Akash Wasil in the Harvard Political Review writes that the rapid rise of Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos can help explain the concurrent rise of Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee. Like Trump, Milo has “attracted followers that feel silenced, ignored and invalidated by the left.”
Referring to his Dangerous Faggot tour of US college campuses, Wasil writes,
Many campus activists will not find his arguments compelling. But in order to make that judgment, first they must understand what he is actually advocating … he deliberately offers arguments that are rarely discussed on college campuses, and he makes a point to include Q&A sessions at his events. He is more than the sum of his ideological viewpoints—he is a representation of what it means to have strong beliefs (and an equally strong personality) while remaining open to discourse. Engaging in discourse with those who disagree with us is not only the best way to change their minds—it is also the best way to change our own views and develop more sophisticated arguments.
The rise of Yiannopoulos can help to explain the rise of Donald Trump. Both have attracted followers that feel silenced, ignored, and invalidated by the left. Both will continue to receive sympathy and exposure if their opponents continue to aggressively and instinctually dismiss their views … more broadly, the story of Yiannopoulos is useful to understand today’s political climate. There is an ever-growing number of Americans—liberals and conservatives—who feel like their voices are not being heard. Americans are increasingly identifying with their party, race, gender, or sexuality—and are judging the quality of an argument on the identity of the speaker. A political system established to encourage discourse and compromise has succumbed to partisan bickering. In order to save it, we may need to confront those we most disagree with, listen empathically, and fight the urge to silence or invalidate them. Perhaps we can start with Milo Yiannopoulos.
You can read the full article here.
Jack Hadfield is a student at the University of Warwick and a regular contributor to Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter here: @ToryBastard_.