The Conservative Establishment’s Nightmare Is Only Just Beginning

How a 21-year-old YouTube pundit is leading a far-right resurgence.

Richard Viguerie, the conservative activist who invented direct-mail marketing, once said that “fear and anger are much stronger motivations than support for a cause.”

The Republican Party is now finding that out first-hand as it’s battling a white supremacist insurgency for the hearts and minds of Generation Z.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

The ranks of the “alternative right” political movement were decimated in the aftermath of the August 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Many of its top leaders faced arrest, lawsuits, or were banned from online fundraising and social media platforms.

But after two years in the political wilderness, white nationalist activists have managed to regroup thanks to a new effort to attack the highly lucrative right-wing infotainment industry that has sprung up around conservative think tanks, Fox News, and talk radio.

Unlike the original alt-right, which was mostly driven by lone trolls collaborating ad hoc on social networks, the far-right resurgence is being led by a single figure: Nick Fuentes, a 21-year-old YouTube pundit who originally made a name for himself as a host on the Right Side Broadcasting Network. He was fired from that post in 2017 for saying it was “time to kill the globalists” at CNN for allegedly being unfair to President Donald Trump.

Since starting his own YouTube program (called “America First” after Trump’s slogan) shortly after his sacking, Fuentes has amassed a following that is just as dedicated and belligerent as the original alt-right via a re-calibrated message. Rather than using Hitler memes, Germanic sculptures, and mocking religion, Fuentes serves up a steady diet of Christian nationalism and hatred of immigrants, secular people, and Muslims.

Over the past several weeks, Fuentes and his fans—who call themselves “Nickers” and “Groypers” after a cartoon toad that serves as their mascot instead of Pepe the Frog—have been tapping into conservative Christian anxieties and melding them with concerns that President Donald Trump has failed to deliver on his campaign promises of mass deportations and a “big beautiful wall” on the Mexican border. Their preferred mechanism of attack has been to overwhelm question-and-answer sessions following the speeches of mainstream conservative figures.

These appearances are typically organized by groups like Turning Point USA, Young Americans for Freedom, and the College Republicans. Their purpose is to recruit young adults into the conservative movement. It’s not an easy task, however, as surveys increasingly indicate that socialism and pluralism have more appeal to students than unregulated capitalism and Christian nationalism.

Taking advantage of the fact that conservative college events are often sparsely attended, Groypers have easily mobbed the events—especially those of 25-year-old Turning Point founder Charlie Kirk—to ask questions designed to embarrass the speakers and question their fealty to the conservative cause. In addition to invoking biblical injunctions against homosexuality, the hecklers have questioned whether the Republican Party can have a long-term future absent a complete stop to legal immigration and some sort of deportation of existing immigrant citizens.

Their crowd manipulation tactics—which are very similar to practices taught for decades at the conservative Leadership Institute—have succeeded over the past several weeks at embarrassing Kirk, Congressman Dan Crenshaw, a Republican from Texas, and Christian nationalist commentator Matt Walsh. In response, event organizers have often curtailed audience participation.

For the most part, the national press ignored the protests and the burgeoning insurgency until the Groypers employed the same tactics at a Nov. 10 event where Donald Trump Jr. was touting his new book, Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us.

Reports from the scene in Los Angeles indicated that the Groypers comprised about a third of the audience for the event and utterly dominated the proceedings. Even before the presidential son took the stage, Nickers began booing and jeering as an event staffer announced that Don Jr. and his girlfriend, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, would not be taking any questions after their remarks.

The taunts, which also included audience members laughing at inappropriate times in a manner similar to Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker character and chants of “America First,” grew so loud that Don Jr. stopped speaking as he tried to figure out what was going on. Guilfoyle lashed out at the audience, claiming they were not making their parents proud and that they probably couldn’t get dates. Eventually, the couple and a silent Kirk exited the stage as the Fuentes fans kept booing.

Since then, the scene has repeated itself at several other events, particularly those of Kirk. He and many other conservative figures have been forced to answer inconvenient questions about various topics including past criticisms of President Trump, transgender rights, and immigration. More often than not, Kirk has faced overwhelming audience jeers and has struggled to respond.

It remains to be seen what the commander-in-chief, who is reportedly extremely sensitive to embarrassment, will think of all this but one thing is clear: the conservative establishment’s nightmare is just beginning.

