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Stop Feeding Milo Yiannapolous

Milo Yiannapolous found himself in the headlines yet again this week as his speech to UC Berkeley was canceled due to protests and rioting.

Protests that erupted at UC Berkeley ahead of a planned Wednesday appearance by right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos caused $100,000 worth of damage to the campus, the school said Thursday.

The university blamed “150 masked agitators” for the unrest, saying they had come to campus to disturb an otherwise peaceful protest.

Administrators decided to cancel the Wednesday event about two hours before the Breitbart editor’s speech. UC Berkeley said it removed him from campus “amid the violence and destruction of property and out of concern for public safety.”

Black-clad protesters wearing masks threw commercial-grade fireworks and rocks at police. Some even hurled Molotov cocktails that ignited fires. They also smashed windows of the student union center on the Berkeley campus where the Yiannopoulos event was to be held.

Left/liberal Twitter was aflame in debates regarding the effectiveness and morality of the protests/riot. Committed anarchists and Communists called liberals fascist apologists and insufficiently committed to combatting the rise of right-wing populism. Liberals barked back that even trolls like Milo have a right to free speech and letting masked vigilantes carry out justice as they see fit undermines the basic foundations of free society.

I won’t step into the debate around the ethics and worthiness of direct action or no platforming. This is an essential dispute that the various coalitions of the left will need to continuously discuss in the age of Trump and beyond.

Rather, I want to address my Republican comrades that keep inviting Milo to speak at their respective universities.

I understand that many on the conservative end of the political spectrum find university life challenging. Having spent far too many years in college, I can attest to the overwhelming liberal/left homogony of these institutions. Even those of us who stand in agreement with the overarching philosophical standpoint disseminated in our universities can recognize that it does take some guts to be openly conservative in such an environment.

When I walked into the University of California, Santa Cruz I was a committed leftist and was right at home with the political tone the university maintained. I experienced a slow move away from the radical groups and policies I had spent years defending but could never fathom leaving the left behind. Yet, I did come to respect some of the conservatives in my political science courses for their resolve and tact. They understood that they were operating in unfriendly territory and rather than hide their opinions from their school community, they opted to find common ground with activists that, often unfairly, intrinsically opposed them.

There was a conservative student paper started on campus in 2003 or so. Based on the few actual conservatives I knew, I thought said rag would be a perfect home for some of their long-form reflections on policy and society. However, these individual conservatives I had come to respect would not touch the paper; they saw it as nothing more than childish provocations meant to goad the school community unnecessarily. This “conservative” publication would spend most of its time writing hyperbolic takes on “hippies” and other “stupid commies.” This paper was not intended to debate and persuade but act as comfort food for the disposed campus right-wingers in an era before Reddit and Twitter. It was a lowbrow and injudicious endeavor and one the canny conservatives I studied with stayed far from.

Milo Yiannopoulos reminds me of that short-lived conservative paper. It may be fun to get together with like-minded persons and have a good laugh at your opponent’s expense, but acts like Milo make conservatives forget their own basic principles for the sake of amusement and notoriety. Milo is building his brand at the expense of these Republican organizations and their willingness to bask in his celebrity for a few fleeting hours. He has said countless things that require ostentatious rhetorical gymnastics for conservatives to justify and explain. He has fomented online campaigns of harassment against people in movies he didn’t like. All the while, he defends his actions as a necessary act of anti-PC free speech activism and many conservatives on college campuses have taken the bait.

But Milo’s actions are anything but a defense of free speech principles. His attempts to silence those who dare speak of him unkindly (much like our current president) by using his swarm of online acolytes is not a political act that should find support from any ideology or persuasion.

Worse yet, he has personally attempted to get people fired from their jobs for speaking unkindly of his enterprise.

 

Milo often uses his campus speeches to speak out against activists working to get people fired for their opinions, yet he has no problem engaging in the same behavior when it suits his ends. This is not a man who believes in the fair exchange of ideas but one quite willing to silence his foes if their points are too intense for his fancy.

Campus Republicans have a choice: do they wish to engage in honest debate or invite a man that provides nothing in the way of intellectual examination? Milo may eviscerate college leftists in his speeches but rides all the way to the bank on the backs of Republican students that invite him. This media gadfly is playing every party involved in a Milo event and it’s up to college Republicans to stop his charade.


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Roland Dodds is an educator, researcher and father just north of San Francisco who writes about politics, culture and education. He spent his formative years in radical left wing politics, but now prefers the company of contrarians of all political stripes (assuming they aren't teetotalers). He is a regular contributor at Harry's Place and Ordinary Times.

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619 thoughts on “Stop Feeding Milo Yiannapolous

  1. Hmm…gee…this guy sounds like the mirror image of some folks on the left. Bed made…lie in it.

    I have no problem going to see this guy talk. I saw Jean Kirkpatrick, Marc Russell, George Will, and folks on the left. Generally, about 4 a year for each year in college. I remember the guys on the right mainly because of all the protests..which never happened when someone from the left came for a talk. Someone’s opinion’s don’t scare me and I find “how people think” interesting.

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    • — Milo has reached the point, however, where he will single out students on campus, show their pictures, give their names, and then tell the audience how terrible this individual is. In one case the person’s crime was being transgender.

      Yeah, this is free speech, in the sense that if I knew your name and address I could probably convince a bunch of people to harass you. Which, maybe that is a victory of sorts. I doubt it.

      The thing is, Milo trucks in ugliness, and he will increase his ugliness to whatever point is needed to generate a response. And indeed, people would be smarter to ignore him. However, consider what would then happen: he would increase his ugliness, always just short of criminal levels, until it becomes quite difficult to ignore.

      This is #gamergate, basically. It’s manifest bullying.

      Saying “the left” will protest any conservative is perhaps true. But I, veronica d, won’t protest literally all conservatives. Milo is different. He does not share ideas. He preaches targeted hate, and not against those will power, not against “public figures,” but against random vulnerable people.

      Plus, he’s pretty much a Nazi. If conservatives are tired of being called Nazis, then do not become Nazis.

      I mean seriously, you are responsible for what you become.

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      • Singling out a student with name and other identifying information and holding that person up for obloquy is likely not protected conduct under the First Amendment. I suppose the devil is in the totality of the facts and circumstances, as lawyers are wont to say, but IMO this looks a lot more like defamation and incitement to violence. Regardless of the reason why the victim is held up to obloquy.

        Unfortunately, a statement holding transgender people in general up to obloquy probably is protected speech, however crass. But to do that to a specific person (who is not already a public figure)? That crosses a legally significant line in my mind because of the substantial likelihood that this will diminish that person’s reputation and expose that person, uninvited, to a substantially enhanced risk of violence.

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          • Dude, I’m just providing information here. This is not exactly what I intended be done with it, so that’s all on you, bubba.

            (FTR: I intended to suggest that maybe Milo’s speeches really aren’t justified under the First Amendment, so “free speech” might not be a countervailing value in this situation, given the information provided. That’s it.)

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  2. I agree with Damon that I find “how people think” interesting. It’s why I’ve been spending a lot more time lurking — and taking notes — than commenting of late.

