There have been two primary responses among conservatives to the interview revealing that Milo Yiannopoulos defended pedophilia.
The first response was from the people defending Yiannopoulos. They claimed the mainstream media twisted this; they said consent overrules age; they even tried to say it’s not pedophilia when a child is past the age of 12.
The second group of people were shocked.
To which my response is: Are you kidding me?
Yiannopoulos is someone for whom hate is a central theme. Is abuse of children so far from his other causes?
Yiannopoulos and the alt-right are rabid dogs. They bark, snarl and attack people weaker than themselves. While it’s fun when they’re doing it to people you don’t like, you’re fooling yourself if you think they won’t do the same to you.
There’s a disturbing trend among the older generation who believe that Yiannopoulos is capable of rallying millennials to the conservative cause. But not only is this a blatant avoidance of reality, it also glosses over deeper problems
Is this where you want young conservatives to rally? Not the intellectualism of Lincoln or the charisma of Reagan but the coy hatred of Yiannopoulos and his ilk? Not the contemporary rhetoric of Rubio or the conservative fundamentalism of Cruz but the desperate reactionism of the alt-right?
The alt-right is not a voting bloc. They have no power here. All the alt-right can do is take conservatives or independents and let them fester in Breitbart (the ultimate safe space) until they churn out one of the many alt-right flavors: neo-nazi, meninist, white supremacist, etc.
The failure of the alt-right is ultimately that it is the embodiment of the safe-space, snowflake, mentality they claim to criticize.
All Breitbart stories have that similar flavor because they’re trying to get you to lead yourself to their conclusions, such as that “the knockout game” is some race-based hunt or that the Catholic Church opposes refugees. These stories are fermenting people in the idea that belonging to or sympathizing with the alt-right is some logic conclusion opposed to the hate it really is.
Republicans need to be establishing working relationships across the aisle. To have Yiannopoulos actively inciting hatred and discord among Americans should be completely unacceptable to anyone who has ever claimed to care about conservatism or the Republican party.
The GOP is at the crossroads of an identity crisis.
Is it the party of small government and conservative principles or the party of populism and authoritarianism? Is it a party that acts in accordance with its principles or a party that screams and fights and snarls at the drop of a hat?
If the conservative wing of American politics continues to follow this path paved by the alt-right, a path paved for authoritarian populism, there are only two possible results. Either people will buy into it, and America will begin the first step in destroying herself, or conservatism will have no future in America.