The Unmaking of Milo

I wanted to say a few things about Milo. I feel like I’m giving a eulogy, but I’ll try not to be too dramatic.

By now, many of you have heard about Milo Yiannopoulos, if only by the reports of his stated support of pederasty and his subsequent infamy. Well, I first started taking note of Milo a few years ago. I thought he had eloquence and I appreciated his affirmation of the worth of men, a class that seems the scapegoat for nearly everything. Of course I found his snarky irreverence entertaining, but I really thought he had some important things to say.

I started to sour in him during the election. No, it’s not just that he supported Trump. He lost his righteous veneer. He began to say things that I knew were not true, and more to the point, that he knew were not true. He lost his way somewhere, and the aim of his snark became less about being politically incorrect and promoting free speech than cruelty for its own sake. His support for the racial supremacist alt-right movement led him down paths that I couldn’t follow.

Then came the comments, which I will not quote here. Milo struck back to mitigate damages as well as he could, blaming conspiracy or his own sense of irreverent gay humor, but to no avail. Now, as CPAC carries on without him, as his book deal is relegated to the dust bin, as he stands abandoned and bereft of occupation, I can’t help but feel a little pity. Sure, what he said was horrible, and I completely reject it, even so, the situation is pitiable.

While some look to blame a cabal of anti-Trumpists and leftists, it’s important to recognize that he and his comments are responsible for his unmaking, no one else. He wasn’t taken out of context or deceptively edited. He said what he said. Whether this view came from some damaged part of his psyche related to his molestation or something else, he said it. He crossed one of the few remaining traditional lines we have in society, and thank God it’s still there. He needs to own that.

I really hope Milo gets help and comes to terms with his prior molestation, starting with admitting that he WAS molested. I certainly don’t want to hear of him, years from now, that he acted out as he had been treated. And I don’t know what one does after making oneself such a pariah, but I hope he learns and recovers. But for those of his audience that he hadn’t already lost with his appropriation of the alt-right, he’s likely to lose much of what’s left.

Milo can either take this as his rock-bottom moment of clear, a time to reevaluate his life and make changes, or he can bloody his hands digging further into the stone. I hope he chooses the former.

– Ryan Thorson