He was on top of the world. He had it all for the future. As leftist protesters at colleges all across America erupted into violent riots amid his controversial rhetoric, his notoriety and fame only continued to meteorically soar. An invitation to speak at CPAC, one of the preeminent conservative conferences in the United States, was beckoning to him. The news agency he worked for, Breitbart “News,” was in a love affair with the Trump administration, being granted exclusive White House interviews. Everything was going his way, that is until a 16-year old Canadian girl leaked a video of his defending illegal and pedophilic acts of underage homosexuality.
It’s puzzling that it took this long. As an executive editor, Milo cooperated with anti-democratic ethnonationalist Steve Bannon to create a media platform for the alt-right, a movement that holds white nationalist and white supremacist views. Their actions placed Breitbart “News” into increasingly troubled waters. In 2015, he wrote an article titled “BIRTH CONTROL MAKES WOMEN UNATTRACTIVE AND CRAZY” (yes, all caps). He attacked female scientists, blaming feminism for forcing women into roles they, according to him, simply weren’t made for. Yiannopoulos claimed that cyberbullying, something that affects 43% of students at some point in their lifetime, “wasn’t real.” He leaped to the defense of hazing, claiming that efforts to make hazing illegal were threats to masculinity itself. Fifteen men have died from hazing since 2010. The initially well-intentioned motives of political correctness have evolved into militant intolerance of nonconformist and anti-leftist ideas, thus making the time ripe for a polarizing figure such as Yiannopoulos to emerge.
Cocky and loud, Milo was the king of talk shows. News anchors would have him on to debate the other side. From an objective point of view, what he spun was genius. Yiannopoulos would confidently spew alternative facts (thanks, Kellyanne) and deploy clever debate tactics to confuse, anger, and finally trap his victim. Many of the times, he seemed to make good points. And he almost always won the argument. And that’s what made him so dangerous. He could turn the everyday viewer into an indoctrinated believer in the failure of the left, pontificating against hallmarks of American liberalism such as political correctness and receptiveness towards people of LGBT orientation.
His entire persona is a hypocritical cytoplasmic cocktail of crapulous contradictions. Yiannopoulos is openly homosexual, yet decries the very lifestyle he lives as indecent and worthy of undergoing conversion therapy that allegedly alters one’s sexual orientation. Furthermore, he has been shown to possess a degree of Jewish ancestry; nevertheless, despite his quips to the contrary, he has enabled the rise of the “alt-right” movement, which holds neo-Nazi ideologies. He has helped bring the movement from a fringe rabble of lunatics on Internet websites like 4chan and Reddit into the potent force for evil that is embodied in White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon. When, on 21 February 2017, after his meteoric star came crashing down following the allegations of his defense of pederasty, he blamed the revelations of his remarks on a “cynical media witch hunt”. The media found a genuine video of Yiannopoulos stating that “13-year-olds can consent to a sexual relationship with an adult” and that consent is an “arbitrary and oppressive idea.” His supporters rushed to defend him, and many of them hold similar beliefs as Trump supporters who believed that Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta were operating a child sex trafficking ring in the back of a pizza shop. The blind support engendered by Yiannopoulos, typified by opposition and hostility to “apologists” for political correctness is not conservatism but rather anti-liberalism. Actual conservatives must make sure that they see the truth beyond the veneer of his silver-forked tongue. They must protect and preserve real conservative ideology and not be clouded by anti-liberal hate and intolerance associated with current celebrity “conservatism”. So far, it seems that with the utter downfall of Milo, this advice is being heeded.
It is fitting that someone so devoid of substance as Yiannopoulos is now made a pariah. As a moderate-liberal myself, it is appalling that he dared to call himself a conservative. I have many friends who hold conservative viewpoints, and I can tell you that Milo is categorically not a conservative. Bereft of an actual agenda, conservative or liberal, he resorted to describing the left with sensationalist and outrageous language, under the guise of free speech and freeing people from the shackles of political correctness. The lesson that conservatives, liberals, and moderates should learn from Yiannopoulos’s downfall? Though sensational words garner buzz, in the end, it is actual substance and ideology that are the real test of one’s motives. See through the fog of lies created by people like Milo, and overcome it in service of the truth.