Sunday Special Ep 21: Cameron Kasky
When you're in a room and you hear about the schools, everything gets silent everything. It's awkward. Everything gets melancholy. I can't have that. When people hear Stillman Douglas, I don't want them to think about people crying. I want them to think about people taking action, no matter what that action. Can't wait for today's Sunday, special with Cameron Caskey from middle ground. We'll get to talk with Cameron in just one second. But first, let's talk about your privacy online, whether you're in a cafe or hotel, we often rely on public wifi to use the internet on the go, but something as simple as paying your bills online from a Starbucks can leave your data exposed a hacker can easily intercept that information stealing passwords. Credit card numbers. Personal details is not just hackers, either government agencies like the NSA they monitor the internet, you know what they're doing with that information. So what can you use to defend yourself with the software? 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Really appreciate it. If you've robbing me. So for folks who don't know Cameron was one of the students at Marjory stoneman Douglas high school in parkland Florida. When the when the awful shooting took place and he was subsequently a member of March for lives. Now he is one of the leaders of a group called middle ground or your founder of middle ground. Yes, I am. Okay. So tell us a little bit about middle ground than we're going to backtrack and talk about how we got here. So one of the lessons I've learned since starting March for our lives and this was a truly difficult one to grasp was that surprisingly enough? I don't know everything now as a seventeen year old boy who was dead set on the fact that I knew everything that was that threw me for a loop and halfway through my tour with Mark for the summer where we were advocating for more accessible, voting and encouraging people to register. I realized. I was in, I was in Texas, and I spoke to some people. Maybe the people who disagree with me don't want the country to be a bad place. Maybe they just have different views. And I was born in a bubble where my heavily liberal mindset that I still maintain convince me that anybody who didn't agree with me was had Mallon tent and and they didn't. I thought the people who didn't agree with me on gun laws didn't care when kids died. That's not the case. I learned a lot of things. So I thought, how can I prevent people from making the mistakes that I made, we've got a really engaged young generation. There's no lack of passion, but there's a lack of information, and there's a lack of civility very frequently. And very often there is there is instability in the guise of passion, and that's fine. But I want to move into the future with a more humanized look at politics. I think that everybody in the country, well, I would call ninety six percent of the country wants the country, a better place. How do we fix this? I mean, we're in a more polarized place than ever. What can we do to make this better? So I thought to create a program called middle ground and at middle ground we, we would really explore everybody's perspectives. My personally my opinion hasn't changed, but my opinions on opinions of changed. I respect people who disagree with me. I want to learn from them because I'm a child. I can't rent a car. I can't. I can't buy house. I, I'm not the expert on everything and very frequently. I'm treated like the expert on things and you know, I believe that my inside is valuable. I think that a fact whether spoken by three year old or a seventy year old is still fact and insight is subjective. But I, I want to create a more educated youth loaded. That's really, obviously mature and I, I have a lot of sympathy for you because you were sort of thrust into the public eye in fashion. You obviously never expected or wanted. I, I've been in the public eye at your age and it's it's definitely difficult thing in the lesson that you learned you learn faster than I learned it for. Sure. And so that's the separately a path you've had to take. So let's let's go back to the beginning. What? Exactly. So let's start with you as a person. Sure. Where we were, you born, what's your family like? So I was born in Hollywood, but Hollywood, Florida. I grew up in south Florida. I, my parents got divorced when I was ten, I was luckily lucky enough to get to amazing stepparents not everybody gets. Those was happily raised by a four people who really had a great dialogue with each other, very respectful and very understanding of me. I wasn't always these easiest kid raise. I have an older brother who is actually pretty easy to raise in the younger brother who has autism. Surprisingly enough. My younger brother who does have special needs requires the least attention of the three of us. I have a step sister who's lovely as well. I mean, I'm definitely the worst person in my family, and I think I'm a good person. So that's saying something and you know, I I grew up with the very liberal mindset. I was knocking doors for Obama. When I was seven years old, there was lack of information for me. I thought that John McCain's running with Tina Fey because I had seen on the news that Tina Fey was Maitland and I wasn't able to put two and two together, but. I always cared because I always thought that I always wanted more from the country. I was a Bobby Kennedy fanatic for a while because I like people who look at the future. And that's really what gave me the progressive mindset is I'm not opposed to conservative us, but I think that a lot of conservatism will have people thinking more of using the past past as a model as opposed to a springboard. I think there's always somewhere we can go. I think everything can be better and that was always my mindset. So it was always very vocal, very loud, very obnoxious, very flippantly rude. And I found theater which was really away from me to take my voice in and hone it and find something I cared about. So I started doing plays and musicals. I sounded like crap, and I sang a lot and and and it helped me a lot. He'll be become expressive. It only empathize with people. I mean, did you ever do plays nice school or anything? I didn't know. It wasn't all boys schools wasn't that much. We can watch you. Well, well, acting helps you understand other people a lot because you have to put yourself in other people's shoes. Sometimes it's easy and people can just redistribute and and become someone else. But I, I took a lot more from you. I, I very often played a bad guy which didn't really help me played that you familiar with little shop before I was the dentist, and there's not a lot of humanity you can search for. It's hard to put yourself in the shoes of somebody who is a psychopath. But you know, I, I obviously that would be hard for me, but. But I, you know, I developed a deep empathy for my fellow human being that I, that drove me very two, very passionate and emotional stance. Then my school gets shot up and I say, okay, I've heard of sandy hook I've heard of combine. I've heard all these things and when you're in a room and you hear about those schools, everything gets silent everything. It's awkward, everything gets melancholy. I can't have that. When I when people hear Stillman Douglas, I don't want them to think about people crying. I want them to think about people taking action no matter what that action might be. So take me through that day. What exactly was that daylight for you? So before the shooting I was in my drama class, we were halfway through a song that I was doing again, I sounded hot garbage, but I remembered the special needs kids in my school are let out a half hour before everybody else because they're picked up at the bus loop and they have to be picked up before the buses come. So on days riot school, my mother was at work. I picked up my brother and I brought up the drama. He loves it. He got attention from the girls. He felt like, you know, he felt like a cool guy which he is. And I, it was about two twenty and I was supposed to pick him up to ten. So I said, okay, I gotta go. I rush out of the drama room run over to pick up my brother because I have to be back from my song. And suddenly there's a fire