“Kill your darlings.”

Often associated incorrectly with William Faulkner, the adage conveys the need for a writer to edit mercilessly, to remove all impediments to a clean, compelling work, including those nonessential elements the writer finds most personally seductive. The quote is most often used in reference to literature, but the notion of shearing for the greater good can be found in real-world exploits as diverse as gardening and politics. In politics, especially, the kill can come swiftly and without mercy, destroying careers with a quick, irreparable cleave, as demonstrated recently in the fall of the darling of the alt-right, Milo Yiannopoulos.

The rejection of Milo Yiannopoulos was as unexpected as it was swift. Never one to avoid controversy, Yiannopoulos built his career on incendiary comments directed at women, ethnic and religious minorities, and other marginalized groups. His ascension into the public consciousness began in 2014 with Gamergate, an Internet harassment campaign against those advocating for gender inclusivity in video games. Milo sustained and grew his profile in subsequent years through a series of inflammatory comments, ranging from claims that accusations of sexual assault are a form of “bragging” to a belief that trans individuals are “disordered.” Years of interviews, contributions to message boards, and campus tours, along with his former position as an editor of the far-right news website Breitbart, led to his crowning as the public face of the alt-right movement. To his followers, Milo was a champion of free speech who dared to break the molds of political correctness. To his detractors he was a bigoted man spewing dangerous hate speech. His popularity, however, remained on the periphery for most of his time in the spotlight, isolated in the Reddit, 4Chan, and Breitbart communities, and the condemnation he received from the right was almost as strong as the condemnation he received from the left.

Yiannopoulos’ new position closer to the center of conservative circles only came with the onset of the 2016 election, when his first steps towards mainstream acceptance fell in time with the rise of Donald Trump. As the campaign progressed and the course of conservatism bent farther right, Yiannopoulos’ bigotry no longer existed on the fringe. He took on a greater legitimacy when a president who espoused nationalistic politics took office, and the subsequent appointment of Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart, as chief strategist and senior advisor to President Trump cemented the relationship between the new administration and the alt-right. The annexation of the alt-right into mainstream conservatism hastened when Yiannopoulos was invited to speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference 2017 (CPAC 2017), a bastion of mainstream conservatism. This olive branch was not pleasing to all or even most conservatives, however, and actions were taken almost immediately to remove Yiannopoulos from the program.

Within a day of the announcement, a sixteen year old Canadian girl provided the Reagan Battalion, a conservative blog, with videos from July 2016 in which Yiannopoulos appears to express support for pedophilic relationships between men and boys as young as 13. In the three days that followed the tweeted videos, Yiannopoulos lost his speaking position at CPAC and a $250,000 book deal with Simon and Schuster and resigned from the far-right news website Breitbart. While the abuse of children is difficult to justify under any ideology, why were his comments not regarded as attention fodder and part of his campaign for free speech, like earlier deplorable quotes? Milo’s hasty excommunication begs the question: What distinguishes this comment from those of the past?

While all answers are speculative, it is likely a confluence of character, content, and timing that led to the rejection of Yiannopoulos. Milo has always had a strained relationship with conservatism. A young, British, openly gay man with blonde hair extensions and an affinity for jewelry is not the mold of a stereotypical traditionalist. This dissonance already made Milo’s embrace by mainstream conservatism precarious, and the underlying suspicion of incompatibility was likely confirmed in the minds of CPAC attendees when Yiannopoulos claimed pedophilia was an acceptable practice. Not only did his comment go against the branding of conservatism as a family-first ideology, the fact that it came from a gay man likely played into the disproven stereotype that there is a link between homosexuality and pedophilia.

But it is difficult to believe the persona of Milo Yiannopoulos and the content of his comments alone led to the loss of his book deal and his departure from Breitbart, as both groups knew his antics well before his comments received wide media coverage. These losses are the effect of timing, of the decreasing relevance of Milo Yiannopoulos even as his career was reaching its zenith. In the years preceding the election of Donald Trump, the alt-right struggled to spread its message and gain legitimacy in the public sphere. Yiannopoulos solved the problem of publicity by making statements he knew would bring controversy, whether or not the statements were indicative of his own beliefs or a coherent alt-right ideology. With the rise of Donald Trump, however, the alt-right no longer needed spectacle to make their views known. The inclusion of Steve Bannon as a campaign manager and his subsequent appointment to the National Security Council gave the alt-right a voice on a national scale. Publications are now forming that plan to create an “intellectual” and coherent alt-right ideology, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups have seen a rise in membership, and respected journalists from major networks have joined Breitbart as the alt-right has lost its fringe qualities.

