You might think the Alt-Right — that motley gang of Nazis, Nazi-apologists, and Nazi-apologist-apologists that has provided Donald Trump with some of his most fervent support — would be riding high right now.
Their “God Emperor” has been elected president. Traffic to their most popular websites, from Breitbart to the Daily Stormer, is soaring. The latest National Policy Institute conference, which brought hundreds of alt-righters to Washington DC this past weekend, got more attention from the mainstream media than it ever has before.
It’s that last item that’s turning into a bit of a problem — at least for those alt-rightists who like to pretend that they’re not really Nazis at all. Yesterday I posted a chilling video from the event, showing conference-organizer Richard Spencer, clearly feeling a bit chuffed by the at-right’s recent victories, crying out “hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory” to a large crowd, some of whom responded with Nazi salutes.
D’oh! They’re not supposed to be doing that in public.
And so, as the video of Spencer’s speech went viral, posted on countless news outlets and replayed on cable news, a veritable civil war erupted on the alt-right over Spencer’s words and the now infamous “Hail Trump” salutes.
Alt-right fellow traveler (and erstwhile juice seller) Mike Cernovich, clearly upset by the bad publicity the video was bringing to the movement he has hitched his star to, accused Spencer and the Nazi saluters of being secret shills trying to make the good men of the alt-right look like the Hitler-loving Nazis they so often declare themselves not to be.
“Let’s assume your goal is to normalize Nazis, which is what has been said at Richard Spencer,” Cernovich declared in a blog post with the combative title This is What Controlled Opposition Looks Like.
If you wanted to normalize being a Nazi, would you throw up an Heil Hitler in public after you invited over 100 fake news journalists to your event? Think this one through before forming an opinion.
Note: By “fake news journalists” Cernovich of course means real “news journalists.’
Why then were people at the event throwing up the HH? What tactical or strategic purpose could that possibly serve?
This is what controlled opposition looks like.
The Atlantic (and perhaps the CIA) is building up Richard’s brand, giving him millions in free PR. The fake news media ties Richard to Trump. In exchange for these goodies, Richard throws up a HH.
Damn you, The Atlantic (and perhaps the CIA)!
Cernovich was hardly the only one to cry foul.
Fantasy author and bigot extraordinaire Theodore “Vox Day” Beale didn’t go quite as far as Cernovich. But, in a post on his Vox Popoli blog, he declared the Nazi saluters “idiots” and attacked Spencer himself for being “tactically retarded.”
Beale dismissed the whole “Hail Trump” business as a “minor incident” that had been magnified by the evil mainstream media. He then offered a rather spectacularly backhanded “defense” of Spencer
No, I don’t think Richard is a federal agent or an actual controlled opposition figure,” Beale wrote, before twisting the knife a little.
I think Mike would have been more accurate to say “controllable opposition” or “dancing monkey”.
Usually when you’re defending someone you don’t call them a “dancing monkey,” but whatevs.
There was nothing actually wrong with what Richard said. … It wasn’t a big deal. But it was a foolish thing to do. The media is absolutely slavering to be able to have REAL PROOF that the Alt-Right are no-good, very-evil Nazis so that they can use it as a weapon against President-elect Trump, giving them ANYTHING is tactically retarded.
Nazi salutes in public, in full view of the media, are bad for the Trump.
It’s not about Richard. It’s about Donald Trump. If Richard is genuinely supportive of Trump, then pulling that sort of stunt was the very last thing he should have done. Making yourself the news story at the expense of the individual you are supposedly supporting and celebrating smacks of being self-serving. As Mike said, dress up like a Nazi, speak bad German and wear a swastika armband if you want, just leave Trump out of it.
Richard has failed to learn the lesson of #GamerGate and the principles of 4GW. He wants to be the media-anointed leader of the Alt-Right because he believes, wrongly, that this will help him achieve his objectives. It won’t. As Mike and I have both noted, the media elevates fringe figures to “leadership” specifically in order to attack the movement through them.
Oh, but Beale isn’t jealous of the attention Spencer has been getting. Ha! As if! So not jealous.