alarm. I say, uh-huh. The buses are about to come and I'm with the special needs students, and we have to go in the bus leave to avoid the fire. You know, there are a lot of very high functioning students in the ESPN program. At someone Douglas, there are a lot of lower functioning students, but it's it's a hassle to get in the parking lot. And I was just like, okay, this is annoying, especially being outside of the classroom supposed to be in during a fire drill because then you have to tell the teacher, they have to walk the staff to make sure everybody's accounted for and while route they're waiting. This kid near me says shooter. I look at him and I say what that's not cool. That's not cool at all. I said something very inappropriate. You know if this reaches younger audience, I'm gonna voided, but suddenly everybody starts running back into the school, and there are teachers beckoning us inside and my initial thought is, okay. We're with the ESE class and several other classes, but we're with the ESE class. Is in the middle of the of the bus loop and there was a it must have been a fake fire drill, and the buses were about to come like everybody get inside. So you don't get hit by the buses then were sent into a classroom. The lights turn off and I say, someone's going on here took me a couple minutes to realize that there was there was gunfire. I heard conflicting rumors. They was massive was was hysteria in the room, but it was the type of hysteria where you are hysterical but still have to be quiet because you don't know where the gunman is. It could have been, you know, right, right next door to us, I had no idea. I didn't hear any gunfire. I thought I did, but when you know there's a shooter and you hear something, you think it's gunfire. It's natural and everybody was telling me conflicting stories, and this is just the people next to us. They were whispering. They said, fifty, people were killed. Two people were killed. This teacher was killed, wasn't that this person was the shooter, this person with the shooter, and I spent the whole time thinking. I really, really, really hope my brother doesn't understand what's going on. And that's a, that's a moral Quam. Do I tell him what's going on? Because he deserves the truth? Or do I allow him the ignorance of the the bliss of ignorance. For the time being. But there were also a lot of other special needs students there, and some of them were non verbal nonverbal. Disney Gandhi, MiG noise and some of them were yelling. Some of them were making loud shrieks and hollers, and fortunately, the special needs specialists have someone Douglas Rae able to keep everybody together. And it was a problem that was solved quickly, but we, we were able to be released. The swat team came in with first thing we saw was rifle and the glass cracks, and we thought we were toast. But the swat team came in, we run outside. I get picked up on my parents at a hotel a couple of hours later, and and then came a week of chaos, but also peace. All of the laws of physics didn't exist in parkland. It was as if the world had stopped there is this eerie calm, but also this fiery madness? It was. It was a time where I said in this in this lack of while nobody around us knows what's going on. I have to step up and say, here's what I think. I couldn't have the the the cameras game, and I couldn't have them come in film people, crying. I had to have them come and I had to have people saying in front of them and say, we cannot have this anymore. We demand a change. We are not parkland is not the city of people who are going to encourage you to join our melancholy. Parkland is the city of people who are going to encourage you to take action. If you could address about how the media treats these sorts of situations. Obviously, you know, I mean, the media does what the media do, which is they cover the news when it happens, but if you had your druthers emotionally just politically in every way, what would you what would you have the media do? How'd you have the media cover these sorts of situations? Well, it's double edged sword, because on the one hand, I was on national news while there were bodies that were still warm and people haven't been buried yet and that that at the time I didn't really think about it. But in retrospect it makes me question was that appropriate on the one hand, the cameras are going to leave, and I want to make sure the message that I believe is right gets across while the cameras are still there. On the other hand, people are dead. And, and I know I, I don't regret anything I did because I know that what I was doing I did because I believed it was right, and that's the best I can do. But in regards to how the media covers it, I think that the names of shooters should never be released. Daily wire covers that very well. I know that there are multiple pundits as well that do not name the shooters. I think that there's a that making the shooter celebrities is flippantly inappropriate. I think that I think that I was very often treated like an expert when I'm not. I'm not the expert, anything sin in the days immediately following. Obviously, there are a lot of cameras there. People are looking to you for comment. When did you and and the other members of March for our lives really start to consolidate into a group. Sure. So February fifteenth, we were all bit separated and it was sixteen two days after the shooting that I was able to kind of see who is ready to speak out and get them together. We all came to my house. I thought of doing a March in DC and Mike Ghostbusters pajamas in my bathroom. And, and I, I said, okay, every the whole nation. In one way or another has galvanized right now, what can we do? How can we materialize this? And I said, let's get everyone to DC and let's demanded change. So quickly. The team started to grow more and more people became part all my friends from Douglas. I knew where well-spoken, an eloquent joined. Some people just showed up at my house and some of them ended up becoming very passionate and well-spoken advocates for what we were advocating for. But it was by what I would call February nineteenth. Our team was together so that the tactics they are lives us Kim under a lot of Chris criticism, including from people like me because obviously at the very beginning, particularly there is a lot of focus on some of the stuff you talked about earlier. There's an implication those put out by particular members of the team. You know, in in public settings that if there is a disagreement about politics, that this is a reflection of lack of care about what had happened, I'm what do you think could have been done to to mitigate against that? To be honest with you on that was mean a lot of that was meantime, my friend. Ends. You know, these people don't agree with us. They don't care. They are more about their guns than the care about kids getting killed. Anything all criticize about March for lives really comes from me. I started it. I was my. I was whispering in my friends years all time. I know I know the people in March for our lives on them pretty much like the back of my hand. And I know that these are people who really just want the world to be a better place and a lot of our heirs and messaging, particularly if you don't like us, you don't care came from me and I believed it. And I believe that until relatively recently, I'm embarrassed certainly, but I'm also I'm, I'm not losing sleep over it because I believed it. What do you think change that for you? I mean, you talked about being in Texas, but obviously the the for those of us who are watching from far the first time that I saw you on TV I think was probably during these CNN townhall event, which was obviously got huge ratings was was big television event at criticized. Jake tapper for it because I suggested that the media really should if they want to have a discussion, the issues they should do discussion of the issues as opposed to sort of an emotionally driven event. What changed from from there to where you are now, which is somebody who wants to have discussions based on the issues? I think I I reached out forbid, I'm I can tell you the exact catalyst. There wasn't really a moment where it clicked on me that I need to start opening these