The headlines are coming almost daily now:
“What is there left to say about the alt-right? Let’s just start with the basics.
Their numbers are hard to quantify, but they have a large social media presence, particularly on Twitter, which they use to harass journalists and conservatives, particularly Jewish ones. They’re fond of internet memes, have their own little shibboleths (such as their tactic of putting parenthesis around the names of Jewish users?), and are generally young, white, and male. …
But it’s also very serious, Yiannopolous and the alt-right will tell you, because the West in under attack and conservatives, locked in the straight-jacket of respectability, won’t do anything about it. The Muslims are coming, and so are the Mexicans. Blacks are out of control in the cities. The feminists are trying to upset gender norms, which is why you can’t get a date. Smart as you are, young white man, you can’t get rich, because of globalists, who “just happen” to be Jew …”
Something has changed.
The Alt-Right has been on a spectacular run since last June. The movement has gotten more publicity over the last year than at any time in memory. Usually, White Nationalists are only covered by the media when some vanguardist goes on a shooting spree and we get a lot of bad press. I don’t know of any hard figures, but Trump’s presidential campaign has coincided with a dramatic upswing in Alt-Right activity and visibility.
Can you remember a better year than 2015-2016? Why are we suddenly on the radar screen? Why is Weev on the cover of Time magazine?
For as long as I can remember, the “worse is better” theory has held sway over the White Nationalist community. According to this theory, every defeat is a secret victory for White Nationalists. As the multiracial society pushes White people to their limits, they will become alienated from the mainstream. They will get angrier and angrier and in their desperation they will turn into White Nationalists. This is what eight years of Barack Obama in the White House was supposed to accomplish.
The fact is, if Donald Trump hadn’t come along and made this amazing run, Ted Cruz would probably be the Republican nominee. No one would be talking about the Alt-Right or White Nationalists. Weev wouldn’t be on the cover of Time magazine. Instead of being on its knees, #TruConservatism would be experiencing a Renaissance.
The “worse is better” theory was right in the sense that White people have been pushed to their limits and are increasingly desperate. Obama was successful in polarizing the country and antagonizing them. It is unquestionably true that White people have become angrier and more alienated. The problem is that White America is like a drowning man and White Nationalists have a lot of competition from potential saviors.
In 2008, White people were tired of the Bush wars and Bush economy, and Obama sold himself as their savior. In 2010, the Tea Party captured the angry mood of the electorate. In 2012, White people turned to Mitt Romney after he won the Republican nomination. In 2014, the Republicans benefited from another tantrum election and retook the Senate. In 2016, Donald Trump ran for president and the anger and energy was captured by his campaign. We’re lucky Trump won the nomination instead of Ted Cruz.
Why didn’t White people turn to White Nationalists? Why would anyone turn to a group of potential saviors who are promising more devastating defeats and punishment? If there is a lot of angst about immigration, job losses, terrorism and refugees, why would anyone turn to a bunch of “worse is better” masochists?
The fatal flaw in the “worse is better” theory is that it bets everything on anger and alienation, but it ignores fear and apathy. If people are too afraid of confronting the enemy, they will cower in fear and conform to the status quo. If they suffer nothing but the shock treatment of one devastating defeat after another, they will lose their spirit and grow apathetic. Why even bother if all is lost?
Trump’s keenest insight into the malaise of White America is when he said that our people have “lost their spirit.” They’ve been beaten down so low that they had grown apathetic. As he put it, “we don’t win anymore.” How do you respond to a bully? Do you encourage the bully to beat up a kid over and over again until he learns his lesson? Do you tell the kid to look forward to tomorrow’s ass-kicking? No, you fight back.
That’s what Trump has done here. He took a bunch of disaffected, demoralized, disorganized people on the Right, who are accustomed to losing, rallied them behind his campaign, and inflicted a devastating defeat on the #TruCons. It is a lesson they will never forget.
The dog was always angry. It always resented being kicked around, but what is different is that it has tasted blood for the first time. It won a round and has a new spirit. It has gained confidence and will never be same.
Note: Saying people will go back to sleep if Trump wins has it backwards. They had been asleep for 15 years. Cowed by fear and paralyzed by apathy, they were inert and doing little more than carping on the internet and fighting with each other! I have the vBulletin forum databases to prove it. Believe me!
I think it is fair to say that if the candidate of such a repressed social group were to actually win the White House that we can expect them to move beyond trolling.