So, this all started because I was watching John Oliver’s last week tonight show on YouTube. This particular episode was about Alex Jones, the super far-right talk show host who likes to say outlandish, border-line insane things like: the fluoride and chemicals in America’s tap water are turning people, and frogs, gay. And, to be honest, watching the crazy, raging, unbelievable theatrics of Alex Jones was super entertaining, so I kept clicking on the next recommended videos until I eventually landed on Steven Crowder’s “There are only two genders: change my mind” video. I describe all this basically to just say, I had never heard of Steven Crowder before so I had a pretty unbiased opinion of him before watching his videos.
For those who don’t know, the “change my mind” series is basically Crowder throwing out a bold statement on a banner in a public place, usually a college, and talking to individuals who disagree with that statement. You may be familiar with the meme of a guy with a table and banner with numerous things filled in on the banner, such as “Friends is better than the Office: change my mind.” It’s that guy that we’re talking about here.
On the surface, I love the idea of creating an open dialogue between two people who disagree and exploring why they believe what they believe. The whole “change my mind” phrase implies that Crowder is open to having his mind changed, but really it’s mostly him standing firm with his position and attempting to show others why they are wrong. This doesn’t mean that positive discussion can’t happen, it just means that there’s really no scenario in which Crowder would actually change his mind. You can see in his video, “Socialism is Evil“, that even when speaking to intelligent people who are making very good points, he refuses to concede on any point that is in opposition of his own. Instead, he pulls the mic back or says they are out of time and moves on.
Now, you may be reading this and thinking that I’m a liberal, or have left leaning beliefs, but this is largely not the case. I actually agree with most of Crowders opinions, I just don’t like the way he engages in discussion about them. Like Crowder, I believe there are only two genders, and that gender and sex are the same thing, I also believe abortion is wrong (except when medically necessary to save the life of the mother), and I think socialism is a bad form of government. Although I do believe Americans should have the right to firearms, I also think there need to be stricter regulations on who can purchase a gun, or at least a better process on determining who is allowed to purchase a gun, so I’m kind of in the middle there. Unlike Crowder, I don’t think male privilege is a (complete) myth, I don’t believe taxation is theft (here’s why), and I don’t believe “Kwanza isn’t real.”