conversations, but I realized look the the left's never going to get rid of the right the rights never going to get rid of the left. They certainly evolved the party's change over time, but there's as long as we have a binary system. It's a binary system and and half the country doesn't want the world to be a bad place. I thought that I thought that half the country, the Republicans were real. I think that there are some great people on the right and left are are both lovely and people on the right and left are both awful. I don't wanna say there's very fine people on both sides that has been used in ways I can never accept, but I learned that that there's a such a, that we're all people. I mean, I I said this yesterday a lot of people were politicizing nine, eleven and and I said, look, remains today. And I learned that overall, we're Americans and we have, there's a creed is a a national understanding that we need to be a better place in right now, looking back, it didn't. It didn't used to be like this. I think this is been a long time coming. I think right now are sociopolitical fabric is not only bad because of Trump. I think Trump doesn't do anything good for it. I think Trump is too focused on owning the libs and not uniting the country, but this is this. We've earned this. We America's a whole is responsible for this division and we need to come together. Okay. 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So we obviously you said you were the driving force when it came to some of the emotional response to what had happened now that you've kind of moved toward trying to pursue a conversation, something I noticed early with you by the way on Twitter. I remember you and I had an exchange on Twitter and it was actually relatively cordial. You said something I responded and. Chicago adding. That's right, exactly. Gun violence being tied Indiana? Exactly. And so we just kinda went back and forth on that. And then you made some comments and I liked them and I said, this is good what you're doing here and and I thought this is somebody who's actually considering you know how to how to go about making the country better place. Why do you think that you had to break for March for our lives? Why not stick around and try and change the thing from the inside, for example? Well, at the end of the day, March for our lives is advocating for things that I'm currently not advocating for. Now I wanna policy stance. I agree with March for our lives almost entirely, and they are currently involved with advocating for policy change. They're involved with raising awareness about gun violence and parts of the country that are very often forgotten. And I have tremendous amount of respect for that, and I'm proud of my friends. Truly, I believe that my friends are great people who really want the country to be a better place and I'm proud to to your to the future proud to help. But right now I'm focused more on social things. I'm focused more on the fact that we all have that family number. That's why we can talk about Trump at thanksgiving and. I think that we need to statement is these conversations March for our lives is is advocating for policy. I'm advocating for for conversation so I couldn't be connected to March for our lives when I was so focused on other things, it was bad from our lives. It was bad for me. I'm proud of my friends. I've always will be and I'm doing something else, so, well, what are the conversations that you're trying to pursue? Obviously you're here. So this is part of the conversation. We'll talk policy and a little bit, but what are the other kinds of conversations you're trying to pursue in Harry going about doing that? I think the the strangely enough, the conversation that needs to be pursued. The conversation about conversations is the fact that you know if I'm speaking to somebody who does not share my views on abortion that does not mean that they are. They wanted to kill babies. They want to oppress women. I think that if I'm talking to somebody about the Israel-Palestine issue and they one side of the issue doesn't it doesn't hate Jews. And one side of the issue doesn't hate Palestinians. I think that we need to stop it you. You said this to me before we need to stop the left and the right need to stop attacking each other's worst arguments. I think that's a big problem. So I'm I'm here to say we'll where can not even where can we agree, but how can we approach this respectfully? So you see your progressive on politics before your progressive on politics now. So what is your stance on gun control? I think that no citizen of this country needs to have an semiautomatic rifle. I also think that when I'm gonna dealt, I will get a concealed carry permit. And if you try to hurt my family, I'm gonna hurt you. Okay. So what do you think is the difference between? I don't mean to grill young politics, but. But what? What do you think is the difference between a handgun Anna, Anna semiautomatic rifle in this context? I think that if you look at the situation we've had in this country where people have used semi automatic rifles for mass shootings, we see that a lot of it having some atomatic rifle will make people feel empowered. And I know that you know, as as you would say, facts, don't care about your feelings and the facts will suggest other things. But I think that if somebody is attacking me, well, a semiautomatic rifle has longer range. I think that the that the risk of being attacked by some. Farther range, as opposed to having a semiautomatic handgun is not as great as the reward of not allowing people to buy these rifles. I think that from a logical standpoint, there's evidence that shows that people with these kinds of weapons, feel more powerful. If you look at the psychological analyses of many mass shooters that it's it's a lot. There's a lot of entitlement. There's a lot of an attempt to be known in the tempt to feel large and powerful. And I feel like a large and powerful gun can frequently can frequently make people feel that. I also think that the shooting in Las Vegas could not have been done with anything about an air fifteen. I know the shooter used the bump stock, but if that person only had semi automatic handguns and was firing from that distance than wouldn't, it wouldn't be as affecting. Now I understand that that is very often treated as an anomaly. It's very often treated as an outlier when we discussed the issues with these shootings. But I think that as long as another one of these can happen, which right now at can we need to address the issue as it is or how much of the problem do you think is the instrument, and how much is it the people considering that they're, you know, a hundred two hundred million right. Bills in circulation. The United States probably one hundred million hand guns in circulation. The United States is basically a gun per person in the United States in barring a full-scale confiscation of rifles. How would you propose to achieve this? I think that the way I look at it is a lot of attacks, whether it be suicide or shooting, and this is why very often advocate for red flag laws. Even though some people argue there, unconstitutional. I think a lot of these things are reactionary. I think that a lot of mass shooters will be able to find a weapon on the black market or illegally, and a lot of them if they are for if they are, if it takes more time and if they have to go through the process will not be as quick to do it. I watched the video I, I don't know why I did, but I watched the videos the my shooter put out. And in he, he said, you know who I am and that reflects to me somebody who wants to feel powerful who has and if you, I watched it really everything hours videos on him, which I don't know why I did. I like to think of it as people can look away from a car accident. And I, I saw her flex. Of a desire to choose to be powerful. I, I have said several times, but I think that it's something we need to address. I think that between facts and feelings, there's logic and we have to apply. We have to look at the facts and also apply or insight, but wh, why not start with sort of the most localized solution? So a lot of these solutions that you're talking about in terms of gun control our blanket solutions that affect