It’s 2019 and Ben Shapiro’s first podcast of the year started off much like it did towards the end of last year.
After spending the first few minutes of his podcast pretending that he uses the product he happens to be advertising, he then quickly moved on to his favorite target – Attacking Trump’s Tweets.
This seems to be something Shapiro is very hung up on. He even has a special vocal impersonation of Trump he uses whenever he reads a Trump Tweet. It sounds nothing like Trump and instead is a breathy voice reminiscent of Alec Baldwin’s bizarre and hate-filled Trump impression from recent Saturday Night Live sketches.
But after reading each Tweet, and even before, he tells all his listeners how once again Trump has made a mistake. He either claims the Tweet was wrong, used the wrong tone, or in some other way was not “presidential”. Either way, whatever Trump Tweets is almost always the wrong thing to do according to Shapiro.
In other words, Trump’s Tweets trigger Ben Shapiro.
Of course, I don’t mind if someone like Ben Shapiro wants to criticize Trump. He has every right to do so and there are times when it is warranted, just as is the case with any president. However, Shapiro’s criticism exposes his own lack of political savvy which is probably why he incorrectly believed Ted Cruz could win in 2016.
The thing Shapiro does not understand is that Trump won the 2016 election using these exact same tactics and tone that he is using now. Trump beat two political dynasties in the Bush family and the Clintons, and he did it all while spending less money and having zero political experience himself. So to criticize his political tactics makes absolutely no sense when the successful results are so obvious.
Not only that, Trump has experienced an unprecedented fake media attack, not to mention an attack from the FBI falsely and absurdly accusing him of being a Russian agent. Despite all this he has been able to keep his poll numbers right in line with former presidents who didn’t have to deal with such false attacks. So he seems to be doing pretty well.
It seems Shapiro’s biggest issue with Trump’s Tweets is the tone, and the fact that many don’t come off as “presidential” enough for Shapiro’s liking. But once again this exposes Shapiro’s lack of savvy when it comes to politics and current media.
If Trump started Tweeting boring and “presidential” sounding Tweets, the media would slowly lose interest and ultimately stop hanging on his every Tweet. And once they do that, he would lose the one unfiltered megaphone he has left to get his message out to the people.
The mainstream media has chosen to not report anything Trump does accurately, so he has no choice but to use Twitter as his avenue to get his message out. The way he does that is by making many of his Tweets over-the-top so his followers and even his enemies hang on his every Tweet to see what crazy thing he says next. The result of this is that the mainstream media and his haters end up unknowingly spreading his message for him.
It’s actually quite genius what Trump does with his Tweets and it’s totally lost on Shapiro. Trump realizes the media won’t accurately report on what he does, so instead he gets them to spread his message by Tweeting bombastic Tweets. The media can’t help but pile on to attack his language or tone, but in the process, they promote the message Trump wanted to get out in the first place.
It truly is genius and shows a level of media savvy that is incredible for anyone, let alone a man in his 70’s.
Ultimately, Shapiro fancies himself as an intellectual, and based on his resume I suppose he is. But like most intellectuals, they all hate Trump on some level. They can’t understand how Trump succeeds the way he does. Trump is boastful and sometimes crude, often times unrestrained, and he has disdain for longstanding elite institutions. These are all things intellectuals hate in a person, yet Trump is able to succeed by doing this and it drives intellectuals crazy. This intellectual hatred of Trump is the underlying basis for Trump Derangement Syndrome, and Ben Shapiro seems to have a secret case of it. It’s why he is so hung up on Trump’s Tweets and language. In Ben Shapiro’s universe, nobody that talks the way Trump does could possibly be smarter and more clever than him.
Now don’t get me wrong, Shapiro is a very intelligent and successful guy and I regularly enjoy his content and will continue to do so. But in cases like this where he constantly criticizes Trump’s Tweeting behavior it shows his commentary lacks a certain real-world experience.
It’s similar to Shapiro’s often detached views on the economy and working class people. For example, when he seems to have no sympathy for people who can’t find good paying local jobs because in his opinion, those people aren’t willing to go to North Dakota to get a fracking job.
First of all Ben, not all people can perform intense manual labor like working on a fracking rig (including Ben himself). And not every person has the financial means to pick up their whole family and move across the country in hopes of landing a job when they get there.
It’s things like this that always stick out to me about Shapiro’s commentary. It’s always very well thought out and is perfect for a debate, but it lacks a certain real-world knowledge or on-the-ground experience.
It almost reminds me of a rookie police officer who is fresh out of the academy and got perfect scores on every test while there. But once he gets out on the actual streets, he sees things are a little bit different than the text book rules he’s been taught. And it’s this type of “street” experience that I think is often lacking in Shapiro’s political analysis of Trump.
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