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Is Dennis Prager a political ally?

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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."

Quote

 

...the left, everywhere in the world, suppresses dissent wherever it takes over — from Lenin to the modern American university to Twitter and the rest of Big Tech.

 

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. 

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whyNOT Many legal born domestic Americans, which are spoiled, entitled, and lazy, are less "American" in the foundational and fundamental ways that matter, than are you.  America is an idea,

He does not believe that we deserve liberty without god. He says that specifically in the video I posted. Once you have god and "god's will" in the thought process ... anything goes. It is fact,

And Eiuol, Since you keep implicitly returning to the theme "this guy's in South Africa, what business does he have meddling in American affairs". Let me be blunt. This post-modernist, Leftist, n

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When I watched the video, I thought it was a bit lazy for Biddle to give that nuance to religious conservatives but wave off leftists as people who want to destroy America. I'd rather say that there are leftists and religious conservatives who want to destroy a certain vision of America not that they want to destroy America per se. I can find some leftists are willing to look at arguments and actually have a moral vision, just as I can with religious conservatives, in general. 

The reason I'm skeptical about Prager as an ally isn't that I have any doubt about him specifically, but the kind of people he supports with PragerU which has very many issues of all kinds. An oversimplification of philosophy. Perhaps there could be singularly useful videos, but there are many that promote a kind of traditionalism that other people use as support for stifling moral values and aversion to social change. For example, I saw video once about what Prager says about romantic relationships that sounded very backwards compared to the openness most people should have in society, and I find that pretty harmful. 

So I'm not sure about in what way he could be an ally actively, rather than an ally in the more passive sense of willing to have a dialogue. 

Edited by Eiuol
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2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

...the left, everywhere in the world, suppresses dissent wherever it takes over — from Lenin to the modern American university to Twitter and the rest of Big Tech.

And the leftwing ACLU has historically been the foremost protector of free speech in the country. Biddle had gone stupid on this one.

2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

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."

Temporary alliances are not the indicator of eternal value.

Just because someone is a better ally on one area, for a certain amount of time, does not mean they are "always" the better choice. It is like an invitation to "stop thinking". As in stop evaluating, the religious conservative that is against the J&J vaccine is better than the person who wants Obamacare. There is always far more to consider.

Prager usually simply says, what is American is good. "I love this country". That does not mean he loves every "individual" in the state of Florida. He is talking about a collective, a mass of people. Whatever it means, it's mostly based on tradition and is a collectivist view ( i.e. the American collective). Does he also love the great traditions that was the Ku klux Klan or Slavery or internment of Japanese etc. (Oddly enough the conservative Ku Klux Klan was a part of the Democratic party). Again, an alliance with conservatism that changes identity (which is happening right now with the Republican workers party).

If one said, "for now, temporarily, this is the best poison", that would make sense "for a while". After all, Stalin was an Ally. And Japan was an enemy and is now an Ally. Iran was an ally and then an enemy now. 9/11 was perpetrated by Saudi Arabian citizens for the most part and they continue killing Americans. They are the better ally that Iran.
Should we always side with Saudi Arabia?

As far as religious conservatives goes, one can look at Israel and Iran. One turned out okay and the other did not.

There are far more factors/dependencies to consider instead of this (these types of collectivist viewpoints). Conservative or leftist or religious don't have consistent value, they mean different things at different times. There is Christianity before the renaissance and christianity after. Sometimes a conservative is better, sometimes a leftist is better.

The key is "how close are we to the extreme". The fact is that if any side, right left, religious etc cause a major instability that requires martial law, that is the worst choice at the time.

The left sucks, but the divisions that Trump was fanning was going to lead to martial law soon enough so it does not make the religious right a better choice at this time. (Since he was their chosen one)

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57 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Prager usually simply says, what is American is good. "I love this country". That does not mean he loves every "individual" in the state of Florida. He is talking about a collective, a mass of people. Whatever it means, it's mostly based on tradition and is a collectivist view ( i.e. the American collective). Does he also love the great traditions that was the Ku klux Klan or Slavery or internment of Japanese etc. (Oddly enough the conservative Ku Klux Klan was a part of the Democratic party). Again, an alliance with conservatism that changes identity (which is happening right now with the Republican workers party).

 

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How possibly, do you go from "I love this country" - to his loving the "collective, a mass of people"?

Including any of the faults of America?

Can one not love the IDEA of America, abstracted from its best ideals, and actual people and their actual accomplishments? As Prager obviously means. Like I do.

There is this fallacy that a religionist is not and cannot be a conceptual thinker.

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58 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

And the leftwing ACLU has historically been the foremost protector of free speech in the country. Biddle had gone stupid on this one.

I think you mistook a Prager quote for a Biddle quote. That wasn't Biddle talking about Lenin and Big Tech.

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I think Craig Biddle summed up very well. "Navigating" the complexity of these deep - and partial - divides was something I found most O'ist intellectuals remiss at doing, and worse - playing to one side exclusively. 

The binary of A and non-A seldom can have faultless application to human actions and thinking. The thinker looking for easy ("revealed") answers in individuals and/or many people will not easily find them or will become disillusioned and give up the effort.

