WATCH: Dave Rubin's Conversion From Progressive to Classical Liberal

Toss away the labels and groupthink, and you've got a solid chance of helping a progressive believer see the light --- as long as they let reason, not emotion rule their thinking.

That's exactly what happened to Dave Rubin, host of The Rubin Report and former progressive who now calls himself a classical liberal. Rubin, who recently filmed a video with Prager U about his conversion, joined The Glenn Beck Program on Tuesday.

"I think something happened to 'progressive' in the last couple of years where it went from at least some healthy dose of true liberalism, classical liberalism and it's become just an authoritarian mess," Rubin said.

"So maybe I was a little late to the party on some of that stuff. Maybe I have just a high tolerance for some old-fashioned BS. Really, if you look back at my show for the last two years, I've spent the last two years of my life trying to get some of the good liberals to realize what's happening, and I think I succeeded at some of that. But clearly the progressives are going off the deep end."

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN: Dave Rubin. A talk show about big ideas and free speech. He does the RubinReport.com. I was out in Los Angeles, I don't know, a few weeks ago. Stopped by his beautiful studios in Los Angeles and did about an hour with him. I found him to be extraordinarily engaging and not the guy I thought, had you known that he used to work at, what Was it? Young Turks Network, which is run by a crazy guy, in my opinion.

But Dave is with us now. Hi, Dave, how are you?

DAVE: Glenn, it's good to be with you. I should tell you before we start that I am actually on vacation right now on an undisclosed island. I've been off the grid for about five days. So I have no idea what's happening in the world. I still have five days in front of me here. So this is the only on-the-grid thing I'm doing. So whatever we do here, let's just not ruin my vacation.

GLENN: Okay. So that we shouldn't tell you what happened over the weekend. We'll leave it -- we won't ask you any of those questions.

DAVE: Yeah. Well, we should probably stay away from that.

I did -- you know, I opened my phone once, just to check what time it was. And I glanced at my Twitter feed for a second. I can see a lot of crazy things are happening.

GLENN: Yeah, crazy things are happening.

DAVE: I don't have to tell you, Glenn, you know, when you do what we do, the amount of information you can be slammed with, coming from every angle, constantly, it actually does take a toll on the brain.

GLENN: No, it does.

DAVE: And I desperately needed a little break. So I'm in the midst of that break right now, but I'm looking --

GLENN: Well, jeez, I'm sorry that we scheduled this on your vacation.

DAVE: No, I thought I could do one thing to stay -- otherwise, I could really end up being one of these full-time vacation people. And then it's over.

GLENN: Those are crazy.

So, David, you said you used to be a progressive.

DAVE: Yeah. Yeah.

GLENN: And you've just done something with Prager University, where you say how progressives have now taken to banning words, et cetera, et cetera. But that is who the progressives were at the beginning. They've never really changed. They have -- they have tried to make themselves appear as though they are classic liberals, but they're not.

What gave you the -- what woke you to this?

DAVE: Well, more than anything else, I've always considered myself liberal first. So I remember literally 1988 when I was in a seventh grade social studies class, and Michael Dukakis was running against George H.W. Bush, and I remembered, you know, in the media they kept calling Dukakis liberal, liberal. And I remember at some point during that, we were doing a mock election in the class. And Dukakis had to run away from the word "liberal." And that just made no sense to me.

I thought, liberals care about minorities. Liberals care about social issues. Liberals seem to be nicer people. You know, this is me in seventh grade.

And over the -- I think 20 years or so since then, I still have remained true to my liberal principles. And we can go through all of those things: I'm for gay marriage. I'm pro-choice. I'm against the death penalty. I'm for reforming the prison system. Et cetera. Et cetera. I'm for strong education. All those things.

And I think something happened to progressive in the last couple of years where it went from at least some healthy dose of true liberalism, classical liberalism, and it's become just an authoritarian mess. And, you know, I've had plenty of people on my show, you included and guys like Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro and a few others, who have said, you know, at their core, even though they're conservatives, they're really conservatives now because there are classical liberals.

And so maybe I was a little late to the part on some of that stuff. Maybe I have just a high tolerance for some old-fashioned BS. Really, if you look back at my show for the last two years, I've spent the last two years of my life trying to get some of the good liberals to realize what's happening. And I think I succeeded at some of that. But clearly the progressives are going off the deep end.