literally hundreds of millions of people. Whereas for example, in the parkland case, it's pretty obvious that the Broward County sheriff's office was engaged in massive malfeasance at the very least at the very least, yes. And the school board wasn't very good either right to say the very least I believe that there are many changes they can be made on a local level and I then began to advocate for them. I think that school safety is important to focus on. I also think some aspects of school safety are dangerous. For example, I think metal detectors are are not safe. I think that you you've been to an airport. There are long lines around metal detectors and getting everybody in one place makes them just as shootings. That's my similarly, my issue with single entry points. I, I know for a fact that. Still that the Broward school board had hundreds of millions of dollars that were allotted for school safety that are completely missing. And my friend, Kenneth Preston actually covers this and a lot of his investigative journalism. He's fantastic and and there there was foul play. I'm consistently openly critical of SuperNet Runcie I will really, I will sleep so much more comfortably at night. The second he's gone sheriff. Israel has I. I was initially on his side not because I, I knew him. That was really why I met him. A couple of times seemed like a nice guy, but as time went on, I realized this is horrible. Now what Broward sheriff and Broward school boards should have done was say, we messed up. We messed up owning up to it. Here's how we messed up. Here's what we're going to do better. I would give them a bit of credit for that because I think that owning up to your mistakes is very important. That being said, I think that. I think that instead of doing that, well, I know for a fact instead of doing that, they then went out and we're touting how great of a school year it was Donna corn who ran against Mr. petty. The father of one of the victims at our school said it was an amazing school year. You don't say that when the school gets shot up, you don't the end and it wasn't a music school year. I know for a fact still in Douglas, ran out of printer paper for awhile, and we had us legal now is that is that prime against humanity? No. But prior to school board has a slew of issues that they simply refuse to own up to. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life and I, it's been a pretty short one. I think I've made a bit too many for long. I've been around, we all, but all on up to them. I've said some dumb stuff. I'll tell you that it was dumb, but right now, the school board in the sheriff, like you have said they are not holding themselves accountable. They are not auditing themselves. There are so many things that they could do to bring some sort of Justice here. I wouldn't even say Justice to do something, and they're not. So you have to create a proportional relationship between what you believe in. If you believe in. More gun rights than that's your own company. And we could talk about that if you believe in gun control. Remember that at the end of the day, I I'm a gun control advocate, but I know guns don't kill people. People kill people at the thing is people very frequently kill each other with guns. No question but let let's let's talk a little bit about the the. You talk about the tenor of the conversation on the contents of the conversation. It seems to me one of the areas where there could be crossover is that the the tenor of the conversation is generated by the content, meaning that when we immediately in the aftermath of a shooting like this, jump to our are set beginning points and that this happens on Twitter very quickly right there ever as soon as there's mass shooting. One half of the people on Twitter jumped to, let's take all the guns. Let's ban rifles, let's let's take heavy gun control action. And the other side jumped to it was a, it was a safety zone. It was a, no, it was a gun free zone. Let's let we can't do anything. There are certain areas where their agreement and what's weird is that it seems like it's almost impossible to to even have conversations about the series of grim because both sides are making hay off of the areas where we disa-. Agree. So for example, we agree on the actions that the school board should've taken. We I'm sure we do agree on how the media should be treating the names of shooters because it's absurd to glorify shooters in repeat their names publicly as why we don't do it at daily wire. These are area. But instead there was a jump immediately by the media which I think frankly used you guys as props to push an agenda that they agree with. I think the CNN agrees with the agenda that March lives is pushing in. So they started to push that in a way that they wouldn't have after. For example, the mass shooting at a church in Texas where a bunch of the people who were there were members of the NRA the the guy shot the shooter was a member of the NRA d. Do you feel that the media's bias on these issues contributes to lack of understanding? I feel like the media's bias on every issue contributes to lack of understanding. I don't think I think they're very few publications out there that that are straightforward about their bias. I think that for example, I'm very respectful towards MSNBC because MSNBC's liberal news network you have to tells you was a liberal news network. Fox News, got rid of fair and balanced. You can give them. Reddit for that. See the wires, conservative publication that does not pretend it's not a conservative publication, and I think that as long as people are straightforward with what they're saying and don't try to, you know, throw in hasty generalizations, don't try to throw in any any bias that's not admitted we can. We can do some good things here. I think if people report on the news I'm trying, I'm trying to think of the best way to say it. If people report on the events and not their interpretation, they leave the interpretation up to you. We would have a much better more understanding society. So it's amazing to watch with with folks like you and and I'm from Cal cash. Another student at the school I is that it seems like there there are a lot of people who are honestly seeking more information, people who are going through in intellectual journey. Obviously, you're going through that intellectual and emotional journey, and I have a ton of respect for that because the minute minute that journey stops you stop being human being. Well, I think that you, Kyle, for example, he's somebody that I have a deep understanding for KYW. Kyle represents in not in his own way, but for what what was done with him. A bit of a biography. If you asked me, I think that a lot of people went out and said, here's the left parading these kids around, and then the NRA found a student from stoneman Douglas who was pro gun and said, look at this kid who's pro gun from Stillman Douglas. Well, there's no question. I mean, I, I was one of the people pushing Kyle. So I and I will be admit it will be open about the facts that what I was doing was essentially saying, look to say that there is a monolithic opinion at so Mendoza's is inaccurate. Here's a student who feels a different way and who actually, in my opinion was going out and trying to work with people on both sides of the aisle, at least legislatively and try me with as many people on both sides of the possible. It's why I'm pre- should've what you're doing. But yeah, I mean, this, this does raise a larger question of how do you think that we in the media should be treating people who are seventeen years old. And again, I was there. So I was syndicated calm when I was seven columnist when I was seventeen. But my own perspective when I was seventeen was that I better learn things fast because you're not seventeen forever and nobody's gonna pay attention to you just for your age. Sure. I have a question for you. Sure. I see. I, I saw an article of yours I that was here's a list of all the dumbest things. I've said, yeah, of all. What someone you said? Seven team that you are not a fan of our t. I wrote a piece when I was eighteen talking about enemies civilian casualties. We'll the saying, essentially that I had very little care about them because I was more