Friday’s episode of THE MILO SHOW is an exclusive video of MILO’s keynote speech in Washington, D.C. at Mike Cernovich’s A Night for Freedom event, on February 21, 2018.
Read the full text below
Thank you for having me, and to Mike and his crew for doing all the hard work to put this evening together.
What a magnificent job. I’m speaking specifically of course about the total victory we can declare tonight over Antifa, who were misdirected not once but twice. The poor sad rejects who did eventually show up outside found themselves protesting a parking garage. The rest either tired themselves out on the journey to Maryland or decided to scream helplessly at the sky outside the Trump hotel.
Normally, as you know, I am invited to functions like this to lower the tone. But tonight I’m going to do something different, and attempt to raise it. Because we don’t just throw the best parties in the deplorable wing of this movement. We also have the best ideas and once in a while it’s worth setting memes aside to consider what we stand for.
I’ve been prompted to do this by the dishonorable conduct of CPAC this week toward the free speech icon, Pamela Geller.
CPAC is one of the worst offenders when it comes to silencing the voices conservatives actually want to hear. Ann Coulter has been permanently disinvited for being too strong on immigration and no longer appears on the CPAC stage. My own experience with CPAC last year, as everyone knows, was… well, not a career highlight.
These things happen because CPAC is not honorable. They do not stick to their word and they bow cravenly to pressure from the establishment Republicans who own them and the establishment Left who scare them.
Matt Schlapp, the chairman of CPAC, is yet to grant solo stage time to a single grassroots Trump-supporting political activist. When all is said and done, they don’t like us very much. They look out on a room of MAGA hats in their main hall and wince with snobbishness and wounded pride at their defeat in the last election.
And they don’t learn. This year is one of the worst ever for freedom of expression. Some time ago they banned Pamela Geller, presumably for telling the truth about radical Islam. This year, finally, they invited her back for a panel about free speech — yes, free speech — only to rescind the invitation to one of her panelists because of something one of his writers said on the internet.
The irony and hypocrisy may be lost on them, but it is not on us.
A just society is judged by how well it distributes honor, wealth, power, individual rights and opportunities. It is not judged by buzzwords, such as “diversity” and “equality.” It does not cower at bogus allegations of “white supremacy” or “conspiracy theory.” It does not preoccupy itself with pronouns and censorship or cave to the behests of its ideological enemies.
One of the ways you can tell you’re onto something is if journalists get upset at you or try to humiliate you. CPAC however takes the machinations of the enemy as a cue to hobble our best and brightest and deny them a voice.
So today I want to focus on honor as the key component of a just and decent society. Aristotle in Book One of his Politics observes that man is the highest of the animals and is set apart from them because only he has the power of speech, and the highest purpose of speech is to praise – that is, to give honor – to what is good.
Honor is knowing and naming the best and highest things in our civilization. Honor is also a way of being. Honorable people stand by their words. They take responsibility for their own actions. They tell the truth. They do not expect others, least of all the state, to fix all their problems.
One of the most dishonorable things a man can do, then, is to censor his opponents, fearful of what they might say about him. I don’t need to tell the people in this room that the fight against censorship from the establishment Left has been the organizing principle around which our resistance movement has been built.
And the most dishonorable thing of all that a man can do is break his word to silence his own friends. That is what Matt Schlapp has done this year, yet again.
Honor is something we don’t often talk about these days, because most honorable behavior is hidden from public view, whether that’s because it involves the Armed Forces in distant lands or because the press chooses to smear some of the most redoubtable people in our society as racists, sexists and homophobes. The concept of honor is alien to so many people in positions of power and influence these days.
But it matters. Great works of art like Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar are preoccupied with the subject, as are a lot of our favorite movies and music, because it is an aspect of humanity we respond just as strongly to as disgust or fear. For that reason, I think it could be useful in the wars we’re waging against the left. Perhaps even more so than the ridicule and invective for which I am more usually known.
Ordinary people know honor when we see it. We have an innate reverence for duty, obligation and quiet acts of courage and selflessness.
We in this room know what honor looks like. Most of us aspire to be honorable. We cherish honorable people. And we recognize acts of valor and honor even in strangers.
I’m thinking especially of Colton Haab, a junior at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who evacuated students to safety during the attack while four armed guard stood cowering pathetically outside, listening to children being murdered and doing nothing.
