The dispute between the pro-Israel conservative establishment on the one hand – often referred to as “Conservative Inc.” – and the “Dissident Right” has been picking up momentum.
The majority of the Dissident Right belong to generation Z, born in the late 90s. As so-called Zoomers, they grew up in a fully digitized environment, and their natural habitat is the Internet. Here they use all the ways and means to push through their agenda, especially with memes.
The accusation against the so-called conservatives is that after a largely populist election campaign in 2016 – “Americanism not globalism,” which Donald Trump had promised at the time – the Republican party is gradually falling back into old, neo-conservative patterns.
One of the leaders of “Dissident Right” is Nicholas J. Fuentes, who turned 21 in August. The skinny young man is eloquent, well read, strictly Catholic and a master at black humor as witnessed on his Youtube programme “America First”. He has assembled a loyal fan base, which calls itself the “Nick Nation”.
Fuentes has been demanding a sincere review of “Conservative Inc.” however. “Are these people even conservative? And if so, what do they conserve anyway?” he asks in his show. “Why do you claim leadership on the conservative side when advocating things like free trade, worldwide intervention wars, same-sex marriage or billion dollar development aid for Israel? That’s not patriotic, Christian or anything else.”
The 21-year-old’s number of clicks are currently going through the roof as well as the number of subscribers of his channel.
The main enemy of Nick Nation is Charlie Kirk. He founded the conservative organization Turning Point USA (TPUSA) in 2012, at the age of just 18, claiming to reach out to young students “to educate them about fiscal responsibility, free markets and limited governance”. It is considered a kind of youth organisation for the Republican Party.
He is supported by influential donors. Kirk’s father also worked for Donald Trump for a long time and is well connected in the Republican milieu. The TPUSA boss is 26 years old and gay.
The main point of contention is Kirk’s statement that the US is merely a “placeholder for timeless ideas” not the original white Anglo-Saxon population.
“I love the Rocky Mountains, I love Boston, I love Chicago. But if all that disappeared and all that was left were ideas and we were on a lonely island, then that’s America,” the TPUSA founder said. “The American people and the nation mean nothing to him,” according to Fuentes.
Kirk’s “conservative” friends have been organising events at university campusses. Among them are well-known names such as the author and political commentator Ben Shapiro, the comedian Steven Crowder or the Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw.
The modus operandi for Nick’s Nation, also known as “groypers” according to Fuentes, is:”You get yourself a ticket for the event, you arrive on time, you dress neatly (many actually show up in a suit, some hold a rosary in their hands), you politely stand in line and then you focus your question. You have been invited to ask questions, our approach is perfectly legitimate. We play on their territory, according to their rules – so concentrate!”
Fuentes watches the live streams of each event and also reacts live to the questions asked at the event.
One of the main concerns of the groypers is demography. While Trump portrayed illegal immigration as a threat, he also called for immigrants to enter the US legally, “in the largest numbers of all times”. The United States needs legal immigration more than ever, just to keep the economy running says Kirk.
While illegal immigration must be stopped and there is consensus on both sides of the conservative camp, the issue at hand is legal immigration since it has grave consequences and therefore it must also be contained, says the Dissident Right.
Among other things, they rely on scientific studies: “The immigration to the US has a significant negative impact on the Republican vote share,” noted a 2016 published work from the National Office of Economic Research.
Up to 70 percent of legal immigrants would vote Democrats after naturalization. So why should white Americans be digging their own graves?
Moreover, the narrative that immigrants come to the US to start companies or bring new ideas into the country is just wrong. In fact, data clearly show that most of the persons concerned are employed in the low-wage sector. They work for low pay in large companies, which means that a large proportion of the native population compete with them in wages and suffer when firms down-grade their salaries. So the average American has no advantage and for that reason, Fuentes has rejected automatic green cards for exchange students, which Kirk in turn has been pushing.
One on the pivotal differences between the two camps is why is the ethno-cultural identity of Israel is supported, but the same does not apply when it comes to the US.
The Dissident Right underscores the contradiction that an Israeli state with a strong ethno-cultural identity is praised, while the ethno-cultural identity in the US is completely neglected, because it is supposedly only about “values and ideas”.
Thus a groyper asked Kirk at one of the events: “Would you support a political decision that benefits the US but harms Israel? Yes or no?” The TPUSA boss struggled to answer the question: “That’s a wrong choice. Next question.”