interested in protecting the American soldiers. The piece was really badly phrased. It's a bad piece. There's a piece that I wrote on Israel and Palestinians when I was nineteen. I believe I would say that most of the stuff that I've said that was bad that the ratio of me saying stupid stuff to not stupid stuff was much higher when I was younger and then gradually over time, you hope to get better at it obviously. But, yeah, I mean, they're a bunch of columns that I wrote when I was eighteen nineteen twenty years old that that I just think are not very good and I've openly stated. I don't think that they're very good. There's one from two thousand six when I was twenty two that about the the use of espionage to prosecute people, sedition law to prosecute people that I think is in idiotic column, you know, I, I was been writing million words years since I was seventeen years old. So. There's a lot there. There's a lot. There's a lot of stupid crap I've written and that's why I have a lot of sympathy for what you're going through, and it's hard to do it in public. I mean, it's hard to do it in public knowing that everything's going to get picked apart too. I mean, I'm sure I'll say things right now that I'm incredibly proud of that. I'm one, I'm thirty four. We'll say I'm full of crap for no interested in seeing that day. Yeah. Well, I mean, I think that that's the journey that we all go through and it's it's it's interesting and fun to watch people who are actually trying to go through that journey as opposed to sort of battening down the hatches and being in that box on ask you some more about that or your sources of information are in just a second. But first, let's talk about your hiring process. So Hieron used to be hard multiple job sites, stacks of resumes, confusing review process. But today, heaven can be easy. You only have to go to one place to get it done. ZipRecruiter dot com. Slash Ben guest. ZipRecruiter sends it your job to over one hundred of the web's leading job boards, but they don't stop there with their powerful matching technology, ZipRecruiter scans, thousands of resumes to find people with the right experience and invite them to apply to your job as applications come in. ZipRecruiter analyzes each and everyone in spotlights the top candidates. So you never miss a great match. ZipRecruiter is so effective. That eighty percents of employers who post on ZipRecruiter get a quality candidate through the site within the first day with results like that. It is no wonder that ZipRecruiter is the highest rated hiring site in America. And right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free at this exclusive web address, ZipRecruiter dot com. Slash Ben guest. That's ZipRecruiter dot com. Slash b. n. g. u. e. s. t. ZipRecruiter dot com. Slash Ben guest. We use it here at the daily wire offices if we have to replace employees because they're annoying me, ZipRecruiter is the place to go. ZipRecruiter dot com. Slash Ben guest for the special deal. It is the smartest way to hire. Okay, so Cameron, let's talk about where you get your information since you say that you were a progressive from very young age. I was a conservative from as long as I can remember si- again, I sympathize from the opposite point of view. What sources of information do you do you look at and how do you, how do you gather that information and then sift through it because shirt, I read everything from CNN to Fox News today, the wire, the young Turks. I tried to read everything because I think that there are common themes in everything that's presented. I think that I can get the story from everything. Presented, and I will pick out the bias and everything this presented and assess my principles and see what I think about it. I really don't like identifying with a party. I think that like George Washington said, the parties are a bunch of garbage. I, I vote for people now the people I, I haven't voted, but I will vote. Matter of fact, I turned eighteen six days after the election this year. But the point is I vote for people. Now the people vote for normally Democrats, but I also see flaws on both ends. So I'm I'm really genuinely willing to vote for somebody on either side of the aisle. Okay. So it was, what are your central principles just politically speaking, politically speaking? I think that the way I see it is very often the Republican platform is based off of modeling decisions off the past and the rights of the individual. Whereas I think that the democratic platform is basically modeling our decisions on what we want the future to be and the rights of the people as a whole. And I think there are strengthened both and flaws in both. I think that Republican. Views of the rights of the individual can lead to a lack of understanding for certain groups of people. Whereas I think that the democratic views of the rights of the people will vary often be difficult for individuals. It's it's it's a double edged sword. It really is the both sides have said this before both sides have some amazing public servants and both sides have some really crappy ones Fisher or I mean the way that that you know, I tend to think about politics is that the role of government is not necessarily the way I want society to run, meaning that as somebody who's a religious Jew, for example, I believe a lot of things about how people should act. I don't think the government should get involved in nearly any of it because I don't think it's my place to basically tell people what to do as a whole, what that means that I do require a strong social fabric, and it seems to me like one of the things you're trying to do is build up a strong social fabric. I'm going to try and convert you to be a conservative right here by basically saying that government is a secondary priority when it comes to creating better communities when it comes to ensure communities are safer and smarter and better. Most of that can be done through conversations between individuals who don't feel like the government is. Trying to force a particular perspective or trying to get into anybody's pocket or force anything from about the minute. One side uses force things get really ugly. I think one of the reasons that we've seen such polarization our politics is because people on both sides of the government to solve all the problems. If there's a hurricane, the Washington Post says, is Trump fault. And if the economy is great, the right says that's from that's from benefit and in it feels to me like none of this is real. The reality is most of the relationships we have with other folks are relationships. We do have one on one or in the context of a community that we share together, and that doesn't require necessarily legislative input or guys with guns coming your front door and trying to force you to do things. Sure. We'll, I'm an offer you my to send Shorto plays the end of this. You're going to be a staunch liberal. Okay. Let's make it happen to this to a rightist. By the way, I'm I'm very, I'm very thirsty right now. My lips are very dry, but I can't go on. If you give me one of those Alex Jones tears, and it's pictures of Alex Jones. You know, it's an intellectual property issue. We'll talk about that. But so I was in Chicago forbid, and Chicago, I think, is a strong example of the ways that that liberal idealism has failed in the ways that liberal idealism needs to be there. And I'll explain. So I I was when I say I was in Chicago, I was not visiting the bean. I was Nangle would I was in one of the most violent neighborhoods in the country, and I was there with a lot of young people who live in Chicago and who have lost family members. Almost every friend I haven't. Chicago has directly lost at least one family member to to gun violence, and we're as somebody who does reasons disagrees, violence utilizing gun? Yes. And I saw I saw some interesting things. I saw the negative results of gender fixation, which I believe can sometimes positive, sometimes be very negative. And I also saw the need for opportunity now, JR. My general view is the reason I is liberal is in this country to be successful. You need to pull up your boot straps, but not everybody has access to the boots. And I think that things need to be done in neighborhoods like Chicago, where