    Has it occurred to you that maybe these nice, wholesome, conservative kids might just actually agree with the things Milo is spouting, including the odious crap, and that’s why they’re inviting him to campus?

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    • That may be the truth, but then they can dispense with the excuse that he is invited simply to “generate debate.” If they support the positions linked to above then just say so and avoid hiding behind the banal “free speech” argument that seems to dominate every discussion of his appearances.

      I hope they don’t. Not because I am a college Republican but because I believe we need a capable conservative counter on our college campuses. If college Republicans are in agreement with Milo when it comes to the specifics than we really have seen a death of conservatism as a viable political ideology.

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        • I agree. The left has cried wolf so often that when the actual far-right started to show up they had already lost credibility. When no platforming was used to stop people Ayaan Hirsi Ali from speaking at colleges it is clear that activists were willing to stop anyone speaking they were opposed to.

          I will take up that fight another day. I would like to actually ask college Republicans to articulate what they hope to gain from bringing Milo. Is it just to make a splash? Are they in agreement with his positions? When I think of all the great conservative voices that could be invited to challenge left-wing orthodoxy and generate debate, I am saddened to see an obvious provocateur and con-artist routinely get the gig.

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          • I would like to actually ask college Republicans to articulate what they hope to gain from bringing Milo.

            If I had to guess, I would say that the hope is that it will inspire funny protests and allow for a dialectic to be set up. Make passers-by look at the two sides that are arguing and force them to pick a side.

            Do you want to be on the side of the gay guy who is funny and is arguing in service to such concepts as Free Speech?

            Would you rather be on the side of the anarchists using Black Bloc tactics?

            Pick one.

            You do this right, you can make people unsympathetic to the stuff bundled with the side they don’t pick.

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            • If it is true that someone like George Will will generate the same response from the left, why wouldn’t college Republicans bring him then? At least a conservative could justify and support his actual policies. Heck, I would be out in the streets fighting against the left if they were to do what they did in Berkeley to George Will. But for Milo? I am not going to stick my head out for that guy, even if I disagree with black bloc tactics.

              Again, I am trying to have goodwill towards college Republicans. Maybe they don’t invite George Will because they don’t agree with him but think Milo’s ideas are great.

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              • Back in 2008, Colorado College brought George Will to their campus.

                We went to go see him. We walked past protesters to go see him. Granted, these protesters were only chanting and holding signs, they weren’t lighting anything on fire.

                Even back then, he was a million years old.

                But for Milo? I am not going to stick my head out for that guy, even if I disagree with black bloc tactics.

                Fair enough. But dig this: there will be more College Republicans inviting Milo to speak. And there will be more Black Bloc tactics opposing him.

                As time goes on, there will be more and more posts saying “College Republicans! Quit inviting Milo!”

                But there will also be more and more posts saying “College Liberals! Quit rioting!”

                And the contradictions will heighten. And we will have another election.

                Maybe you’ll be smart enough to look at the candidates and not associate them with the two groups fighting on campus, but a lot of people will be chained to seeing “Trump == Milo” and “(Generic Democrat) == Rioters” and will have to pick a side or manage to forget to vote that day.

                Who will be more dissuaded from voting? Who won’t mind showing up on that particular Tuesday?

                As odious as Milo is, and he is odious, I think that he’ll hold up well against riot footage.

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          • “I would like to actually ask college Republicans to articulate what they hope to gain from bringing Milo.”

            My guess is, they believe themselves to be in a fight for free speech. Not Milo’s kind of hateful free speech, but the day-to-day kind where you’re not allowed to talk about certain topics based on your skin color or sex, where certain political opinions that aren’t hateful are deemed so and banned. We’re coming off of an election where publicly supporting one of the major party candidates was treated as a punishable offense on campus, by students, teachers, and administrations.

            The problem is that free speech can be defended intellectually by decent argument, but it has to be defended practically by uncivil speech.

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            • “The problem is that free speech can be defended intellectually by decent argument, but it has to be defended practically by uncivil speech.”

              I guess I will have to stick with the former.

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            • I think there’s some truth to that analysis, and while I don’t want to speak for it would seem that a more defensible approach would be to get someone from FIRE or a similar organization. Unless of course the goal is, aa others have speculated, simply to bait leftists into painting themselves as the greater of two evils.

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            • Schilling you seem to always have a “yes, but…” suggestion for what your political opposites might do. Let’s take it to the level of what do you think the 1st am. ought to protect, is it any speech, political speech, speech with certain exceptions, odious and hateful speech??? We are for good or ill linked to the Holmes conception of the marketplace of ideas as a lode star. Do liberals still accept this premise for the analysis of free speech in the abstract?

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                • The first amendment is about state action; it doesn’t have a thing to do with protests against a particular speaker.

                  I take your meaning, but of course it does have something to do with those protests: it protects them.

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                  • Right, good point. Honestly I think there is an interesting debate to be had about how far the cultural norm of free speech should go and how to think about people using speech to express disapproval of other speakers that has the effect of discouraging or suppressing speech. It’s just that we’re emphatically not having that debate here because it’s so much fun to talk about who is bad and should feel bad.

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                    • At first blush I think that’s great, but then, aren’t social norms the boundaries which, if crossed, make one a “bad person”?

                      When people talk about social norms it always seems to sound like some noble and grand thing,but what isn’t discussed much is how we treat the transgressors.

                      Traditionally it was by shaming, shunning or more violent forms of censure and coercion.

                      I’m not saying thats bad, just that in order to taste the fruits of a stable social order, we need some form of coercion. Most of us tend to flinch at that, since it provokes our intuitive sense of mercy and forgiveness.

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              • Protesting a speaker is free speech. I don’t understand what “If College Students Will Protest Mike Huckabee, They’ll Protest Anybody” means. Huckabee is am increasingly belligerent jerk and a Trump toady, not a moral exemplar. If the statement were “If College Students Will Protest Vaclev Havel They’ll Protest Anybody”, Republican Party Reptile Redux might have a point.

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        • One of the problems is that I can’t tell the difference between a protest against the racist, sexist, homophobic George Will and a protest against the racist, sexist, homophobic Milo Yiannapolous .


          I agree. The left has cried wolf so often that when the actual far-right started to show up they had already lost credibility.

          I am curious as to why this matters at all. I distinctly remember some liberals and leftists called Ron Paul a racist in 2012… and what the fish does that have to do with a discussion about the merits of what Dyalnn Roof did in 2015? I definitely have heard some conservatives disparage all Muslim immigrants (even legal ones) and bash the gay lifestyle on talk radio pretty much every day I listen to it. How relevant is that to a discussion about whether or not we should allow more Omar Mateens?

          Just being clever for clever’s sake isn’t really always all it’s cracked up to be.

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          • I am curious as to why this matters at all.

            Insofar as the Democratic Party election post-mortem seems to be “we won the popular vote and the reason that we lost the Blue Wall is that whiny swing voters were hornswaggled by Republicans yelling about Clinton’s emails”, I think that it matters very, very much.

            Because, from my perspective, Democrats won’t win elections without changing unless Trump gets really, really bad.

            And I don’t mean “really bad from the perspective of someone who lives in Brooklyn”. I mean “really bad from the perspective of someone who lives in Wisconsin.”

