In an interview with The Nation, Milo Yiannopoulos admitted what most have suspected for a while: that he is not really a libertarian. As reported by TJ Brown (a.k.a. That Guy T) of FEE.org, Yiannopoulos stated:
Libertarians are children. Libertarians are people who have given up looking for an answer. This whole ‘everybody do what they want’ is code for ‘leave me to do what I want.’ It’s selfish and childish. It’s an admission that you have given up trying to work out what a good society would look like, how the world should be ordered and instead just retreated back into selfishness. That’s why they’re so obsessed with weed, Bitcoin, and hacking.
This is in direct contrast to his statements on the speaking circuit over the last year, where he has identified the core argument being one of “authoritarianism” against “libertarianism.” In this same line of thought, he suggested that he supported Donald Trump merely as a way of destroying the Republican Party so that it may be replaced by a libertarian party (or perhaps the Libertarian Party).
However, his support of Trump throughout the campaign has suggested that he sees the Republican nominee as less a “middle finger to the establishment” and moreso an actually good candidate. He repeatedly expresses support for Trump’s infamous wall, and in the same aforementioned interview suggests a doomsday scenario if Trump is not elected, “America is done. The Second Amendment won’t survive.”
Given all of the above, libertarians should now have license to distance themselves from Yiannopoulos. While once humorously eschewing the perils of political correctness, it has become clearer that he has little interest in advancing libertarianism. Rather, he has tied himself more closely to the alt-right, and seems more than content with carrying that label. While his (or anyone else’s) right to express him or herself on Twitter or college campuses should continue to be ardently defended, the content of his speech should also be scrutinized.
In an election year where libertarians find themselves straddled by authoritarians on the left and right, we must make it clear that the alt-right has nothing to do with libertarianism. Although sadly, so many who call themselves “libertarians” have bought into the xenophobia and fearmongering of this group, those who care about the future of the liberty movement must make their voices heard loud and clear.