there are a lot of cultural issues, but there are also a lot of issues that can't really be solved by fixing the culture. There people in neighborhoods there that have been pushed out of other neighborhoods, the south and west side have very little access to healthy food. I know a friend who has to walk almost six miles every day to get food. That is very often either expired or very unhealthy. And that leads to a lot of obesity which limit certain job opportunities. I've seen a lot of people who are on welfare and abuse it, and a lot of people who are on welfare and can't get a job. I think that there are certain things that can be done to you to have the government aid. These. People. And I think there are certain ways that government aid has failed these people. So it's it's really something that I need to take an econ class or a finance class or any of those to really fully understand. But through my is the government, as long as we are such a strong country, as long as we are a country that should really be serving as a beacon for the rest of the world, not just morally, but really in in every sense. I think that there are things we can do to help people out. So this is it. This is one area where when I was seventeen years old, I can say safely. I've gotten more libertarian since I was seventeen years old. I wrote a book when I was twenty about these social liberalism inherent in kind of the in in the movement of American politics. And I talked to Pacific about the power of government to help control what I thought was the dynamic of pornography that I thought was swamping young men, which it basically has I and one of the things that I suggested that government could be involved in helping to stop this. And over time I've become less sanguine about the possibility of government specifically because when you see people who disagree with run the government, what you realize and this is something again that you may realize as you get older because I realized it as I got. Older when you're seventeen you look at the adults and you think they must know what they're doing and then once you and then once you hit about twenty five and you look around, you realize they're the same people. You went to school with you. Realize everybody's kinda dumb and young people are domino people are dumb, everybody's kind of dumb, and that means that dumb people in charge of a bunch of power do dumb things, and no matter how much they think they're helping. They generally are not to leave me alone as I could spend on you bid in what I believe is a fair way short in libertarian views. Those dumb people can also press the new buttons. Well, I mean the the you mean as far as the there has to be a collective defense? Yes, right. I mean, there there has to well, I mean, they're in the rarest of circumstances. You do have to have the ability to collectively mobilized to protect your life for example. And so having an army that's available to fight off terrorists is is one thing. And I think that there's generally wide agreement, at least in the constitutional structure on one you can go to war, which is why I'm very much in favor of the idea that congress should be declaring war, not the president, unilaterally declaring War. I don't think the president should really be able to just push button and. Hit somebody in Syria with missile. I think that congress should have to declare war for that to happen. The way the constitution was structured was to create all sorts of gridlock. So that only an overwhelming majority of people could get anything done, and that was supposed to help sift out a lot of the problem. Ours is really the only constitution that serves to protect the people from the government as opposed to the government from the exactly and to protect my entrenched minorities against against the tyranny of the majority is they talk about in federal fifty one. And with that said, yet, defense is one area where the congress was supposed to declare war now is an area where where required, you know a fair bit of pushing in order to make that happen. And you know there's certain roles of government that cannot be done anywhere else. Basically defense is a public good, but some of the stuff that you're talking about, I'm not sure as a public good and not only that, I'm not sure the government is very good at it. Basically, government is good at breaking things I think. And so if we have to break something abroad than government is quite good at that, if we have to break something at home, all you have to just put government in charge of it. Sure. I think that I think there are benefits and and a lot of drawbacks too. Both small and big government. I think the government's too big. I think that a lot of people who want smaller government while the government to be too small. But I also think that in defense of a big government, I'm not a big government guy necessarily, but in defense of the concept, the more people are involved with government. The more you can use the system against itself if you need to explain that. So basically the government overstep is is a problem government. We've seen it fail other countries, but I think that discussing other countries is occasionally used in a double standard because if I'm talking about gun control in another country, they'll say, well, we can't talk about other countries, but if I talk about but then they'll say, look at mouse dung. You know, I think that we need to create a more respectful dialogue around basing our own ideas of other kinds of the comparison. Lawrence, yes, yes. So I think that having a big government allows more people to get involved with the government and allows more people to be part of it. And I think that the more people that are part of the government, the more representation there is the fairer a lot of people are treated. I mean, I, it's how it's feel about a lot of police officer. In neighborhoods in areas like Chicago in areas like Milwaukee, the deal with a lot of gun violence, and there's also some turmoil between the people in the area and the police. I believe that most neighborhoods should be policed by people who live there and I like to kind of apply that to the government. The idea of having a neighborhood police by people who live there are they understand the community, they understand how the community works. You can create a dialogue and respect between the people and the police. My father's a reserve police officer. I'm I have some. Yeah, I, I respect the idea of the police a lot. The far too many respect too much far too. Many people don't respect stuff, but I treat that the way the government. I think the more people who are involved, the more representation we can have in the more ideas can have a voice in case. Let's talk a little bit about your perspective on on secondment issues in terms of you talk about kind of making better arguments. Let's let's steal minute, so you you get to play for a second. So you get to be the guy who makes the case for the second. What do you think is the strongest case for the second amendment for the second amendment? I. I think that if the government becomes evil, you got overthrown. I think that's the general. I also think that the individual has the right to protect themself. My the my where we differ on the second amendment is how far that should extend. Like for example, I've question for you. How do you feel about the national firearms act of nineteen thirty? Something? I don't have a problem with that long machine guns in nineteen thirty four yet either. Okay. I don't think people in the countries should be able to carry RPG's around. And the question is, does do semiautomatic rifles like they are fifteen? Should they fall into the category of things like RPG's or should they fall into the categories of things like handguns? Rattler the that's the real question is whether they should fall into the category of things like muskets, which is which is what this second members originally meant. Exactly back when the second one was ridden you, which is a rifle, you could shoot a bullet and I could. I could take you down before you can reload, and that's fine because you know, a lot of people say that the reason the second was ridden is because they want the citizens to be