Why the Shapiro-Nolte Feud at The Daily Wire is a Win for Conservatism

Amid the recent controversy surrounding the interruptions of the “Shakespeare in the Park” plays that depict President Trump as Julius Caesar during his assassination, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro and Editor-at-Large John Nolte unintentionally displayed conservatives’ respect for true diversity of thought.

The interruptions of this play have caused massive controversy among conservatives. One side (Nolte’s) is in full support of the interruptions because they believe it is necessary to combat the Left.  They mock each conservative who complains about actions like this for blindly standing by “muh principles.” The other side (Shapiro’s) believes that this is “alt-right snowflakery,” asserting that this is no different from leftist groups doing the same to him, or any other speaker from the Right.

I’m happy to let them debate on who is right or wrong. I would prefer to focus on the respect for real diversity that they espouse in their bout. This is not the superficial diversity that the Left champions, which is a lie perpetuated to portray the Left as accepting of everyone, as my friend Matt Green lays out nicely here. No, this is real diversity. The diversity of thoughts and ideas. The diversity of opinions that keeps us from becoming an insufferable echo chamber. This diversity shows that we care about what others think, not just what they look like. This is a beautiful quality of conservatism, and these two writers demonstrated that it is not forgotten in this crazy, current political climate.

Earlier this week, John Nolte wrote an article for The Daily Wire (yes, Shapiro’s publication) that rebuked an article that Shapiro wrote last week. Nolte’s article supported the disruption of the Trump assassination play. In the article, where he mentioned Shapiro by name, he took shots at some conservatives for complaining while doing nothing except literally “standing by” their principles. Nolte also condemned them for not having a plan:

“What I did not see is what some might call a Plan — a plan to fight the institutional Left’s escalating campaign to silence and justify violence against us.”

This is the polar opposite of Ben Shapiro’s take on the situation, which he wrote about in a powerful rebuke to Nolte’s article, which was written in response to Shapiro’s first article (yes, also for The Daily Wire). Shapiro sums up his argument in the piece with a simple assertion:

“Snowflakery from the alt-right is no better than snowflakery from the left.”

Shapiro also says that infringing on other’s free speech is not free speech in itself and that no one has the right to interrupt a play, just like no one has the right to disrupt one of his speeches. Shapiro also offered up a plan to counter Nolte’s claim that they do not have one, it is:

“Speak on college campuses, speak for free speech, shame the left routinely, force them to acknowledge their own tyranny. Don’t participate in tyranny. This is a winning plan.”

The purpose of this article is not to sway you to believe one side or the other, or to simply point out that the two disagree, but rather to display the diversity and tolerance of conservative opinions. As I noted, Shapiro’s initial article and the subsequent rebuttal articles from Nolte and Shapiro come from the same site, The Daily Wire, the site Shapiro founded and runs. The Daily Wire has demonstrated that it is an institution which embraces true diversity. The fact that Nolte could offer up a stern rebuke to the founder’s article (and stay employed as the Editor-at-Large) is a marvelous demonstration that hopefully resonates with conservatives and sites similar to ours. It represents that we are not an echo chamber and that we value each person’s right to speak their mind, whether we agree or not. Of course, conservatives who agree with Nolte may carve out a small exception for people who are pretending to assassinate the President. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see true tolerance of intellectual diversity from The Daily Wire, and I’d like to see this occurrence become much more common.

Follow the author on Twitter: @MichaelJonesAU


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