“In a world gone mad, we cannot be silent,” the Daily Wire’s Andrew Klavan told a packed Searle Center on Tuesday evening. Students, professors, and donors alike filled the seats to hear Klavan give his talk as this semester’s Eugene C. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Journalism.
While Klavan is perhaps best known in conservative circles as the host of the “Andrew Klavan Show,” a podcast for the Daily Wire, he is also the author of a variety of novels and screenplays. He focused his talk on American culture and the morality of that culture. Klavan covered topics ranging from racial injustice to abortion in his presentation, and argued for the existence of moral truth and good and evil.
Klavan encouraged his listeners to speak up for truth, even when the consequences might be difficult.
“If they outlaw truth, then outlaws we must become,” Klavan said. “We have to at least embrace the principle that truth is worth human sacrifice so we can embrace the lesser sacrifices.”
Assistant Professor of Philosophy Blake McAllister said he attended the talk because he is familiar with Klavan as a conservative influence and was curious to hear what he had to say.
“I haven’t listened extensively to his podcast or anything like that,” McAllister said. “But it’s nice to see that one of the more popular conservative podcasters actually is aware of the philosophical undermeanings of this particular worldview and can be articulate about them.”
Sophomore Connor Daniels said he appreciated Klavan’s approach to and presentation of conservative principles.
“He’s a very good presenter, and one of the things he does extraordinarily well is taking basic principles and explaining them in a way that’s clear, and in doing so, it’s persuasive,” Daniels said. “He takes what might be conservative and libertarian problems with post-modern or neo-political discourse, and he explains those starting from basic truths about human nature.”
McAllister said while Klavan covered many of the “gospel truths” of the conservative movement, he appreciated Klavan’s fresh approach in his presentation.
“He’s identified what is really at the core of the culture wars today, which is these more foundational metaphysical disagreements about objective morality or the moral universe,” he said. “I think he’s right to go there. Without addressing those more fundamental metaphysical disagreements, you can’t make sense of a lot of what’s going on.”
While some may see Klavan’s call to actions as melodramatic, McAllister said he was glad Klavan raised that point.
“I think it should make students ask themselves ‘what am I willing to risk for what I believe to be true?’” he said. “And that’s a big question. I’m glad that he raised that so students can begin preparing for that.”