            And the general feel that I get from the Democrats is that they have no reason to change.

            Which leads me to the conclusion that they’re going to lose the next couple of elections.

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            • the reason that we lost the Blue Wall is that whiny swing voters were hornswaggled by Republicans yelling about Clinton’s emails”,

              If commenter Koz is to be believed, thats exactly, precisely, what happened.
              These Dems are loyal Democrat plantation voters, who love them some abortion rights and labor unions, but emails, man.

              So my question is what happens when Mrs. DemTrump voter goes down to PP to get her thrice-yearly abortion, and finds the doors locked and doctor arrested.

              Or Mr. DemTrump voter loses his health insurance because he had kidneystones a few years ago, and now can’t afford his chemo.

              Or the school that Junior DemTrump goes to closes down, and they have to pay a small fortune to Barron Trump Academy Elementary School.

              IMO, this is going to be bad.

              And I don’t mean “really bad from the perspective of someone who lives in Brooklyn”. I mean “really bad from the perspective of someone who lives in Wisconsin.”

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              • Here’s a fun fact: less than two months from the deadline, 8 of the 11 Virginia House districts that Clinton won do not have a Democratic candidate running for them.

                #10, #12, #40, #42, #68, #73, #94, and #100.

                (I can’t speak for Koz. I spent a lot of 2010-2012 arguing with him that the Democrats in 2006 and Obama in 2008 were, among other things, a repudiation of Bushism and the Republicans turning their back on Libertarian/Fiscally Conservative ideals his only counter-argument was how much worse the Democrats were. For the record, I also see Trump as a repudiation of Bushism but that seems like one hell of a moot point.)

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                • Thats political malpractice by the VA Dem party, I agree.

                  My objection to the people demanding that Dems “adjust” their views, “moderate” their stance, “compromise” or whatever other euphemism you choose, is towards what?

                  No one can name any Trump policy, there exists no coherent Trump idea of economic progress, and to this day no one can formulate a plan to regain jobs in the Midwest without using the term “Underpants Gnomes”.

                  So what changes would you suggest the Dems make to their views?
                  (“OK, so maybe Muslims ARE an existential threat to America; but lets only imprison half of them, as a compromise“)

                  Further, I think Koz is right to a degree, that there are plenty of Trump voters who really don’t want the Trump/ GOP policies.

                  How many Trump voters want to dismantle Medicare? Social Security? Planned Parenthood? The ACA?
                  Seriously, how many people have you met who want to re-introduce child labor? Or eliminate the minimum wage?

                  The error in the concern trolling of the Dems is the assumption that the Ryan/McConnell congress represents the true policy desires of the American people.

                  It doesn’t. If anyone disagrees, show your work.

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                  • The error in the concern trolling of the Dems is the assumption that the Ryan/McConnell congress represents the true policy desires of the American people.

                    I don’t think that it does.

                    But I think it does a less horrible job than the Democrats, on a national level, are articulating.

                    They’re, instead, making jokes about how stupid the people who wouldn’t vote for them must be. Oh, and failing to run candidates in winnable districts. But that second problem is kind of not worth investing in if the first isn’t tackled.

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                  • I have a suspicion – ok, maybe it’s a hope, but I’m putting togrther some disparate anecdata… That trump’s campaign was SO content-neutral, incoherent, and blatantly self-serving… that a not overlarge but still significant fraction of his support voted under the assumption that he was, of course!, lying – to everyone else.
                    Women who think he won’t touch Roe. Workers who love the ACA but hate Obamacare and thimk only dark people will lose their insurance.
                    Basically everything trump voters think about him is projection because there’s no there there. Every time he actually does somethimg, he’ll lose the people who’d convinced themselves he wouldn’t.
                    Some of them. Maybe enough. Our country can hope.

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                • This probably isn’t super topical. Nonetheless….

                  (I can’t speak for Koz. I spent a lot of 2010-2012 arguing with him that the Democrats in 2006 and Obama in 2008 were, among other things, a repudiation of Bushism and the Republicans turning their back on Libertarian/Fiscally Conservative ideals….

                  Back then, I stipulated to this part.

                  his only counter-argument was how much worse the Democrats were. For the record, I also see Trump as a repudiation of Bushism but that seems like one hell of a moot point.)

                  But the “only” part is bogus. While it is true that the Demos were worse, my main argument at the time was that the GOP of that time were the representation of limited government and fiscal responsibility in the political sphere, as I think the events of that time and since have fairly conclusively shown.

                  Or to put it another way, Jaybird’s argument “because W” is conclusive of nothing.

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              • So my question is what happens when Mrs. DemTrump voter goes down to PP to get her thrice-yearly abortion, and finds the doors locked and doctor arrested.

                She’s probably rich enough to have one without public money. The poor will suffer until some women die in back alleys and that goes public, but that’s a different issue.

                Or Mr. DemTrump voter loses his health insurance because he had kidneystones a few years ago, and now can’t afford his chemo.

                Without health care reform (as opposed to insurance reform) no one will be able to pay for anything.

                Or the school that Junior DemTrump goes to closes down, and they have to pay a small fortune to Barron Trump Academy Elementary School.

                Charter Schools are public schools. BTW having a charter around is *amazing* at keeping the public school in line. If take the kids charter then I’m taking them “out of the district”.

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          • I think you are addressing two separate things here. Calling Ron Paul a racist in 2012 has nothing to do with talking about racist violence by the likes of Dylan Roof in 2015. I also distinctly remember calling a whole slew of Republicans fascists back in 2002. They were not of course, but now that I am seeing actual far-right figures take power, I recognize that all that hyperbolic language numbed people to the power of those terms.

            It doesn’t mean you don’t call a spade a spade but I recognize I made a mistake in employing that type of language inappropriately. I hope others on the left figure that out as well.

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            • …but now that I am seeing actual far-right figures take power…

              …It doesn’t mean you don’t call a spade a spade but I recognize I made a mistake in employing that type of language inappropriately.

              How many dead bodies are these far-right figures responsible for? How much domestic terrorism? How much violence? Is anyone on the Right endorsing violence? Say, claiming Dylan Roof is misunderstood and should be let go? Has Trump written a book somewhere calling for mass murder?

              As far as I can tell you’re still screaming wolf.

              The Left needs a violent genocidal villain to justify how violent the Left itself is, and there is nothing around like that short of ISIS.

              There are policy differences, opposing open borders, opposing free trade, endorsing school choice, etc, but screaming wolf worked so well for so long that it’s a reflex.

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    • Has it occurred to you that maybe these nice, wholesome, conservative kids might just actually agree with the things Milo is spouting, including the odious crap, and that’s why they’re inviting him to campus?

      I find a lot of people these days raise this question when talking about people like Milo. I confess, I am unsure why it makes a difference.

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      • It seems like lots of conservatives don’t want to believe the worst conservative trolling/vitriol is a real belief. It’s just torking off liberals so they can ignore it or enjoy since it’s just a game.
        I’ve seen it a lot as a rationalizations for vile Reddit’s and such; those guys are just reacting to PC culture so it’s really the libs fault. That frequent posters to Coontown actually are virulent racists is hard to believe for some. The belief is they are just trolling not true believers. Does that make it okay? well not to me but to some that is plenty good enough.

