By MILO YIANNOPOULOS
If you’ve heard about a “civil war” happening on the front lines of American conservativism, but never bothered to find out more, here’s the crux of it: One side, represented by Establishment Republican organizations like Turning Point U.S.A. and the Daily Wire, is ferociously defending increasingly discredited positions on immigration and capitalism that are at odds with the Republican voting base and even their own members and readers.
This is the side of Charlie Kirk, who recently had to issue a shriveling apology for recycling a Hillary Clinton policy during his speaking tour: that anyone who graduates from an American university should get a Green Card “stapled to their diploma.” Yuck.
On the other side are the groypers, a loud and growing contingent of young conservatives unsatisfied by Republican gatekeepers. Supporting them you’ll find a silent but growing contingent of true believers, nationalists and noisy internet culture warriors who supported Trump the last time around but are getting increasingly ticked off as they see little movement on immigration or wall-building.
It’s true that this side of the aisle contains some genuine racists—remnants of Richard Spencer’s thankfully deceased alt-right—and people who flirt in an ugly and reprehensible fashion with Nazi ideas. But that’s a small slice of an emerging youth movement that in my view we should embrace and seek to enlighten, rather than reject and name-call.
The Establishment side of this war believes in unfettered free-market capitalism, a relaxed approach to immigration and is committed to “ideas” as supreme. If that sounds uncomfortably close to what I was preaching on my college tour in 2016, well, it is. Turning Point U.S.A. is an organization dedicated to replicating my success on American college campuses. That’s its whole raison d’être.
Except, the T.P.U.S.A. of today is Miloism shorn of all nuance, irony and sophistication, and frozen in time. In 2016, I said “I only care about ideas,” meaning that skin color and gender aren’t remotely the most interesting things about a person, contrary to what the Left would have you believe. But that doesn’t mean they’re nothing, as the pea-brained so-called influencers of today would have you believe.
When media figures hit the big time, they often get stuck in situ ideologically, terrified of learning or growing or changing in case their fame and wealth evaporates. They are afraid of testing their ideas, too preoccupied with clinging to fame and money. This is a product of cowardice and it is also a strategic error. It’s what has put Charlie Kirk and his organization on the wrong side of the zeitgeist. They’re still recycling old ideas, while the rest of us—including the voters—have moved on.
I’ve been sensing for a while that conservatism in 2019 is becoming more authoritarian and more explicitly Christian. The balance is shifting from freedom to order as people realize that you can’t stop Drag Queen Story Hour with bromides about the First Amendment. You have to just shut it down. To over-simplify, you might say that the Trump movement is morphing from a fun-loving free speech brigade to something more like the finger-wagging Evangelical scolds and censors of the 1980s and 1990s.
Philosophically speaking, conservatism is retreating from untrammeled “freedom” to a more ordered “liberty.” Conservatives are returning home to Edmund Burke, who often spoke of ordered liberty. Liberty, said Burke, cannot exist outside of an ordered system; liberty is in fact derived from order. Personally, I think a little from Column A and a little from Column B is about right.
“Authoritarian” might not be quite the right word for it, on reflection. After all, the order we want isn’t tyranny—it’s God’s order, which is something quite different. Fuentes and the groypers seem instinctively to understand this. They lean heavily into Christianity, and especially Catholicism. They, like me, certainly embody the spirit of glad and angry faith. They’re not killjoys from the Moral Majority, which is one reason I like them so much. (The 1980s Right got it wrong in their rhetoric, even if they were right about the importance of marriage and family. And homosexuality.)
This is the deeper understanding I’ve been coming to over the past few years: How sin is standing against God’s will. Progressives talk about Right-wing authoritarianism because they consider any attempt to limit their multitudinous sexual perversions as a kind of tyranny. Satan claims that God is a tyrant in the same way. Really, it’s libertarians and sexually promiscuous progressives who are the ones enslaved: Their brand of hedonistic freedom leads straight to Hell, while the anhedonic, misery-guts conservatism of the earnest Right-wing Establishment leads nowhere at all.
Conservatives are also starting to realize that although race isn’t everything, it’s also not nothing. As New York Times science correspondent Nicholas Wade wrote in his 2014 book A Troublesome Inheritance, race is real, in a statistical, genetic sense. It isn’t a “social construct.” It has observable biological consequences: For instance, some diseases only occur in some races. We need to know about it to best help and most efficiently treat patients in hospitals and to correctly tune public services.
Also, and there’s no point lying about this, I.Q. differences do persist between races in every study, no matter how many environmental factors are controlled for or when the study is conducted. It’s fashionable to say that I.Q. is a western-centric, white-biased, selective test that doesn’t represent the totality of a person and doesn’t take into account the different skills that are valued in different cultures. It is true that I.Q. is a general curve. Certainly, there are individual blacks smarter than most whites. I am married to one of them.
