For those of you who, like me, may have been wondering about what is going on in the cesspools of the far right in the US that led to Donald Trump Jr., of all people, being heckled off the stage at UCLA by right wing groups, Will Sommer has an explainer giving the background.
Whether he knew it or not, Trump Jr. had walked straight into a right-wing civil war that pits [Nick] Fuentes and his allies against more mainstream conservative stars, including [Turning Point USA head Charlie] Kirk, podcaster Ben Shapiro, and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX).
Fuentes, who marched in the 2017 white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville and has made remarks denying the Holocaust, has encouraged his far-right fans to confront conservative figures at Q&A sessions across the country since October.
But this fall, Fuentes and his white-nationalist associates have turned the viral potential of the Q&A sessions against mainstream conservatives. Instead of deftly batting away campus leftists, Kirk and his allies are left to struggle to respond to questioners couching racist, homophobic, or anti-Semitic messaging in Trumpism.
The fight has drawn in a host of conservative personalities on either side. Conspiracy-theory hub Infowars has been generally supportive of Fuentes, describing his targets as “grifters” from “Conservatism, Inc.” Columnist Ann Coulter has retweeted messages supporting the attacks on Kirk, while writer Michelle Malkin praised the questioners in a radio appearance and downplayed the racist and anti-Semitic nature of their group.
“It’s breaking out on college campuses now,” Malkin said. “There are many young, and very intelligent and sharp nationalists that are challenging Charlie Kirk and some other members of the open-borders lobby in the Republican Party.”
I hope they keep slinging mud at each other because this is one of those fights where you would be delighted if both parties lose.