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      • Here, let me paste some of Roland’s post for you:

        But Milo’s actions are anything but a defense of free speech principles. His attempts to silence those who dare speak of him unkindly (much like our current president) by using his swarm of online acolytes is not a political act that should find support from any ideology or persuasion.

        Worse yet, he has personally attempted to get people fired from their jobs for speaking unkindly of his enterprise.

        The entire last third of his post is dedicated to how Milo isn’t really a fan of free speech despite hiding behind the concept.

        In the circles in which *I* argue, typically, you set up arguments like this:
        Good argument
        Better argument
        Best argument to land the knockout punch.

        Assuming that Roland did that here, his knockout punch has nothing to do with Milo being bad in his own right, but in being a hypocrite.

        I was gently teasing the idea that the appeal to hypocrisy was, in itself, a particularly strong blow to land against someone like Milo especially in an essay that established early on that it wouldn’t “step into the debate around the ethics and worthiness of direct action or no platforming”.

        So it didn’t take a stand on Free Speech, it merely pointed out that Milo had one and concluded, triumphantly, that Milo wasn’t living up to it.

        That’s how it was responsive to Roland’s post.

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        • As I read it, the central thrust of Roland’s post was that college Republicans should pay attention to what Milo actually has to say, what he has done, and whether that’s what they want to be associated with rather than embracing him simply because of how the left treats him. You responded to this by…talking about how the left unfairly shouts him down.

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          • You responded to this by…talking about how the left unfairly shouts him down.

            No I didn’t. I wrote “I knew he was somewhat sexist, somewhat racist, and a big fan of Gamergate… but I didn’t know he was also a hypocrite! GET HIM!”

            Then you asked me what that had to do with Roland’s post.

            Seriously, just scroll up. It’s right there.

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              • When the context that we’re deliberately and explicitly not dwelling on is that his speech got shut down because of a riot as part of a pattern of unpleasant speakers getting shut down on campus?

                There are thousands of things to hate about Yiannapolous.

                Among other things, the fact that he has apparently read and internalized Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.

                Moreover, it’s not like this particular variant of his hypocrisy is a hypocrisy that distinguishes him from his opposition among those who actually do espouse the very ideals where he is being a hypocrite. So we’ve got Yiannapolous fighting against the college left (or whatever you’d want to call them) and neither one believes in free speech.

                And the argument here seems to be “if you really believed in free speech, you’d do what just so happens to be what the people who oppose Yiannapolous want you to do”?

                I don’t find that argument likely to change a single mind.

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                • But it’s not about Milo, it’s about College Republicans. Rolands’ point is that if you wanna be for free speech invite a speaker who’s actually for free speech rather than Milo who appears, per his hypocrisy, to actually be merely for provocation. By inviting Milo instead of some non-hypocritical free speech conservative College Republicans are diminishing themselves.

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                        • So normative judgments are above your pay grade? I agree that that’s what will happen, but I’m happy to say that milo, the conservatives inviting him, and the people violently protesting him and shouting him down are all being varying levels of bad.

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                              • “I just said I disagree with how the campus left reacts to Milo. Why can’t you say you disagree with the college Republicans that invite him?”

                                What if Jaybird doesn’t disagree with the notion that you should give your political opponents a chance to visibly fail to live up to their stated ideals?

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                              • I am certain that I disagree with the college Republicans that invite him.

                                I think that, absent the riots, they’d be doing damage to their own cause.

                                Absent the riots, people would look at Milo and see that he is a transparent fraud and provocateur who is merely a genius when it comes to self-promotion and is standing on no foundation at all.

                                Absent the riots, I’m sure that we’d all be able to see that sort of thing.

                                Absent the riots.

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                                • I find it interesting that no one on this thread is speaking in the first person anymore.

                                  No one is saying, “Wow those protests changed my political persuasion”.

                                  Or even in the second hand; “Wow, my friend Steve was totally a Hillary supporter until they rioted against Milo”

                                  Or even third hand with data: “Wow, polls have really swing in Milo’s favor since they rioted”;

                                  No, the comments seem to be revolving around some invisible person who can’t really be identified, but can be studied with a detached View From Nowhere that takes no position and sees both sides as bad but is firmly convinced that the liberals are worse.

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                                  • a detached View From Nowhere that takes no position and sees both sides as bad but is firmly convinced that the liberals are worse

                                    Don’t see it as “the liberals are worse” but that “the rioters are worse”.

                                    Because, in this case, both sides are bad.

                                    But the rioters are worse.

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                                    • Jaybird: Don’t see it as “the liberals are worse” but that “the rioters are worse”.

                                      Because, in this case, both sides are bad.

                                      I’m not sure. I’ve gone to listen to people I disagree with, just to hear them talk. I’m pretty sure they were invited to talk by people who didn’t agree with them.

                                      And what this guy is doing seems more like performance art than serious political speech.

                                      What he’s doing is bad, but imho whatever college conservative group brought him isn’t sullying their name all that much and the Left is shown to be violent and intolerant (which btw is a bigger problem).

                                      My “bad” meter for the College group doesn’t ping all that much. Now it would if they said they supported him, but he’s enough of a caricature that seems unlikely.

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                                  • No, the comments seem to be revolving around some invisible person who can’t really be identified,…

                                    Right, because they are wearing masks and indistinguishable black clothing for the purpose of being able to commit felonies in anonymity.

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                              • What campus left?

                                For those who don’t live in the Bay Area, the “black bloc” isn’t some sort of general idea or tactic, it’s specific people who seem to delight in using any number of protests for cover to commit property crimes (for decades, but notably during and after the occupy movement). Who are assholes, but have nothing to do with the “campus left” that seemed poised to protest but not block the other asshole we’re talking about.

                                And if anyone here has a problem with protest-but-not-block, I’d love to see your “defender of free speech” credentials.

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                                • For those who don’t live in the Bay Area, the “black bloc” isn’t some sort of general idea or tactic, it’s specific people who seem to delight in using any number of protests for cover to commit property crimes (for decades, but notably during and after the occupy movement). Who are assholes, but have nothing to do with the “campus left” that seemed poised to protest but not block the other asshole we’re talking about.

                                  Indeed.

                                  Milo, as he has been invited around the country, has been met with a steady stream of protests.

                                  *Protests*. No one is trying to get him barred from campus, they are out there protesting his message.

                                  *This time*, a particularly Oakland problem shows up: The Black Bloc assholes, who need to be tracked down and fucking arrested for repeated acts of violence and essentially being a terrorist cell, even if their ‘terrorism’ seems limited to street level violence and acts of vandalism.

                                  This didn’t have anything to do with the campus.

                                  And you could be asking ‘Why doesn’t the left disavow them?’…except it *does*. The actual left, in any place that deals with them, got sick of them long ago and want them gone. (And it’s worth pointing out that they are, literally, anti-fascist anarchists who want to burn the whole thing down, and think the Democratic party is barely better than Republican party.)