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2 hours ago, whYNOT said:

How possibly, do you go from "I love this country" - to his loving the "collective, a mass of people"?

Including any of the faults of America?

Can one not love the IDEA of America, abstracted from its best ideals, and actual people and their actual accomplishments? As Prager obviously means. Like I do.

Then you have to look at other interviews with him. America is just a blob to him that he loves. And whatever America will do he believes will be "the good". That's as far as "his" overall concepts go.

Now, can you ally yourself with him. As long as he will push for most of the policies that you care about. The problem is at some point it will change, it's far more unpredictable than it's being characterized.

2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:
3 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

And the leftwing ACLU has historically been the foremost protector of free speech in the country. Biddle had gone stupid on this one.

I think you mistook a Prager quote for a Biddle quote. That wasn't Biddle talking about Lenin and Big Tech.

Yes, I was responding to the ridiculous quote.

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5 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

America is just a blob to him that he loves. And whatever America will do he believes will be "the good". That's as far as "his" overall concepts go.

I don't believe this. Perhaps you can provide a quote and source. If America starts rounding up and gassing Jews I doubt Prager will sit by his fireplace and declare it good. That's ridiculous. The man has his idea of America and if the people choose a fundamentally different government, then we won't be America anymore to him. America will be lost.

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9 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Temporary alliances are not the indicator of eternal value.

Just because someone is a better ally on one area, for a certain amount of time, does not mean they are "always" the better choice.

True, but nobody is arguing for that.

9 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Does [Prager] also love the great traditions that was the Ku klux Klan or Slavery or internment of Japanese etc.

I kind of wanted to hear you answer this question. You think Prager loves slavery?

Not everything done on American soil is/was an American tradition. Slavery predated America, and it was controversial at the founding. The KKK wasn't even an original, official, legal group. It was a secret, criminal terror gang created after the Civil War. And Japanese internment was a temporary, wartime measure that took place 166 years after America was created. Hardly a "great tradition."

9 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

(Oddly enough the conservative Ku Klux Klan was a part of the Democratic party)

They weren't conservatives. They were neo-Confederates who opposed the conservative plan for integration. They wanted to overthrow government in the South by force.

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9 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

The key is "how close are we to the extreme". The fact is that if any side, right left, religious etc cause a major instability that requires martial law, that is the worst choice at the time.

By this logic the American revolutionaries were the worst choice at the time. Besides, today's leftwingers have caused such a major instability that there was a literal insurrection in the Capitol, so...

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12 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I'd rather say that there are leftists and religious conservatives who want to destroy a certain vision of America not that they want to destroy America per se.

I think leftists want to destroy the heart of America, religious conservatives want to amputate a limb or two.

13 hours ago, Eiuol said:

For example, I saw video once about what Prager says about romantic relationships that sounded very backwards compared to the openness most people should have in society, and I find that pretty harmful. 

Do you recall which video that was? I'm sure he has some typical conservative views on sex and marriage. Frankly I find the left's positions on such matters far more appalling and harmful.

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2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

I think leftists want to destroy the heart of America, religious conservatives want to amputate a limb or two.

 

Nihilism against traditionalism against nihilism. Ah, but they are as bad as each other, some would say...

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10 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Then you have to look at other interviews with him. America is just a blob to him that he loves. And whatever America will do he believes will be "the good". That's as far as "his" overall concepts go.

Now, can you ally yourself with him. As long as he will push for most of the policies that you care about. The problem is at some point it will change, it's far more unpredictable than it's being characterized.

 

I am leary of the way of thinking which selects and focuses on one person and his words/beliefs as "representative" or symbolic of all of the people of his 'type'. Even with political, religious and philosophical 'leaders'.

However there is an unanswerable question. If individualism - and capitalism - is and has been the outstanding characteristic of Americans (agreed?) - then, who were they? Non-religious people? That is nonsense, they were all, predominantly, religious Christians in America's past.

Except, decreasingly so, now (according to the Pew survey, Swig showed) - which also happens (by chance?) to be the period when individualism is on the slide.

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1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

then, who were they? Non-religious people? That is nonsense, they were all, predominantly, religious Christians in America's past.

Not really, don't know what you're talking about. The more secular people were always better about individualism in America. But it always sounds like virtue signaling when you talk about America. You don't live here and you don't want to live here (the told me before that you had opportunities to come here but chose not to), yet talk about how wonderful America is. I'm not sure you understand exactly what individualism is in terms of America. It really is quite secular, even historically, the religious aspects have historically been very controlling about other people. 

3 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

I think leftists want to destroy the heart of America

Well, if you mean communists and CRT types I agree. But not the kind that Biddle was referring to generally.

3 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Frankly I find the left's positions on such matters far more appalling and harmful.

I can't really comment because I'm not sure which positions you mean. I don't even think that views on sex have much to do with political position (besides legal issues). I can't find the video, but after just now looking through some videos about men and sex, you can pick any one of them and I'd feel the same.

