One of the things that stood out during the now paused tenure of Milo Yiannopoulos was the indifference of the mainstream right – yeah, there is such a thing – to the violence on campuses where he attempted to speak. This peaked in Berkely, California about a month ago, when rioters were ostensibly organized by outside groups such as Antifa and even faculty.
It was cheap and easy for many on the right to be dismissive of Milo – he was marginalized as a provocateur and some even suggested he sought out and encouraged the violence. Then came his pedophilia problem and the gentry on the right felt vindicated. He was gone, and he got what was coming to him, the cool kids thought. He was, after all, a Breitbart personality and, as such, low hanging fruit for the get-off-my-lawn wing of the right.
Of course, to a lesser extent, others on the right such as Mark Steyn and Ben Shapiro also got bounced out of speaking gigs thanks to the new fascism of the left.
Then along came Charles Murray, an AEI scholar, prolific author and vastly more acceptable to the right wing gentry than Milo. Yiannopoulos was a flake who could not get the time of day from new media kingmakers when the fights broke out. Murray, on the other hand is getting a lot of dander up among the right wing gentry. He got shouted off the stage of a Vermont college then attacked in the parking lot as he was trying to leave. A female professor accompanying him was sent to the hospital and put in a neck brace. Many faculty enabled the rioters when they stood against Murray.
See, if the cool kids were paying attention, they would have seen this coming when Milo was attacked. Now that Murray was attacked, they are a little late to the party. The totalitarian left has built up quite a beachhead on campuses using Milo as a warm-up act.
The reason you have to defend, or at least not attack, your fringe, Milo, is because you green light campus fascists to tune up and later weaponize their intolerance toward the likes of Murray. The message is: we’re not going to defend Milo, lefties, so come and get him. Then, of course, you have given the thugs every incentive to ratchet up their attacks against anyone on the right, Murray, to wit.
Therein lies the mistake of being dismissive of your fringe. The left will attack them first, knowing they are easy prey and not likely to be defended by the larger movement. But make no mistake. They’ll come after Charles Murray, too. By then, it will be too late when you realize you were wrong to offer them the gateway drug of beating up your fringe without a fight.
The right thinks it has the luxury of making distinctions between Milo and Murray. They’re wrong. The left sees them as one and the same and intends to wipe them both out, and, by extension, you. If you think you can appease them by disavowing Milo and later rallying around Murray, you’re really wrong. You can’t choose your fringe and it’s asinine to dismiss them. Hope to God they vote the way you do and yeah, understand why you need to defend them or at least do no harm to them.
If your line in the sand was venerable Charles Murray, it’s too little, too late.