Long before Trump came along, conservatives have had a complicated relationship with extremism, both encouraging and shunning it.

William F. Buckley, founder of National Review and the most prominent early conservative figure, began his political career denouncing Dwight Eisenhower and atheist professors at Yale. His magazine published several pieces defending Jim Crow and South African apartheid.

Over the years, he often told supporters that they should always support the “furthest right” candidate that they believed to be electable, setting up a perpetual cycle of GOP candidates who constantly assert that they, alone, are the “true conservatives” out to save the nation from Republicans in Name Only (RINOs).

In fairness, Buckley strenuously opposed the John Birch Society, a conspiracy group funded by Fred Koch, father of Charles and David Koch, which was highly popular among the conservative grassroots. And National Review eventually relented and came out against segregation and apartheid.

Former president Ronald Reagan also had a decidedly mixed record on racial matters, spending decades opposing sanctions on South Africa for apartheid and the creation of a national holiday to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. but eventually taking liberals’ positions on the two matters. He was also recently revealed to have privately referred to African United Nations delegates as “monkeys” who were uncomfortable wearing shoes.

Conservatives were also more than willing to welcome Strom Thurmond, the one-time segregationist senator who broke from the Democratic Party as it began supporting civil rights for African-Americans. Young Americans for Freedom, the group that preceded today’s Young America’s Foundation, hailed Thurmond as a “Man of Courage” in 1964 before he broke with his racist positions.

Many conservatives also had no problem with George Wallace, the Alabama Governor who ran for president on segregationist platforms. Richard Viguerie—who still is raking in the GOP direct-mail money today—handled Wallace’s fund-raising in 1976.

In light of the many ways in which conservative leaders were willing to side with them on particular issues, white nationalists have sought to openly enter Republican politics for decades. Jared Taylor and his American Renaissance magazine were big promoters of Ron Paul’s presidential runs. As I’ve written previously, many alt-right activists were also strong Paul supporters before branching off to start their own movement. Former Klansman David Duke has repeatedly run as a GOP candidate in his native Louisiana but been rejected by party leaders.

Progressives have long accused Republican strategists of trying to communicate indirect messages of support to white racists through the party’s infamous “Southern Strategy” which succeeded at turning the South away from its decades of loyalty to the Democratic Party. Few GOP strategists have ever been transparent about these efforts, but one who discussed them honestly was Lee Atwater, the widely successful consultant who passed away in 1991.

Ten years before his death, while firmly ensconced within the Reagan White House, Atwater gave an anonymous interview (the audio recording was published posthumously) in which he stated definitively that Republicans used race to appeal to Southerners but did so in an effort to gradually wean them from bigotry in favor of small-government appeals.

According to Atwater, the idea only worked because whites favorable to segregation understood that cutting the government would disproportionately harm African-Americans.

“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘N*****, n*****, n*****,’” he told interviewer Alexander Lamis, a Case Western Reserve political scientist. “By 1968 you can’t say ‘n*****’—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘N*****, n*****.’”

More recently, numerous reports have exposed the role of the late Thomas Hofeller, a redistricting expert who worked for many Republican organizations over the years, in masterminding GOP state legislatures’ successful attempts to use race as the primary factor in congressional redistricting. Journalists have also exposed Hofeller’s covert advocacy for a new Census question about citizenship which he believed would suppress Hispanic responses and thereby harm Democrats.

The ascension of Donald Trump from wrestling sideshow to the heights of Republicanism has greatly increased the prominence and power of racists within the party. The 2015 launch of his presidential campaign with portrayals of most Mexicans as rapists and murderers electrified the white nationalists who had formerly supported Ron Paul’s quixotic efforts and they began flocking to the billionaire, producing hundreds of thousands of memes and trolling comments in his favor.

“White nationalists have always sought to inject their ideas into conservative politics, Fuentes is just the latest person to be doing it,” Howard Graves, a researcher at the Southern Poverty Law Center told me. “What’s different now is that is that they feel emboldened by our commander-in-chief.”

Steve Bannon, who eventually became Trump’s campaign chairman, very carefully nurtured the online fascists. Referring to them as his “killing machine,” he threatened to use them as a force against any faction hoping to deny Trump the presidential nomination at a brokered convention. Bannon also boasted that he was fashioning Breitbart News into “the platform for the alt-right” as his editorial protégé Milo Yiannopoulos allowed racist activists to line-edit articles.