With an increase in visibility, the alt-right no longer needs reactionaries like Milo Yiannopoulos, who offer little to boost the movement’s intellectual ambitions and harm its flimsy credibility with universally condemnable comments. And while it would be a stretch of the imagination of Trump-esque proportions to suggest there is a grand conspiracy of the alt-right, the fall of Milo Yiannopoulos comes at a time when his usefulness has dried up. Incendiary comments for the sake of being incendiary are no longer the model the alt-right must follow; returning to this strategy would be a step back. While Milo’s fall was hailed as a win for public decency and leftist values, it reveals a darker truth in the evolution of an ideology most believed could not flourish in the United States of today. The alt-right has lost its status as alternative; it sits in the ear of an easily swayable president and can be heard in the silence of a Republican-led Congress. With this normalization comes legitimacy, as the “basket of deplorables” rebrands as the “silent majority.” The new Republican base is ready for the next iteration of conservatism, and the alt-right is poised to replace the floundering old guard. But this transition will not be without casualties, and some darlings must be killed for the ideology to gain new life.

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49 Comments

  1. Milo’s not going anywhere, you clowns. He is publishing his book soon. Expect it to sell big league.

    1. He said he was going to announce his new publisher a week after his comments praising pedophilia. He said he had tons of publishers dying to print his book. Yet over a month has gone by and still no publisher. He is an egotistical narcissist who greatly overstates his role and importance to society. He’s a nobody. And in case you haven’t heard, he went back to the UK and ran for a chief office in Glasgow University claiming he would win easily, but the vote is in and he came in a pathetic 4th, losing by an embarrassing landslide. His speeches are the rhetorical equivalent of a monkey throwing his feces in his zoo cage. He’s done. Move on to the next glittery object.

      1. I hear that Milo’s book will be published in the next month. He as 2 million Facebook fans. That is quite a lot for a “nobody.” And Milo News often gets more reactions (as measure by “talking about this” data) than CNN on a given day. You may now like him, but plenty of us do. Call us deplorables.

        1. And no, Milo did not “run” for a university position nor did he go to the UK. He was freely nominated by the student body. If he did not win, it is likely due to the fact that he was literally blocked from speaking and even banned from Skyping in to deliver a message to the students. I think that you are being a little dishonest here.

          1. He showed up there in person, campaigned, and predicted a massive victory. Fail. Distant hilarious FOURTH. The students find pedos to be reprehensible as do most of us. You think pedophilia is not only ok but good but even you must recognize you are in the sick minority.

          2. Fake news. Milo did not show up to any university to campaign for anything. That position required student nominations alone, not any kind of campaign. Get your facts straight.

          3. Again, if you’re so concerned about pedos, where is your outrage for ACTUAL pedophiles. Why are you so concerned with what one gay white boy says when there are so many ACTUAL cases of pedophilia deserving of your outrage. Are you possibly….selective….in your outrage?

          4. Intellectual dishonesty is no problem for these folks. But Milo, he’s a problem. I refuse to entertain comments about pedophilia from people who are more worried about Milo than Rotterham, Islam, the current RAPE epidemic (including tons of kids) in Europe. They can’t have a real conversation so they talk about THIS. I’m buying his book, for sure.

        2. You mention that he’s got a new publisher, but there’s no information on who it is, he’s failed to publish two books beforehand, and no major publisher is going to touch someone who was caught defending pederasty. Call me cynical, but I reckon this is as true as the time he claimed he was marrying a woman. http://yiannopoulos.net/2011/11/01/engaged/

        3. Even Milo hasn’t said a peep about a new publisher since he was kicked out of society 6 weeks ago. He said everyone wanted to print his book and not a word since.

        1. 1) Always know your enemy 2) His total downfall is so friggin hilarious and satisfying!! Ya betcha.

      2. But actual pedophiles aren’t a problem. Just the ones whose comments can be construed in a way the left doesn’t like, right? I mean, Hollywood is liberal and just listen to Corey Feldman who has lots to say about pedophilia in Hollywood. Remember Roman Polanski, he’s a HOllywood darling. He did actual pedophilia. So did Woody Allen, another Hollywood darling. If you care so much about pedos, you’d probably be out there fighting Hollywood, amirite? But you’re not, are you? You are here. On the net. Fighting ‘fake’ pedophilia. I’m not NEARLY as worried about what Milo says as what he does. And he hasn’t done anything wrong. I can’t wait until Milo’s book comes out. He runs circles around you cucks intellectually. And this is all you have. In fact, if we are talking about pedophilia, perhaps we shall revisit the story of Aisha, Mohammed’s NINE YEAR OLD BRIDE, and how it is a parable used to justify Muslim grooming? Or we could talk about Rotterham. Right? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Actual pedophilia, no problem. Talk to me about real cases of harrowing sexual exploitation of pedophilia before you talk to me about Milo.

      3. Now another 2 months have passed and not a peep about a publisher. LOLOL. Three months total. So sad for you Milo worshippers.

    2. An obvious die-hard fan…but he’s just a clown for heteros to gape at in shock and awe..yawn. What light is he actually shedding? What is constructive in his speech? Being crude=free speech. Lame

    3. Trump is failing and implode soon enough. Milo will never regain relevance. Fear not, the good guys win this in the end.

  2. ‘ Gamergate, an Internet harassment campaign against those advocating for gender inclusivity in video games.’

