Here’s a weird story for you: Donald Trump’s hedge fund moneybags the Mercers have embraced the odious Milo Yiannopoulos, apparently in an effort to “make conservatism cool.” From Vanity Fair:
In 2012, they invested $10 million in Breitbart and then watched it turn into a blazingly offensive news organ for pro-Trump opinions; with the founding of Milo Inc. this year, they hoped to break into the next generation. “The interesting thing about the Mercers is that they’re the only people on the right who fund anything that’s cultural, which has always been the big weakness of the right and conservatism,” said Internet conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, chalking it up to conservatives simply being bad at understanding culture, much less participating in it.
In this context, Milo Inc. can be viewed as the Mercer version of the conservative movement’s oft-failed attempt to Appeal to the Youths. (Watch any Republican attempt to prove their hipness and the struggle is immediately clear.) In keeping with their goal to construct a parallel cultural universe, the Mercers, according to one person with direct knowledge of their fund-raising activities, were curious to see whether Yiannopoulos could create a media empire that could bring in younger voters, make money, and drive a wedge in the culture war.
I emphasized the “conservatives simply being bad at understanding culture” bit because, isn’t an old white hedge fund billionaire using Milo Yiannopoulos to appeal to “the youth” the very embodiment of that? If you want to sell to the kids, shouldn’t you find a cool person to do that? And is there anything even remotely cool about Milo Yiannopoulos? At all?
I realize I’m a little past my prime, but I do know and work with a lot of young people. Maybe I’m out of touch but Milo strikes me as the exact opposite of cool. His “brand” is self-serving, douchey, attention-whore narcissism — a gay, British Donald Trump, if you will. And yes, his anti-politically correct persona may be in sync with today’s bootstraps conservatism, but will salt of the earth Midwestern kids really look to a fur coat wearing pedophilia apologist like Milo for their cultural cues? Not on your life.
This makes no sense to me, but I’ve been wrong before. And the Mercers are so rich, they can afford to drop $10 million on a bauble like Milo.