Once in office, Trump pandered to extremist supporters in numerous ways including his efforts to ban all Muslims from immigrating to the United States, break up families of unauthorized immigrants, and enact legislation exempting far-right Christians from any law they felt restricted their freedom to discriminate. Most infamously, Trump, acting on Bannon’s advice, repeatedly claimed that “very fine people” had attended the fascist-organized Unite the Right rally in support of Confederate memorials.

Recently, Stephen Miller, Trump’s top adviser on immigration was revealed to have regularly promoted white nationalist talking points to a Breitbart News reporter. He is one of a number of Trump staffers who have been revealed to have ties to racist groups.

The growing closeness between the extremist right and Republican elites during the Trump era and the recrudescence of white supremacism has prompted several prominent conservative figures to try to take active measures to block the incursion.

Fuentes himself became a target of Turning Point USA after students at Iowa State University invited him to give a speech under the TPUSA banner in March. The event attracted controversy and put Fuentes on the group’s radar permanently. Kirk’s organization further aroused the anger of Nickers in September after it cut ties with one of its social media advocates after she appeared at a private event with Fuentes.

Egged on by Fuentes’s insults and a pre-existing infiltration campaign of a small alt-right group called the American Identity Movement, far-right young men began crashing TPUSA head Charlie Kirk’s lavishly funded “Culture War” college tour events in early October and the Groyper rebellion was born.

As the campaign has gathered steam, Sebastian Gorka, the former Trump national security adviser who now hosts a daily radio program also called “America First” became the first prominent conservative outside of TPUSA to attack Fuentes as racist. Ben Shapiro, a talk radio host and co-founder of the conservative website Daily Wire, condemned Fuentes as a “garbage human being” during a lengthy speech to Stanford University students earlier this month.

But the denunciations have done little to curb the insurrection, in part because Republicans have spent 50 years building their entire political edifice around implicit appeals to white Christian identity, granting at least some built-in support to anyone claiming to stand up for far-right Christians.

This lesson was made crystal clear during the 2016 Republican presidential nomination contest when Donald Trump kept amassing support among conservative fundamentalists despite his utterly irreligious demeanor and the many denouncements he faced from religious activists who supported Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). None of that mattered, however, because Trump promised that if he became president, “Christianity will have power.”

“The Christian right has been remarkably effective at maintaining a market and culture of people who are fed hateful messages and that makes it almost inevitable that white nationalists would tap into that, especially during a time when many of those people feel like they are an embattled minority,” Graves, the researcher at the Southern Poverty Law Center told me.

Fuentes, who identifies as a traditional Catholic and is partially of Hispanic descent, is perfectly able to wrap his arguments in the Christian supremacist argot that has become central to almost all Republican rhetoric. He’s also been careful to disclaim the label white nationalist even as he has conceded that it could accurately describe his views.

While many in the “Nicker Nation” are obviously racist, it’s unclear what percentage of the people who’ve been disrupting conservative speeches are fully onboard with a white supremacist agenda. In fact, several of the questioners who have challenged establishment Republicans appear to be black or Hispanic.

The idea that minority Republicans would want to support a white nationalist makes little sense until one realizes that Fuentes is fond of using coded language to hide messages intended only for racists, a practice frequently referred to within the alt-right as “hiding your power level.” (He has slipped up a several times, however, including going on a profane and anti-Semitic rant in August and once joking about racial segregation.)

As might be expected, Fuentes’s dog whistles are based on more up-to-date references than Atwater’s. Several of his fans were confused by them during the Nov. 5 broadcast of his “America First” show, when he used a coded reference to praise Andrew Anglin, the publisher of the racist Daily Stormer blog, a key figure in the original alt-right who has tried to re-brand himself from a neo-Nazi into a soldier for Christ.

But the sly reference, couched as a shout-out to Daily Wire podcast host Andrew Klavan, confused some of Fuentes’s viewers.

“I know that Andrew Klavan from Daily Wire has been very supportive,” Fuentes said in response to a viewer question. “And I appreciate that … I really do appreciate his support, I think he’s very funny, I love what he writes. He’s very funny, very talented writer, Andrew Klavan of Daily Wire. And I appreciate his support, I think it’s been very helpful. I think Andrew Klavan has been right about this country from the beginning. I think he’s been right about this—the things he’s been saying for the past two years, particularly about the right wing has been so true and we are vindicated together, Andrew Klavan from Daily Wire and me.”

