The conservative provocateur and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos appeared on Bill Maher’s show last night, and while they’re politically opposed to one another, they have a lot in common when it comes to the importance of upholding values like freedom of expression.
Both Milo and Maher experienced attempts to de-platform them at UC Berkeley. Over 6,000 students there signed a petition to prevent Maher from being the commencement speaker at their December graduation ceremony in 2014 because his criticisms of religion (mainly Islam), but he spoke anyway.
Protesters were just a tad more militant when it was Milo’s turn to speak, amassing hundreds of so-called “anti-fascist” fascists who caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage, assaulted identifiable Donald Trump or Milo supporters, and got the speech shut down.
What these rioters don’t realize is that the overwhelming majority of people see their behavior as absolutely insane. And the reason is simple. To quote a comment from Milo which Maher agreed with: “if you don’t show up to the debate, you lose.” Conversely, if you shut down the debate, it looks like you’re the one with something to hide. While such riots may prevent a few hundred from hearing a speaker in person, the news of the riot will lead to hundreds of thousands of people who’ve never heard of the speaker before curious as to what exactly it was he had to say that was so controversial.
And as a result of the increasing cult-like nature of the Left on college campuses globally, students are making a right turn.
According to The Telegraph: With all of this book-burning and platform-denying madness sweeping up much of the media’s interest in campus culture, the gradual rise of another group of students has gone under-reported. British and American millennials and post-millennials – also known as ‘Gen Z’ – are warming to conservatism.
There have been several responses to campus censorship in the United Kingdom and the United States. One of the most interesting developments has been the rise in demand for conservative thought. In the United States, college tours by speakers popular with conservatives such as Milo Yiannopoulos, Steven Crowder, Ben Shapiro and Christina Hoff Sommers have become huge events. There has been a spike in membership in conservative college clubs including Young Americans for Liberty, which boasts 804 chapters filled with 308,927 members. In the United Kingdom, free speech societies have been started across the country.
Analysis from market research firm, The Gild, shows that ‘Gen Z’ is the most conservative generation since 1945. The research reveals that ‘Gen Z’ Britons are more likely to favour conservative spending, dislike tattoos and body-piercings, and oppose marijuana legislation.
The youth and student members of the British Left have given up trying to win arguments on principle, preferring to shut down the views of those they opponents. But ‘Gen Z’ live in the time of mass media where anyone’s political views can be shared worldwide at ease. By pushing a “you can’t say that” attitude, the young Left in the UK and the US are reducing their opportunity to respond to conservative ideas, and, as a result of this, conservatism is on the rise.
Hopefully they keep it up over the next four years – it would be great if they could guarantee a second Trump term.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]