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Why conservatives should have welcomed Milo at CPAC

Jeremy Papasso/Daily Camera via AP

Jeremy Papasso/Daily Camera via AP

It’s been quite the weekend for Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos. First, the provocateur battled Bill Maher and his panelists on Real Time. Then, he was announced as the keynote speaker at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference. However, on Monday morning, American Conservative Union head Matt Schlapp announced that Milo’s invitation had been rescinded.

The announcement came a day after video surfaced of Milo allegedly defending pedophilia. Milo has responded by saying he does not support pedophilia and that the video was selectively edited.

We shouldn’t be surprised by the smear job of Yiannopoulos. Milo stated in front of Maher’s panel that people on the far left and right are the ones who hate him, which makes sense given the prominent negative response has been from the William F. Buckley crowd. These are the same people who probably have a picture of Ronald Reagan hanging somewhere in their house. Several #NeverTrump-ers are included here:

American Conservative Union head Matt Schlapp vigorously defended the invitation on Twitter:

In a way, what Schlapp said is correct.

The last eight years have seen so-called conservatives take a step back in the ongoing battle for both culture and the voice of young voters. Yes, the numbers aren’t there. Republicans now control all three branches of government, and the Democratic party lost over a thousand seats overall among state and federal-level government.

The future generation, however, has bared the brunt of the culture shift, and it came to a head on national television when UC-Berkeley went up in flames over Milo’s scheduled visit. Paul Joseph Watson of Infowars may have had the best answer to the principled, conservative crowd:

The crowd that knows how to win and fights back was in place long before Donald Trump. The Tea Party movement, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Trey Gowdy, Laura Ingraham are public servants and personalities who don’t lie down. They aren’t RINOs. They’re not John McCain, who seems hellbent on destroying all the success his party’s had since Barack Obama blew him out in 2008. The debate has been won since the second a blue-haired feminist screamed “SEXIST!!” Let’s continue to elect and promote individuals who can not only bring facts and reason to the table, but give a voice to young conservatives and teach them how to fight back.

Trump’s brand of populism, if successful, can navigate the Republican Party, at long last, into the 21st Century. Liberals continue to embrace radical militants who crush the freedoms they’ve claimed to embrace, such as free speech and personal choice. The second anyone leaves the ranch, like Chadwick Moore (a gay conservative), or Joy Villa (who showed up to the Grammys with a MAGA dress), they’re treated as pariahs in a group that shoves their idea of diversity down the throats of the heartland. Meanwhile, the right can bring in these disaffected flyover voters and young people by projecting a moderate and libertarian-esque agenda.

While I’m not the biggest Milo fan on the planet, I once got tossed from New York’s Twitter office on camera chalking “Free Milo” on the sidewalk. I’ve seen the Milo effect on college conservatives that I felt had a classy and reasonable argument, turning them a little obnoxious. However, it’s undeniable the wave he’s created on campuses across the country, and CPAC squandered an opportunity to step away a bit from the red-tie, flag-pin wearing crowd, and embrace a group of freedom fighters that welcome anyone ready to get their hands dirty.

Disclaimer: This article was written before several videos of Milo making provocative statements and sexually explicit humor were released. While I believe in the message that free speech should always be honored and voices should be heard, I disagree with many of the statements Milo has made in these interviews.

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