Kirk, Shapiro or Crowder have thus far avoided giving clear answers to specific questions. Often they denounce the questioners as “alt-right” saying that having a normal conversation with them would make no sense.
Pundit Stephan Molyneux also noticed how badly the pro-Israel supporters were doing in a tweet.
I guess @charliekirk11 doesn’t understand the voting patterns of various American demographics.
Seems like if you claimed to be a political expert, that’s kind of the first thing you’d study, no?
— Stefan Molyneux (@StefanMolyneux) November 15, 2019
As the British Spectator remarked in astonishment: “Charlie Kirk and his colleagues are painfully easy to outsmart, even in the most basic conservative positions.” The Zoomers have taken the opportunity to engage in mainstream discourse, by “defeating people like Kirk, Crowder or Shapiro at their own game”.
Last Sunday, TPUSA held a “Culture War” event at the University of California and invited Donald Trump Jr, the president’s son. But without notice, TPUSA canceled the question and answer session. The audience initially reacted with loud boos and demanded the question and answer session. Then the mood went sour. “America first, America first, America first,” the audience chanted while Charlie Kirk and his guest watched in silent horror.
On his YouTube show, Fuentes always refers directly to paleo-conservative role models, and describes himself as a follower of this school of thought: “Pat Buchanan (former communication director of the White House under Ronald Reagan and co-founder of the magazine The American Conservative), Samuel Francis (Paleoconservative publicist), Paul Gottfried: the ideas are all there. We just have to own it.”
Nick Fuentes says the problem is this: Charlie Kirk’s organisation Turning Point USA serves as a magnet for “all the young conservative students who oppose socialism or other crazy left-wing ideas of the sentimental fanatics”. But Kirk is lying to his followers: “They are not for the freedom of expression, they are for a controlled expression of opinion.” He added: “You can ask Kirk if he thinks taxes are theft, but you will not get an answer if you ask him why he sees people as economic entities and why he thinks Americans are interchangeable. Or why the term race is a social construct. Or why he believes that homosexuality is not tolerated in the conservative spectrum.”
These people will sit down with communists, pro-choice advocates, and radical leftists for debate, that is fine— but merely appear in a photo with me and that’s the end of the road for your career? Talk about hypocrisy! What is TPUSA so afraid of?
— Nicholas J. Fuentes (@NickJFuentes) September 30, 2019
Kirk has meanwhile denounced the groypers as racist. “People who openly identify themselves as white racists came to my event this evening,” he said after the “Culture War” event. “They have no place in the conservative movement. We must unmistakably denounce this vile ideology by showing its ugly head.”
But Fuentes replied: “‘Alt-Right’ is just a word of dread that Shapiro and Co. use to discredit paleo-conservatives, their old adversary in the American right. It is the same as when leftists call us Nazis, white nationalists or racists. It’s a tactic to silence us so that legitimate ideas are silenced.”
His smile and optimism: gone. pic.twitter.com/XS8eFytq5w
— Nicholas J. Fuentes (@NickJFuentes) November 17, 2019
Fuentes and his fans are on the side of Donald Trump. They are merely trying to bring about a rethinking within the party so that Trump can continue his original anti-globalist struggle. And the question of whether a white majority in the United States would live on in the future, is completely legitimate, he says.
After all, the Western world is based on genuine European culture. “The ‘alt-right’ was racist, atheist, post-American, revolutionary and transnational. ‘America First’ is traditionalist, Christian, conservative, reformist and nationally oriented.”
The Identitarian Movement has also become aware of Fuentes. “In 2020, Fuente’s reach will really explode, I think,” said Martin Sellner, lead author of the Identity Movement, on Twitter in mid-October.
“I think Fuentes has come up with the slogan ‘America First’, with his demeanor and wit to find the ideal mix to mobilize and motivate the heavily Internet-centric, American alternative rights scene,” Sellner told Berlin weekly Junge Freiheit.
The criticism of Israel is an important paleo-conservative position and part of a geostrategic stance, which is “represented, for example, by renowned political scientists such as John J. Mearsheimer”.
Turning Point’s attempt to “passively accept the structural change of the population as well as the cultural revolution of the ‘Social Justice Warriors’ and condone the new influence groups, transgender people, homosexuals and minorities, will fail,” Sellner concludes.