                                  Stop treating them as ‘the left’, and don’t treat them as ‘the college left’. Start treating them as, well, the same as the damn KKK or whatever. They are, literally, anti-fascist anarchists who want to burn the whole thing down, and think the Democratic party is barely better than Republican party. They are, at best, the ‘far-left’. (The *actual* far left, the neo-nazi equivalent of the far-left. Not, say, Bernie Sanders)

                                  Or, hell, maybe we should start calling them the alt-left. Apparently, the right was allowed to randomly disassociate their philosophical far-right from their violent and misogynistic and racist far-right by just calling it the ‘alt-right’, so let’s disassociate *our* philosophical far-left from our violent and misogynistic (And possibly racist?) far-left.

                                  They’re the idiots who killed the Occupy movement in Oakland, incidentally.

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                                  • If you were in the crowd on Sproul Plaza that night, the antifa might have appeared to be a homogenous mass of agents of chaos descending on your “resistance dance party.” This is understandable. Black bloc tactics are primarily designed to protect the identities of the individuals in the bloc from doxxing, surveillance footage and being singled out for arrest. You couldn’t tell who was behind those masks, and that’s the point.

                                    But don’t get it twisted. We were not, as the news, the chancellor and concerned progressives have alleged, “unaffiliated white anarchists.” Behind those bandanas and black T-shirts were the faces of your fellow UC Berkeley and Berkeley City College students, of women, of people of color, of queer and trans people.

                                    “Stop treating them as ‘the left’, and don’t treat them as ‘the college left’. Start treating them as, well, the same as the damn KKK”

                                    Possibly is right… if you have a riot problem, thinking you have a Milo problem might be fraught with unintended consequences.

                                    I will say this though, having now read and watched Milo in action (Thanks Obama OT), my counter intuitive thought for the day is that Milo isn’t there for the Republicans, he’s recruiting the Liberals. The Republicans? They are being subverted by request. Whatever the Alt-Right is (and I’m pretty sure y’all don’t get it), it is a youth movement, and it’s target is Millennials. The millions of views he’s getting? Those aren’t closet conservatives, they are Alt-curious snake people.

                                    So, Roland is absolutely right, “conservatives” shouldn’t ask Milo to speak to their youth… he’s recruiting, he’s just not recruiting for anything conservative. Possibly he’s recruiting for a new Republican party. But then, the Republican party is a failed project; long live the Republican Party.

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                                    • Allow me to rephrase:

                                      A large amount of students and other people had tried all sorts of ways to have him barred from campus on various grounds. (Grounds that actually seem pretty solid, BTW. There is pretty solid evidence that he *personally calls out students* for various things he doesn’t like, which is almost certainly a violation of university harassment codes.(1))

                                      The *protesters at the event* were not trying to have him banned, they were, in fact, calling what they were doing a ‘dance party’ and presenting a counter message of love and inclusion, which sounds a bit goofy to me, but whatever. They were not trying to stop Milo from speaking at that point, they were not trying to stop people from entering to hear him speak. (This is also how it has worked at other campuses, AFAIK.)

                                      Until the antifa showed up and started breaking stuff and threatening people.

                                      1) Which presents a rather obvious way to solve the entire damn problem of Milo: Hey, group of students trying to invite someone to campus? If they break any university rules, (Especially rules they appear to break *every time they give a speech*, i.e., things you can’t claim ignorance about) you will all get punished as if you had broken them.

                                      Threaten the College Republican for expulsion based on *Milo’s* behavior. Say you’re basically going to pretend that *each of them* gave his speech, and, BTW, they might want to quickly check the school handbook again for what ‘harassment’ consists of. See how quickly they decide that his stunt show is a bad idea.

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                                  • Yes, the rioters totally weren’t connected to UCB students.

                                    Except for those students who talked about being part of it in yesterday’s Daily Cal.

                                    And that staff member bragging about beating people up.

                                    And those faculty also in yesterday’s paper.

                                    But other than those, yup. Totally unconnected.

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                            • — Except I didn’t hear a peep from you when a Milo supporter literally shot a protestor. Nor do you seem particularly bothered by violence from right wing hate groups. For example, your visceral response to the recent Quebec City shooting was — well — it was weird.

                              You judge a person not only by their words, but by the passion behind those words. You care a lot about the things the left does, but not so much about things the right does.

                              I think I understand. You’re an “aggrieved white guy,” with all the ensuing pathologies. On the other hand, you’re smart enough to see how that is a dead end viewpoint. On the third hand, your visceral reaction show through.

                              You are the Milo supporter, even if it tears you up inside.

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                              • Yes. This is another example of the “you are a bad person” argument.

                                It has nothing to do with the position, but (instead) with the associations you’re hoping will be made with the other person.

                                Except I didn’t hear a peep from you when a Milo supporter literally shot a protestor

                                This story. Do you want me to talk about it now or not?

                                From the first paragraph:

                                Though the details of the incident are shaky, police have confirmed that an anti-Trump protester was non-fatally shot outside of a Milo Yiannapolous event at the University of Washington on Friday. The police took the alleged shooter, described as an Asian man, in custody, but have since released him after he told them he thought the protester was a “white supremacist” and he was simply acting in self-defense.

                                I would have turned it into a discussion about why it’s important to not punch Nazis.

                                I’d have put emphasis on the whole “it’s not that I don’t think real Nazis shouldn’t be punched, it’s that I don’t trust your Nazi Detectors to the point where I think we should be handing out Nazi Hunting Licenses”.

                                But I thought that I made all of those points ad nauseum before.

                                In any case, could you point me to the stories you need me to comment on so that I can comment on other stories for the next week?

                                Maybe we could make that a thing. “Stories everybody needs to chime in on if they want to comment on stuff next month.”

                                For example, your visceral response to the recent Quebec City shooting was — well — it was weird.

                                It was an attempt to mock the politicization of attacks. Everybody was holding their breath to find out who the shooter was before they gave one of their two speeches on violence.

                                I think I understand. You’re an “aggrieved white guy,” with all the ensuing pathologies. On the other hand, you’re smart enough to see how that is a dead end viewpoint. On the third hand, your visceral reaction show through.

                                I will tell you what I told Chip back on Saturday:

                                Here’s one of the things that I keep noticing:

                                The style of argument that says that when one can make the argument about the other person, one can dismiss the other person’s argument after establishing that the other person is bad.

                                So, in the future, let’s assume that I am bad. Just straight from the get-go. Racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, let’s just pile them on.

                                There.

                                We’ve established that I am bad.

                                To use your words, “the Milo supporter”.

                                Now what?

                                I’m not sure that yelling “THAT PERSON IS BAD!” works anymore. The problem is that it worked so well for so long that a lot of people have forgotten the other ways to argue against people.

                                So let’s assume that I am Milo’s biggest fan.

                                Do you have an argument beyond that?

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                              • ” I didn’t hear a peep from you when a Milo supporter literally shot a protestor. ”

                                He shot someone with a swastika tattoo who, he thought, attacked him in a scrum. It’s a dumb situation and the guy shouldn’t have been carrying if he was going to act like that, but if you want to make this be a thing where Milo Supporters Are Literally Targeting People For Assassination And Jaybird Doesn’t Care, you’re gonna need something better than that.

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                              • You mean this guy?