armed with the way the military is. That's a problem for me because I can get. Groaned pretty hard. Right. Well, at least at least to the extent that you have the capacity to defend yourself against government here in and you can't do it with handguns alone. Yes. You said it about fascism. You said that the government will come to your door and at the end of the day, the point a gun even telling you to do something well, that's right. And so there's too many examples of the government doing that with regard to basic rights that we would all consider basic rights in various countries around the world that the possibility, one of the things that deters the possibility of the government overstepping its bounds of the knowledge that if they do then things go wrong at the very least it will be a bloody battle. I mean, this is why Texans aren't particularly afraid of mass gun confiscation because the government would never attempt to mask on confiscation and Texas things would go wildly wrong. Even they tried gun confiscation gun turns. It turns in Australia, they only got one, third, the weapons, so weapons are still vailable in Australia. One of the big problems that I have, I guess what with the with the arguments in favor of gun control is that very often they're predicated on a version of what I wished the government could do as opposed to what the government has actually proven itself capable of doing and. Balancing that with whatever right is at stake. And this I think holds true for my general perspective on politics, which is the government, what has the government proved itself competent at Mercer. And I think that one of the things I can use to defend my stance on it is Trump's running the government right now, and I think that certain gun should be regulated by the government. I don't think Trump can regulate his own mouth. So the question is, should the government be regulating weapons when people like that can be elected the way to fix these issues is to put people in office who know are going to be morally just now that is very subjective term. And that could very often be interpreted different ways. But I think the way we we agree, we figure out just how far the government can go. Here is say, what else is regulated? I mean, I need to take a driver's test drive a car. Now I, I don't like the car because cars existed. Take you from point a to point b as opposed to put a bullet in somebody, but it is the government regulating something that is in some way, an infringement upon certain people's rights. But constitutionally is. As I'm concerned, and I've only read the constitution, I think once and I've only I only read John Jay's federalist papers and he didn't attribute anything, but that was five, five. Technically, I believe that I have the constitutional right to drive whatever. Got him cry, please. Whatever age, as long as I'm not killing anybody. Well, let's take a new example. I think that it's incr- it's far too easy to buy a gun. I think that if the shooter at my school spent five minutes with specialist, they would have said you need a doctor not a gun now. That's basically did. Right. I mean, that's the, that's what. Them forty eight times and the shooter in Jacksonville that would try to shooting that occurred very recently. The gone almost no media attention, the shooter in Jacksonville. I believe the police were called and him twenty six times, but certainly more than twenty yet, which is why a Pasi that I've recently started to consider. I don't really know the legal terminology. I should use his creating something where if you get the police called on your fifteen times, you put under review to buy a weapon. Now that's unconstitutional. But the police are called you fifteen times. I think something's going on with you. Well, it's it's not necessarily unconstitutional in the sense that David French proposed this national reviews, and I support this proposal. The idea of a friend or family member being able to preemptively go to a court and petition to have your second amendment right taken away on the basis that you're danger to yourself or others that is that's not unconstitutional and would probably be upheld under under judicial review. I think that's that's a way to a way to talk about it on and talk more about this because this is fun. And it's interesting to get your perspective as a young person, and we'll talk about like where you hope politics is going to be in twenty years, and also what you. Think you could tell other seventeen year olds about getting involved in politics, should they do it? Should they not? We'll get to all that in a second. But first, let's talk about your sleep quality. There is nobody on the planet like you. So why would you buy generic mattress built for somebody else? Helixsleep built a sleep quiz that takes two minutes to complete. 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It came in the mail. After we took the quiz, we unwrapped it. Inflated right in front of us, we tossed it on the bed frame. We were good to go. It is so good. We got one for my sister for her wedding as well. That's how good these things are helixsleep dot com slash Ben guess for one hundred and twenty five bucks off your mattress order. Okay. So let's talk a little bit about the politicians that you do like you're looking up at twenty twenty. You're actually gonna get to vote in two thousand twenty, which is very exciting. So so which politicians I assume you're not gonna vote for President Trump. So which politician on the left side of the aisle is most appealing to you as a as a seventeen year old guys eighteen year old guy? Sure. I love bet. Dork I understand that a lot of people are going to live because you've his DUI in his history as as a punk rock person. But I look at what he proposes in taxes. I look at his ability to communicate with people and at the end of the day, I think that this guy wants to serve his country and I'm seeing less and less those every day. So I'm not one hundred percent with him on policy. I, I can't say exactly what yet because I'm still really working on figuring out his platform and what I believe it truly is. But I, I've, I believe the Beto wants the best for this country, and I believe that at the end of the day when push comes to shove, Ben will make the decision. He. Leaves is most effective for everyone in this country as opposed to just those who will praise him. I, I'm a big fan of people who are willing to piss off the people who like him if they think it's right. I mean a, I know a lot of people that I'm dear friends with who after coming on the show, we'll be upset with me for coming on the show, but I believe that conversations more important than in the short term making people happy. I think the bento is not about making people happy in the short term. And that's an example. I don't think he's going to run, I think even if he does beat Ted Cruz, he might not run. I'm not sure he'll be Ted Cruz democrat running for healthcare in Texas, but you could certainly say this, this campaign of his is incredibly impressive. One of the things that that's kind of fun about doing this particular episode of the show is it normally I'm the young guy on set, and now I get to play the the old guy onset, which is really fun. I and I, I'm, I'm getting the thrill that I that I only get normally when I speak to my own children because you're, you're literally young enough to be my son, which is insane. Literally. Pregnant, I'd have to be really productive at like seventeen years old, but it's that's crazy man. But one of the things that has occurred to me is that overtime I've spent enough time you spend a lot of time with politicians now because you've been talking with a lot of them. I've spent a lot of time with politicians, and I feel like I spend my life bursting people's bubbles about how politics works in what politics. Our politicians are idiots, man. I mean, like I'm just telling you now like as much as I'm sure that is a nice guy. Maybe you'll meet him and you'll be super impressed. Maybe already have met him in your super impressed. I can name on maybe two fingers people who have not disappointed me in politics over the last twenty years and people who have not disappointed me some politics, all yours. Boy. Now