What I want to do here is expose my readers to some cool people, whether those readers are other libertarian/conservatives looking for cool shit to watch on YouTube, open-minded liberals curious about the arguments of the other side, younger-than-me generation Y or Z people looking to broaden their horizons, or anyone who drunkenly stumbled onto this site.
Now, onto the list. I had a lot of trouble trimming it down to 5. Even shows I watch daily didn’t make the list, because I wanted to spread it out so I’m representing different kinds of people.
5. Gavin McInnes
Gavin is an interesting guy. He’s very funny, has a cheerful disposition, and is an entertaining personality complete with punk-rock tattoos and charming fashion sense ripped straight from the movie Falling Down. He talks a lot about being a man which is refreshing in this era of low-T Buzzfeed reporters telling us all it’s okay to drink daiquiris with the girls and cry. Another common topic from him is extolling the benefits of Western civilization. As good as his videos about politics are, his rants on various down-to-Earth topics like fatherhood and millennials are what makes him stand out from the crowd. He used to be on Rebel Media, now he’s on CRTV.
4. Roaming Millennial
My first thought when I saw Roaming Millennial — as I’m sure is everyone’s first thought — is that she’s mindblowingly beautiful. Then I watched several of her videos and realized beneath the surface she’s intelligent, thoughtful, kind, and has a surprising amount of bravery and fight. Beneath the distractingly stunning exterior is where the true beauty lies. Her videos are poignant. They mainly focus on anti-SJW topics, but do branch out. She maintains positive engagement with her fans even amidst an ever-encroaching sea of vitriolic racism, political screeds and cringe-worthy marriage requests. I’ve seen her endure some brutal shouting directed at her without losing her cool and come out unscathed, and, in a weird juxtaposition, I’ve also seen her be vulnerable about tiny things that seem silly to me. She’s still very young so it’s a little… I don’t know if there’s a word for this. Is there a word for when you watch someone going through something for the first time and you kind of want to tell them how it goes but also you’re confident they’ll figure it out? Anyway, the whole package creates a very endearing persona.
3. Andrew Klavan
Andrew Klavan is a successful author and screenwriter who ended up becoming a broadcast personality, currently hosting a show at The Daily Wire. Formerly he worked at PJTV with a series called Klavan on the Culture. What I really like about Andrew is his editorial emphasis on culture. A lot of times with politics, especially on the right, people are willfully dismissive about the culture and its power to influence people’s lives. Movies, TV, literature, film, games, language, tourism, music, all this stuff is ubiquitous in everyone’s lives, but the right has largely ceded those territories to the left. At most companies that produce any of those cultural goods and services, right leaning viewpoints are silenced if not outright exiled. It’s an issue Andrew brings up regularly that’s very important and not often discussed elsewhere. Here’s a speech he gave at, surprisingly enough, my home town in California:
2. Steven Crowder
Steven Crowder hosts a nightly talk show called Louder With Crowder. The closest comparison I can come up with is that it’s like a right-leaning Tonight Show with more interviews, or The Daily Show (circa Jon Stewart) with more sketches. He, himself, is consistently funny, even-tempered, intelligent, and well-researched. His producer/co-host Jared, who plays the Andy Richter to his Conan O’Brien, is equally funny and they have great chemistry together. What’s especially notable about Crowder is how willing he is to talk with people who have opposing viewpoints and engage in, and this is the operative word here, civil debates. He’s still trying to win, but he’s not shouting anyone down, misrepresenting their views or impugning their motives. Lately he’s been doing a regular segment called “Change My Mind”, where he lets anyone come up to him and, civilly, argue their opposing viewpoint.
1. Ben Shapiro
I first discovered Ben Shapiro about 7 years ago when I was 23. I don’t remember what he was talking about, I think he was on Larry King or something. What Ben has become known for is an incredibly sharp mind, a God-given debate skill and otherworldly tenacity. Recently, in August, Ben had a debate at an event here in California called Politicon, where he squared off against liberal sweetheart Cenk Uygur. Immediately after watching this debate, I bemoaned on Facebook: “How come the debate between 30-something political commentators is full of policy and fairly respectful and our presidential debate was an embarrassing shitshow of namecalling and personal attacks?” It reignited my interest in politics, cutting right through my jadedness. Ben is what gives me hope that my generation will be an improvement. He talks a lot about rejecting the extremism that encourages people in politics to impugn each other’s motives and does so with a verbal acuity that may very well be unmatched in my generation. His convictions are strong, his arguments are always on point, and he’s a kind and funny guy despite the avalanche of anti-semitic hatemail he receives on a daily basis.
Bonus: Reason Magazine
Reason is the go-to Libertarian publication of note. It’s always good for a read. In the past, it’s been guilty of being esoteric and giving in to the instinct the Libertarian party has of being more of a cocktail-hour thought exercise than an actual party with a coherent growth strategy. In recent days, they’ve turned more focus to video and delivered a pretty impressive lineup of entertaining videos that can compete in the current social media landscape — interviews from Nick Gillespie, great think-pieces by John Stossel, hilarious shorts by Andrew Heaton and parody music videos by Remy Munasifi. Great group of writers over there as well.