Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, the self-described “Kayne West” of journalism, recently caused an uproar when he visited the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Comedian Steven Crowder and Christina Hoff Sommers, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and former philosophy professor, joined Milo on the panel to discuss issues of free speech and the culture of political correctness on college campuses.
Unsurprisingly, the panelists were greeted with a throng of outraged college students holding up middle fingers and screaming obscenities. The outraged students continued to shout vulgarities and constantly interrupted the panelists, making video of the event almost unwatchable.
One young woman kept shouting, “Get your hate speech off this campus,” while hysterically sobbing, rocking back and forth, and wailing like a six-year-old child. It’s therefore ironic that the same student demanded that the panelists “stop talking to us like children.” Hoff Sommers replied, “Then stop acting like a child.”
The panel was part of Milo’s national speaking tour, which has already drawn similar hysteria at other colleges. Milo gained tremendous national attention in recent years because of his Breitbart columns and his intentionally offensive social media presence.
Milo, who is openly gay, is far from a typical right-wing journalist. Departing from the ethos of conventional conservatives like Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, and George Will, 32-year-old Milo represents an emerging faction known as the “alternative right.”
A brief glance at his Twitter account reveals that Milo is not a typical conservative writer. He’s an unapologetic Trump supporter who often refers to the Donald as “Daddy.” One Instagram post shows Milo at a shooting range, dressed in a suit and wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, and holding a gun and a Louis Vuitton bag. The caption reads, “The only man who can defeat ISIS.”
Although Milo’s persona can be entertaining, his goal is often not to engage in productive dialogue, but to incite anger. Milo describes feminism as “cancer,” and once planned to dress in a Native American costume on a visit to Yale just to offend the students.
He defends Donald Trump from all criticism. Last month, Trump retweeted an unflattering photo of Cruz’s wife next to a picture of Melania Trump with the caption, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Milo wrote an entire article defending this tweet, arguing that “Trump’s crass tweets and objectionable comments may not be comfortable reading for old-fashioned conservatives who appreciate decency and good manners, but they are helping to break the language codes that were primarily set up by the left, for the left.”
As the de facto leader of the alternative right movement, or the “alt-right” for short, Milo has tasked himself with representing even the most absurd branches of the bizarre and eclectic coalition. Benjamin Welton of the Weekly Standard describes the movement as a group of “neo-reactionaries, monarchists, nativists, populists, and even a few self-declared fascists. They mostly congregate online, with a large swath of blogs and websites dedicated to their concerns.”
Unlike “establishment-Republicans,” the alternative right is an anti-globalization movement averse to foreign intervention, free trade, and immigration.
There appears to be one common denominator that characterizes the rise of Trump and the alternative right: low information. The average Donald Trump supporter does not realize that waging an aggressive trade war could threaten the stability of global markets. The average Trump support does not accept that new immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than the American population and help support economic growth. According to a report last year by the Wall Street Journal, immigrants started 28.5 percent of new businesses in 2014.
Trump’s criticism of NATO also reflects the isolationist stance of the alternative right. His supporters probably won’t realize the importance of NATO until Russian troops are marching through the streets of Estonia.
At this point, it seems inevitable that Trump will be the Republican nominee. The party is in shambles, having been hijacked by the alt-right and its addiction to entertaining personalities like Trump and Milo.