I'm trying to get to two fingers centrally from Utah is Michaeli okay from Utah is is a genuine guy and Nikki Haley the ambassador to the UN jer the those, those would be the to the come to mind. Everyone else pretty much everyone else's disappointed me in one way or another simply because politics is thirty rough game. And most of politics ends up in the end being about avoiding the solving of issues in order to pander for for votes. It's in many ways. My biggest problem with Senator Rubio now the town hall year familiar with my conversation with Rubio. I- incredibly inappropriately likened him to a school shooter. I'm embarrassed by that. I am credibly apologetic for it. I don't think it was right. I don't agree with pretty much anything Rubio says and a policy standpoint, but if I make a mistake, I own up to it and that was inappropriate. That being said, I think that he was getting out of that too easy. I think he was able to politician sidestep out of a lot of questions. A lot of people are, but he was doing it and I was pissed, and I said, this guy's not getting out of here without being exposed for the career politician. He is. Senator Rubio is a is a career politician. You've seen it. He ran for president. Yeah, I believe that I know where this guy's where the skies goals are. That being said, I treated him unfairly, you know, but I don't. I think that his policies have been negative for the state of Florida. I believe that he if he was president, he would be incredibly negative for the country, but this guy is not someone who murdered seventeen people, and that's, that's, that's that was a big whiff on my part and I get, why did it my so where where did she priorities? Because the fact is that you know Senator Rubio is is in a tea party Republican shine. That's my priorities. Are people who are more interested in doing what they think is best for the country and putting party aside. I think that part that someone who's clearly playing for their party as I've seen Senator Rubio do as I've seen pretty much everybody else do needs to get out. And I think that my generation where we were going to discuss the future here on, I'll tell you, I think my generation's going to do that. I think if my generation learns how to discuss things with each other, we're going to learn that. We, we've been failed. We have in many ways. We've been failed by politics before because politics became exactly what Washington Senate would Washington said. And I'm not a Washington fan. I think that anybody who owned slaves is I'm not going to be a fan of elect. The things they did that we're good. I will not like them as people because I think that slavery is immoral and I'm a big fan of Hamilton for his criticism of it, but do Washington said political parties. I don't want to try and quote him directly, but but they were the means by which people who were manipulative and evil would come into power. I think that there will be always be parties. I, I don't like group think, but as long as there's group think was trying to make positive group think but Rubio and and many others are examples of folks who are doing what they do so they can keep their friends happy's. They can maintain power if I believe that what I'm doing that pisses off my friends will make the world better place. I'll piss off my friends. I politician should be public servants should not be politicians. I mean, so I guess the question that I have made it, we can go for a while on on Washington and why I think that it's okay to call people heroes who. Were abiding by moral standard. That at the time was considered widely considered, not as bad as it is now, even though was evil at the time, obviously, and is evil. Now, I and we, we uphold people who do good things and we and we can criticize I, I actually believed that the definition of people as heroes and villains in history is very difficult. One. I think typically you have to judge people for who they are, and that's usually they do some good things and usually to do some bad things, but the stuff we like Washington four, he was a hero about in one of those things is the role of government. When when we talk about the Senator Rubio, you know, I, I don't want to get harsh with you, but, but you're casting aspersions what? What about Senator Rubio makes you cast aspersions at him as opposed to say, you know, better Rourke who obviously is is running inside a political party. He doesn't seem like somebody who's focused dramatically on reaching across the aisle. He's down the line person on the left. Where do you think that that Senator Rubio to take? Just that example since he took 'em. Sure. I is is more of a career politician than anybody else's in the Senator in the congress shirt, I believe. The best I can do is assess their behaviors in the past. And I believe that you'll see from his record and I've not fully done really vetting it. Not that vetting. It implies that I have some thority. I'm not really done looking through it, but Beto Rourke is somebody who applied do what he was doing to the current situation. I think that his views, I think that when people call politicians Schillt's and and evil for changing their perspectives over time, I think that's incredibly unfair because I am less impressed with somebody who has so statically believed the same thing for thirty years. You know, people criticize a lot of people for that people for their votes in the past. Think if they explain why it's it's fair to to give them credit for that. But I, I look at Senator Rubio look at his history and I see this garment for president. This guy has consistently been bring himself up and up and and I don't see connection to the people that that folks like Beto having better. Just an example, it's one of the things I respect about. Bobby Kennedy. Bobby Kennedy is either is loved by. Any hated by many. I think he's a little bit more loved than than is. Yeah. Yeah, but you know, Bobby Kennedy was a big conservative for awhile. A lot of people forget that he was or he was ordering the FBI to wiretap Martin Luther King junior. He was a big war hound before he instantly not instantly, but quickly changed against the war and it makes you think is this guy an opportunist, which some might call him, or is he somebody who changed his perspective? And that's, that's what I look at. I look at somebody who I think is willing to do what they think is best for the people. I don't think that to a work is first of all. I think that to work is a lot more classic of a liberal, and I'm more of a classical liberal than what a lot of people on the, I don't like saying the left or the right too much, but a lot of people on the left are becoming. And I, I believe that Betto is a moderate guy who's willing to work with people as opposed to just try and completely rewrite the book. I don't want to rewrite the book. I want to raise the stuff that's bad, and I think that Rubio is is out there just doing what he thinks will make Republicans happiest. Okay. So I have one more question for you. And the question is going to be about. About what you think you can learn from the older generations do criticize people who are older a lot in the past and here as well. What do you think we ought to keep from the older generation? What do you think we ought to? We gotta ditch, but if you want to hear Cameron Caskey's answer, you actually have to be a daily wire subscriber to subscribe over at daily wire, go to daily wire dot com. Click subscribe, and you can hear the end of our conversation there Bill Cameron. Thank you so much for stopping by. I think you're one of the good guys and even though we disagree on politics, I hope that we keep the conversation going into one things. I really appreciate about you at least trying to do that. Thanks for stopping by really appreciative. But right now, let's talk about. The Ben Shapiro show Sunday special was produced by Jonathan, hey, executive producer, Jeremy, boring, associate producers Mathis lover, and Austin Stevens edited by Aleksandar. Audio was missed by Mike. Her Amina Taryn makeup is by just while they're entitled graphics by Cynthia and Boola. The Ben Shapiro show Sunday special is a daily wire forward publishing production. Copyright Ford publishing twenty eighteen.