The American Conservative Union, the board that oversees CPAC, is dealing with some internal strife as a result of board chairman Matt Schlap’s announcement that Milo Yiannopoulos was supposed to be a keynote speaker at this week’s conference.
Leon Wolf at TheBlaze is reporting that members of the board – some publicly and some privately – are upset with the invitation, which is believed to have been made unilaterally by Schlapp himself.
Cracks began to appear in the facade almost immediately, as ACU board member Ned Ryun began immediately tweeting his displeasure with the decision, alleging that the ACU board was not consulted and that the invitation to Yiannopoulos was an affront to “basic decency.”
TheBlaze has spoken with numerous other ACU board members about the decision to invite Yiannopoulos. Some, like board member Peter Samuelson, offered a mere “no comment” on the decision to invite Milo or on the substance of Milo’s remarks. Others, like board member John Eddy, would not comment on the board’s internal deliberations but stated categorically that he was opposed to Milo’s comments and would not defend them.
Ryun’s allegation that the board was not consulted appears to be corroborated by other members, who spoke to TheBlaze under the condition of anonymity. The ACU hasn’t met in over six months.
One of those members also told TheBlaze that he would be resigning from the board if the invitation wasn’t rescinded, also indicating he wouldn’t be the only one to do so. You can read the full story here.
As with just about everywhere else, Yiannopoulos is a divisive figure. He has run around making “anti-PC” a substantive quality rather than a quirk, and it has lured in many conservatives.
His shtick has always been to put his sexuality first and foremost. His college tour’s name is a homosexual slur. He claimed the alt-right isn’t racist because he is alt-right and prefers having sex with black men.
The revelation that he would defend relationships between underage boys and grown men is therefore largely unsurprising. He is simply a sexual provocateur, and has channeled that into what many are calling (incorrectly, I might add) conservatism.
The fact that he was offered an invitation at all is just further proof – albeit the most extreme proof yet – that CPAC is about the crowd size and the money, and no longer about the content of actual conservatism.
There are conservatives who will be there, rest assured, and the attendees will get conservative messages from the event. But, the spectacle is more important to guys like Schlapp, and it’s killing the value of the conference.
UPDATE: Yiannopoulos was officially uninvited this afternoon. The state of the ACU board remains unclear at this time, however.