When the people who rule over this nation in media companies and universities and tech businesses and in the corridors of power here in Washington DC try to delegitimize the respectable, reasonable points of view of millions of Americans and try to make these decent, law-abiding people — try to make us — feel dirty, humiliated and ashamed, they are doing more than just beating us into submission. They are stripping us of our honor, and that’s why the injustice hurts so much.
True outrage, by which I don’t mean the confected grievances of social justice mobs, is an atavistic reaction to injustice. When we see injustice, we get angry. When it happens to us, we get especially angry.
Economics professor Deirdre McCloskey once listed the so-called “bourgeois virtues” as the things the Left most abhors. She listed pride of accomplishment, reliability, honesty, enterprise, foresightedness, humor, respect, modesty, consideration, responsibility, prudence, thrift, affection and self-possession. Each of these various character traits together contribute to what I call honor. Each of them is essential to a well-ordered society.
Each of them is alien to the modern progressive left.
Our heroes, I like to think, are honorable. We applaud James Damore for his courage in facing down the most powerful company in the world.
We honor Peter Thiel for his judiciousness and thoughtfulness … and for kicking the shit out of Gawker.
We praise the memory of Andrew Breitbart for his quick-wittedness, perspicacity and integrity.
Other people we honor include brave warriors in battle, inventors, scientists and great leaders, as well as the quietly valiant men and women of the United States just getting by and doing their bit to contribute to their communities, their churches and their country.
But whom does the Left honor? Jack Dorsey, the scolding schoolmarm-in-chief and bedfellow of Black Lives Matter.
Jake Tapper, the great dissembler.
Mark Zuckerberg, the Peeping Tom.
Kevin Spacey, kiddy-fiddler and creep.
And then of course there is the corpulent living embodiment of degenerate perversion, Harvey Weinstein, a man beloved of Hillary Clinton, Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey. Each of these dishonorable men has something in common: they all silence their opponents through intimidation, money or both.
Those who claim to be champions of morality, those who say they are on the right side of history… what did they do when Steve Scalise was shot? They gloated and smirked. What did they do when they found out about the gruesome abuses of Hollywood? Nothing whatsoever.
These are men without honor who turn a blind eye to the destruction of the family while doing all they can to turn America into Venezuela. They moralize and preach and scold and censor, supposedly all for our own good, while excusing the most appalling horrors on their own side of the aisle. And because they don’t let us respond in the pages of their newspapers, on their TV stations, on their college campuses or anywhere else they hold court, it falls upon us to make ourselves heard in whatever way we can.
I think drawing attention to where honor lies in society might represent a powerful new tool we haven’t considered for a while, particularly since we’ve been somewhat preoccupied with coldness and hardness of facts and the meanness of ridicule and satire.
The media lies repeatedly, deliberately and brazenly to the American people.CNN has become an enforcer of shibboleths, not a purveyor of truth. That is why we hate them.
CNN should never be allowed to forget the day it blackmailed and threatened a private American citizen with public exposure for making a meme that embarrassed its journalists.
But perhaps better than asking: was it justified? We should try holding a mirror up this behavior and asking: was it honorable?
The next time you doorstep a CNN journalist, as they did to that poor woman in Florida recently — did you see that? — we won’t express impotent outrage but instead ask: “Are you proud of that moment?”
And even within charities, run totally by the left, there is no corner untainted by corruption and scandal, as we now know from the case of Oxfam. Overseas aid workers are terrible people, by the way, trust me.
The Left doesn’t want to take away your free speech because jokes on Twitter are causing irreparable harm to marginalized communities. They want to censor you because they are terrified of you persuading other people. They are afraid of libertarians and conservatives expressing themselves forcefully and revealing the Left for what it is. They know that people will recoil in horror from the moral ugliness of the Left if only people are shown it.
It’s not just your right to speak the Left wants to take away, of course. It’s your job. Your family. Your business. Your reputation. And, ultimately, your freedom. They are all fair game to the Left.
They don’t want to take away your guns because it would save children from dying in school shootings. They know gun control achieves nothing. It’s because they hate you and they want to kick you in the teeth just because they can. In my home country the Left banned fox-hunting not to save the foxes, as they weakly and unconvincingly claimed, but just because they could, to deliver a slap around the face to the Tories in the countryside they did not understand anything about but instinctively somehow knew they hated.
That’s the sort of petty vandalism the corrupt, complacent left-wing elites get up to when they are handed the reins of power. Why? Because they have no honor.
