Ben Shapiro spoke at UC Berkeley last week, and if you read the news coverage, you’d be under the impression that Shapiro was the name of a destructive hurricane. “Berkeley braces for visit by right-wing speaker Ben Shapiro” read one headline over at USA Today. There were similar headlines in other mainstream outlets.
The city had to cough up $600,000 for security to “protect” against the soft-spoken man who stands 5’9 in height, max. Shapiro, a practicing Orthodox Jew, was also branded a “white supremacist” and “Nazi” by his craziest detractors. Despite the protests that raged outside as he spoke, none of the Antifa-affiliated protesters had the courage to come to the venue and actually challenge Shapiro to his face. Perhaps they feared they would’ve discovered he’s not the monster they imagine him to be in their heads.
Regardless, that doesn’t mean there weren’t liberal students in attendance who were eager to debate with Shapiro. Because he encourages open dialogue, Shapiro allowed left-wing students to the front of the line during the Q&A following his speech – and that allowed for a surprisingly respectful discussion between Shapiro and the students.
Among the topics discussed was abortion, which is inevitable in any political discussion. One polite liberal student asked Shapiro why he considered a first-trimester fetus to have moral value. Shapiro replied: “A first-trimester fetus has moral value because whether you consider it a potential human life or a full-on human life, it has more value than just a cluster of cells. If left to its natural processes, it will grow into a baby. So the real question is, where do you draw the line? So, you’re going to draw the line at the heartbeat — because it’s very hard to draw the line at the heartbeat? There are people who are adults who are alive because of a pacemaker, they need some sort of outside force generating their heartbeat. Are you going to do it based on brain function? Okay, well, what about people who are in a coma? Should we just kill them?”
He then crushed a few objections like a stack of free-standing Dixie cups.
The content of Shapiro’s speeches and debates continues to remind us that liberals don’t want to censor him because they truly believe he’s dangerous. They want to censor him because they truly believe he has the better argument.
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