This activism lures him to seek public office as he believes that he can make a more effective difference for the gay community as a political figure. Harvey suffers through the high and lows of running for office before he finally becomes the first known homosexual in the US to take a political office. His political office is an uphill battle in there is constant tensions between Harvey and his supervisor Dan White a fiercely conservative politician.
The film Milk therefore invokes Kavanaugh’s (1991) new conservatism. This new conservatism is two-tiered in that it has what is characterized as having “two complementary but dangerous tendencies” (Kavanaugh 1991, xiii). On the one hand, the new conservatism embraces the tendency to distinguish faith from notions of justice which is essentially being active in “love and service” (Kavanaugh 1991, xiii). On the other hand the new conservatism has a “tendency to equate faith with a particular form of social, political, or national power” (Kavanaugh 1991, xiii).
Harvey, the activist who seeks a form of justice for the homosexual community and is openly gay can be said to represent the second form of the new conservatism in that his conduct forces the distinction between faith and notions of justice by becoming active in both love and service. We see Harvey challenge traditional conventions and insert himself in the midst of it by not only advocating change, but changing it by becoming the first openly gay US politician in public office. By taking this approach, Harvey becomes active in both love and service. However, it is not Harvey is makes this distinction. It is White who by his attitude makes this distinction and it is Harvey that forces this distinction.
Harvey essentially represents the second tendency attributed to the new conservatism in that for him faith is indistinguishable from traditional concepts of