Milo Yiannopoulus may have used up his 15 minutes of fame. The outspoken gay Libertarian has been making the rounds recently, and become somewhat of an icon.
In fact, most politicos know Yiannopoulos as simply Milo. This played well until recent revelations about comments he made on pedophilia.
These comments caused the American Conservative Union to rescind Yiannopoulos’ invitation to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Let’s Talk About Sex
Milo came on the scene as if he’d landed from outer space. Bold, flamboyant, and fearless. He has instant name-recognition. For a time, he transcended politics, and became a political rock star.
And then we get this…
In The Drunken Peasants podcast, Yiannopoulos asserted that society “gets hung up on all this child abuse stuff.” He went on to seemingly defend relationships between older men and “young boys.”
“But there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age. I certainly consider myself to be one of them, people who were sexually active younger.”
At one point he referred to relationships between 13-year-olds and 25- or 28-years-olds, claiming “these things do happen, perfectly consensually.”
Yiannopoulos also asserted consent was “arbitrary and oppressive,” and that “people are messy and complex, and in the homosexual world particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men, the coming of age relationships,” are places in which “those older men help those young boys to discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable rock where they can’t speak to their parents.”
When one podcast host questioned his relationship with a priest, Yiannopoulos’ joked:
“I’m grateful to Father Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly as good head if it wasn’t for him.”
When the video’s release provoked conservative outrage, Yiannopoulos denied supporting pedophilia, claiming he was “selectively edited.”
“I did say that there are relationships between younger men and older men that can help a young gay man escape from a lack of support or understanding at home. …. But I was not talking about anything illegal and I was not referring to prepubescent boys. I was talking about my own relationship when I was 17 with a man who was 29. … If I choose to deal in an edgy way on an internet livestream with a crime I was the victim of that’s my prerogative.”
Words matter. And no one’s laughing this time.
ACU head Matt Schlapp said Yiannopoulos’s Facebook statement was “insufficient”.
“It is up to him to answer the tough questions and we urge him to immediately further address these disturbing comments. We continue to believe that CPAC is a constructive forum for controversies and disagreements among conservatives, however there is no disagreement among our attendees on the evils of sexual abuse of children,” ACU president Matt Schlapp said in a statement.
Schlapp initially defended concerns about booking Yiannopoulos to speak before the video emerged.
The left is so keen to use labels for everything and everyone. Their label for Milo is “alt-right.” But in a recent interview with Bill Maher, the Breitbart senior editor described himself as libertarian, “not conservative.” Maher was not initially convinced:
“You work for Breitbart, and you’re a Trump supporter. You’re a conservative.”
But Milo pointed out that Breitbart is now producing “radically gay editorials” and that Trump is not “a traditional Republican, he’s not that conservative.”
Instead, Yiannopoulos clarifies his stance on free speech as conservative:
“All I care about are free speech and free expression. I want people to be able to be, do, and say anything. These days, you’re right, that’s a conservative position.”
But that doesn’t make Milo a conservative. Libertarians and conservatives agree on several issues, but that does not turn Milo into pure conservative, let alone an alt-right one.