Two Observations on Milk
By Bryan Caplan
I normally dislike movies based on true stories, but Milk is genuinely good. Two observations and a question:
Observation 2. If you want to embrace the virtue of libertarian friendliness, you can learn a lot from Milk’s rhetorical approach. Most movies about politicians – no matter how hagiographic – lead me to personally dislike the main character. But Milk – or at least Sean Penn channeling Milk – was so cheerful and kind that he didn’t feel like a normal politician. Even when he praised rent control, I just wanted to sit him down and give him an intro econ lecture – not roll my eyes. My point is not, of course, that you should trust friendly politicians (I don’t), but that if you want to be an effective communicator, you should try to be as friendly as Harvey Milk.
Question: Who do you think Milk would have felt better about? A libertarian who treated gays with respect but opposed anti-discrimination laws, or a typical 70s liberal who supported discrimination laws but treated gays with thinly-veiled disgust?