                                Released. “The man and his wife surrendered to UW police several hours later, claiming he fired in self-defense, according to law-enforcement officials. He was questioned and released. The Seattle Times is not naming the man because he has not been charged with a crime.”

                                Assuming no new evidence, he did nothing wrong.

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                    • Well hell I’m absolutely one of the “stop being violent you idiots; if you actually care about left/liberal causes (and the jury is out on that) being violent hurts them” liberals.
                      But this post was about College Republicans and what inviting Milo says about them, regardless of how Liberals do or don’t react.

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                      • But this post was about College Republicans and what inviting Milo says about them, regardless of how Liberals do or don’t react.

                        With an emphasis on Milo’s hypocrisy with regards to Free Speech that followed an explicit acknowledgement of the no-platforming that takes place on college campuses.

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                          • Yet it’s sadly consistent with the left mentioned in this paragraph:

                            I won’t step into the debate around the ethics and worthiness of direct action or no platforming. This is an essential dispute that the various coalitions of the left will need to continuously discuss in the age of Trump and beyond.

                            The question of consistency is a question of “consistency in *WHAT*”?

                            I mean, if consistency is a virtue at all. (Personally, I see consistency as more of a handmaiden of the virtues than a virtue in and of itself.)

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                            • What about this? What about that? Ooh, look over there, a squirrel calling someone a racist! We have, have had, and will have plenty of threads in which to talk about whether or not lefty protesters are doing it right or not. Roland was trying to have just one thread about whether or not College Republicans should keep paying Milo money and giving him a forum, and apparently the reasoned judgment of the right-of-center commentariat here is that no, we absolutely cannot talk about that thing, because the lefty protesters are doing it wrong and we need to talk about them, right now, right here, instead of talking about what Roland was trying to talk about.

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                              • Well, I’ll just say this again:

                                I am certain that I disagree with the college Republicans that invite him.

                                I think that, absent the riots, they’d be doing damage to their own cause.

                                Absent the riots, people would look at Milo and see that he is a transparent fraud and provocateur who is merely a genius when it comes to self-promotion and is standing on no foundation at all.

                                Absent the riots, I’m sure that we’d all be able to see that sort of thing.

                                Absent the riots.

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    • I think you’re probably right. He’d ratchet up his assholery just to the edge of legality in an attempt to get attention, but if it didn’t get him the attention, that would be it. Unfortunately he has a critical mass of supporters that allow him to make trouble for some time without any new attention, so the opportunity to nip him in the bud by simply ignoring him has passed. People being outraged fed him too much and now he has momentum.

      Now people either have to do the hard work of ignoring a big groundswell of assholery for an extended period of time while the lack of attention starves the phenomenon, which is hard, so protesters and people with voices in the media are going to keep playing his game and feeding him. They deserve each other. If only there was a way to avoid making him rich while they clash.

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  3. I think Road Scholar has it right above. The Republican Party has been turned into the Party of Trump and Breitbart. Trump might be unpopular overall but 81 percent of the GOP base loves him.

    This might have always been the case. A lot of leading conservatives like Coulter cut their teeth mocking liberals on campus in ways that were callous and Milo lite. As to “generating debate”, I think they are a sniveling bunch of cowards hiding behind weasel words.

    There is a liberal meme that I have seen on the net. It showed Trump cruely imitating the disabled reporter for the Times. The picture is accompanied by text that states “I don’t know why this did not disqualify Trump” or some such.

    I know why and I am a liberal. A lot of humans are tribal and cruel and will look for any opportunity to be cruel. It never and will never occur to them that making fun of someone for an immutable trait or background characteristic is wrong. When did my fellow liberals become Pollyannas on human nature?

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    • I don’t know that liberals are exactly naive on human nature. Based on my reading of LGM, a lot of them seem to think that all white people in the United States are evil by birth, especially if they are men. They also think that anybody who disagrees with them on even the most minor point are evil or at best severely misguided. That’s being Calvinistic, not Pollyannish.

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      • Of course liberals are naive about human nature. That’s by definition. Liberals believe that all humans should be treated alike. (Under Color of the Law is a sidenote, and a restriction that doesn’t apply to a lot of what the liberals stand for).

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      • And since this topic is specifically about campus politics, in my recent experience its quite easy to be treated like your a reactionary for being a technocratic liberal rather than a fully committed advocate of social justice as understood by the campus left crowd. I felt pretty sorry for the explicity christian or free-marketer students for how in the minority and shouted down they must have felt.

        On the other hand, what I’m pretty sure the motivation for the campus Repulicans in this case was not “free speech,” but a provcation to make people they don’t like look bad. Which they succeed at because people don’t know better than to not be baited like that.

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  4. “I would like to actually ask college Republicans to articulate what they hope to gain from bringing Milo.”

    Make libruls heds assplode.

    The conservative movement has nothing other than Cleek’s Law and spite left.

    What do they believe in?
    What are their motivating principles?

    They have abandoned every single possible principle of conservatism, from free market economics to moral propriety to American defense of the free world.

    We keep analyzing and studying the Trump base, and keep finding the same answer; they are angry, and believe they have been wronged, and want to punish someone.

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        • How many angry conservatives you seen lately?

          I don’t even know who ‘college Republicans’ are supposed to refer to in the essay other than maybe some coastal republican college kids. Maybe they are thumbin’ in the eye of liberals, but what are we talking 10,000 yutes?

          Conservatives are moving nearly every goalpost they can in the direction they want.

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            • I think the difference is that the party out of power is always angry, but there seems to be only one side that reliably does stuff primarily because it upsets the other guys. With the exception of gay wedding cake court stunts, I don’t see a lot of, “Because it pisses conservatives off,” as the reason for doing things.

              Milo is definitely a “because he pisses liberals off” phenomenon. If they had to just sit in a room and listen to him without the joy of knowing that upsetting people they don’t like, only the much smaller subset who thinks Ann Coulter is a deep thinker would actually be entertained.

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                • I think I just need to point out that I’ve had a number of discussions on this very forum with people who use, “Because it pisses liberals off,” as a reason they support certain policies. University speaker invitations made out of spite are just another manifestation of the problem that underlies government by spite.

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                  • There for sure is a state of enmity. Even if a truce were made all the old positions would soon re-apply themselves to the same hills.
                    I feel that it comes from the way liberals appear to ‘own’ and progress the social policy world. It is seen as aggressive if not outright coercive in many circumstances.

                    Aggressing against an agressor isn’t held in the same light as aggressing against a non-aggressor. That’s why the ‘pissing liberals off’ is kind of a vectored thing.

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            • Hell if I were to pick a population of angry frothing at the mouth folks like Chip always likes to make fun of, well, who would I be looking at today.

              Well, lets start with the Frother-in Chief, with his Twitter tirades.

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          • Lately? Not many, after all their party just ostensibly won the election. I’m not exactly in tune with conservative thought but I’d describe their mood as a combination of delight and terror.

            None of that, however, addresses Chips’ points. In electing Trump the conservatives demonstrated that very few of their ostensible principles are actually central. Character doesn’t matter, defense hawkishness is once again demonstrated as a chimera, social conservatives continues their retreat (albeit now in a more orderly controlled manner credit where it’s due), and the republican versions of libertarianism stand stripped of every veneer of voter support from their own side. What do conservatives actually believe in now days? In the wake of Trump’s election it’s difficult to say for sure beyond spiting liberals- I’m unsure if Trump even knows himself.

