For some Trumpers, not even the spawn is racist enough for some of its followers in 2020.
Still early days, but Trumpism may be in the beginning stages of base fracturing among its Christian nationalists and its GOP conservatives primarily on how racist they should be. No Night of the Long Knives yet, but popcorn futures look bright, even if we’d like to remain ignorant of the worst-case scenario – a Trump second term.
A Conservative-leaning organization hosted Donald Trump Jr. at UCLA to promote his new book Triggered on Sunday, but things did not go well for the President’s oldest son. Trump Jr. along with his girlfriend and former Fox News Host Kimberly Guilfoyle was booed off the stage by Trump supporters for refusing to take questions during the event.
The audience was largely supporters of the President who became frustrated with “time constraints” according to reports. Those time constraints meant that the Triggered author would not take any questions.
Oh my, Don Jr.’s book tour doesn’t seem to be going well.
But his girlfriend seems lovely. pic.twitter.com/MX0Drf7S08
— Mystery Solvent (@MysterySolvent) November 12, 2019
The night’s events suggest that while the political right has had some success trying to wield hate as a political tool, they may no longer be able to control it.
Nick Fuentes, the 21-year-old host of a YouTube show called “America First” who was the mastermind behind the disruption campaign, gloried in the collapse of the younger Trump’s event.
Sunday’s insurrection against Trump was the latest in a series of conservative events that have seen their proceedings disrupted by white nationalist activists who believe that the president has failed to deliver on his election promises.
The chaotic scene contradicted Trump Jr.’s central thesis that liberals have grown so intolerant of dissenting voices, conservative politicians can no longer engage in civil discourse. It also exposed an increasingly hostile fissure between conservative student groups like Turning Point USA and a hard-right faction of young Trump devotees who have flocked to self-professed “American Nationalist” Nicholas Fuentes and his “America First” movement.
This is an interesting if disjointed RWNJ take on the reason why Don Junior, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Charlie Kirk got hassled at their event at UCLA, setting aside that if Nick Fuentes got his goal of a white ethnostate, he might not be allowed in it.
As Donald Trump Jr. fled the stage from an enraged crowd of far-right activists on Sunday, it became clear that the racist “alternative right” movement which receded in 2017 has returned with a vengeance—against Republicans.
Thread: The booing of Charlie Kirk, Don Jr, and Kimberly Guilfoyle by alt-right activists was the culmination of a month-long campaign that received no press attention.
— Matthew Sheffield (@mattsheffield) November 11, 2019It was organized by Nick Fuentes, a partially Hispanic former attendee of the “Unite the Right” march who has been rebuilding the alt-right under a Christian nationalist banner, realizing that this approach is more effective sell for GOP voters
Here’s a longer version of what happened with Don Jr:Fuentes has also been aided by many members of the original alt-right which splintered after Charlottesville into competing factions, mostly divided by tactical concerns.The original leaders, who are very bitter about Fuentes’s current trolling success, were more interested in the European fascist aesthetic but Fuentes and his allies realized this was not effective for “normie” Christian conservativesInstead of pushing the swastika and fascist philosophers, Fuentes and his “groyper” army are fitting white nationalist views into a Christian supremacist framework. They’ve zeroed in on Charlie Kirk’s TPUSA.Kirk isn’t widely known, but his group is extremely well liked by the libertarian-oriented huge donors who dominate Republican political organizing. But only a tiny percentage of GOP voters are libertarians, making TPUSA a prime targetThe purpose of TPUSA is to attempt to sell unpopular libertarian economic arguments to college students. It’s a total waste of money because young people are even less interested than average Republicans.Fuentes and his allies have focused on the “true conservative” vs “sell-out establishment Republican” narrative that has dominated GOP politics for 50 yearsRepublicans have utterly extinguished any sort of moderate tradition in the party so this means that the only way that any GOP pol ever gets power, esp after the Tea Party, is to claim that he/she is a truth-teller standing up to corrupt WashingtonFuentes fans have stacked college tour events organized by grift groups like TPUSA, Young Americans for Freedom, and overwhelmed the question and answer lines posing questions that expose how little the conservative establishment cares about social conservative ideasFuentes has been at pains to tell his followers to avoid anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in their questions but it hasn’t always worked. Overall, though, several events have been