In Ancient Rome, Christians were thrown to the lions in the Coliseum for the amusement of the public. For decades now, Christians have been ridiculed and derided by the forces of evil in public life. Today, Christians are being exterminated in Asia, the Middle East and South Africa and no-one in America besides a few small right-wing blogs seems to care, because the Left made Christians so unsympathetic with decades of ridicule in popular culture.
If you ask me, it’s our turn to shine the cruel light of satire onto the ostentatiously deserving targets of the left: the preposterous race-baiters of the Black Lives Matter movement, odious cat piss-cardiganed feminists, half-wit professors, lying journalists and the Muslim maniacs they all mollycoddle and defend. These are rich veins of comedic potential, as yet almost wholly unexplored. But perhaps that’s not very honorable. But it is sometimes effective.
In my heart of hearts I want to make it embarrassing to admit you are a feminist or a Islamist that both poisonous ideologies are effectively exterminated from public life in the western world. We know it can be done, because they did it to us. I’m not one for cold-heartedness, despite my dark sense of humor, and I believe in a more noble future of mutual respect. But these fuckers have had it coming for three decades, and before we get to that noble future they deserve a bit of their own medicine. That, perhaps, is not very honorable either. Though it is definitely effective.
But maybe there’s a third strategy we can add to our arsenal.
The Left likes to claim the high ground of virtue. That’s how they justify their violence. But the last decade has revealed that they possess no virtue at all.
Conservatives, libertarians and Christians are now subject to ritual public humiliation by the dishonorable and the degenerate. The Left claims the mantle of upstanding moral virtue while welcoming the end of western European culture and civilization and doing everything it can to bring that day about.
The pleasure taken in our routine torture by journalists, university professors and celebrities is a sign that all humanity has been drained from the modern left. Where are the moderate liberals decrying the excesses of the venomous social justice warriors? Perhaps they are hiding out with members of the Muslim peace movement.
You’re in this room because you’ve realized all this by now, and possibly because you’ve decided to do something about it. Good.
I am contacted by hundreds of people every week – thousands per month – who have resolved to do just that. They are authors, architects, speechwriters, animators, graphic designers, computer scientists. They have seen what we have all seen and they are reaching out to the names in the movement they have heard of, whom they trust, for support and advice.
Many of these people have been humiliated, threatened and censored for their political beliefs.
It can sometimes feel hopeless when we are up against the combined forces of the institutional left. You don’t have many allies out there. Vanishingly few conservative publications defend robust conservative principles, as you and I recognize them, with honor and vigor. Breitbart, most of the time. The Daily Caller, sometimes – although they fired their opinion editor for publishing a column by me. Fox News, well, it depends who’s hosting.
And that’s about it. The rest of conservative media is content to turn a blind eye to the constant harassment and coercion of conservatives on social media because they don’t want to be the next target, and because they suffer from the widespread pox in American conservatism: secretly craving the approval of liberals who are dedicated to their annihilation.
If you want to see real dishonor in action, by the way, look at the behavior of the NeverTrumpers after a year of the Trump administration. You’ve probably spotted a few of them skulking around the corridors of the Gaylord. This president has delivered things no other Republican would have been capable of. Watch them squirm and u-turn and backtrack. Watch them toady up to the audience they spurned with one breath and insult them with the next.
Did you hear Bill Kristol say he would take immigrants over you guys any day of the week?
The stuck-up writers and editors of National Review love to invoke the memory of their founder, William F Buckley, Jr. But what would he really think of the magazine he founded today? Here’s one for your ammo belt. InNational Review’s very first issue in 1955, Buckley wrote that liberals, quote:
“run just about everything. […] Radical conservatives in this country […] when they are not being suppressed or mutilated by the Liberals, they are being ignored or humiliated by a great many of those on the well-fed Right.”
When Buckley was writing, he counted himself and his editors among the radical conservatives. But is there a better example today of the well-fed right ignoring and humiliating conservative radicals than Rich Lowry and Jonah Goldberg?
We can, in the course of time, come to be seen as both heroic and victorious if we do not give way at this critical moment.
The men of the NeverTrump movement do not deserve your mercy. Do not forgive National Review, the Weekly Standard or their modern upstart imitators, the Federalist and the Daily Wire. These are today’s well-fed conservatives throwing you to the wolves.
Ignore their convoluted and contradictory attempts to make you forget what they said a year ago. They don’t deserve your pity or a free pass just because they are dwarfishly, humiliatingly short.