GLENN: Okay. So tell me -- when you say you're trying to get liberals to understand, what do you mean by that? And where are you seeing progress?

DAVE: Well, look, liberalism at its core is live and let live. People don't understand that anymore because it's been so conflated with progressivism and leftism. But at its core, liberalism means you're liberal in that you're for liberty, for human dignity and liberty, and you have your life to do as you see fit and pursue happiness as you see fit for yourself and your family and the people around you and all those things.

Now, that, of course, sounds a lot like Libertarianism. And I talked a bit on my show about it. And we talked about it a couple weeks ago, about a little bit of a difference between classical liberalism and Libertarianism, where a classical liberal, generally, you see a little more utility for the government, where Libertarian is kind of hard to pin them down exactly. You know, some of them don't want driver's licenses. Like, it's sort of all over the map.

So where I've seen success is that I've seen a lot of former progressives -- I mean, my email blows up every day, and my Twitter and all that, of former progressives saying, "Wow, this isn't what I signed up for. Maybe I didn't realize it." It's a lot of young people, which is interesting.

So for someone like you, that's saying progressivism was always this. I think for younger people, because of the social stuff -- so something like gay marriage, where progressives were leading the charge on that, it made it seem like progressives were the good guys.

But already that's a couple years ago. It's the law of the land now. And I don't see really people on the right fighting it. And even when I sat down with you, you said maybe it's not -- I think -- I don't want to totally paraphrase you, but you basically said, maybe it's not what I would have wanted. But it is the law now. And kind of live and let live.

And I think that attitude is really what can build bridges. So for me, the idea that right now I feel that I can build a bridge with Glenn Beck much more easily than I can with people on the left is a huge political shift for me. But, you know, that's what life is all about, that you change and people change. And you have to try to find places where you agree instead of just screaming that everybody else is a bigot and a racist and the rest of that nonsense.

PAT: Dave, usually people don't take kindly to somebody on their side saying things like this. And, you know, having any kind of change of heart. Are you getting a lot of -- are you getting a lot of pushback? Are you getting a lot of virulent tweets and response from what you've been saying lately?

DAVE: Yeah. I mean, look, you know, the way we interact these days, because we're all doing it behind a computer, because so many people are doing it anonymously and, you know, create all these fake accounts, it's hard to pilfer any truth out of what really matters or whatnot. Yeah, I get a couple bad articles --

PAT: Yeah, you can't be very popular at the Young Turks Network anymore, right?

DAVE: Well, look -- yeah, well, none of those guys will talk to me. And really, there was a direct line through -- over the course of the last two years, and particularly the free speech stuff, when Charlie Hebdo happened and when that whole blowup happened on realtime between Sam Harris and Bill Maher versus Ben Affleck, where they were trying to explain really complex issues related to the difference between the nominal average Muslim person and what an Islamist is and what a jihadist is and all of this stuff. Really complex stuff. And just the knee-jerk response to yell bigot and racist. And that if anybody didn't immediately say they were for gay marriage, the second you were for gay marriage, then they're a homophobe.

And if they immediately aren't okay with the bathroom designation that you want, the second you want it, they're a transphobe. Or all of these things.

This isn't -- it's not a mature enlightened way of thinking. It's actually completely the reverse of that.

And I'm a firm believer -- Glenn, you know this. I'm married. I'm gay married. Okay. So, you know, I think that I can show people that you don't have to bark and shame people into liking you. No one likes that. What you can do is be a responsible human being and show people that that's okay.

And so these guys -- look, the progressives have used all these words to the point that they're meaningless. And what I hear now, and I've done a couple videos on this recently, is that when you've pinned everybody else to be Hitler basically -- because this is what they're doing: Everyone else is a bigot and a racist and Hitler, blah, blah, your only other out then is violence. And I think we're already seeing the underpinnings of that. And I suspect we're going to see more of it unfortunately.

GLENN: I will tell you, Dave, I sat with you -- and, first of all, let me correct you on one thing.

DAVE: Yeah.

GLENN: I was -- I'm -- my stance on gay marriage has been the same since the late 1990s. And that is, while my faith says that's not right, my stance on that is, that's not my decision. That's between you and your God and you and whoever. And the government has nothing to do with it.

DAVE: Yeah.

