For many of us who have been harassed and attacked directly by Milo Yiannopoulos over the past few years, we are well aware of his depravity. He openly embraces his role as a bigot and a troll who targets and ridicules whoever crosses his path. Permanently banned from Twitter, I have seen people’s personal lives destroyed by death threats and doxing after Milo sets his gaze upon them. All of this has been true, while Milo has primarily functioned in a creepy corner of American politics called the Alt-Right. The most visible spokesperson for that movement, he has operated outside of the mainstream for most of the past two years – until now.
His longtime boss at Breitbart, Steve Bannon, himself widely believed to be as bigoted of a man we’ve seen in the White House in generations, is now the Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist, and CPAC, the most widely attended and hyped conservative gathering in America, has invited Milo to be their keynote speaker. With their full embrace of Milo, CPAC has legitimized a dangerous and disturbing man. But as I think about their embrace of a man without morals, I realize that they have become a party without morals.
Of course CPAC can embrace Milo – Donald Trump is their President. And with Milo as the most hyped man in their party and Donald Trump as their leader, the Republican Party has officially become the party of perverts. I don’t say that lightly. That’s exactly what the party is at this point.
Just days away from his keynote at CPAC, the world is now fully understanding just how despicable Milo is. In video interviews that were already widely available, Milo openly defends child molestation and pedophilia. He’s not joking. It wasn’t satirical. In repeated interviews the man goes out of his way to defend pedophile priests and even brags, with all seriousness, how a priest taught him, when he was 13 or 14, to give good oral sex. He then goes on to defend the value of men in their 20s and 30s having sex with middle school aged boys. I can hardly stand to repeat the things he said. Again, though, he was not joking. He was dead serious. He admitted in the interviews that his stance on young boys having sex with grown men was likely “controversial.”
No Milo, what you described is not controversial, it’s criminal. That is child abuse and sexual assault. It is illegal for men in their 20s or 30s to have sex with underage boys or girls. Period.
That the keynote speaker at the largest conservative conference in America openly eschews the virtues of child molestation is as close to being a sign of the times we are in as anything I can think of. That a few conservatives are now claiming to be upset about Milo, in light of his criminal fondness of sexual assault, also says a lot. They seemed to be just fine with him when he was simply a white supremacist, transphobic bigot, but molesting children seems to have crossed the line for some.
But here’s the thing – this is who the Republican Party is. The President of the United States has nearly 20 women claiming they were sexually assaulted by him. His own wife testified under oath that he brutally raped her. He was recorded bragging that he forces himself on women and grabs their genitalia whenever he feels like it. And after our nation heard that recording, he was still elected.
Donald Trump is a pervert. Milo is a pervert.
And when your President and your rising star are perverts, that pretty much means the party is a party of perverts.
I don’t say this with even the slightest hint of glee. Quite the contrary, it’s terrible. It’s absolutely terrible. Victims of sexual assault and child molestation are mortified. Since the recent videos of Milo have gone viral, many have reached out to me directly and asked me to speak up and speak out on his gross normalization of such crimes.
I am afraid this is where we are going. When your President has such low character, particularly around the issues of sexual assault, you end up with tens of millions of Americans who have compromised their own integrity in the name of getting him elected, and they now lack the ground to stand on to say anything about sexual assault in general.
With Trump and Milo, sexual assault and child molestation are becoming nightmarishly normalized. I wish it was bad fiction, but it isn’t. The perverts are in power.