The Right just gets worse and worse. I thought it was intolerable when Reagan was their idol, even more ludicrous with the cult of ignorance around George W Bush, and then dived off the deep end with Trump…but Trump is just a shallow, doomed figurehead. We need to fear what’s coming next: Nick Fuentes, or someone like him.
What they’re going to do is tap in the zealotry of an increasing radical Christianity.
Christian nationalism has returned to the core of the far-right after a tour through the wilderness of Alt Right syncretism involving the usual fascist amalgam of Odinism, Satanism, nature worship, British Israelism, Ariosophy, and so forth. In some ways, members of the white nationalist movement predicted this turn following the terror of Charlottesville, investing in efforts to infiltrate Christian conservative groups rather than focusing as much on exploiting the traditional tensions between radical subcultural milieus and liberal democracy.
Today, these white nationalists within the America First (AF) movement, led by Nick Fuentes and his supporters, are effectively infiltrating religious movements associated with the New Apostolic Reformation, the Orthodox church, and the Mormon church through proxies and supporters. Supporters have attended political events associated with the Church, started far-right church groups, and engaged with religious media in order to pull Christians further to the far right.
It’s a formless chaos right now. Reading through that summary, you get the impression that they’re morphing at a frenetic rate, they’re just sucking in bits and pieces of far right ideology and splicing together into nightmare creations, most of which are doomed to failure. Every little splinter group out there is a mutational experiment, struggling to find a survival strategy, and the most successful exploits seem to involve glomming onto the most sensationalistically evil ideas, because that’s what makes good clickbait, will maybe start trending, will catch on with the algorithm, and will skirt the edges of bannable content. So far, Christianity + racism + debatemebro culture seems to be a winning recipe, with a little dash of odious history to spice it up, as the America Firsters do so well.
AFers characterized themselves as Christian nationalists, meaning that they believe that the US is fundamentally a Christian nation, but elements of their movement reveal even deeper commitments to reactionary ideology. Fuentes has also made statements indicating Holocaust denial and promotes racist ideas (eg, “human biodiversity” and “race realism”) prominent among white nationalists. He also has a particular view of universal Catholic doctrine common among fascists. However, efforts to engage politically with different congregations outside of Catholicism characterize AF’s larger effort to move Trump supporters and the rest of the Republican Party toward white nationalist positions.
Fuentes openly debates other movement members from different congregations, like Pentecostalists and Seventh Day Adventists, about the nuances of revealed doctrine. To people who have expressed support for America First, Fuentes advises remaining discreet about their sympathies, while dropping hints about their beliefs and observing how their cohorts respond. In this way, America First works through entryism not just in college groups, and Turning Point USA most specifically, but also in churches and other right-wing organizations.
Have you ever seen or listened to Nick Fuentes? Like Pewdiepie, his popularity among a certain segment of the population is utterly incomprehensible to me — he’s a child-like hate machine who smiles and smirks while denying the Holocaust or taunting black people or encouraging authoritarian crackdowns on others (but not on him, oh no — that’s just an opportunity to claim victimhood). Fuentes himself might be on the road to irrelevancy — he’s been banned from YouTube and Twitter, and this kind of movement thrives best on social media — but they’re not done going through Lovecraftian changes and drinking the acid of insanity. I don’t think they’re going to fade away as long as social media survive on capitalist anarchy and leeching off the madness of crowds.