Stand Back...I'm About to Salute The Young Turks' Ana Kasparian

There’s not a lot I agree with “The Young Turks” cohost Ana Kasparian on and it’s no wonder. Kasparian’s ideological territory is somewhere on the far left, and I find my home on the libertarian right. These are two positions that couldn’t be more diametrically opposed to each other. Moreover, I’m not a fan of Kasparian’s self-image. This is the same woman who boldly declared that she thinks she’s better than you if you voted for Trump.

I could go on for ages about how much Kasparian is wrong about any given subject and how I even find her offputting on a personal level.

So why am I saluting her?

Because she has done what the left has failed to do for years now…talk to us.

I don’t mean talking at us like so many on the left do and then use the response to declare victimhood and reinforce their talk about how horrible the right is, I mean properly sit down and debate us in a calm, respectful demeanor that leaves both parties more educated than they were before about ideas, facts, or positions.

Kasparian appeared opposite of the Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro, and through a moderator, they discussed and debated everything from Critical Race Theory to the future of media. I won’t run down every point they made as that’s not what this article is about, but you can see a rundown here on the Daily Wire, or watch the entire debate for yourself right below.

Did Kasparian convince me of anything? No, but she did make me aware that even on the hard left, there’s probably more that we already do agree upon than we think. For leftist leaders and trendsetters, this is a very dangerous prospect. Common ground may lead to better understanding, and better understanding could lead to solutions. Solutions are bad for the status quo, and will eventually lead to disillusionment of extremist positions.

Once you find out your enemy isn’t the devil and that your positions are wrong and actually untenable, you tend to leave them and gravitate more toward the center. What Kasparian did was commit a grave sin in the eyes of many on the left. The bubble must remain intact.

As I write this, Kasparian is having to defend herself against the thought police on the left who is furious that she would even give Shapiro a moment of her time. In their eyes, his image must remain that of a white supremacist with radical, far-right views that could lead to the breakdown of freedoms for many groups, and the deaths of others. Kasparian opened the door for others to see him as a well-spoken, incredibly intelligent, and worst of all, a reasonable man.

But worst of all, she allowed the left’s sophistry to be debated in a public forum. She risked the bubble.

Kasparian defended herself on Twitter, saying that she didn’t platform Shapiro. If anything, he platformed her as his following is much bigger, but moreover, that she did it because she’s intelligent and could hold her own in a debate. In her final tweet, she said that if the left wants to convince people of their positions, then they need to stop looking like cowards and actually get out and speak with people opposite of them ideologically.

One of the most lamentable things in our society today is the lack of communication. It’s the source from which many of our problems stem and benefit no one but those in positions of power. Lack of communication only breeds ignorance and those on the left have made it clear that communication isn’t just frowned upon, it’s punishable. Even Kasparian, one of the most leftist figures in the culture, isn’t safe from this kind of isolationist mentality being enforced.

She probably knew that going in and did it anyway, and for that, I salute her. Moreover, it took some bravery to go up against Shapiro, one of the leading minds in conservatism today and a man famous for his debating skills.

I hope more debates like this happen, and not just between Shapiro and Kasparian. I hope more people step forward and allow respectful debate to happen. I’d like to see more of what the left has to say in situations where they have to answer hard questions and confront real facts. No softballs to save them, just naked debate. It’s a big part of our national identity that we’ve been missing for some time and seeing it again made me feel like something lost had returned.

Ana Kasparian, I salute you.