Milo Yiannopoulos Has Made a Name for Himself in Liberty Circles, But This is Not Necessarily a Good Thing
By Lee Enochs
The Libertarian Shaman
As another school year ends here in Princeton, New Jersey, I would like to bring up an issue that has bothered me for the last several months.
The specific “issue” I would like to raise is how Milo Yiannopoulos engages culture and the secular academy.
I was frankly appalled by the way Yiannopoulous conducted himself at nearby Rutgers University and I utterly reject his methodology of communicating his views on free speech.
Now, before you turn me off and label me a “liberal,” understand that I am very conservative in both my political and religious views.
As a Libertarian and Evangelical Christian graduate student in an Ivy League college town, I realize I am vastly outnumbered by my politically progressive peers.
This is not a new thing for me since I have spent most of my life living in secular college towns where there were very few conservative people.
As a conservative who wants to make a difference upon society, I realize that I have a few options in the way I engage the secular college atmosphere I find myself.
1) Cultural Confrontation- This approach attempts to confront secularists, liberals, feminists and other persons with non-conservative antithetical presuppositions in such a way that the conservative message both alienates and angers the recipient of the conservative message. This appears to be the approach of Milo Yiannopoulos who seems to enjoy stirring up a hostile response on college campuses accross the country as he did at Rutgers earlier this year.
2) Cultural Assimilation-The methodology by which a person or persons acquire the social and psychological characteristics of a group. Often times a conservative student will compromise or jettison their core convictions to fit into the secular college and university setting they find themselves in. Case in point, many students from Christian backgrounds lose their faith in college as they are confronted with an entirely new ideological and social structure.
3) Cultural Retreatism- In this approach to the secular college setting, the conservative student, out of fear of compromising and assimilating into the non-conservative environment, decides to retreat entirely into their own conservative sub-culture and attempts to only be friends and have social contact with those who have the same belief system.
4) Cultural Engagment- In this approach, the conservative college student is confident in his or her conservatism and attempts to communicate their beliefs to their peers and professors around campus in a loving and culturally relevant manner in such a way that it does not alienate and perpetually anger their fellow students and faculty members. The student that attempts to engage and dialogue with those around them in the hope that they can be an effective agent of change that is well received by the non-conservative recipients of the conservative message.
Case in point, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is something of a legend and infamous person here in the Princeton community. Cruz, who was mentored by conservative professor Dr. Robert George, was a champion debater and 1992 graduate of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Government.
I had a chance recently to read the original copy of Ted Cruz’s Princeton Senior Thesis on the U.S. Constitution entitled, “Clipping the Wings of Angels,” and it’s brilliant.
By all accounts, Cruz was a genius level student whose perfect LSAT score got him into Harvard Law School.
However, there is another side of Ted Cruz at Princeton that is relevant to my discussion here. Senator Cruz, despite his utter academic brilliance and debating prowess, was hated by a large segment of the student and faculty population by many accounts because of his perpetual desire to antagonize and confront non-conservative ideas and people.
I am not sure of what Milo Yiannopoulos is ultimately trying to accomplish by his college tours. I know he is concerned about protecting free speech in college and university settings, but I believe he has made a name for himself by employing a bad methodology that while it may shock people into coming to hear him speak, is counterproductive in fostering real dialogue between students and others with opposing views. In the end, Milo may be hurting conservatives on college campuses more than helping us because he is driving a unnecessary wedge of division between us via a bad methodology of approachment.
Lee Enochs is the Editor-In-Chief of The Libertarian Shaman and also writes a daily Op/Ed column for the Libertarian Republic called, “The Libertarian Perspective.” Lee is also the author of the books, “The Case for Rand Paul,” and, “A Biblical Defense of Capitalism.” Lee is also a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently a graduate student in Princeton, New Jersey where he studies political philosophy and theology for the glory of God.