and abiding clever plan that some politician is implementing.
  • It turns out that all of politics is dumb.
  • People on the left assume that Trump was taking secret documents and selling them to the Russians or the Chinese.
  • The human brain is built to find patterns, and conspiracy theories largely exist because we're seeing inexplicable events.
  • If you assume that there's a lot of stupidity going on, everything becomes quickly explicable.
  • Assuming that there must be some rationale behind it leads to increasingly convoluted conspiracy theories to explain just why people are acting the way they are.
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Conclusion

  • The conversation between Lex Fridman and Ben Shapiro covered various topics, including politics, Kanye West, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, extremism, and war.
  • Joe Biden's approval rating has dropped, and it is almost impossible for him to flip pulling out of Afghanistan as a pro for him.
  • The Hunter Biden laptop story is a big deal because it is relevant and raises questions about influence peddling, and the reaction to the story is a major story in and of itself because of the media blackout.
  • Politics is Veep, and conspiracy theories largely exist because we're seeing inexplicable events.
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Conspiracy Theories and Hunter Biden

  • Ben Shapiro finds that most conspiracy theories turn out to be people being dumb and others reacting in dumb ways.
  • He thinks that Hunter Biden getting money in Ukraine for consulting is a nothing burger.
  • Shapiro believes that Hunter Biden was fake influence pedaling and got money because of his father's name.
  • He thinks that consulting is done in that way and that it is not corrupt.
  • Shapiro criticizes consulting for not providing qualifications and hiring people based on their name.
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Virality of Internet and Misinformation

  • Shapiro thinks that the virality of the internet is unpredictable and that a story can take hold and build a conspiracy around it.
  • He believes that Facebook is worried about organized misinformation campaigns that make up a sexy interpretation of a vague story.
  • Shapiro is uncomfortable with the idea that Facebook is the great adjudicator of what stories should be allowed to go viral.
  • He thinks that the slide between disinformation and misinformation is subjective and murky.
  • Shapiro is deeply uncomfortable with the idea that Facebook shuts down stories that negatively affect one side of the political aisle.
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Adjudication of Stories and Social Media

  • Shapiro thinks that the reason to slow down the viral spread of a thing should not be grounded in partisanship.
  • He believes that social media should be honest with themselves and ask if they are shutting down stories because of their political affiliation.
  • Shapiro thinks that the Hunter Biden story was amazing because it was taken down without any doubts expressed as to its verified falsity.
  • He confirms that the conspiracy theories people had about social media and how it works were true.
  • Shapiro thinks that if a story is proof false, it should be taken down, but not because of partisanship.
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Politics and Social Media

  • Shapiro thinks that social media is a reflection of the political climate and that it is not the cause of it.
  • He believes that social media is a tool that can be used for good or bad.
  • Shapiro thinks that social media is not the problem, but the people who use it are.
  • He thinks that social media is a reflection of the polarization of society.
  • Shapiro believes that social media is not the cause of the polarization, but it is a symptom of it.
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Content Moderation and Audience Capture

  • Content moderation is a tricky issue, especially when it comes to hate speech.
  • Allowing conspiracy theories to spread is better than censorship because the alternative is more dangerous.
  • The Daily Wire is a platform for conservatives, but it provides different views within the generalized range of conservative thought.
  • Ben Shapiro believes in saying things that he thinks are true, even if they go against the audience's expectations.
  • He thinks it's important to be honest with oneself and not be captured by the audience.
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Candace Owens

  • Ben Shapiro admires Candace Owens for saying things that nobody else will say.
  • He disagrees with her response to Kanye West's comments, which he thinks was morally wrong.
  • He believes that it's possible to be friends with people who say hateful things and to call them out on a personal level when they do so.
  • Public demands for denunciation from friends to friends are difficult and can lead to broken friendships.
  • Human connection is a prerequisite for effective debate and discussion.
Ben Shapiro: Politics, Kanye, Trump, Biden, Hitler, Extremism, and War | Lex Fridman Podcast #336 063

Changing Views on Foreign Policy

  • Ben Shapiro's views on foreign policy have become significantly less interventionist over time.
  • He believes that the United States should be more cautious about getting involved in foreign conflicts.
  • He thinks that the United States should focus on protecting its own interests and not try to police the world.
  • He believes that the United States should be more selective about the countries it supports and the conflicts it gets involved in.
  • He thinks that the United States should be more focused on diplomacy and less on military intervention.
Ben Shapiro: Politics, Kanye, Trump, Biden, Hitler, Extremism, and War | Lex Fridman Podcast #336 064

