The Downfall of Milo and the Rise of the Alt-Middle/Center

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So begins little Benji’s attempt to get Trump out of office

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Milo is trying to signal how he’s more ‘right-wing than thou’, but all he’s showing is his obsolescence as a public figure who is fading from relevance. Yeah, Ben Shapiro’s a ‘never-Trumper,’ but at this point, who cares. There is no difference in being pro-Trump and then Trump not delivering on any the stuff we want, versus being never-Trump. The end result is the same anyway. Milo is still trying to be relevant, his public career having long since flamed out in 2017 after a bunch of embarrassing setbacks and revelations. I have never seen such a spectacular public fame-out as the downfall of Milo. He went from in late-2016 and early 2017 to being on top of the world and headlining huge campus tours, to near total irrelevance except on Instagram where he still retains a large following, which is the only social network to have not yet banned him.

In the comments, there’s a lot of push-back against Milo:

“Imagine thinking it’s bad to talk to people with different political beliefs.”

“Don’t be petty. He is talking with someone that challenges his beliefs. Which is what everyone should do.”

“@milo.yiannopoulos You didn’t even watch the video did you?”

“Hey. Fun fact. You can talk to people you disagree with and not promote their policy. Milo you need to stop attacking people on your own side. Focus that energy on the Left.”

The truth is, Ben Shapiro is popular and his message resonates with a lot of people (yeah, he’s backed by a billionaire, but so was Milo), and unlike Milo, Ben has retained his audience and has not seen his popularity evaporate seemingly overnight. Similar to Jordan Peterson, he ‘pilling’ a lot of young people about liberals and liberalism, even though, like Peterson, his message may seem diluted to those who are further to right. People, on both sides of the aisle, want to hear Andrew Yang and care about economic issues such as unemployment due to automation, about UBI, about the loss of manufacturing jobs, and about how millions of able-bodied men are permanently leaving the workforce in an otherwise strong economy. Ben, in his debate with Yang, is addressing these important issues, whereas Milo takes potshots from the sidelines and seeks attention and to feed his own ego than the engage in productive discourse, so it’s no surprise Milo has faded from relevance; what value is he adding to public discourse besides being an attention seeker? None.

Whereas the alt-right has crumpled over the past year and a half as a political force in the US, the alt-middle/center such as Ben Shapiro, Tim Pool, and Joe Rogan has seen immense growth. Milo failed because he didn’t adapt to changing tastes and a changing online political landscape that has become more centrist and nuanced, which conveys intellect and is high-status, as opposed to moralizing and imposing values, which is perceived as low-status. Offline, which includes TV, political discourse is as partisan and divided as ever.