Wednesday, February 22, 2017

On substance, in principle, and strategically,
I’m a hundred percent for Milo Yiannopoulos

The so-called controversy about Milo Yiannopoulos is an easy call for me, and should be for you. Feel free, like I do, to joyfully support Milo 100%, without reservation, without conflict, and without hypocrisy.

Now, this position requires the following: That you know how to read; that facts interest you and you can discern them autonomously; that you know what pedophilia is and what it isn’t; and that you have a moderate, firsthand familiarity with Milo’s body of work in print, on stage and video, and in interviews. It would also help if you are honest and humble about your own flaws. For some, this may be asking a lot.

If you cannot attest to the above, I don’t think I can help you. Before reading further, I urge you to stop and do some homework. To begin, watch a few full-length, unedited videos of Milo from the past 18 months. There are a lot of them on YouTube. These performances will cover his ideas, his tactics, and enough of his personal history for you to be able to say you’ve held up your end as an informed judge. (As an added benefit, they are highly entertaining.) Then decide.

For the more informed among you, I am likely preaching to the choir. Milo makes his own defense easily, far better than I can. Just read his recent statements (here and here) and watch his press conference in light of his disinvitation to CPAC and lost book deal, and subsequent resignation as Senior Tech Editor at Breitbart.

So with that out of the way, let me enjoy singing his praises:

Milo Yiannopoulos occupies an extremely rarefied sub-sub-category in the worlds of conservatism (though Milo would prefer libertarianism) and homosexuality. It’s hard enough to find a prominent conservative-libertarian who admits to engaging in same-sex relations. But can you name even one other gay conservative (without Googling) who: A] openly admits that his practice of homosexuality goes against his firmly and sincerely held religious beliefs; B] comes down, when push comes to shove, on the side of his faith; C] would, all things be equal, rather be straight and isn’t ashamed to say so; and D] is perfectly willing to embrace such a life with the liberal use of prayer and jumper cables?

Of course you can’t. This illustrates Fact #1 about Milo: He is one of a kind.

Milo’s erudite, lightning-like discourse, his verbal wit and humor, and his scathing polemics are something to behold. He is informed. He is fearless. He is funny. He is fair. Milo is clever and nuanced, outrageous and poignant. His theses are sometimes inscrutable and even grotesque, like paintings by Bosch or Magritte or Dali. If you merely glance at them, you will miss their richness. You must take ample time, look at every detail (without averting your eyes), and then cohere them into a whole portrait. There just isn’t enough space in this essay to educate the casual reader about Milo; I may as well try to help you appreciate fine wines or John’s Book of Revelation in one article. Milo requires time and reflection.

It is in his many paradoxes that Milo stands apart. He is courageous while generous, scathing yet affectionate, brutal but forgiving.

Most important, of course, is that his message is true and needs to be heard in America today, especially on university campuses. This should be one of our strategic priorities.

What is exciting about this fellow is that he is only in the early stages of his life and work. He is growing in knowledge, wisdom, and skill. His ideas are cohering, ever-increasingly, to the point of becoming weaponized. Or, if that is too scary for you, they are becoming distilled into a miracle vaccine. Milo Yiannopoulos is doing for Political Correctness and freedom of speech what Jonas Salk did for polio and walking on two legs.

If you are a fan of Milo, cringe if you must at his current crisis. Mock him, haters, if it makes you feel better. But love him or hate him, do not make the mistake of being dismissive or counting him out. I shan’t.