OpenDemocracy’s recent article by Shane Burley offers an insightful critique of the Alt-Right’s current position and a major challenge we face. Burley starts by arguing that our break from President Trump was necessary:
This rejection of Syrian intervention is uniform on the alt-right and signals the first major betrayal of the Trump presidency. Most white nationalist ideologues did not think that Trump would actually carry out a clean interpretation of their politics, but hoped they could mobilize him on their key political issues like foreign policy, refugees and non-white immigration. While he has enacted some of their agenda—including the Muslim travel ban, which was taken largely from Kris Kobach and the anti-immigration Tanton Network—his collaboration with Republican business interests has been disheartening. In that sense, the Syria bombing is only the most recent infidelity to the alt-right, albeit the most significant.
While we agree that the break was necessary it did move us away from mainstream conservatives. I have experienced this IRL as normie Republicans have expressed dismay that I would withdraw support from Trump over his broken campaign promises as the US media wages an all-out assault upon him. Two points here: 1) normie Republican voters are not as bothered by broken campaign promises as we were (or, at least, are far more forgiving) and 2) they place far more emphasis on party loyalty to the GOP than we do. We never cared about the Republican Party; we were attracted to Trump’s rhetoric against immigration, foreign interventionism and free trade. But many Republican voters were never as strongly enamored with these as were we. I have heard this IRL from some Boomer normies who have even told me that impeaching Trump would be okay because then we would get President Pence and “he’s more conservative than Trump.” They essentially lack our nationalist worldview. At the very least there is a significant divide amongst Trump’s voters between the nationalists and the normies. That divide is not new, it is just readily apparent now as we withdraw our support from a president who has repeatedly let us down so early in his administration.
Most importantly though, Burley points out that “a crossover [appeal to the mainstream] is necessary for the movement to make any material gains.” He writes:
As Trump moves further away from the dissident cadre he brought into the halls of power with him, the alt-right is sent floundering, lacking its clear connection to the mainstream. White nationalism is still unpopular to the vast majority of Americans, so they need points of crossover to recruit. The Trump spaces have been that—from the recent “MAGA” rallies to the Students for Trump and Turning Point organizations on college campuses. If the alt-right publicly denounces and organizes against Trump, as Spencer and other major alt-right leaders are calling for, then the movement will lose access to its largest pool of potential converts.
Burley argues that “In the end, the alt-right stands to become just a fascist movement that found a moment in the sun. That moment faded when its Trojan Horse leader was appropriated by his own business party—thereby sending the movement back to the fringes it desperately wanted to leave behind.” He seems ready to write off our chances at growing the movement and gaining more influence.
I am optimistic about our prospects. The aggressiveness of the Left is surely radicalizing many people. It angers many White people when Leftists and non-Whites celebrate the tearing down of our historic monuments. And we are going to see a lot more of this over the summer and beyond. The triggering will be hot and heavy and it will start immediately. We are developing significant platforms to reach, entertain and inform larger numbers of people. Occidental Dissent, Altright.com, TRS, Counter-Currents, Daily Stormer and Identity Dixie are a few examples of this. Activism is again a priority. It is much better organized than it was previously and we see far greater cooperation among nationalist/identitarian groups than in the past. Action groups, such as Identity Evropa, TWP, Vanguard America and the League of the South, are emerging to take the fight on the streets to Antifa and the radical Left. The “pool parties” are growing quickly in cities and regions throughout the USA. Every weekend now there is a large gathering or event take place. I have been active in the nationalist/identitarian scene since the mid-1990s and I haven’t seen anything like the current atmosphere since then. And it is far better organized, better led and more serious than it was in the 90s. It is also growing more quickly, I believe.
Still, Burley does make a good point. We do need to establish connections to the mainstream and ultimately to power. We will continue to grow as a subculture and political movement, in large part because identity issues are now in the face of normies as never before due to our demographic decline. As the Left grew as a subculture in the post-WWII era and prepared itself to take power, so will we grow and expand our influence. However, we need lots of points of contact – connections – to the White mainstream. Trump was a very important connection which mostly appears to be lost. There are other possible connections such as Corey Stewart and Roy Moore. Internationally, we have connections such as Le Pen, Farage, Hofer and Wilders. Another possible international connection we should place on our radar is Jair Messias Bolsonaro, a rising nationalist star and /our guy/ in Brazil. As encouraging and important as these international connections are though, domestic connections are far more important. We have a lot of room to improve in this department – and a pressing need to do so. Establishing connections to the mainstream through music, fashion, cartoons, public figures, etc. is vital.