Not everyone watching the show could hear the dog whistle, however.

“Why are you CRINGE shilling for Andrew fake Christian Klavan,” a commenter on Fuentes’s live stream wrote.

“Daily Wire? Isn’t that Ben S?” another wrote, referring to Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro.

Many of the viewers understood the reference, however, correctly pointing out that Fuentes was not actually praising Klavan.

“Are you people stupid? He’s obviously talking about Anglin but framing it as Klavan,” a third fan replied.

“People are soo dumb who actually thinks [sic] he’s talking about Andrew Klavan,” said another.

For his part, Anglin seems to have understood the reference. He responded to the praise on the Daily Stormer by posting a meme of two men bowing to each other.

Fuentes’s habit of mostly sticking to standard-issue conservative talking points and masking his more extreme messages—including one in which he joked about the Holocaust through a Cookie Monster metaphor—has also led several prominent conservative figures to lend him their support. Michelle Malkin, the Asian-American columnist and former Fox News commentator, has repeatedly praised Groypers and Fuentes specifically for advocating against immigration, arguing that endorsing some of their views does not mean endorsing all of them.

“Here’s my message to the new generation of America Firsters exposing the big lies of the anti-American open borders establishment and its controlled opposition operatives: If I was your mom, I’d be proud as hell,” she said during a Nov. 14 speech at UCLA. In her remarks, she also condemned Shapiro as “creepy” and “cringe” for calling Groypers losers just days earlier.

Alex Jones, the dietary supplement kingpin and radio host, has also expressed support for Fuentes, inviting him twice onto his InfoWars platform to attack Charlie Kirk. Cassandra Fairbanks, a popular social media personality and writer at the right-wing conspiracy site Gateway Pundit, has also tweeted in support of Malkin’s position that conservatives should stand up for Fuentes’s ability to speak, even if they don’t like some of his statements. Ali Alexander and Wayne Dupreee, black conservatives who have built a following among Trump fans, have agreed with this sentiment.

The conservative establishment’s attempts to fight back against the growth of white nationalism have also been weakened by the fact that many of its voters have come to realize that American conservatism as presently constituted is heading for electoral extinction. Exit poll data from 2018 indicates that white Americans were the only racial group in which a majority voted for Republicans, but only by a slim margin. Fifty-four percent of people of European descent said they voted for a GOP House candidate while 44 percent picked a Democratic one. Among Hispanics, 69 percent went Democratic as did 90 percent of African-Americans.

Numeric analysis suggests that it is Republicans’ anti-government views and practice of white Christian identity politics that are driving voters away. African-American were formerly a Republican voting bloc but that changed after conservatives took over the GOP in the 1960s and forced the party to oppose civil rights and back massive spending cuts. A similar process, much less remarked upon, has happened among Asian-Americans, most of whom consistently voted for Republicans until the 2000 election and George W. Bush’s decision to re-brand the GOP as the party for Christians.

As a demographic group, it is difficult to speak generally about Asian-Americans since they come from so many dissimilar countries. But the one generalization that can be made about the fastest-growing racial group is that today’s Asian-American population is significantly less Christian than in prior decades. According to the American Religious Identification Survey, 66 percent of Asian-Americans were Christians in 1990. By 2008, this number had declined to just 38 percent.

The decline of Christianity among Asian-Americans has had an impact on their voting habits. In the 2018 election, 77 percent voted for Democratic House candidates.

But even younger whites are turning away from the GOP. In the 2018 election, only 43 percent of European-Americans between 18 and 29 voted for a Republican House candidate. That’s a decline from the 47 percent who voted for Trump in 2016, and the 51 percent who voted Republican in 2012.

Instead of facing the uncomfortable reality that Americans don’t like their policies and presentation, most conservatives have simply ignored the party’s demographic dilemma, offering insulting platitudes to racial minorities while utterly ignoring the concerns of secular young whites.

“Here’s how we look into the future,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw replied when asked about the GOP’s long-term future by a Fuentes supporter at a Nov. 4 event. “We don’t lie to minorities and tell them that we’re going to solve all of their problems. We tell them that they are included in this country and that the only colors that matter in this country are the red, white, and blue—that identity politics has no place in this nation.”

