Ben Shapiro is editor-at-large of Breitbart.com and his new book, Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America, is dedicated to our dear late friend Andrew Breitbart, a tireless warrior against the liberal use and abuse of cultural institutions. Shapiro talks about his new book and his continuing work with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez.
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Is there a perverse irony in the fact that StopBullying.gov is a project of the Department of Health and Human Services?
BEN SHAPIRO: It’s laughable that this administration considers itself an anti-bullying administration at all, especially given its routine bullying of businesspeople, religious believers, and gun-owners, among others. But it’s more laughable that the HHS — the same department that recommended and now implements the Obamacare mandate forcing religious business-owners to either violate their religious precepts or fire employees — says that it is anti-bullying. That, in a nutshell, is the Left: They pretend they hate bullies, when in reality, they are the single greatest purveyors of bullying in American life.
LOPEZ: Why are you so worked up about Barack Obama hating child bullies? It’s not actually true that “All Americans, virtually without exception, hate bullies,” is it, when there are, in fact, bullies? The point of your book . . . ?
SHAPIRO: President Obama has made an enormous deal over the past four years about child bullying. He’s declared it a crisis, and spent vast sums of capital pushing the notion that every American has to stand up against bullying. But in talking about that effort, Obama praised none other than Dan Savage, who runs the It Gets Better Project — and also bullies the hell out of everyone who disagrees with him on gay marriage. Savage is the same fellow who screamed at young Christians who walked out on one of his anti-Biblical diatribes; tried to redefine Rick Santorum’s last name in the crassest of ways; and suggested that certain politicians be dragged behind trucks until dead.
Obama isn’t anti-bullying. He loves leftist bullies and their allies — see Savage, Al Sharpton, Richard Trumka, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the like. But he plays at being anti-bullying because it serves his political purpose. By acting like somebody punching back at bullies, he gets away with actual thug tactics.
The reversal is simple: Liberals like Obama claim that they are about protecting victim classes from bullies. Conservatives oppose liberals. Therefore, by definition, conservatives must be bullies. And bullies must be stopped, punished, squashed.
Obama’s nonsense about bullying — which is at an all-time low in the United States — is just another photo-op designed to tell the American people just what a stand-up guy he is, even as he victimizes those who oppose his policies by slandering them as morally benighted.
LOPEZ: Why would you say something like: “No wonder Obama looks like he’s lost weight. He’s been lugging that gigantic cross around for the last four years.”
SHAPIRO: President Obama wins elections because he portrays himself as a victim of a racist, ignorant, bigoted group of Americans (bitter clingers) who oppose him simply because he is a black man (he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills”) with an exotic (“funny”) name. Obama has played exactly this same game with regard to the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling: acting as though Republicans have a pathological hatred of him personally, and therefore don’t want to come to an agreement to prevent America’s financial collapse. In reality, Republicans can’t work with him, since he’s too busy bullying them by telling the public that they are evil granny-killers who hate the poor.
In this way, Obama is the apex of the leftism: He acts the victim even as he demands more and more control over the lives of others.