Dave Rubin, a self-identified libertarian, comedian and political commentator, spoke about his personal experience deviating from progressive politics in a talk titled “Why I Left the Left” at the University of Massachusetts on Friday night.
A year prior, Rubin released a short video explaining his disaffiliation from modern liberalism.
“I had never said the phrase ‘why I left the left,’ and the first half hour after it was released, I was pissed,” Rubin said, “but within [another] half hour, I realized how powerful statement that is.”
Rubin explained that much of his “awakening” to his now more conservative mentality was due to extremism that he believes is demonstrated far too often on the “far left.” He alleged that liberal ideologies restrict individuality in a political sphere.
A lot of the left’s perception is “feelings over facts,” Rubin said. “There are crushing effects of political correctness.”
He added, “How do we insulate ourselves from the bad elements of the left? All of this is related to free speech…If you truly believe in the individual, then you welcome differences in opinion.”
Throughout his speech, Rubin frequently praised and encouraged the audience to speak their mind.
Elisabeth Eigerman, a sociology major at Mount Holyoke College, asked Rubin, “You’ve mentioned a few people on the left that you would like to have on your show, but you have not mentioned the people who have spoken against you that are also on the left—would you ever consider having them on your show?”
Rubin replied, “No.”
“If you misconstrue what I say or lie about me, then why would I have you on my show?” he added.
“There are several times on the show when your guests made statements that could be considered untrue…What do you think your responsibility is as an interviewer?” asked Daniel Rockwood, a web designer in the Amherst area, citing an example of when the conservative American author David Horowitz said that former president Barack Obama is a communist.
“I’m trying to facilitate conversation for an hour…If you don’t let them say [what they want to say], they hang themselves,” Rubin said.
Andrea Hanley can be reached at [email protected]