    No, it is a consumer revolt against crooked journalists (google gamejournopros), which also explains why journalists hate us so much.

    1. Who is ‘us’? Also, past tense please. The mainstream saw you for what you were over a year ago. It’s done. There’s no need to lie and say you had a noble cause anymore.

      1. The noble cause is well-documented. The donation sites tracked every dollar. The “harassment campaign” aspect is something that no one can seem to find any evidence of. If it were, then shouldn’t there at least be one instance of someone in GG campaigning in favor of harassment?

        Unless you mean emailing PR offices and advertisers, but I don’t think that counts as harassment.

  3. Getting sick of “journalists” jumping on Milo’s coattails for hits on their article. You all dribble the same drivel. At least get a different perspective. I will just sit back and watch you eat your words.

    1. Guys who wear dresses don’t have coattails. And when was the last time Milo the Nobody was in the news??? He was everywhere and now has no job, no book deal, and pretty soon a deportation back to the UK where he belongs.

  4. The usual collection of lies and half truths re-heated for yet another article trying to bury MY. It is getting a little embarrassing by this point.

    1. Yes because he already is about a hundred feet under and his 15 minutes of gay bar queen flamboyance is over.

  5. “His ascension into the public consciousness began in 2014 with Gamergate, an Internet harassment campaign against those advocating for gender inclusivity in video games.”

    Minor error in this line, Gamergate did not conduct any “harassment campaign” against anyone. Nor did it facilitate or assist in any, mostly by banning such things on all of their forums and chatrooms

    Gamergate is a hashtag movement advocating for better ethics in games journalism, and supports gender inclusivity in games, as evident by the nearly $100,000 they raised for a feminist gamedev charity:

    http://i.imgur.com/IThXxNW.png

    http://observer.com/2015/10/blame-gamergates-bad-rep-on-smears-and-shoddy-journalism/

    1. I’m sure that the author of this article has no idea of what Gamergate even is. Sad that the author would not bother to learn some basic facts about Gamergate from the Wikipedia page.

  6. And Milo just lost his election to a left wing human rights lawyer who said Milo’s career is ‘spiralling into the gutter where it belongs’. This makes me happy.

  7. There was an odd thing getting about that he was intelligent. I don’t know why. He talked his way into, then fled two universities before his very first exams. On a review of his writing and his 2016 interviews, he strikes as just a malicious, hyperbolic, methed up, little bar queen. Zero intellectual content. I can’t imagine what he would have written in his book. O Anne Coulter, where art thou? I thought you were his friend. Maybe not so much now?

      1. Wow bud28y, You sure have a crush on Milo. Obvious from all of your posts here. Admit it. You think he’s hot.

  8. What happened?

    1. Someone else wanted Milo’s place on the dais.

    2. Milo said something utterly unacceptable to the purity narrators.

    3. The end. Of Milo.

    1. There are plenty of flamboyant empty headed gay narcissists to replace him. Their new Messiah will soon arrive.

  9. Poorest article I’ve seen in a while. The writer has no clue about Milo’s personality or beliefs.

    1. Because he has no personality or beliefs except his own narcissism. He is FABULOUS don’t you know girl??? His exposing his sick lust for young boys was a step too far for almost everyone in society except you. Period. Mic drop.

      1. It’s a proven fact that those who say ‘mic drop’ are completely delusional.

      2. Often the one who attacks so vehemently as in your case has something to hide

        Mmm….

        1. Sad that you seem to view being gay as something bad and attack people opposing you as being gay. Get over your homophobia. Geez. I don’t view being called gay a bad thing at all. Kind of like you are calling me left handed. It’s the 21st century — catch up with the rest of us when it comes to gay rights and equality.

    2. Milo is an errand boy sent by groceries clerks to collect a bill. His dead ender fans are simply too stubborn, stupid and, yes, deplorable to realize he has served his purpose and is now rubbish. Bye Milo. hahahahahaha

      1. Milo will be around for a long time unless one of you fascists kill him.

        1. Been another 2 months and still not a peep from him or his “book”. Your fabulous messiah isn’t rising from the dead. LOLOLOL.

          1. Another 12 days and Milo Pedophiliopolis still has no book deal and hasn’t been heard from! I love taunting you as your hero disappears. Awwww poor baby. Talk to you again in a month!

  10. This from the school where Jerelyn Luther screams down a professor with her disgusting, dripping, entitled privilege, and yeah I know she’s half black. Don’t tell me that kid isn’t entitled. I went to a similar school and I never in my life heard such abuse heaped on a professor by somebody so ill informed in reality. NEVER. NOT ONCE. And I worked in academia for 20 years, NEVER not once. You guys are a disgrace. Of course you hate Milo. But nobody can really take elite college students seriously these days, can you? It’s not like you are graduating ready to face reality, are you? I mean look at the mass hysteria and hystrionics all over your campuses. I would suggest less politicking, more studying, and I don’t mean “Genderqueer anti-mainstream microagression identiifcation 101”. If you guys didn’t have double standards, you’d have none at all.

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