Monday, February 20, 2017

Two diametrically opposite views of Milo - from the Right

I'm getting a little concerned about Bookworm lately. When I first discovered her, I became an immediate enthusiast. Great writer, someone who thoroughly thought through anything she chose to blog about, compelling personal story (lifelong Bay Area resident and lifelong left-leaner until a conversion experience some time in the early part of this century, secular Jew increasingly drawn to specifically scriptural principles, parents with World War II experiences that are worthy of cinematic treatment). She championed what ought to be championed, and lit into the Left with appropriate ire.

And during last year's primaries, she was forthrightly for Ted Cruz, which was my stance.

But, after that fateful May night in Indianapolis, something happened. She went full-in for the it's-now-a-bninary-choice position. Per se, that was a position with lots of validity, as long as one did not waver from an unqualified acknowledgement of just what an unfit mess Donald Trump was. This was not how she proceeded. She actually warmed to the guy, began to find laudable traits.

And since his election victory, she has similarly warmed to those in his camp.

I don't get it. Not at all.

Especially given the fact that she went on the post-election National Review cruise and attended panel discussions, speeches and receptions featuring writers who remained unsold on Squirrel-Hair.

Now that the pro-S-H Milo Yiannopoulos has become such a lightning rod, it's not surprising that those who are passionately either pro- or anti-S-H would weigh in on the nature of his impact. Bookworm has done so.

You know what? I'm going to wait until I give the opposing view to offer her view, because hers is the dead-wrong perspective on his upcoming appearance at this year's CPAC.

The editors at National Review have the right perspective:

Over the weekend, CPAC invited Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at this year’s event, happening later this week in Maryland. Of late, Yiannopoulos, a “tech editor” for Breitbart News, has been a regular guest on college campuses and a constant source of irritation to campus liberals. Recently, the University of California–Berkeley greeted his arrival with riots. Despite the fact that Yiannopoulos holds a number of noxious opinions, we have defended his right to air them against those who would shout him down or worse.
CPAC is different. The annual event helps to define and broadcast the priorities of grassroots conservatives. Whatever Yiannopoulos’s politics, they are not conservative in any meaningful sense. Indeed, Yiannopoulos has said so himself. Appearing on HBO’s Bill Maher Show just last week, Yiannopoulos said that he was not sure he would call himself conservative.
What Yiannopoulos has called himself is a “chronicler of, and occasional fellow traveler with, the alt-right,” that various group of “reactionaries,” ethno-nationalists, white supremacists, and others, who have set themselves against Reagan-style conservatism and who have developed a robust online presence over the last year. The latter is in no small part thanks to Yiannopoulos, who wrote an essay largely praising the alt-right last spring; according to him, the alt-right is generally composed of “dangerously bright” “intellectuals” and “mischievous” “rebels.” While Yiannopoulos has tried to distance himself from Richard Spencer and other, more unabashed white nationalists, he has had no qualms making common cause with the hordes of Twitter users who photoshop Jewish conservative writers into ovens. Yiannopoulos — who has himself hurled anti-Semitic slurs (he recently described a Jewish BuzzFeed reporter as “a typical example of a sort of thick-as-pig s**t media Jew”), and who helped to popularize the term “cuckservative” — defends himself against charges of bigotry by reminding everyone that he has Jewish ancestry and is gay. The latter is part of his excuse for defending pederasty on a podcast in September 2015, then again during an interview in January 2016. Recordings of those statements were unearthed this weekend, shortly after CPAC’s announcement.
On Monday morning, the ACU cited those recordings as its reason for rescinding Yiannopoulos’s invitation. But that Yiannopoulos did not have a place at CPAC, or at any forum that describes itself as “conservative,” should have been obvious from the start. Instead, the ACU put conservatives in a no-win situation. Had they permitted him to speak, it would have been considered a tacit endorsement of his opinions. Now, having rescinded his invitation, CPAC will be portrayed by Yiannopoulos’s many fans as one more organ of leftist-style speech-policing. Whatever happens later this week, CPAC has diminished true conservatism’s appeal.
It has become fashionable in conservative circles to cheer every apparently right-leaning gadfly. But “trolling” is not conservatism, and there is no virtue merely in upsetting campus Democrats. There are many conservatives who do regular battle with left-wing agitators — but who also are of high character, and advance conservative arguments and defend conservative principles with poise, wit, and good cheer. If CPAC wants to highlight the challenges for conservatives on campus, there are dozens of respectable options. 
Now, for the dead-wrong view on this:

I hope you see what I see: A young man in complete command of the facts, debating at a high intellectual level using arguments familiar to most conservatives, and politely, completely, and matter-of-factly destroying the feminist mantra. Without being in any way offensive, he left those two women looking foolish and uninformed.
Here was a young, hip, edgy, gay, Jewish/Greek/Catholic guy attacking the Leftist shibboleths that so irritated my son. Without my putting any pressure on him, my son regularly hunted down both Milo’s and Crowder’s videos. (Incidentally, my focus on Milo here is not meant to denigrate Crowder’s virtues. It’s simply that he’s a less controversial figure, so I don’t feel compelled to go to his defense.) No wonder, then, that my son, unusually for a kid his age in my “true Blue” county was remarkably sanguine when Trump won.
My son’s Milo discovery happened over a year ago. I still held off on feeling the love for Milo. I was a Cruz supporter during the primaries, and didn’t appreciate Breitbart’s over-the-top Trump support. The fact that Milo was part of the Breitbart machine and appeared to green-light the small number of despicable racist bottom feeders who attached themselves to the Trump train was not endearing.  And then things changed.
What changed was that Trump emerged from the primaries triumphant and I, a nice Jewish girl, had to have a “come to Jesus” moment with myself: Trump or Hillary. Actually, that exaggerates the situation. It was a no-brainer. I was always a #NeverHillary.
The actual “come to Jesus” moment was deciding whether I merely supported Trump because he wasn’tHillary or if I could support him on his own terms. As readers of this blog know, the more I cut through Trump’s incredibly irritating speaking style (which still makes me crazy), the more I came away impressed that Trump is a man who, while not a doctrinaire conservative, truly loves America and Americans. Moreover, his Democrat past notwithstanding, I saw that Trump instinctively understands that borders mean something, that radical Islam is scary and aimed at America’s heart, that the climate has always changed, that a runaway administrative state destroys prosperity and freedom, that the press is not sacred, and that we Americans are one people, not a bunch of whiny little victim classes.
Re-framing Trump to appreciate his virtues meant re-visiting Milo to decide if he, too, is virtuous. He is.
Talk about binary choices. Either one or the other of the above perspectives has it right.

This is a crystal-clear lesson in the essentiality of fealty to immutable principles. They can be a challenge to see clearly in the buzz-saw frenzy of a time like ours, when snark, trolling, and worse characterize most polemical exchanges in any venue.

Publicly losing one's head as a result of even momentarily losing one's ability to see those principles is a sad spectacle to behold, especially given what's at stake.


  1. "A runaway administrative state destroys prosperity and freedom"; the betterment seems these branches of Government "taking a little quite time" then wok accordingly.

  2. Don't forget to diss the corporate assholes.