I’m a Southern Nationalist.
As I have explained here before, I identify in a broader sense with the Alt-Right. By that I mean I define the Alt-Right as being a scene that has long existed outside of mainstream conservatism. In my view, it has three hallmark characteristics: radical realism, identity, and iconoclasm.
So the Alt-Right is like a genus. There are various species within that genus. These tendencies are often in conflict with each other. You have atheists and pagans who quarrel with Christians. You have people who dislike the National Socialists and vice versa. You have elitists vs. populists. You have Southern Nationalists and White Nationalists and European ethnonationalists. These clashes have been going on for as long as I can remember, but everyone involved in our world is not a mainstream conservative.
Anyway, the Heil Heard Around the World at the NPI conference has reignited the longstanding beef between RamZpaul and Colin Liddell and the Alternative Right crew and Andrew Anglin. Speaking as an analyst and someone who is completely neutral in this conflict, I want to offer the following observations:
1.) First, Andrew Anglin had nothing to do with the NPI conference, and it is pretty amusing how the well-known, longstanding fashiness of NPI culminated in that DUMPSTER FIRE of a news cycle. I mean, whatever your feelings about Andrew Anglin and fascism, you have got to admit that was an inside job. As we saw with Matt Parrott and Matt Heimbach, NPI has long been selective about who it invites to use its platform. Remember the whole controversy about Jack Donovan? It was NPI who gave a platform to Donovan, Tila Tequila and that Jewish kid at Maggiano’s, as well as the various people who gave the Roman salute in the audience.
2.) Number Two, Donald Trump was elected president, right? He was elected with Daily Stormer hailing him as the “God-Emperor” day in and day out. It’s not like The Stormer didn’t catch the eye of the media over the past year. Remember Julia Ioffe and Jonathan Weisman? I lost count of how many times I saw that pity party on All In With Chris Hayes and The Rachel Maddow Show. Rachel Maddow did a big expose on how Pepe the Frog was a Neo-Nazi white supremacist. So whatever effect The Stormer had on the 2016 presidential election, it certainly wasn’t fatal at the ballot box to Trump or the Alt-Right.
3.) Number Three, as someone who is completely neutral in this fight and who watched this all play out, I got to say that The Stormer’s impact has been underrated. From my perspective, it sure looked like it was the aggressive trolling of journalists and conservatives on Twitter that put the “alt-right” on the map. I say this as someone who wasn’t really a troll and who was dismissive of the efficacy of online trolling. As I watched it unfold, I couldn’t believe how successful the troll armies were at getting under the skin of these people.
FWIW, that’s my take on what happened in the 2016 election. What do you think? Why did the alt-right explode in 2015? What changed? I think it was the aggressive trolling, not genteel conferences.