Coercion is a sign of injustice, and everywhere in America today there are the hallmarks of oppression and coercion. Demanding apologies for imaginary sleights is a subtle form of censorship because it scares us into rethinking our words but also because it sucks all the oxygen out of the room and leaves no space for anything else. Even the bravest of us is moved to apologize from time to time. But we can’t do it anymore, ever. The chilling effect on discourse created by the Gawkers and Buzzfeeds of this world deserves only a middle finger and a loud cry of a million voices in unison… “FUCK YOU, JOE BERNSTEIN, I’LL SAY FAGGOT IF I WANT TO!”
We must not apologize. And the more you call us names the louder we will laugh and the more awful jokes we will tell about you and the more criticism and ridicule we will hurl at you before we hold up your own actions to ordinary Americans and ask: would you be proud of this? Are these the men and women you want to follow?
Social justice warriors crumble under close inspection. They horrify normal people. The more the public sees of Lena Dunham, the more lifelong Republican voters are created overnight.
The modern progressive has no positive conception of what it means to live a good life except by getting lucky and never being accused of wrong-think. Somehow, if you keep on your toes and don’t speak up too much, you can pass as woke and maybe they’ll think you’re okay. Maybe you won’t get called a racist on Twitter.
Instead of a glimpse of the ineffable and eternal, they have only the perpetual terror of the social media Gestapo. No wonder they all look so fucking miserable all the time. They have replaced beauty with fear and truth with panicky public relations.
Sometimes in your career you are going to be disheartened. When they ridicule us, when they demean us, when they drive us from university campuses and social networks and television studios and major publishers, they rob us of our dignity and our honor.
That’s why conservatives can seem so angry all the time. We deserve to be angry. Our humanity and our right to flourish and be seen and be appreciated and aspire to greatness has been stripped from us by liars, con men, bullies, incompetents, petty tyrants, conspiracy theorists and fake news.
We have been subjected to injustice and dishonor and have been given no way to fight back, no platform from which to respond and no one in public life who will fight our corner. We have been abandoned by the conservative establishment who are supposed to stand by us.
In dark moments, it’s more important than ever to steel yourself and press forward. Your courage and unflappability will inspire more people than you realize.
If the Left continues to censor us, shadowban us and punish us – and by us, I mean the 100 million Americans who agree with everything I say here tonight and with all of you – there is only one possible end. If they keep working to snuff out our endeavors and stomp on our accomplishments and lie and smear and exclude us, there’s only one way this will go.
That end is socialism, chaos and bloodshed. We do not want that. We think a free, open exchange of ideas is better. We know that free speech exists so that people don’t point guns at one another. We know that in those countries without free speech, disagreements are settled with knives and AK-47s.
I have spent my entire political career condemning violence as a solution to ideological differences. I have never once complained at orderly protests outside my events. I have only said: please, no fists. No brass knuckles. No bike locks. We are better than that.
To tell you the truth, I’m not completely sure the Left is better than that. Violence seems baked into the DNA of the Left. Since Robespierre, the Left has used violence and the threat of violence to achieve its political objectives. It should come as no surprise that intimidation and bullying are their first port of call online, where the dreaded dissent is never far away, lurking in every comment section and message board. There is no Left that does not embrace violence.
But they had better teach themselves to rein in both their violent and their censorious instincts. I quake for the future of this nation if they do not. Because we peaceful advocates for free speech and a classical liberal marketplace of ideas are not the only angry libertarians and conservatives out there. And some of those people see their First and Second Amendment rights under sustained assault and they will not take it lightly.
I do not want to see that future. One civil war is more than enough for such a young country. I don’t want to see my new home torn apart.
If the Left does not recognize the basic human decency of their political opponents, things are going to get ugly.
Facebook will get firebombed. We do not want that.
CNN reporters will be assassinated. We do not want that.
University professors will be driven from their classrooms.
Celebrities will be abducted, bound and gagged and humiliated and forced to atone for their crimes against liberty and conscience.
We do not want these things.
We do not want war. If war comes, we will fight – and we will win.
But we do not want that.
So the left must change, and change quickly.
In a sense the Left has already begun the civil war. George Soros funds armed, masked assailants to intimidate libertarians and conservatives into silence. He writes the checks that pay for the posters printed by domestic terrorists that intimidate my event promoters and venues into shutting down my events. Then CNN defends their actions, university professors look the other way and Democrats have to be strong-armed into disavowing political violence, which they do weakly and reluctantly.
