It’s been a week since Milo Yiannopoulos graced the shores of Australia with his perpetually fabulous presence, leaving a trail of hyperventilating snowflakes in his wake. I don’t mean only the cry-screaming leftist journalists from The Guardian and The Sydney Morning Herald. Or the grungy, faux-trendy millennial Melbournian-slum-dwellers who permeate the labyrinthine passageways of Twitter and Facebook. There is an irritatingly noisy contingent of (dare I say it) ‘traditionalist’ right-wing snowflakes; who, upon hearing Milo repeat the ‘C’ word, and relay tales of fellating his black boyfriends, are as prone to triggering as any SJW.
It is testament to Milo’s stoicism, consistency, and supernatural ability to stick to his guns, that he is able to annoy equally the entirety of the left, and some factions of the right. Take the left. In the lead-up to Milo’s arrival, the leftie outrage-squadrons reached peak hysteria. Panic-stricken articles (mostly from feminists) were popping up all over the place, along with attempts by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and Greens leader Richard di Natale to ban Milo from speaking at Parliament House. Not to mention the thoroughly juvenile decision of WA Labor Premier Mark McGowan to prohibit Milo from speaking at any government-owned buildings. These pathetic attempts at no-platforming were not bolstered by facts. It was quintessential ‘leftie labels’ that served as justification for this animosity, two in particular; “white supremacist”, and “paedophile-apologist”.
Calling Milo a white supremacist is to make yourself look very, very stupid. A quick browse of his YouTube channel will tell you he is an outspoken advocate of African Americans; lamenting the fact both Democrats and Republicans have grossly neglected black communities. He had denounced white supremacy and white nationalism a number of times, stating to (ugh) BuzzFeed, “I disavow Richard Spencer and his entire sorry band of idiots. I have been and am a steadfast supporter of Jews and Israel. I disavow white nationalism and I disavow racism and I always have.”
As for the shady footage of Milo performing karaoke with Richard Spencer et al; come on. Nobody is obliged to be ideologically aligned with everyone they associate with. That would be silly. And considering the fact Milo has an entire chapter in his memoir Dangerous detailing why the alt-right hates him, not to mention made fun of Spencer being punched in the face, we can assume there’s not a lot of liking there. Let’s not forget; Milo is gay, half-Jewish, and married to a black man. Even if he wanted to be one, white supremacists wouldn’t have him.
As for the paedophile-apologist allegation; what absolute bile. In the out-of-context footage released earlier this year, Milo was talking loosely about his own experiences of child rape by a Catholic priest. He spoke as a victim; trying to justify what happened to him by pretending he was not adversely affected by it. Far from an apologist, Milo has outed three paedophiles in his journalistic career. If Milo were on the left, he would be eligible for a #metoo claim. But he is a conservative, and therefore not afforded the ‘empathy’ and ‘compassion’ the left touts itself as being so famous for.
The left’s hatred of Milo is based on the same principle they apply to other conservatives; they can’t get him on the facts, so they attempt to demonise and no-platform him instead. However, their hysteria over Milo is augmented by the fact that, terrifyingly, he just might have some sort of influence. The violent protests at his Melbourne show speak for themselves. Regardless of the left shrieking that there is violence on both sides because a few members of the United Patriot’s Front turn up for five minutes to rattle a few chains, it was very clear, as it always is, where the violence came from. If you show up armed and organised, you have no intention of protesting peacefully.
The traditionalist right, on the other hand, has a different, and probably sillier, beef with Milo. Traditionalist conservatives have a very particular idea of what a ‘conservative’ should be, based not on beliefs, but behaviour. Regardless of the fact Milo shares about eighty-five percent of the concerns of the trad-right, the stuck-in-the-mud, ivory-tower-dwelling old-school right-wingers clutch their conservative pearls and hail Milo as some sort of heretic; a detriment to the conservative cause that must be quashed. Kind of like the left’s reaction, really.
So why do traditionalists continue to dig in their heels about Milo, even though they’re on the same side? Probably because they know, deep down, their brand of lofty, reticent conservatism, with its ill-fated assumption that common sense will eventually win out, hasn’t worked. It is the trad-right’s tepid bleating about codes of behaviour that cost the right the culture war. Waxing on soft-pedal traditionalism doesn’t stand up in the heat of battle, or in the halls of social media, where so many battles are fought nowadays. Not to mention it has no affect in the face of Marxist university professors who are determined to suppress any opposing views by failing students if they dare voice a conservative stance.
Despite their huffing and puffing and pouting protestations to the contrary, it is in the best interests of traditionalists to pull their heads in and let Milo do his job. They don’t have to like Milo, but they do need to accept him. The dogmatic, evangelist mentality of the traditionalist right is eerily similar to the identity politics of the left (which should be evidence of its stupidity). Identity politics are employed by those in a state of fear to flailingly defend against someone who has shown you up for spinelessness, deficiency, and ineptitude. Milo is that someone. And traditionalist conservatives will never forgive him.
Left, right, and everyone in between; we all have something to gain from absorbing all that is Milo Yiannopoulos. Whether it’s the reams of statistics rattled off to some hapless feminist in a battle of the wits, courage and light-heartedness in the face of enormous adversity, or simply how to dress superbly, Milo is one who lives his life with abandon and vice. He has created an entity with seemingly infinite staying power, the inception of which was the pivotal moment for the millennial and Generation Z ‘new right’. We are lucky to have Milo, and we will probably not realise how lucky until his work is done.
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