GLENN: So I was pro-gay marriage years before Obama and Hillary Clinton were.

DAVE: Sure.

GLENN: And yet I was the bigot. I just don't believe the government has any place -- you work out your marriage, I'll work out my marriage. I don't have a right to tell you what to believe, and you don't have a right to tell me what I should believe.

DAVE: By the way, Glenn, think what a beautiful thing that is. So first off, I apologize for misrepresenting your position.

GLENN: No, no, that's fine.

DAVE: But think about what a beautiful thing that is, that you as a Libertarian are saying, I don't care about this contract that you want to enter. Maybe my religion says something else. But I respect your ability to live as a -- as a human being on this planet, and I don't want the government in on that. And then a liberal from the same position -- a classical liberal could say, I believe that two people should be allowed to do the same thing that straight people are allowed to do.

So you can come to the same conclusion through different political lenses. And that's I think why this bridge is now being built between true liberals and Libertarians and some conservatives.

GLENN: Yeah, I would consider myself more of a classic liberal than a Libertarian. But people don't understand what a classic liberal is anymore.

DAVE: Yeah. I'm working on it. I'm working on it.

GLENN: So, David, where do we go from here? Because I keep asking this of people in the press and people on both sides, you have people that want to burn it down, literally. Steve Bannon calls himself a Leninist, wants to burn the whole system down. Then you have the people on the left that want to burn things down, and they are actually active in the streets. And nobody is willing to talk to each other. Donald Trump calls the press names. The press keeps calling him, you know, a liar.

We're not getting anywhere. What -- what's coming?

DAVE: Well, you're right that we have a toxic mess on our hands right now. Because when you have the left -- you know, we know they're okay with violence. And we know that these words -- as I said, they've pinned themselves in a corner. And now they have the perfect bogeyman in Trump. So, you know, they pin themselves -- imagine if Trump started to do some good things. Let's say the economy really took off. He lowered taxes. Trade deals worked out. He didn't care that much about the social stuff which I don't think he really does care about.

Well, they've talked about him as Hitler for so long, that they can't give him any credit, so they have to keep trying to undermine him. This is a huge problem. So I think for guys like us, the important thing is that we can show people that you are allowed to agree to disagree. You don't have to disagree with anyone on anything. I don't even know that I agree with myself on any given day of everything that I thought the day before. And that -- that's called being a human. That's just having a little humility. And understanding -- you know, it's so funny. I try not to get too caught in the Twitter thing. Because it's a world of its own.

But everybody has to have an opinion about everything. You know, so like we'll do -- Obama did the thing with Cuba. And suddenly people who I had never heard say a word about Cuba before. People who know nothing about politics. Everyone suddenly is an expert on our relations with Cuba. And everyone is an expert on the Iran nuclear deal, et cetera, et cetera. And I think what we have to try to do is be a little old-school in our thinking and be okay with sitting across from people and, you know, it's a big country. And, you know, we're going to disagree on some stuff. And the battle of ideas is the important thing.

And just because someone doesn't change the second that you change, it doesn't mean that they're a bad person. And I think that -- we can get some of this stuff across. But, of course, our job is harder. Because it would be a lot easier if we just started a coalition of people that happened to scream at people all the time. That's how you get clicks. That's how you get the numbers and all of that. But, you know, I'm not on this planet for that. I don't think you are either. And we got our work cut out for us.

GLENN: Dave Rubin from the RubinReport.com. Always good to talk to you, Dave.

Hope to talk to you again in the future. In the meantime, go back to the beach or whatever it is you're doing and forget about the rest of the world for a while.

DAVE: That -- that is where I'm headed right now. Thank you, Glenn.

JEFFY: Good luck.

GLENN: Thank you. Buh-bye. Dave Rubin. Good guy. Did a really interesting interview with me. I didn't know what to expect. Didn't know about this big change in him.

STU: I don't even take your calls on vacation. I can't believe he did.

GLENN: I know. That was crazy. Why would you do that?

STU: I have a tough time taking them during the workweek.

GLENN: I know. Yesterday I had the day off. And the phone rang and rang and rang. And I didn't answer it once. And that wasn't because it was a holiday. I just don't ever do that anymore. So if you were trying to call, and that was you, Stu, sorry.

STU: It wasn't, I promise.

Stop trying to be right and think of the children

Mario Tama/Getty Images

All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?