DEBATE RECAP: Ben Shapiro Destroys Cenk Uygur at Politicon Event— Here are the Highlights.
After the dust settled and the smoke cleared, only Ben Shapiro remained.
The noted conservative speaker, known for his "facts don't care about your feelings" mantra, took on radical leftist commentator Cenk Uygur in an epic debate hosted by Politicon 2017 in Pasadena, CA.
With over 3,000 people lined up to witness the event, proceedings were delayed for over half an hour as Politicon staff relocated equipment (and the audience) to a larger auditorium. Unofficial live stream feeds attracted over 14,000 viewers before the debate even began, watching with bated breath as the live audience grew restless, booing the empty stage, tossing balloons around the room and chanting "USA" excitedly.
At 5:06PM PST, Shapiro and Uygur took the stage, and off they went with Steven Olikara acting as moderator. Here are some of the highlights and cliff notes for those that missed the event:
- The debate centered mostly around healthcare, business regulations, taxes and big vs. small government, with the aim of discussing the future of political parties.
- Shapiro kicked off the debate by pointing out that when it comes to healthcare, you can pick any two: Universality, Affordability or Quality. He also noted that insurance is not meant to be a charitable endeavor, and that it was distinctly different from healthcare itself.
- Uygur's first statement addressed the audience: "Welcome to the Thunder Dome."
- The audience, mostly Shapiro supporters, booed him enthusiastically until Shapiro raised his hand, saying "C'mon guys, wait until he does something."
- Uygur stated that he wants Medicare for the entire country, that univerality, affordability and quality could all be achieved under this system.
- Shapiro points out that this is "Bernie Sanders shtick" and that it would create affordability for the people at unacceptable cost to the country. He points out that California couldn't achieve this at a statewide level because it would double their debt.
- Shapiro also points out that South Africa has declared healthcare a 'right,' yet declaring something a right does nothing. Shapiro states that declaring something a right requires confiscation from another, while declaring a good or service creates low prices through a free market system.
- Uygur states that a single payer system would be desirable and that a 70% marginal tax rate would be ideal.
- Shapiro asks if Uygur would support a 100% tax rate under the premise that higher taxes increase productivity. Uygur falsely accuses him of using a straw-man argument (misquoting him as having posed a statement rather than a question), causing the audience to boo him loudly. Uygur walks the accusation back quickly and plays dumb to allow Shapiro to restate his point.
- At several points throughout the debate, Uygur directly insults the audience.
- The formula Uygur seemed to favor throughout the debate is to state a point, then avoids supporting the position by directing viewers to "look it up" for themselves. He also uses his signature sarcastic/condescending tone in place of facts or evidence.
- As a result of not providing actual evidence, he gets booed for saying things like:
- "Guys, try to follow along, it's logic."
- "If you're uneducated, don't make it so obvious."
- "You can google it, it's easy."
- At one point, Uygur (nonsensically) compares big vs. small government to the hypothetical question "what size pipes would you like in your house?"
- Several times throughout the debate, Shapiro references Uygur's news corporation "The Young Turks." He points out the hypocrisy of:
- Uygur wanting corporations to stop supporting politicians even though TYT openly supported President Obama during his term and Bernie Sanders during his 2016 campaign.
- Shapiro fires a question at Uygur: "Would Bernie Sanders like it more if you donated $10,000 or kissed his ass for an entire election cycle?" This causes the audience to erupt in cheers.
- During the "rapid-fire" question session, Uygur attempts to cite the "Southern Strategy" myth as evidence that Republicans used racist tactics during the Nixon era.
- After the booing subsided, Shapiro (now visibly incensed) debunked the myth, pointing out that all but one of 21 Democratic Senators during that period remained Democrat (among other facts).
- Uygur claims that Shapiro "cherry-picked" a "very narrow window of time" to support his claims. Shapiro retorts that he just cited U.S. history from 1952-1994. Uygur ignored this and pressed on.
The event ended with Olikara thanking the audience for attending, pointing out that it was clear who the audience would want as their presidential candidates in 2020.
Although Olikara didn't declare a winner in the debate, it's clear that the victory went to Shapiro, if only because he used actual facts and didn't belittle his listeners.
We'll be expecting Uygur to claim he won any time now (just as soon as he's done licking his wounds).
Watch the full debate below:
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