While the Republican party itself issued an “autopsy report” after the 2012 election that indicated the party needed to do more to appeal to people who were not white, the document’s recommendations were utterly ignored by Trump in his 2016 campaign and ever since then.

With conservative elites unwilling to talk about modifying some of their unpopular policy positions, the resulting vacuum in the conservative discourse has been mostly filled by immigration opponents who have been arguing that the GOP must stop legal and illegal immigration or risk electoral apocalypse. It’s a partisan-oriented, proto-white supremacist argument that some of the right’s biggest stars have repeated many times.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham has been one of its biggest boosters. During her Nov. 6 program she blamed “foreign-born” people for enabling Democrats to take control of Virginia’s state government. Last August, she said that “the America we know and love doesn’t exist any more” thanks to “demographic changes” brought on by legal and illegal immigration.

Her colleague Tucker Carlson has also repeatedly pushed the same line. In December 2017, he claimed that Democrats were using a “flood of illegals” to force a “demographic replacement” which would bring them new voters. In July 2018, he asserted that “Latin American countries are changing election outcomes here by forcing demographic change on this country.” This past April, Carlson warned Democrats were trying to “change this country completely and forever” through immigration.

The two Fox News stars’ repeated statements about immigration and the GOP’s future are eerily similar to ones made by Fuentes. During his November 17 show, he called legal immigration a “critical threat to the Republican party” that will “make us unable to win a national election ever again.” This past August, Fuentes argued that both parties were seeking a “systematic replacement of the people that constitute the country.”

Besides sounding like two of Fox News’s most popular prime-time hosts, Fuentes also has similarities to some of his most vociferous critics in the conservative establishment.

Sebastian Gorka, the former Trump aide and current radio host who first condemned Fuentes, has his own history of accusations of fascist sympathies. Like Fuentes, Gorka has also called for executing people he believes have betrayed America.

Daily Wire co-founder Ben Shapiro, another one of Fuentes’s critics, has also made comments very similar to the embattled YouTube star.

While he currently argues that Republicans should not care about increasing non-white immigration levels and slams Fuentes supporters for saying otherwise, Shapiro had a very different stance in a 2014 video in which he argued that granting citizenship to undocumented immigrants was “absolute lunacy” that would doom the GOP because Hispanics “lean left on big government.” Three years later, he argued that Stephen Miller, the Trump aide who spread white nationalist material at Breitbart while Shapiro worked there, “knows what he’s talking about on immigration.”

In some cases, Shapiro’s statements appear to be even more radical than Fuentes’s expressions.

In 2014, he did an interview with a white nationalist podcast in which he argued that Jewish media executives were trying to wage a “war on Christianity.” During the conversation—which was bundled alongside a promotion for a separate interview with white nationalist academic Kevin MacDonald—Shapiro repeated several anti-Semitic tropes but directed them only at secular or “leftist” Jewish people.

“There are a lot of Jews in Hollywood who feel the obligation—they have a perverse leftist view of history pushed by the Soviet Union that what really destroyed Europe was Christianity. It was not fascism, it was not communism, it was not leftism, it was Christianity,” he told host Lana Lokteff. “And therefore, the cure for intolerance is to bash the hell out of Christianity.”

“There certainly is a war on Christianity, it’s coming from some people who are secular Jews, it’s coming from a lot of leftists,” he continued. “Most Jews in America don’t care about Judaism.”

Ironically, Red Ice Creations, company which produced the show, is the former employer of Patrick Casey, the leader of the American Identity Movement which has been the boots-on-the-ground in the Groyper insurgency.

In the same broadcast, Shapiro also warned that entertainment studios seeking to condemn racism and sexism and include positive minority characters in their products are actually engaging in an insidious plot to “pervert” Americans’ minds as part of a “very subtle war on white males in our society.”

“What they want is they want to destroy the foundations of American society,” Shapiro said, speaking of media executives. “There’s no question that this is what they want. I mean this has been the case for the left since the 1960s.”

Shapiro has also endorsed ethnic cleansing in Israel of Muslims and Christians, writing in 2003 that forcibly removing Palestinians elsewhere is “an ugly solution, but it is the only solution” in the Middle East. Fuentes does not seem to have ever called for non-violent removal of Americans who are not white but Richard Spencer, one of the alt-right’s first figureheads, has. In the years since, however, Shapiro seems to have turned against the idea of ethnic cleansing.

