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What Bill Mitchell Portends

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 0:51
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Bill Mitchell ran crying to The Daily Beast from the blowback he got on Twitter:

“Members of the alt-right, a loosely organized network of individuals with primarily white nationalist beliefs, have picked a new target for their wrath: the silver-haired, Trump-loving radio host Bill Mitchell. …

This difference of opinion, while seemingly pithy, underscores a rift in ideology that has bubbled to the surface among some Trump supporters.

It was first brought to light when Richard Spencer, a white nationalist who popularized the alt-right term, took public issue with the organizers of an inaugural event called “The Deplora-Ball.” He called out one of the organizers, Mike Cernovich, a proliferator of conspiracy theories like Pizzagate, saying that he was an opportunistic egotist who wasn’t defined by the same ideologies as Spencer. …

In a phone interview with The Daily Beast on Tuesday, Mitchell was unequivocal about his beliefs when it comes to Spencer, saying “I think he’s a racist. …

“He went so deep into this Jew-bashing and all this stuff,” Mitchell told The Daily Beast. “Jews are not your problem. If you’re not succeeding in life, Jewish people are not your problem. Look in the mirror.”

It is unclear whether this recurring fight—between people like Spencer, who appeared at an event with actual Nazi salutes and Mitchell, who seemingly wants to protect his brand and status—is going to last in the immediate future.

But, then again, there are still two weeks until the Deplora-Ball.”

I was vaguely familiar with Bill Mitchell during the campaign.

I had nothing against him at the time, but I never once cited his analysis of the election on this website. Like Richard Spencer, I thought he was a Trump cheerleader and goofball. He never wrote or said anything that I found interesting. I never considered him to be “Alt-Right.” Bill Mitchell was simply a Trump shill who had a reputation for making ridiculous, exaggerated statements on Twitter. My view of Bill Mitchell was so low that I didn’t find him worth my time to read as a pundit and that’s saying something.

From what I remember, there were ups and downs in the campaign. There were garbage news cycles (Khizr Khan, Access Hollywood) that lasted for weeks. There were clear moments in the campaign when Trump blew it like during the first debate with Hillary. His poll numbers would drop because he really was losing the election. It was an emotional roller coaster.

Bill Mitchell would usually pop up in my newsfeed whenever someone retweeted his bullshitting and spinning and I would just kind of ignore it and keep on scrolling. In hindsight, I think the one and only time I ever brought up Bill Mitchell on Twitter was in trolls of Jeff Blehar of Decision Desk HQ and Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight. I tweeted out “FORECASTER MITCHELL” because it was a joke:

The joke was that the punditry and polling data turned out to be so bad … that it was on the same level as Bill Mitchell’s DPRK Your Voice Radio!

Anyway, I never gave much thought to Bill Mitchell until this past week. I never thought of him as an “Alt-Right leader” because he had 170,000 Twitter followers. He was a Trump sycophant, but not an enemy. If there are people stupid enough to follow Bill Mitchell on Twitter, all I can say is that probably reflects their level of intelligence and education. Alex Jones has one of the most popular websites in the United States too.

This latest episode began when Jared Wyand, another Trump supporter with a large following who had been purged and exiled to Gab, returned to Twitter and lit into Bill Mitchell. He started lashing out and disavowing the Alt-Right that morning. It escalated over the next few days and culminated in his attacks on Kekhet:

Bill Mitchell woke the dragon.

If there is a larger meaning in this Twitter spat, it is that the brands like Mike Cernovich, Bill Mitchell and MILO were never considered Alt-Right leaders, never shared the beliefs and values of the community, and that the people who do share those beliefs and values ARE NOT selling out and changing their ways to accommodate anyone’s agenda. These brands might want to cuck their way to respectability or to some gig in mainstream conservatism, but in doing so they will lose their Alt-Right audience.

The Alt-Right is going to be the Alt-Right during the Trump administration … it’s not going to morph into mainstream conservatism. Insofar as Trumpism evolves into mainstream conservatism, you will start seeing more clashes like this.


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