Conservatives may be in power, but it sure doesn’t seem like it. While sane conservatives are losing popularity and influence, radical extremists, like Milo Yiannopolous, are running the show. And no, it doesn’t matter if CPAC revoked the invitation to Milo or not—the choice to invite him in the first place displays a scary shift in conservative politics today. Whether it’s Milo receiving validation through millions of views and shares on Facebook, or Steve Bannon being chosen as the chief strategist to President Trump, the alt-right and its radical views are spreading like wildfire within the conservative movement.
The choice to invite Milo to speak at a conservative event like CPAC isn’t a rare one. Milo has been asked to speak at College Republican and Turning Point USA chapters across the country, which has caused violence at the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Washington, and DePaul University, just to name a few.
Inviting Milo to speak at any conservative event is incredibly shameful. Yes, Milo has the right to free speech. At the same time, conservatives have the choice to refrain from inviting a racist and sexist like him into their chapter. For starters, Milo has mocked the race of Ben Shapiro’s baby, supported racist tweets sent to actress Leslie Jones, talked about his favorite race to have sex with, and repeatedly called feminism worse than cancer. He even tweeted that I was worse than cancer due to my anti-Trump stance during the Republican primary. Additionally, he used a picture of a transgender student to publicly shame them during a speech at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He’s also a leader of the alt-right, neo-nazi movement. Somehow, these acts (and many more) haven’t kept Milo from being invited to conservative events like CPAC. Instead, conservative groups have welcomed him as a vocal leader in the movement and given him the attention he so desperately craves. It shouldn’t have taken pro-pedophilia comments to remove him from giving his keynote address later this week.
In my opinion, liberals, independents, and anti-hate speech conservatives have every right to be offended and angered by Milo. The violence, as seen at Berkeley, was completely uncalled for, but protestors have every reason to protest his speaking engagements. And no, protesting Milo’s racist and sexist hate speech doesn’t make one “sensitive” or a “snowflake,” despite what Tomi Lahren may tell you.
While Milo’s fringe, white-nationalist opinions don’t represent the majority of conservatives, the number of supporters is growing each day. Posting videos of his speeches on social media, interviewing him on national news, and inviting him to speak across the country, will only make things worse. Even after his disgusting pro-pedophilia comment, I fear nothing will change.
The problem is deeper than Milo, too. Inviting someone like Stephen Bannon to CPAC, who credits himself as the platform provider for the alt-right, is just as disgusting. Not only is he idolized by many conservatives, but he obviously has a key position in President Trump’s administration as well. If conservatives cared about Jews and the nation of Israel, they would demand anti-Semitic speakers like Steve Bannon be removed from an event like CPAC.
So, here’s the message I have for my fellow conservatives: it is absolutely imperative that we ditch radicals like Milo. Despite Donald Trump occupying the presidency and conservatives controlling Congress, the conservative movement is becoming divided. Unless people take a stand against radicals like Milo, the division will continue. Instead of giving radicals a voice in conservative politics, we should be exposing them for their appalling words and actions. Furthermore, if conservatives want “free speech activists” who “cause liberal tears,” there are plenty of other leaders to choose from within the movement.
As a conservative, I will not continue to stand by any longer. Radical voices like Milo don’t represent the conservative movement. It’s our fault for giving them a platform to embarrass us. It’s our job to remove them from embarrassing us in the future. Unless conservative leaders and politicians take a stand against Milo, Bannon, and the alt-right, the conservative movement will be dead. Count on it.