The Daily Wire did not respond to repeated requests for comment for this piece.

While most conservative pundits and activists appear blissfully unaware that their beliefs are generally unpopular, right-wing election consultants have long struggled to overcome this problem in their efforts to obtain winning electoral coalitions. Yet, rather than moderating their positions to appeal to centrists who disagree with conservative ideas on economics, religion, and social policy, they have opted instead to appeal to white religious fundamentalists who are anxious about a country that’s become more educated, secular, and tolerant since the 1960s.

Murray Rothbard, one of the most influential figures in early libertarianism who was also heavily involved in GOP politics, described the concept in a shocking and prescient 1992 essay that touted David Duke and Joe McCarthy as the exemplars of an “outreach to the rednecks” strategy that would build a coalition of racist fundamentalists, business leaders, and anti-government ideologues under a platform of “America First.” Donald Trump, who employed McCarthy’s lawyer and repeatedly refused to disavow Duke, only slightly updated the playbook for 2016.

Expanding the Republican political tent to protect and include extremists was profitable for the GOP in the short-term. Among other things, conservatives’ effective use of religion and race as distractions from unpopular economic policies has enabled them to keep the United States as the only wealthy country in the world without universal health-care for decades.

But the conservative coalition’s days are numbered. In the last five presidential elections, the GOP has won the presidential popular vote only once. The white Christian identity politics which Republicans have long offered as an emotional inducement to voters is of no value to the majority of Americans who now want religion out of politics. Young people, meanwhile, are more interested in voting for democratic socialism than worshiping capitalists with Ayn Rand.

Despite its advocates’ claims of believing in “timeless principles,” American conservatism is actually a historical anomaly, one made possible by its host country’s geopolitical struggle with the atheistic and communistic Soviet Union. As that struggle fades into the mists of time, so do Republicans’ electoral victories.

The prudent, and indeed the conservative, approach would be to refashion American conservatism into something decent—a Republican Party that would promote efficiency while expanding the social safety net to support families, protect workers from exploitation, reduce immigration by improving life in other countries, and reject religious and racial bigotry while also making some space for people with traditionalist religious views.

In the face of overwhelming evidence that Americans want something different than what they’ve been offering, however, the powers-that-be on the right have resorted to gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement to forestall the inevitable.

But now, in addition to facing pressure from the center and the left, conservative elites are now feeling the heat from angry white Christians who have been promised everything for 50 years while receiving very little in return. Nick Fuentes and the Groypers may seem like a social media sideshow now, but in truth, they are only the beginning of a series of troubles that will destroy the Republican Party from within even as it’s caught within a demographic death spiral.

While the president’s consistent verbal appeals to Christian and white racial grievances was enough to get him the far-right’s loyalty in 2016, the serial humiliations of Donald Trump Jr., TPUSA, and their allies demonstrate that the resurgent alt-right wants more and that conservatives’ disingenuous attempts to portray themselves as free speech absolutists can easily be used against them. David French, a conservative writer and activist who has often been targeted by the alt-right, almost exactly described a year ago what the Groypers are doing today:

“Hatred for political correctness has yielded an unhealthy fascination with and admiration for pure defiance. Young voices pride themselves on fearlessness and place attitude over thought in their words and deeds. They troll online and at school to ‘trigger the libs,’ and nothing triggers the libs more than defiance on matters of race.  … If the ethos of the defiant Right is never, ever to accede to either a leftist or (what is, arguably, more hated) an ‘establishment’ or ‘elite’ conservative critique, then it’s easy to see how bigots can flourish.”

Fuentes has echoed this sentiment in his own way repeatedly, including during the same November 5 episode in which he endorsed a neo-Nazi. In the segment, he vowed to continue embarrassing the conservative establishment, regardless of the impact on Republicans’ 2020 chances.

“We’re not asking for anything that is not just and owed to us,” he said. “Unless and until Charlie Kirk and these others are willing to give us what we deserve, which is a seat at the table in Conservative Inc. or the conservative movement or whatever, they allow us to spread our message in the same marketplace of ideas that they do, then this will continue. And if it’s a liability then so be it.”

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Matthew Sheffield

Matthew Sheffield is a freelance writer and host of Theory of Change, a new podcast exploring larger trends within politics, technology, and society.