Ben Shapiro’s Shtick

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed after President Trump was acquitted by the Senate and came across a Ben Shapiro tweet that caused my eyes to roll as far back as they could go. “The White House should simply acknowledge that Romney had his point of view, that they think he’s wrong, that the majority of the Senate thinks he’s wrong, and move on” he tweeted. It was another entry in Shapiro’s ongoing “Trump should do better” shtick. Every time Trump says or tweets– or, in this case, will inevitably– something loathsome Shapiro has the same tired response: tisk tisk him like a five year old, appeal to his better nature, and move on. 

But here is the thing– Trump has acted one way for the five years he has been in national politics. He won a party nomination and Presidential election acting like an obnoxious rube. He’s held a approval rating over forty percent, his supporters unending loyalty, and survived impeachment as an egotistical prick. That’s who he is. We all know it. It’s his brand. The idea he’s suddenly going to change his behavior and act better is a joke– and Shapiro knows it isn’t going to happen. 

And that’s what makes his shtick so insufferable. Shaprio is a smart man– you don’t graduate UCLA and Harvard Law without having your wits about you– yet he keeps making the same pointless point. Why?

Shapiro didn’t support Trump in 2016 but he clearly has joined the bandwagon since. I think he sees the moral shortcomings and isn’t comfortable with them. I think he is trying to distance himself from those shortcomings while still supporting him, but here’s the thing: Shapiro doesn’t get that comfort. He’s a political commentator. He doesn’t get the privilege of casting a vote and that’s it. His job is to defend Trump– to jump in bed with Trump– and that’s what he does. He can’t have his cake and eat it too. He can’t tisk tisk Trump’s brand while supporting it at the same time.  As Kevin Williamson said, “You chose him freely. Nobody made you do it.” 

Exit question: I asked on Twitter if Predictit could have a market asking how many “Trump should do better” tweets Shapiro will have before the election. A follower suggested an over under of 136 (272 days left divided by two). I’ll be taking the over. 

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