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Notre Dame College Republicans host conservative commentator Ben Shapiro

| Friday, March 31, 2017

Two days after conservative author Charles Murray visited Notre Dame’s campus, Ben Shapiro, the editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire and self-proclaimed “second-favorite 33-year-old Jew” of American conservatives, spoke in the Carey Auditorium of Hesburgh Library as a part of College Republicans’ 69th annual Lincoln Day Dinner and Speech on Thursday.

ben shapiro webMichael Yu | The Observer

The Notre Dame College Republicans hosted conservative commentator Ben Shapiro on Thursday night in Carey Auditorium.

Shapiro began his lecture with an attack on intersectionality, an idea he said he feels has gained undue notoriety on college campuses.

“[Intersectionality] says we ought to judge people on their identity and not on the basis of the opinions they hold,” he said. “An identity is solely defined in terms of the group — it’s defined by race, by gender, by sexual orientation. There’s hierarchy of victimhood intersectionality … at the very top of the list are LGBT folk.”

Shapiro said this creation of victimhood also spills over into what he believes is the false notion of white privilege and the notion that there are barriers standing in front of minority groups.

“Society is not out to get you. Society doesn’t give two damns about you. … No one is going to bother to stand in your way,” he said. “If you don’t want to be poor in the United States … you only have to follow three simple rules: get married before you have babies, complete high school, get a job — that’s it. It doesn’t require a degree in rocket science.”

Shapiro also applied this philosophy to feminist thought.

“Are American women victimized? No,” he said. “American women are the freest and the wealthiest in the history of the world.”

These supposed myths, Shapiro said, were perpetrated on college campuses — a setting in which he believes conservative students could learn to defend beliefs.

“It’s a good opportunity for conservative students to get better at what they do,” he said. “[For me, it] was a good opportunity to read what [professors] were assigning and consider the arguments that they are making and then go do research as to why they are right and wrong.”

Shapiro also spoke on illegal immigration, one of the key issues at the center of last year’s presidential election.

“It is immoral to let people in who have not been vetted,” he said. “I don’t think the moral argument is [the] ‘People are coming from across the sea to take our jobs’ argument. I think that is a silly argument. I don’t think you have a right to work for a higher wage because you were born there.”

Junior Lars Rucker said he appreciated that Shapiro backed up his claims.

“Everything he said had some reasoning,” he said. “If he wasn’t confident in his reasoning, he specified.”

Sophomore Diego Arias said he hopes Shapiro continues to speak with a focus on issues that were present in the latter half of the event.

“I think he tried to fight back against the left with emotional stances, but the [question-and-answer] segment was better because it [answered] more reasonings for political stances — he has one of the clearest stances on Israel,” he said.

Sophomore Daniel Beasley said he thought Shapiro could have done a better job addressing his viewpoints in his speech rather than in the question-and-answer segment.

“He knows he can stir up the most controversy and get [to] the most people by talking about campus protests and things like that,” he said. “And I think part of that inadvertently fuels, not the ‘alt-right,’ but being against campus protests for the sake of being against it, rather than making a pitch for his own political viewpoint. You come out of the Q-and-A knowing what he believes.”

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About Lucas Masin-Moyer

Lucas Masin-Moyer is a junior at Notre Dame majoring in Political Science and American Studies. He serves as Assistant Managing Editor, lives in Morrissey Manor and hails from Telford, Pennsylvania.

Contact Lucas