It is a standard for right-wingers to constantly whine about being victims because liberal students on college campuses silence conservative voices. So when Donald Trump Jr. went to the University of California, Berkeley to promote his book that makes this point at an event hosted by two rightwing groups Turning Point USA and America First, he must have been expecting a warm welcome from a sympathetic audience. He may have even hoped to be heckled by left-wing student groups so that he could show how intolerant they were. So he must have been surprised when it was right wing groups who heckled him so much that he had to leave without giving his talk, getting booed off the stage as he left.
The audience was angry that Trump Jr and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, would not take questions. The loud shouts of “USA! USA!” that greeted Trump when he first appeared on the stage of a university lecture hall to promote his book Triggered: How The Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us quickly morphed into even louder, openly hostile chants of “Q and A! Q and A!”
The fiasco pointed to a factional rift on the Trump-supporting conservative right that has been growing rapidly in recent weeks, particularly among “zoomers” – student-age activists. On one side are one of the sponsors of Trump Jr’s book tour, Turning Point USA, a campus conservative group with a track record of bringing provocative rightwing speakers to liberal universities.
On the other side are far-right activists – often referred to as white supremacists and neo-Nazis, although many of them reject such labels – who believe in slamming the door on all immigrants, not just those who cross the border without documents, and who want an end to America’s military and diplomatic engagement with the wider world.
A number of the loudest voices at Sunday’s event were supporters of Nick Fuentes, a 21-year-old activist with a podcast called America First that has taken particular aim at Turning Point USA and its 25-year-old founder, Charlie Kirk. In a number of his own recent campus appearances, Kirk has faced questions accusing him of being more interested in supporting Israel than in putting America first. He has responded by calling his detractors conspiracists and racists.
So these right wing extremist groups consisting of people whose ideology tells them that each person should only look out for their own interests cannot get along with each other? Who would have guessed?
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