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            • I would have to see some pretty clear attribute data to connect voting for a person in a political system, to someones personal principles or beliefs. Especially given the years of screwed upness of the system in question.

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            • After Trump’s defense of Putin to Bill O’Reilly, in saying America has a lot of killers too, I wandered thru the comments setion of Gateway Pundit, the most reliable Trump outlet after Breitbart.

              It was interesting/ sad to see a pitched battle between the rightists declaring “Yeah, America has no moral ground to criticize Russia!” and the “b-but Putin is a monster!”

              FWIW, the pro-Russian side appears to be winning the day.
              Matt Levin calls them the “CodePink Republicans” and I gotta say, its an apt description.
              Only 2 years ago anyone voicing such a comment would have been declared a traitor;
              Today, we are friends with Russia, we have always been friends with Russia.

              A few years ago, anyone suggesting that President Obama install a tariff wall to outsourcing, would have received a haughty lesson in “Econ 101”;

              Today, we demand a command and control economy, we have always demanded a command and control economy.

              I mean, seriously can anyone here actually articulate a “conservative” position that is evidenced by the Trump Administration?

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            • Conservatives believe in using government to make wealthy people wealthier at the expense of everything else and using every rhetorical tactic possible to do so even if it means invoking some of the uglier parts of human nature like raw tribalism.

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          • I think there’s still a market for “say whatever makes liberals’ heads asplode.” It may not be quite the same thing now, but that’s because the agitated policy bromides need to identify some remnant of the Obama Administration or an external threat to agitate against, and then it gets followed by a brand-new coda that I’ve heard a lot of: “And we’re in power and you aren’t so we’re going to do this if we want to. By the way, you changed the rules so you can sit down, shut up, and if you don’t like it, try to win an election sometime you liberal LOSERS!” I’ve seen that, expressed in various ways, a fair amount from the rightward members of my twitterfeed, which usually results in dozens of likes and retweets.

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            • Man, I used twitter once and put it down and never looked back. I catch stuff on the sidebar here on occasion. Not sure that’s the platform of level heads.

              I’m sure if anyone of the right is stuck over there in cali, they probably would be a little hostile. ;)

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  5. Ben Shapiro will energize the crowd and bring out the protesters as much as Milo Yiannopolous, but he’s smart. If you’re thinking about a campus speaker and you’re hoping to trigger some leftist outrage, why not go with the guy who’ll give a meaningful presentation?

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    • That sort of gives away the game. The only thing Milo offers is more leftist anger in exchange for less content. If they’re making that trade off, we know what the audience really wants.

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      • Ben and Milo have both been barred from campuses; they’ve both had events disrupted by protesters. Up until a week ago I would have said that they’re equally controversial. As far as I know they’re equally in circulation on the lecture trail.

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        • I would say they’re equally controversial with the types of people who protest speeches at universities, but Elmo is probably just as controversial as they are with that crowd. Getting the fringe worked up is easy. If you want to get *everybody* who isn’t nuts annoyed at you, you invite Milo.

          For myself, I’m a pretty reliable Democrat but not especially radical in my beliefs and I don’t even really consider Shapiro and Yiannapolous to be the same sort of organism. The only thing they have in common is that they’re on the right and they upset various segments of the left. Beyond that, one of them is a legitimate thinker who believes the things he says and the other is a clown who wouldn’t be making any money if he didn’t have the power to cause riots and will say anything as long as the riots keep happening.

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          • I think we’re mostly in agreement. My problem with your comment about what “the audience really wants” is that is seemed to imply that Milo is significantly more popular than Ben. He may be more popular, but I don’t think it’s a blowout. They look comparable in Youtube view count.

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            • Well, the important thing to remember here is that if there’s one slot, he just needs to get 51% of the votes of whatever small set of people are choosing the speaker. It doesn’t say a heck of a lot about his popularity in the grand scheme of things. As long as he fills an auditorium, he’s popular enough. We’d have to look at turnout numbers for both to know which one is more popular with the actual viewers, but based on my experience with college students attending speaker events, I’d put my money on Milo.

              But to the extent that *some* group of people made the decision, it reveals their preferences pretty neatly.

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  6. The liberal handwringing over Milo and the people who loudly oppose him seems overwrought.

    The utilitarian argument asserts that the violent protests somehow help him appear sympathetic; I don’t believe this.

    In order for that argument to be true, there has to be a significant set of people who are ambivalent about Milo, but after seeing the violent protests swing in his favor.

    Where are these people, have we heard from them? Or do they exist only in David Broder’s ghost’s head?

    The other idea is some sort of free speech absolutism, the Nazis-in-Skokie thing.

    I can be sympathetic, but my sympathies are very limited.
    Because civil society must have boundaries and taboos and limits.

    If you want to be protected by the umbrella of civil society, you kind of need to establish you are a part of it.

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    • It doesn’t have to be that it makes Milo look good, it just has to be that it plays into (imo unfair and irrational) impressions of marginal voters that liberals are kooks and hippies and rioters. If you look at how these events are covered, it’s all about how bad and scary the protests are rather than how odious and awful the guy the college Republicans are embracing is. It’s unfair, but it’s how the world works.

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      • Right, but who are these people who get these impressions?
        The marginal swing voters?
        I doubt it.
        And how could we counter?

        Because you know that the Murdoch press has struggled mightily to portray the millions of people in the Women’s March as paid stooges of George Soros, fringe anarchists, souor grapes Hillary supporters, or any other epithet they could invent.

        As we’ve discussed on other threads, it doesn’t matter what we do, what we say, how we act.
        We aren’t being viewed and judged by an impassive objective jury;

        To frame all of our protests on “How can we prevent Fox News from making us look bad” allows them manipulate us into silence because, you will find out that the only protest that isn’t a violent thuggish fringe is one that celebrates the Dear Leader.

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    • Chip, dude, you and I both know there’s a huge horde of low info voters and their votes count just as much as the votes of the much smaller numbers of high info voters. When they hear about Milo they have no clue what he stands for except A) liberals say he’s a monster and B) some leftists riot and burn property over him. To low info voters A) liberals call everyone monsters and B) people who riot and burn property are unsympathetic and they like to vote against them.
      So it’s not hard for me to see a pretty strong utilitarian argument against violent leftists even before we talk about how these idiots hurt their own causes and are damaging norms that protect leftists and anti-institutionalists far more than they protect the establishment or right wingers. I’m not going to quote Robert Bolt but you know it’s salient here.

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    • I think I am somewhere between you and Don Zeko.

      I agree that there is a lot of pearl clutching on this issue and the number of people with neutral opinion’s on Milo Y can probably fit very comfortably into a phone booth. On the other hand, the left seems to get lumped together when in truth Anarchists and Communists have very little in common with mainstream liberals like me.

      It is interesting that a lot of people consider me far to the left when I can point to people who make me seem center-right in many ways. But a lot of people (wrongly in my opinion) lump all the protestors together and I also think Steve Bannon would love to see an anti-Trump protest erupt into people throwing things at cops and breaking even more windows.