disrupted with at least some degree of success.Questions have also focused on the fact that Republicans have basically no appeal to racial groups that are not white. In reality, this is because American conservative arguments implicitly assume a white Christian identity and that assumption is offputting to those who aren’tBut because that reality is uncomfortable for conservatives to perceive and admit, they basically never do so. This has led to the emergence of a proto-white nationalism among some conservative figures like Laura IngrahamIngraham, and also Ann Coulter, are among several prominent conservative commentators who have blamed the Republican party’s declining popularity to Americans solely on immigrationLast week, Ingraham blamed “demographic change” on why the GOP got wiped out in Virginia’s electionsAnother factor that’s helped Fuentes is an emerging anger among non-racist social conservatives who have finally begun to realize that GOP elites place a significantly higher priority on plutocrat tax cuts than on stopping LGBT rights.National Review writer David French, who is a libertarian Christian, has been subjected to scathing attacks for his belief that Christians should realize that America is highly unlikely to ever vote to criminalize abortion or roll back same-sex marriageThe attacks on French presaged the “groyper” campaign by months and have been similar in spirit: Christian nationalists have finally realized that the GOP doesn’t really care about their agenda.It’s hard to see how Republican elites can resolve this, in part because many of them have made the same arguments as Fuentes and his acolytesThe most forthright solution would be for the GOP to abandon or scale back its anti-government agenda but the fat cat donors would never accept thisAnd the conservative establishment’s 50 years of “true conservative” rhetoric has trained its base to automatically favor anyone claiming to be willing to stand up for far-right ChristiansGOP elites have mostly blown off the emergence of the alt right with retorts about how small the movement is. And it’s true that very few Americans openly advocate white nationalist beliefs. But it’s also true that very few are hardcore conservativesAccording to the gold standard Political Typology polling by @pewresearch , only 13% of Americans could be described as “core conservatives” who take the Paul Ryan line
Sidenote: In addition to retooling their arguments to be Christian-oriented, the resurgent alt-right has also replaced Pepe the Frog with Groyper the Frog.
Besides the “true conservative” operant conditioning and the unpopularity of small-govt conservatism, the reemerging alt right’s tactic of challenging GOP elites from the right also has put the elites in a rare space since they only have experience with being the most right wingSo Kirk, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, and others who have seen disruptions have no real practice in pushing back effectively against further-right disputations.I have been researching the reemergence of the alt right for the past several months and will be publishing extensively on the topic. In the meantime, please follow @TheoryChange and click through to my podcastOne last point is that grifter conservatives like Charlie Kirk, Don Jr, Ben Shapiro and others like them have built their brand on “free speech” absolutism and by saying stupid and offensive things.Of course, they were never actually concerned about free speech. But the posture meant that anyone else who was more offensive and more brazen could displace them–provided they also adopted the “protect Christians” posture.These grifter cons were making millions of dollars though so such concerns likely never entered into their minds. And now we’re at the point where Don Jr tried to censor haters at an event for “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us.”
And some conservatives remain unhappy with the success of Trumpism.
Trump is finally being impeached—a fate he has deserved since he fired Comey. So why am I depressed? Because there is no chance of Trump being convicted–and there is a good chance of him winning reelection. A Second-Term-Trump is a terrifying prospect. https://t.co/swrNyJe3YX
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) November 11, 2019
In part because there is no chance of Trump being convicted. Tim Alberta of Politico calculates that, at best, only five Senate Republicans might vote to remove him despite ironclad evidence of guilt. Having survived impeachment, Trump could win reelection. He is almost certain to lose the popular vote, probably by a bigger margin than in 2016, but he could squeeze out another electoral college victory.
That’s especially true if Elizabeth Warren is the Democratic nominee — and Michael Bloomberg makes that more likely if he splits the moderate vote. A recent New York Times-Siena College poll shows Warren trailing Trump among likely voters in five of six swing states. As Republican consultant Steve Schmidt says, “In America a sociopath will beat a socialist seven days a week and twice on Sunday.”