Free-Speech True Believer Dave Rubin, the Top Talker of the 'Intellectual Dark Web,' Doesn't Want to Talk About His Own Ideas - 2018-05-18
Dave Rubin is having a moment. He's getting name-checked in The New York Times, speaking at college campuses across the country, serving as the opening act for author/clinical psychologist/self-help guru Jordan Peterson on a sold-out tour of theaters, and watching the audience for his YouTube-based talk show The Rubin Report grow by the day.
I first heard about Rubin from a friend who thought I would appreciate the erstwhile comedian and self-styled classical liberal's talk show, particularly for its focus on free speech, civil conversations with iconoclastic thinkers from across the political spectrum, and its rejection of identity politics. Having spent years writing and reporting about the many trans-partisan and international threats to free expression, despising the culture of shouting down or physically attacking political opponents, loathing communist apologia, suffering from no illusions about the threat posed by radical political Islam, and identifying politically as an independent civil libertarian—I would indeed seem to be the target audience.
Rubin is both lauded and criticized for his non-confrontational at-all-costs interviewing style, with fans appreciating his willingness to have an open dialogue with everyone from fringe characters associated with the alt-right to distinguished academics to disaffected progressives to ex-Muslims, allowing for a more thorough airing of their beliefs beyond controversial soundbites. Rubin's oft-repeated principle to "judge people as individuals, and not as a collective" and reject identity politics would seem to align with The Rubin Report's stated billing as "a talk show about big ideas and free speech."