      I don’t like the Black Bloc. I largely consider them people who want to break things as opposed to people pushing for specific changes.

      One of the reasons I think OWS fell apart is because you initially had working people like cops and teachers who were sympathetic but it was taken over by people who just wanted to burn everything down and start again. The incramentalism v. burn it all down argument will always cripple the left.

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    • If you want to be protected by the umbrella of civil society, you kind of need to establish you are a part of it.

      Exactly. I think you’re just mistaken as it pertains to who this is supposed to apply to. Libs think they’re just “resisting” the Trump Administration, but really they’re resisting most of civil society. And society can and likely will take countermeasures.

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        • … voting for Hillary in greater aggregate numbers than DJT;
          … having a really big march;
          … telling true stories about the importance of the ACA in keeping them alive;
          … thereby scaring off the Republican party from passing its ACA repeal bill
          … truthfully pointing out that Presidential spokespeople are having trouble with telling the truth;
          …. truthfully pointing out DJT’s most notable efforts to date in “shaking things up” have not complied with the law or Constitution;

          … in general, preventing Koz from getting what he (she? lost track) wants (which, as best I can tell, is complete submission by liberals)

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        • Specifically, by their attempts to prevent the Trump Administration from performing the day-to-day operations of the Executive Branch.

          More generally, by their pollution of our cultural sphere through their assumptions of territorial control over it, eg, this Milo thing. People need to have the freedom to engage with each other on their own terms. We all have some idea what that’s supposed to entail, and what the reasonable exceptions or caveats might be.

          A lot of libs like to believe this, until it becomes inconvenient, and then the morally defective rationalizations come out. This spoils our public culture. So it’s important to emphasize that the downside to libs goes substantially beyond the relatively narrow confines of politics.

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          • their attempts to prevent the Trump Administration from performing the day-to-day operations of the Executive Branch.

            Like, by hiding the light switches?

            …pollution of our cultural sphere…

            I’m tempted to go full “Old School Conservative Chip” and start quoting Russell Kirk, or Moynihan, or Buckley or Muggeridge on you, and go on at length about the need for civil society to stand its ground against the transgressive profanity of Milo and his crowd.

            See, what makes Milo so newsworthy is that he uses the transgressive cultural violence of the countercultural Yippies, in the opposite direction. He is channeling Abbie Hoffman but flips the bird not at the Pentagon but at the staid edifices of modern moral conformity in favor of a radical individualism.

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            • Like, by hiding the light switches?

              ?

              I’m tempted to go full “Old School Conservative Chip” and start quoting Russell Kirk, or Moynihan, or Buckley or Muggeridge on you, and go on at length about the need for civil society to stand its ground against the transgressive profanity of Milo and his crowd.

              And if you did, I’d probably be inclined to agree with you. But that’s not what this is about now, is it? But fwiw, I have seen very little of Milo directly but my impressions agrees with yours (Yippies, Abbie Hoffman etc.), which is why I find him vaguely distasteful.

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              • What has happened over the past few decades is the lefts version of individualism has weakened, and their embrace of solidarity and community norms has strengthened.

                For example in 1972 a liberal view of homosexuality might celebrate no strings attached sexual freedom while a 2016 version celebrates married gay parents and lesbian Scout leaders.

                Most community norms and social culture have now absorbed liberal notions; laws demand access for the handicapped, men marry men, corporations celebrate Happy Holidays instead of Christmas, and women advance in careers that were once reserved for men.

                What the Trump voters reject, is not a change in norms- its far too late for that.

                What they are advocating is revanchism and restoration, to explode the current norms in favor of the old ones.

                Enter Milo, the bombthrower.

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                • This is an odd comment, and I don’t think it holds up as written. You’re probably thinking of ancillary situations relative to what you have written.

                  For example in 1972 a liberal view of homosexuality might celebrate no strings attached sexual freedom while a 2016 version celebrates married gay parents and lesbian Scout leaders.

                  I’m no big expert on homosexuality but this reads wrong for me. But my guess is, in 1972 almost every sort of Leftist (including conventional liberals) would have agreed in the aesthetic revulsion against homosexuality. And as far as making a political point, the more Marxist inclined would have said that it was a late capitalist degeneracy of the alienation from labor (in retrospect, they might have been right).

                  Most community norms and social culture have now absorbed liberal notions; laws demand access for the handicapped, men marry men, corporations celebrate Happy Holidays instead of Christmas, and women advance in careers that were once reserved for men.

                  The political energy and violence behind this relative to the plausible return doesn’t make sense either, and creates some weird time warps in libs’ minds. Like we have to have stairways in 747s to be ADA compliant, in order to retroactively refight the civil rights movement or women’s suffrage.

                  Enter Milo, the bombthrower.

                  And this doesn’t work either, at least not directly. Trump is not a revanchist, Milo is especially not a revanchist. I think you think some low-left English triple bank shot logic to make this work.

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                • Enter Milo, the bombthrower.

                  The Milo riots at Berkeley have exposed an interesting lacuna in lib thought over the last couple of weeks or however it’s been.

                  So far we’ve seen a few different responses to the riots. Eg, “those were just a few anarchist troublemakers, nothing representative of libs in general.” One the of the libs here took this angle, and to be fair it was substantially more credible when he started that line of argument than it is now.

                  Robert Reich insinuated that the rioters were in fact right-wing agents provacateur.

                  Some elements of the Berkeley campus Left basically said, yeah Milo sucks, the riots were a good thing.

                  Finally, at least one blogpost (linked from here) tried to argue that free speech wasn’t a real principle to respect any more, but a bourgeois conceit or some other Left jargon for something acceptable to disdain. Frankly, that one scares me the most, because I fear that a good number of the libs here are sympathetic to that, or at least would be if they thought about it.

                  But for me, there’s an dog that’s not barking here. There’s an obvious alternative that the libs seem to be putting in a decent effort to avoid considering. Specifically, “I, as lib, know at some level that it’s wrong for me to attempt to prevent a generic speaker from meeting with a willing audience. But, in this case at least, I want to assert at least a little bit of control over it anyway. And I did this because I was a bad person.”

                  It’s very important for libs to be able to acknowledge this, not just in this one case but in general, even though it could be embarrassing or painful.

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                    • I guess that’s another response, which I suppose I could have mentioned, though frankly I didn’t see much of it.

                      Fwiw, I didn’t write anything but I agreed with your prior argument about Elizabeth Warren. Ie, that she violated the Senate rule pertaining to Jeff Sessions but the context where she was speaking was in relation to a nominee before the Senate as opposed to a colleague. It doesn’t happen often enough to worry about I guess.

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                • Enter Milo, the bombthrower.

                  Neither you nor the left can control the existence of folks like Milo, however, folks can control how they act/react or respond. So far the response doesn’t seem to live up to the better angels of the left’s nature. (assuming there are any)

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                  • Well ok, if Milo is out on a fringe where we expect to see crazy people that can’t be controlled by the center, why are we assuming “the left” can control the people breaking windows? How about the college republicans that invite Milo to speak and pay him money, are they responsible for their actions?

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