‘The Milo Temptation

Í must admit that the first exposure to the Milo Yiannopoulos phenomenon was exhilarating. The accuracy of his articulation of conservative complaints about the Left and the speed of his wit left me almost breathless. He was a like a courageous medieval knight slicing swathes through the enemies of Western Civilization. The tremendous force of Milo’s personality, however, and his rage against the enemy seduces one to overlook the foul language and abuse. Jonathon Van Maren in a thoughtful commentary brings the issues of Milo into focus. In his last paragraphs, he sums up the dangers for conservatives of taking the fight against the Left too far into speech and action that is repugnant to the conservative mind.

Obviously, I know that Milo’s shtick is to facilitate outrage. That’s what he does, and he does it very well. But there’s a difference between saying “feminism is cancer” and then having a merry time defending the metaphor and calling women you disagree with the c-word. Conservatives who have felt suffocated at the spread of draconian speech codes and accusations of the original sin of white privilege and the never-ending oppression pyramid and identity politics should resist the temptation to abandon our own principles in the heat of combat and victory. After all, if we forget what we are fighting for in the first place—a worldview that truly respects women, that believes in according dignity to each human being because they are created in the image of God, and a society based on family values and mutual courtesy, then we become no different than the enemy we fight.

I know that gleeful and savage iconoclasm is providing many people with catharsis at the moment. But to forget who we are would be to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Gerard Wilson