There was very little chance to write anything of significance about Donald Trump’s 2000 Presidential run for The Reform Party. It lasted only a few months, and was a bit of a farce that included dismissing fellow Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan as a “Hitler-lover”. Nevertheless, conservative thinker William Buckley Jr wrote prophetically on Trump at the time:
“Look for the narcissist. The most obvious target in today’s lineup is, of course, Donald Trump. When he looks at a glass, he is mesmerized by its reflection. If Donald Trump were shaped a little differently, he would compete for Miss America. But whatever the depths of self-enchantment, the demagogue has to say something. So what does Trump say? That he is a successful businessman and that that is what America needs in the Oval Office. There is some plausibility in this, though not much. The greatest deeds of American Presidents — midwifing the new republic; freeing the slaves; harnessing the energies and vision needed to win the Cold War — had little to do with a bottom line”.
– Demagoguery is all it is today. Tabloid induced demagoguery that shames the history of conservatism. Conservatives have allowed that to happen. They have allowed the intellectual strings connecting them to Buckley, to Disraeli, to Burke, to be cut, and attached instead to those who define themselves by how much they can irritate liberals; Breitbart, Milo, Bannon.
A conservative movement that Edmund Burke crafted, by noting the dangers of radical revolution that doesn’t account for complex human and social bonds like tradition, by a support for free markets whilst fighting to restrain its excesses – as with East India Trading Company. His was a wide ranging philosophy, the foundation of conservatism. A century later, Disraeli’s one-nation conservatism was aimed at crafting a new conservative position on worsening factory conditions, and to create a society in which the wealthy felt a duty toward the most vulnerable. Today, mainstream conservatism is this…
Milo freely admits that he likes to offend, that it’s his goal. Fine. But he writes (or did, until his most appalling interview yet) for Breitbart, a leading conservative platform, whose boss is currently Chief Strategist in the Trump White House, and by some accounts, writing Executive Orders that have a real-life harmful effect on ordinary people. Milo – not just a provocateur – is part of creating that new conservative attitude that defines itself as little more than sounding a bit controversial, without any substance. To highlight both of my points – that they exist purely to sound controversial, and that they contain very little substance – here’s an article by Milo entitled “Attack of the Killer Dykes“:
“Up to 45 per cent of lesbians have been the victim of at least one act of violence perpetrated by a female partner and that 30 per cent of lesbians have reported sexual assault or rape by another woman. And those are conservative figures from a small domestic violence support group.”
– Now, let’s quote the entire passage from the link that Milo quotes…
“Perhaps surprisingly, statistics have shown that lesbian people experience domestic violence at a very similar rate to that of heterosexual women (Waldner-Haygrud, 1997; AVP, 1992). It has been estimated that between 17-45% of lesbians have been the victim of at least one act of violence perpetrated by a female partner (Burke et al, 1999; Lie et al, 1991), and that 30% of lesbians have reported sexual assault / rape by another woman (Renzetti, 1992). Considering the lack of discussion that takes place regarding lesbian domestic violence and sexual assault, I find these figures staggering.”
– The first sentence, Milo completely ignores, that domestic violence in heterosexual relationships and homosexual relationships between women, are very similar… “killer dykes”. And the 45% figure that Milo calls “conservative” is actually the highest end of the spectrum that ranges from 17% to 45%. A despicably misleading article by Milo to further his obsessive agenda of demonising gay women, which he also does here by claiming most lesbian women aren’t really lesbians and they’re just a reaction, citing no research because research would be “so politically correct” (to translate; he has no evidence, other than his own prejudices), and which he does here by claiming ‘fat lesbians’ are responsible for criticising Trump. In the video his evidence that lesbians don’t actually exist, is that sexuality is more fluid for women than for me… which doesn’t imply homosexual women aren’t really homosexual, anymore than it implies heterosexual women aren’t really heterosexual. He naturally leaves out a study in 2012 – seen here – that shows sexual stability among women is more prevalent than change. In short, he’s a teenager bullying the kid already marginalised in the playground whilst pseudo-liberals stand around him obsessed with defending his right to do so, rather than standing up for the bullied kid.
But it hits at a wider point. Milo, Breitbart, Trump, and the new populist conservatism – or tabloid-conservatism as i’m calling it – has very little substance, very little intellectual merit, it demonises people by manipulating data, who have done no wrong and then whinges when it is protested, it offers nothing of philosophical importance to the legacy of conservatism other than to stain it of its reputation. They have exchanged enlightenment rationalism & its emphasis on the equality of the individual and the importance of knowledge, for tabloid-populism and its emphasis on the shock factor. They are to conservatism, what CJ Werleman, Max Blumenthal, & Nathan Lean are to the left… a minor thought that will soon pass by, when liberals who spent 2015/16 hammering the Werleman-left for its massive inconsistencies & manipulations, actually bother to start applying the same scorn to the new conservatives.