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Rucka and Nikos interviewed Craig Biddle about his appearance on PragerU. At 31:40 in the podcast Rucka asks: "Do you see Dennis as an ally in the fight for liberty?" He includes some skepticism citing Prager's views on big tech censorship. Perhaps Rucka read something like this quote from Prager's Townhall article called "Thoughts in a Dark Time." Rucka charges Prager with taking steps against property rights (suing Google, for example) and thus questions whether Prager is a true friend of liberty. In reply Biddle points to a certain respect in which Prager is an ally. He says, "I think Dennis and most religious conservatives do really love what they regard America as being." In contrast he describes "a leftist" as someone who "wants to destroy America" and "hates the fact that this country exists." I'm not sure that qualifies as an answer to Rucka's question about liberty. It seems to depend on what Prager "regards America as being." But if he agrees with Ben Shapiro in this PragerU video called "If we lose John Locke, we lose America," there is probably something substantial on which to base an alliance. Also, Prager himself says in this video, "The bigger the state, the less the liberty." (3:00) So it seems he agrees on the value of John Locke and limited government in the fight for liberty and America in general.
For a couple years now Charles Tew has been building a show on his YouTube channel. He calls himself an Objectivist philosopher. He once solicited viewers from this very forum, and claimed that he wouldn't blame us for thinking he might be a crackpot. All he asked was that we give him a listen and judge for ourselves. So, let's get to it! I'll begin with a recent video from a couple weeks ago, in which Tew offers his negative opinion of Rucka's parody music. Starting at the 10:30 mark, note that he's specifically asked about Rucka's song "Am I Gay?" At first Tew says that he can't give an answer because he hasn't listened to the song. Then in the next breath he admits to listening for a few seconds and turning it off because it was "vile." Immediately, we see an initial glimpse of Tew's evasiveness. He might be excused for not watching the whole video, but why pretend like he can't answer the question, only to answer it in the next sentence? Soon we get to Tew's general view. "I think Rucka's comedy music is nihilistic filth." Now, normally, merely expressing such an opinion wouldn't be a huge issue, except that Tew had been friendly with Rucka, had spent many hours live-streaming together, had praised some of Rucka's songs, had called Rucka a model Objectivist, and had even acted as a consultant for Rucka's music. In this context, Tew anticipates that many people, including Rucka himself, will ask why he didn't state his opinion earlier. To which he offers a few excuses. First, he explains that "it's not possible to point out or say everything you're thinking all the time." He makes it seem like he didn't speak up because he was overwhelmed by the nature of his conversations with Rucka. For example, he's "drunk often in those conversations, so it's hard to notice things." But even when he's sober, "there are just a million considerations." And how about the times when he does notice things? "There are countless times Rucka said something, and I've noticed there was something really wrong about it, but I didn't come up with a good way to respond to it, or to articulate what was wrong, prioritize what I should say until much later. So it's hard to do that in the moment." In all this, notice how Tew acts as if the real issue is his poor conversational skills or his drunken stupor. He entirely evades the fact that it's about his evaluation of Rucka's music, which has been sitting online for years. Tew didn't need to come up with some impromptu logical critique while drunk. He simply had to visit Rucka's channel in his free time, and analyze and judge the videos carefully. He then could be prepared to discuss it with Rucka in the future. It's ironic that Tew at one point accuses Rucka of having "a real antipathy toward forethought," when he couldn't be bothered to prepare an honest opinion of his friend's music, nor stay sober long enough to comprehend and intelligently answer Rucka's list of questions. Tew blames people for "invalidly inferring" that he approved of Rucka's music. He says "this is a very naive view, where you're thinking, well, if you disapprove of something, why didn't you say it?" So, on one hand, it's his audience's problem with logic. Yet, later he admits that even Ayn Rand would have condemned him. "I know Ayn Rand would say that I am the evil one here, because without my sanction, this kind of nihilism would have no chance." Wait, what sanction? His sanction of Rucka's music? I guess that wasn't an "invalid inference" after all. At last we come to Tew's most revealing point. He tries to take some of the blame for the situation. "I do think that I have contributed to some people getting the wrong impression by allowing things to pass by that I wouldn't have allowed if I weren't so pessimistic or Dominique-like so often." His pessimism is so acute that he doesn't believe his sanction matters, because sanction doesn't matter in a world without other rational people like him. "People see that I allow this kind of thing [Rucka's nihilism], and good people will turn away, and I'll never find my kind of people. But, that's a non-issue, because my kind of people don't exist. So it's hard for me to care very much about sanction." Tew associates moral sanction with finding his kind of people. But since his people aren't out there, he sees little reason to bother with moral sanction. And herein lies a deeper evasion. He fails to appreciate the fact that his kind of people do indeed exist. They are those who tolerate evil. They are those who blame others for their own shortcomings. They are those who evade reality.