Changing One's Mind

  • Ben Shapiro believes that it's important to be open to changing one's mind.
  • He thinks that people should be willing to listen to arguments from the opposite political aisle.
  • He believes that people should be willing to admit when they're wrong and change their views accordingly.
  • He thinks that people should be willing to engage in civil debate and discussion, even with those they disagree with.
  • He believes that people should be willing to challenge their own beliefs and assumptions.
Ben Shapiro: Politics, Kanye, Trump, Biden, Hitler, Extremism, and War | Lex Fridman Podcast #336 065

Foreign Policy

  • Ben Shapiro was a supporter of the Iraq War, but now he is not sure if he would support it again.
  • He believes that before getting involved in a war, it is important to know what the endpoint looks like and what the American people are willing to bear.
  • He has become more of a realist when it comes to foreign policy.
  • On social policy, he is fairly strong and has become slightly convinced by the conservative side of things like drug legalization.
  • He believes that the federal government can't do much other than close the borders with regard to fentanyl trafficking.
Ben Shapiro: Politics, Kanye, Trump, Biden, Hitler, Extremism, and War | Lex Fridman Podcast #336 067

War in Ukraine

  • Ben Shapiro believes that the West made mistakes in the run-up to the war by encouraging Ukraine to keep trying to join NATO and the EU but not letting them in.
  • Once the war began, the responsibility of the West was to give Ukraine as much material as necessary to repel the invasion.
  • Most of the American interests in the region have already been achieved, including preserving borders, degrading the Russian aggressive military, and recalibrating the European balance with China.
  • The best-case scenario is Ukraine forces Russia entirely out of Ukraine, including Luhansk and Crimea, but virtually no one thinks that's accomplishable.
  • The worst-case scenario is that Putin feels so boxed in that he unleashes a tactical nuclear weapon on the battlefield.
Ben Shapiro: Politics, Kanye, Trump, Biden, Hitler, Extremism, and War | Lex Fridman Podcast #336 068

Realism vs. Idealism

  • Ben Shapiro believes that realism is a better approach to foreign policy than idealism.
  • Realism is about understanding the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.
  • Idealism is about trying to change the world to fit our values and beliefs.
  • Realism recognizes that there are limits to what we can achieve in the world.
  • Idealism can lead to unintended consequences and make things worse.
Ben Shapiro: Politics, Kanye, Trump, Biden, Hitler, Extremism, and War | Lex Fridman Podcast #336 069

Extremism and Political Polarization

  • Ben Shapiro believes that political polarization and extremism are major problems in American politics.
  • He believes that social media has played a big role in exacerbating these problems.
  • He thinks that people need to be more willing to listen to opposing viewpoints and engage in civil discourse.
  • He believes that people need to be more willing to compromise and find common ground.
  • He thinks that people need to be more willing to hold their own side accountable for bad behavior.
Ben Shapiro: Politics, Kanye, Trump, Biden, Hitler, Extremism, and War | Lex Fridman Podcast #336 071

Risk Mitigation in Ukraine

  • The worst case scenario in Ukraine is unpredictable and could lead to significant problems.
  • If Putin falls, it is uncertain who will take over and what their political stance will be.
  • An off-ramp needs to be offered to Putin to mitigate risks.
  • The offer could include maintaining Crimea and parts of Luhansk and Donetsk.
  • Ukraine would commit not to join NATO, but the West would guarantee to defend Ukraine in case of invasion.
Ben Shapiro: Politics, Kanye, Trump, Biden, Hitler, Extremism, and War | Lex Fridman Podcast #336 072

Leadership and Courage

  • Political courage is required to offer an off-ramp to Putin.
  • Biden needs to take the lead and offer material aid and a defense pact to Ukraine.
  • Zelenski cannot go back to his people and say he is giving Putin an off-ramp.
  • Biden needs to take the hit and be the bad guy.
  • Great leadership is required to solve the Ukraine crisis.
Ben Shapiro: Politics, Kanye, Trump, Biden, Hitler, Extremism, and War | Lex Fridman Podcast #336 073

One-on-One Conversation with Putin

  • There is power in a one-on-one conversation, but Putin is a canny operator.
  • Putin has outplayed multiple presidents in one-on-one scenarios.
  • Biden would need to have a conversation with Zelenski first.
  • A public-facing forum may not be the best option as Putin is afraid of being humiliated.
  • Private meetings may be the best option, but it is still a risky scenario.
Ben Shapiro: Politics, Kanye, Trump, Biden, Hitler, Extremism, and War | Lex Fridman Podcast #336 074

Political Speak vs. Face-to-Face Summit

  • Political speak and paper solutions will not solve the Ukraine crisis.
  • Zelenski needs complete victory, and nothing less will do.
  • A face-to-face summit may have more power than political speak.
  • The power of leadership is required to solve the Ukraine crisis.
  • Most presidents in the last 30-40 years have not been particularly sophisticated players.
Ben Shapiro: Politics, Kanye, Trump, Biden, Hitler, Extremism, and War | Lex Fridman Podcast #336 076

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