But we are going somehow find a way to forgive them, because we are better than them, and we are going to show them a better path. We are going to show them what beauty and honor looks like.
The job of politics, says Aristotle, is guide the citizenry to living a good life. We should revere those who exhibit civic excellence.
Donald Trump may not embody the civic virtues perfectly. He is not always a paragon of civic excellence. But the effect of Daddy is unarguable. The brittle power of the elites has been exposed as shabby, ephemeral and vulnerable. He is the great Destroyer. The Bulldozer. The Juggernaut. The freight train. He is the great Destroyer of the corrupt and the self-seeking.
That’s why they lie, suspending their own rules and laws to snipe at and destroy those they see as threats to the order. They’re terrified of strength, another noble and desirable manly virtue.
You can tell the sort of values the establishment represents, and how toxic they are to ordinary people, by the honors they bestow.
Elite society in America doesn’t bestow honors in scattershot fashion. It’s far worse than that. American high society goes out of its way to bestow them on the least deserving members of society. Journalists regularly receive awards shortly after their most heinous reporting sins. The publisher responsible for cancelling my book, which went on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies and sat on the New York Times bestseller list for five weeks, was rewarded for her bad behavior with a Publisher of the Year Award.
Hollywood, which intimately understands the power of honor, has so perfected the art. They don’t even wait to be given honors by other people. In between mopping up the puddles of semen on casting couches, Hollywood’s great and good lavish tributes upon one other, in annual, months-long, orgiastic outpourings of onanism beamed live into every American home. The Oscars and Golden Globes are festivals of self-love at which the very worst people in our society absolve themselves of their guilt while wagging their fingers at the rest of us. It is nauseating and we are done listening to it.
That’s why nights like this are so important. They represent the first shoots of promise and the delicate green tips of a better future. We can have our own awards shows, if we want them. We can have our own movies and TV shows and books and newspapers, if we want them. All we have to do is celebrate and defend our heroes. I’m not saying you have to pretend to agree with everything someone else has said or done. No two living people believe in precisely same things. You should never say you do when you don’t. But we in this room have enough in common that we can build a resistance movement together. And we can use it to restore honor and virtue to public life.
The Left’s collapse into moral nihilism is clear and perhaps irreversible. The have abandoned God, their country and any sense of ordered morality.
These are Hollywood actors who will cover up for pedophiles while shunning Republicans. These are the journalists who will coach frightened schoolchildren into advocating for the erosion of their freedoms live on TV. These are the university professors who insist on subjecting students to courses on the unbearable whiteness of America and who tell young men they are barbarous and toxic and never more than three drinks from a rapist.
What the excesses and horrors of the modern Left and the collaborators of the Vichy Establishment Republicans all boil down to are the desires of the few to interfere in and rule over the lives of the many. The desire of authoritarians to crush dissent and disagreement.
But they must lose.
There is something indomitable and indivisible in the human spirit, a yearning for freedom and a longing for self-expression. It is why every communist regime in history has failed.
What the Left wants for us runs contrary to our natures. It feels wrong because it is wrong, and because it is impossible and can only be instituted through violence, repression and intimidation.
We can’t count on our enemies to describe us fairly, to provide us with a platform from which to speak or even to give us proper right of reply to their grotesque fabrications.
So it’s our job to show America who we are, and to show them that we have the determination and strength to leave the Left cowering in fear for once, because we know that this tyranny will pass and out of the broken remains of the horrors of social justice a new and better social order will emerge based on the principles of this great country – one that makes space for each man and each woman to pursue their own good in their own way, free from slander and interference from the powers that be.
We don’t need them any more. You can have a bestselling book that makes you millions of dollars without a single review in any major publication. You can have a number one hit record without a single positive review in the music press. You can build an empire, if only you stop paying attention to the naysayers and focus relentlessly on your own success.
The Left deals in ugliness, corruption, weakness, degeneracy and dependence, because it sees the immutable powers of beauty and truth as threats to its dominion over man. We are the ones who make the beautiful, true and good things. We are the ones who can champion not only freedom, but freedom to take the risk of creativity. We can name and praise the good and the honorable instead of constantly seeking to tear it down, as the Left does, in its alternating fits of rage and envy.
The establishment, left and right, has shown us what kind of people they are. They have shown us what they are made of.
It’s time for us to show America who we are, and what we are made of.
Thank you very much.
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Milo Yiannopoulos is an award-winning investigative reporter and the New York Times-bestselling author of DANGEROUS.