Stop handing Kanye West the microphone

Kanye West
In this Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, file photo, Kanye West accepts the video vanguard award at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

Stop handing Kanye West the microphone

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Do you know just how insane you have to be to make Alex Jones visibly uncomfortable?

Well, Kanye “Ye” West unlocked this achievement during his appearance last week on Jones’s InfoWars, with West providing multiple nuggets of insanity, including that people should “stop dissing the Nazis,” that there are “good things” about Adolf Hitler, and that the Nazis “did good things, too.”

DON’T FALL FOR THE NICK FUENTES SIDESHOW

Even when Jones tried to hold West’s hand and act as a voice of reason — is this the twilight zone? — the rapper wasn’t having any of it.

“You’re not a Nazi. You don’t deserve to be called that and demonized,” Jones argued.

“Well, I see good things about Hitler also,” Ye responded. “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”

“Especially Hitler.” Let that percolate for a moment.

At this point, it’s clear that West is an open antisemite (and apparent Hitler enthusiast) who is going through a severe mental breakdown. The pragmatic and compassionate response should be to stop handing the man a microphone and encourage him to get the help he so clearly needs.

Instead, the general “right-wing” apparatus won’t stop giving him chances to spread his increasingly noxious ideology. And who does this benefit? Everyone except the conservative movement.

Attention is what the cynical parasites who have surrounded West in recent months crave above all else. They don’t care about West personally or even the pursuit of any form of ideological victory. All they want is the spotlight, and they’ll attach themselves to anyone and anything that helps them achieve that goal.

Such attention presents anti-conservative propagandists with a golden opportunity, made worse when the leading Republican presidential candidate, former President Donald Trump, willingly dines with West and his white nationalist cronies. It’s awfully difficult, after all, to reject accusations of Nazi-esque antisemitism when you’re hanging out with Nazi-esque antisemites, especially when you continue your indefensible reluctance to condemn those same antisemites.

Condemnation was simple for multiple Republican figures. Rep. Lee Zeldin, who narrowly lost his gubernatorial race in New York last month, described West as a “deranged antisemite,” adding that he wants “absolutely nothing to do with that lunatic.” Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) described West’s latest comments as “disgusting” and said we “must call out this hateful rhetoric and root out antisemitism wherever it rears its ugly head.” And the Republican Jewish Coalition described West’s appearance alongside Nick Fuentes and Jones — a “disgusting triumvirate of conspiracy theorists, Holocaust deniers, and antisemites” — as “a horrific cesspool of dangerous, bigoted Jew hatred.”

But none of this matters to others whose success relies on short-term attention. This is why West has appeared on show after show after show — and will presumably continue to do so. Who cares if he’s actively spreading antisemitism, Holocaust denial, and Jew hatred (all while doing irreparable damage to the conservative movement) if he’ll get you millions of hits, right?

This is where the Right needs to understand that it’s not “cancel culture” to stop elevating those whose abhorrent views are actively undermining our political movement.

Yes, Trump and other Republican leaders should obviously draw a definitive red line that unquestionably rejects the ideology pushed by Fuentes, Milo Yiannopoulos, and now West. The same must be true of conservative commentators and activists if we hope to cling to the definition of conservatism so many of us supposedly respect.

This isn’t a call for censorship. West has every right to express his views, as do the leeches fighting for his cultural scraps. But it’s not “cancel culture” to tell someone to get the help they need. It’s not “cancel culture” to apply entry requirements to our ideological tent. It’s not “cancel culture” to stop handing the microphone to a man who “likes Hitler.”

If West wants to surround himself with hacks and grifters, he is free to do so. But we don’t have to invite them over for dinner.

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Ian Haworth (@ighaworth) is the host of Off Limits with Ian Haworth.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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