I came to know Vegas Tenold at Auburn, Pikeville and Charlottesville:
“As we stood in an abandoned coal field in western Kentucky in April, amidst a group of Nazis, Klansmen, and college kids, Brad Griffin, a popular blogger in the movement, told me that the defining moment of the past year hadn’t been the election of Trump, but rather the punching of Spencer. It confirmed my suspicion that the sometimes violent reactions to hate speech were having the undesirable effect of growing the movement. …
And they were also buoyant. They felt their movement was coming together, which was the driving sentiment behind the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August. They wanted to celebrate that unity and cement it further. Except that’s when it all fell apart. …
I embedded with the movement at a time when it was nothing. I bore witness to its unlikely rise to prominence, and to those ugly days in August. It was a bad year, but it also exposed the limitations of the far right as a political force. Unity turned out to be an elusive goal, even for a group of racists, Nazis, and ethno-nationalists. The past year showed us how far the far right could go—too far for most, even if they didn’t really get anywhere at all. …”
In a sense, I agree with Vegas.
Overall, it was a terrible year for the Alt-Right, but I never shared the movement’s absurd expectations about the Trump administration. In fact, I had to be dragged by my wife into attending the Inauguration. In my New Year’s Eve post, I said that I was going to do a lot of political punditry and chronicle the Trump administration as it unfolded. I said that we are about to enter the gates of “a false paradise” and that the Alt-Right wasn’t going to be locked in the “basement of a reinvigorated mainstream conservatism and treated like a retarded cousin for the next 4 years.”
A year later, I was absolutely right. I also predicted the demise of MILO which came about for the exact reasons that I said it would too. Going further back into the campaign, I tried to anticipate the political landscape of the Trump administration. In hindsight, I gave Trump far too much credit by assuming he would act on his populist campaign promises, but I also said that, “It is safe to say that a Trump victory will be interpreted by Middle America as the moment they succeeded in “Taking America Back.” By promising the world to his followers, Trump will have raised expectations like never before. They will soon find out that not even Donald Trump can “Make America Great Again.” The disillusionment and radicalization that will follow will be something to behold.”
As we enter 2018, we have finally arrived at the moment that I anticipated two years ago, which was the real reason why I backed Donald Trump so strongly in the 2016 presidential election. I wanted him to win the election precisely to show his millions of followers that the system cannot be reformed through conventional methods. Donald Trump ran as a nationalist and populist, drew those enormous crowds with his unrelenting assault on the establishment, promised sweeping change and now has shed his skin and returned to conventional, wildly unpopular Republican policies.
In the wake of Charlottesville, Vegas Tenold was unable to see the real story. Clearly, he didn’t anticipate the next move. Charlottesville is already receding as the facts about what really happened on August 12th came out in Tim Heaphy’s independent review. The real story about White Nationalism is where does all that radical energy that flowed into Trump’s campaign go after his followers lose faith in the nationalist and populist promises of their God Emperor? Where does all that radical energy that flowed into the Left go after it returns to power?
It’s a simple pitch, really: the Jews took over social media, and it was also the Jews like Jared Kushner and Gary Cohn who subverted the Trump administration. It is impossible to “Make America Great Again” so long as Jews continue to have so much wealth and power in American society. Even if you win the election, Jews are still setting the agenda and controlling the administration.
So, I am not really looking backwards at 2017, but forward to 2018 and at long term trends. It was always going to be a confusing year after the heady days of 2015 and 2016. The Alt-Right had convinced itself that everything was going to change when Donald Trump entered the White House. It took months for the movement to shed those illusions. Then it kind of drifted into what the Alt-Lite had been doing with MILO’s college tour and the street fighting with Antifa in Berkeley.
But doomed? I don’t think so. It’s like saying we were doomed by Pat Buchanan’s failure or Ron Paul’s failure. We haven’t gone away. Those people haven’t gone away either. We’ve lost our access to mainstream social networks and crowdfunding platforms, but at the price that the ADL has officially assumed the role of hall monitor and thought police on social media.
As the demise of the NFL so vividly shows, we’ve only become more polarized in 2017. The center has continued to hollow out. Even shopping has become politicized. We can’t assume that American cities will uphold law and order. While this has imposed some new hardships on us, it is consistent with our theory of where this is headed which is toward the balkanization of America.
Here’s a toast to 2018. Cheers!