Dave Rubin’s Antidote to Wokeness: Courage and Action

By Matt Connelly

When conservative author and media personality, Dave Rubin, recently took the stage at The Gothic Theater in Colorado to promote his new book, Don’t Burn This Countryhe was greeted by raucous applause and a crowd waiting to hear someone finally say out loud what they often cannot mention in their own polite conversations.

The crowd was not disappointed.

Rubin, who began his career as a stand-up comedian, took aim from the first moment of his monologue at the absurd woke fever that has swept our country in recent years. The woke mob is certainly a target rich environment and Rubin took no prisoners on stage while torching their convictions.

I had an opportunity to chat with Rubin prior to the show and his comments backstage lined up perfectly with his personality onstage. When asked to list a few of the joys that accompany releasing his new book, Don’t Burn This Country, he immediately zeroed in on returning to the stage.

(Dave Rubin and Matt Connelly backstage at The Gothic Theater on May 18th, 2022)

“Getting out on the road again and into these cities, and especially after two years of this BS with lockdowns and masks and mandates and all the rest of the nonsense,” Rubin told Campfire Colorado, “…just getting people to laugh again, I mean just laugh, because there’s a lot of reason to laugh at these people. We have to mock them. I always say, we have to mock them into oblivion, but then we have to go build new things. That’s really the message of the whole thing.” 

While he clearly savors being back on stage in his role as a comedian, Rubin’s passion for making people laugh is accompanied through and through by that other passion he mentioned – urging people to build new things. Specifically, he is urging conservatives to build new things.

Accordingly, Rubin’s new book isn’t solely a criticism of today’s woke culture, but also a sort of motivational instruction manual. After all, the subtitle of the book is “Surviving and Thriving in our Woke Dystopia”.

After having the opportunity to read Rubin’s book and speak with him backstage before his show in Colorado, I would say that when it comes to “thriving” in our woke dystopia, Dave Rubin’s antidote to wokeness could be summarized with two words – courage and action.

On the subject of courage, Rubin cites a specific conversation in the book that he had in April of 2021 on his show The Rubin Report with Rabbi David Wolpe and Bishop Robert Barron. In that conversation Rabbi Wolpe tells Rubin: “The most common thing in the Torah that God says is ‘Al Tirah.’ In English, it’s ‘Do not be afraid.’ That is the single most indispensable quality needed to live a good life: courage. Without courage, you’re a slave. When the Israelites left Egypt, they stood at the sea – it wasn’t until one man (Nahshon) jumped into the sea that the sea parted. Because God wanted them to take a risk…Life is in part about jumping into the sea.”

There is no doubt that “jumping into the sea” has been an attitude that has characterized Rubin’s life in recent years as he tackles free speech issues on his hit show The Rubin Report. He scores major wins while exposing the absurdity of woke culture on the left with truth. Dave Rubin’s courage on that topic is well documented.

(Dave Rubin and Matt Connelly backstage at The Gothic Theater on May 18th, 2022)

In our conversation though, I asked Rubin about a different example of courage he recently demonstrated when he went on Glenn Beck’s radio program to discuss his decision to have kids through surrogacy with his partner David – a topic that hits close to home for me as a fellow conservative who happens to be gay. 

“Well, I guess it’s all relative, because it’s funny, that didn’t seem scary to me at all…it was just like, here’s my friend, there’s an important thing to talk about. Let’s talk about it,” Rubin told me about his decision to address the topic on Beck’s program. “So I guess that proves the point of the book, in proves the point of what Wolpe was saying there the quote from the Torah, because the more you do it, if you just say something that you believe to be true, and you say it forthrightly, and you fight for what you believe in, it just starts getting better or easier, really. It’s just a muscle that you use. You do it once, you’re not killed, hopefully. And then you do it twice, and now you’re not killed – hopefully. And then three times, four times, and then you just start doing it, and doing it, and doing it doing it. And then, since you mentioned Jordan Peterson, that would be the very thing that would put order into the universe.”

Rubin continued, “So I just think you have to do it. How many people are going to look back and be like, boy, I really should have lied more, or I should have not said what I thought more, or whatever. Of course, It’s always the reverse of that. Of course, you should do what you think, you should fight for what you believe in – we all know it and you just gotta get over the hump.”

Similar to how his book Don’t Burn this Country is part political commentary, part motivational book, and part a reflection on how to live a fulfilling life – Rubin’s anecdote about courage is an appropriate way to view not only his theory on how to live life, but also how to fight for conservative beliefs on the political scene. 

Rubin’s prescription for fighting back against wokeness does not just end with having the courage to say something, it must be met with action that “builds” something new. 

“I didn’t want to write a purely political book because I already did that,” Rubin told Campfire Colorado backstage. “And the first book was, I would say 80% political, 20% personal. This was more like, guys, we get it, the woke are here. They’ve destroyed an awful lot. They’ve wrecked everything from television, to politics, to media, culture, they’ve done it. So, what can you do within that to learn how to do a few things, you know, actually get some skills, figure out ways to be successful.”

As the founder of The Rubin Report and Locals.com – a subscription based digital platform that gives creators total control of their own content – he is no stranger to creating new institutions for conservatives and being successful.

“If you don’t do it, someone else is going to do it. I mean, it’s as simple as that.  And look, a lot of people that have not been that great have been doing it for a long time. They built a lot of crap and that crap is crumbling. So that’s the opportunity, right?”

“I mean, that’s the thing, you know, everyone’s freaking out as if it’s so scary that all these things are crumbling, and to some degree, it is, you know? These institutions, many of them have existed for a long time and had value at some time. Most of them don’t have value anymore. Disney does not have value anymore. CNN does not have value anymore. Harvard does not have value anymore. So, build new things and build new websites.”

Rubin’s message in our conversation – and in the book – is loud and clear. Have the courage to speak your mind and have the courage to push back against the woke mob even when you seem outnumbered. But at the same time, have the courage to take action and build new things to replace the broken institutions in our society. 

There is an antidote to wokeness, and it starts with courage and action.

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About the Author:

Matt Connelly is the founder of Campfire Colorado and Campfire Media.