I am not opposed to Richard or jealous of Richard, nor do I want the attention he is receiving. I rather like him, I simply don’t think he understands that the media intends for him to become a David Duke figure, a weapon available for deployment against any politician or program that he nominally supports.
Yes, how terrible it is that the media compares people with basically the same views as David Duke to … David Duke!
On VDare.com, meanwhile, anti-immigrant crusader Peter Brimelow attacked the saluters, declaring that their “juvenile bravado undercut NPI’s conference triumph, the cause of immigration patriotism, and VDARE.com.”
But Brimelow somehow managed to blame not them but the media and the anti-anti-immigrant left, noting unhappily that fans of his website “came up to me in consternation” after
Spencer concluded his emotional defense of whites with the words, apparently extemporized: “Hail Trump! Hail Our People! Hail Victory!” He got a standing ovation, but several in the crowd added Nazi salutes. We had been assured that the press had been excluded but experience has taught this cannot be relied upon.
Damn those reporters for … actually reporting!
Also, leftists and the media were also responsible for the Nazi salutes themselves — by unfairly smearing totally not racist anti-immigration crusaders like himself. “[T]his continued vilification,” Brimelow sniffed,
has resulted a younger generation of Americans who, 71 years after the end of World War II, are clearly indifferent to accusations of Nazism, even if just out of bravado. This, too, is the fault of the Left and the gatekeepers of our public debate.
Well, that’s one way of looking at it, I guess. One bizarre, wrong way.
The unlovely and untalented Matt Forney offered a somewhat less backhanded defense of Spencer and his fans’ “Roman salutes.”
While Mike Cernovich recently accused Spencer and NPI of being controlled opposition due to several of the attendees jokingly making Roman salutes at the end of the conference, I have to pour cold water on this notion. The alt-Right is increasingly driven by young men who enjoy trolling for trolling’s sake and getting a rise out of the normies.
IT WAS ALL A JOKE HA HA HA HOW could anyone think that a bunch of people who walk like Hitler, talk like Hitler and salute like Hitler could actually have anything to do with Hitler.
Hell, our nametags even had pictures of Pepe the Frog on them.
PEPE THE FROG. Q.E.D.
While I can see why Cernovich might think the stunt was dumb, it wasn’t motivated by anything other than a desire to offend the MSM’s sensibilities. There are certainly feds who have infiltrated the alt-Right—he’s right to warn us on that front—but Spencer and NPI aren’t among them.
An even stranger, er, analysis of the whole kerfuffle comes from the farther reaches of Anton Lavey cosplayer and skull enthusiast Davis Aurini.
Vox Day corrects some of the wilder claims made by Cernovich (it is unlikely that Richard Spencer is a government plant; his hair is too fabulous), but the thrust of the argument remains. We have been using the tactics of the underdog for some time now. As many have noted, we’re the new anti-establishment hippies … but we’re no longer the underdog – and if we continue to use underdog tactics, we will become no different than the neo-hippies whom we are in the process of replacing. We will continue to fight the last war, and we will lose as certainly as Hitler’s Germany did, paving the way for the destruction of our own people.
So is he suggesting that the main problem with Hitler is that he lost? Who knows.
We cannot hope to get anywhere if we continue to be reactionary. The way to crush the Left isn’t to fight them; then we merely become them. The way to crush the left is to return to the upward pull, to build a civilization which glorifies God and which has earned the Mandate of Heaven. To strive for perfection while forgiving imperfection, rather than defining perfection as whatever we are already, while attacking those who are unlike us.
I’m sorry, I dozed off for a minute there.
What of the man at the center of this alt-hurricane? Richard Spencer is taking the Forney Way, declaring that it was all just one big hilarious joke.
“There’s an ironic exuberance to it all,” Spencer told NBC news. “I think that’s … one of the things that makes the alt-right fun, is that we’re willing to do things that are a bit cheeky.”
Here’s that video again. I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time seeing anything he said as “cheeky” or “ironic,” much less “fun.”
Who are you going to believe, Spencer — or your lying eyes?