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7 hours ago, MisterSwig said:
16 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

(Since he was their chosen one)

Haha. Laying hands is something many Christians do to leaders (and even non-leaders). They did it to Obama too.

The pictures only prove their influence. If evangelicals were a predominant force in the Democratic party, one can agree with you. But evangelicals are the backbone of the Republican party. It's a pretty serious issue.

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/471868-rick-perry-says-trump-is-the-chosen-one

Netflix also has a series "The Family" which delves into this issue in depth.

 

 

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8 hours ago, MisterSwig said:
13 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

America is just a blob to him that he loves. And whatever America will do he believes will be "the good". That's as far as "his" overall concepts go.

I don't believe this. Perhaps you can provide a quote and source. If America starts rounding up and gassing Jews I doubt Prager will sit by his fireplace and declare it good. That's ridiculous. The man has his idea of America and if the people choose a fundamentally different government, then we won't be America anymore to him. America will be lost.

What you indicate is that he is not an antisemite. But he does not articulate any principles behind it like the right to life.

There are people who like living things in general, that does not make them conservative and/or religious.

A person who bases their knowledge through revelation is a good ally when they agree with you and a bad one when it changes.

He also uses a lot of word salad that meets your dietary requirements. He claims things like the left wants to change American through politics. As if that means anything. But he makes it mean something by saying that Obama wanted to change America but he (Prager) wants to improve it. But ultimately his explanations about good and evil are "you know it when you see it" and his explanation are validated through revelation. So again "anything goes", and contradictions allow for anything. To actually get behind him and support him as if you can predict what he will push for later is more of a gamble than you realize.

https://youtu.be/u9S-gwm-AQM?t=143
 

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7 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

By this logic the American revolutionaries were the worst choice at the time. Besides, today's leftwingers have caused such a major instability that there was a literal insurrection in the Capitol, so...

So all those people were Obama supporters?

That is a bizarre argument. On one hand you argue for "stability" and then you argue for revolution. No wonder you can integrate "visions due to revelation". Anything goes with Prager ... and anything goes for you. (A does not have to be A)

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2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

That is a bizarre argument.

It was your argument, not his. By your logic, the American revolutionaries were the worst choice at the time because they caused instability that required martial law. The instability argument doesn't matter much, it just ends up in going back forever in history blaming each group for the ensuing instability. The better argument is one from a well defined goal, which I think should be an explicitly capitalist government. That's the key.

I think the bigger threat than anything is China, and I don't find that anyone is a good ally against China. Absolutely no one. I don't think Prager has much to say about China, so I don't really think Prager is a useful ally. Trade protectionists I don't think are a valid option and actually do more harm than good. 

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4 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

So again "anything goes", and contradictions allow for anything. To actually get behind him and support him as if you can predict what he will push for later is more of a gamble than you realize.

https://youtu.be/u9S-gwm-AQM?t=143

No matter how many times you say "anything goes" it won't magically become a fact. Prager is not some psychotic with a god complex. He is a reasonable fellow, an American citizen in good standing, with articulated moral principles and limits on his behavior. It's most definitely not "anything goes" for him. And I wouldn't ally with him based on what he might push later. I'd do it based on what he's pushing now, while also looking at what he has pushed in the past.

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He does not believe that we deserve liberty without god. He says that specifically in the video I posted.

Once you have god and "god's will" in the thought process ... anything goes. It is fact, not magical.

And as far as belief in the individual goes, he believes that we, each one of alone is evil ... without god.

Very reasonable fellow.

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24 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

He does not believe that we deserve liberty without god. He says that specifically in the video I posted.

Once you have god and "god's will" in the thought process ... anything goes. It is fact, not magical.

And as far as belief in the individual goes, he believes that we, each one of alone is evil ... without god.

Very reasonable fellow.

Just as he essentially agrees with the materialists that nature is mechanistic and reductionist (cf my post), he also must essentially agree with the ethical reductionists that punishment and reward is the only thing the good nominally subsists in. The full horseshoe.

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10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Not really, don't know what you're talking about. The more secular people were always better about individualism in America. But it always sounds like virtue signaling when you talk about America. You don't live here and you don't want to live here (the told me before that you had opportunities to come here but chose not to), yet talk about how wonderful America is. I'm not sure you understand exactly what individualism is in terms of America. It really is quite secular, even historically, the religious aspects have historically been very controlling about other people. 

 

A most UNphilosophical position to take. I.e. If you haven't been there to see every instance of every person, in the history of a country, you cannot know it (nor understand human beings).

And have you seen them? Not a damn. How do you know the "more secular people"? You know some or many, have read of others. You've no idea of the greater number of Americans, nor their minds and acts. Somewhat better maybe than what I've induced and inferred from thousands of sightings, informed from my understanding about the consciousness. The minds, that are here and are there.

Individualism, imperfect or inconstant by O'ist standards, pre-existed and exists whether you perceive it or not. And plainly, in greater degrees and numbers in the West - and - moreso in America.

And, to cap that, Americans have been overwhelmingly Christian. Explain that supposed contradiction.

Edited by whYNOT
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