But broadly speaking, I.Q. is oddly resilient as a predictor of future life success. I don’t meant to get bogged down in this debate; I’m merely pointing out that the subject is messy and complicated and that the T.P.U.S.A. side grossly oversimplifies (a better word would be “lies”) about it for reasons best known to themselves. And they keep getting busted.
As Wade daringly admitted in 2014, genetic differences might explain why some cultures languish in penury while others flourish, because genetic inheritances might produce different patterns of behavior. That’s a pretty explosive claim, but it’s not me making it. It’s one of liberal America’s most distinguished science reporters. The reason I’m harping on about it is, of course, immigration. Trump’s most ferocious supporters are looking at the people pouring into their country and asking if their country is doing a good job attracting the best and the brightest from overseas.
Can mere ideas win, as Conservative, Inc. would have you believe in their dangerous quest to persuade us of the case for mass immigration? Or are there unbridgeable cultural differences, some of them perhaps rooted in biology, that will always keep certain groups at odds? That’s the question at the heart of the current schism on the American Right. Leading one army, but with what you might call more tempered views than some of his followers, is cheeky podcaster Nicholas J. Fuentes.
T.P.U.S.A. has, for some time, been in damage limitation mode, immediately expelling anyone suspected of original thinking, which was the whole reason I got famous in the first place: I was exciting and unpredictable. Turning Point USA top brass blacklist any and all speakers who might eclipse their own, carefully-vetted choices. The way they do it is pretty disgusting. I’ve never told anyone this before, but I recently discovered why I’ve never been invited to speak by T.P.U.S.A., despite being the personal political hero of just about every rank and file member.
Charlie Kirk and his deputies have been secretly spreading two utterly reprehensible lies about me. One, that I was blacklisted for trying to sell a T.P.U.S.A. member cocaine during my Dangerous Faggot tour, and, two, that I was caught trying to “groom” young T.P.U.S.A. members. Neither of these grotesque allegations is true—I mean, I can imagine trying to buy cocaine, although I didn’t, but why the fuck would I be trying to sell it?—but they are handed down to local chapters as the reason why members can’t have me speak on campus.
Kirk has never made these allegations publicly. He’s even privately enlisted my help to badmouth T.P.U.S.A.’s rival organization, Young America’s Foundation. Instead, he has operated through deputies to stymie my speaking invitations on campus. This is redolent of the Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro, who also deploys slippery, underhanded backdoor tactics; Shapiro was instrumental in the orchestrated Establishment-Right hit job on me in February 2017. He was getting increasingly stroppy that I’d stolen his entire audience, so he conspired with National Review types to concoct the lie that I was soft on child abuse.
Charlie Kirk’s organization hasn’t been successful in its mission on campuses, and it is hemorrhaging big-ticket donors. Several people have privately expressed remorse to me that they ever cut Kirk a check. By now you can probably guess which side of the fence I’d be sitting on purely for personal reasons. Fuentes’s enemies are disgusting people. But it’s not only a question of moral character. Fuentes is also right on a lot of the issues.
I do have some serious questions for Fuentes about the groyper worldview. For one thing, I want to know why they seem so obsessed with Israel and so rarely talk about Islam. Is it a streak of envious anti-Semitism? Or a principled stand on foreign aid to a country that doesn’t need it and might even be better off without it? Personally, I’m an unreconstructed Zionist, because I think we need a strong ally in the Middle East from which to nuke Mecca.
I also think that in any case, the paltry amount of aid Israel gets—a fraction of a per cent of the federal budget—just doesn’t matter that much. While I agree with Fuentes that this administration has perhaps done more for Israel than it has America, Fuentes may be coming around on this point. He recently told his followers to lay off the Israel stuff.
I’m also disturbed by the purity tests the groypers apply to their figureheads, because I know that without allies, they will fail. Subjecting anyone brave enough to use their real name to impossibly high standards that most speakers themselves don’t meet won’t just kill your movement—it will decapitate all of your most talented people, the imperfect but persuasive vessels for your ideas. If the groyper movement is to have any longevity, it needs to learn how to make friends.
By the way, chaps, it hasn’t escaped anyone’s notice that the folks on Telegram most ferociously applying these far-Right purity tests are themselves—behind their avatars—gay, interracially married, decidedly unathletic, or themselves Jewish.
How has Nick Fuentes managed to captivate and charm so many? He is undeniably talented, charismatic, quick on his feet and influential. But he is also still only twenty-one years old, which means either that he’ll be around for decades, and that this is just the start, or that he’s headed for an ugly implosion. I’m intrigued by him, and by the movement he’s leading, and although I don’t like everything they have to say, I’d rather have them on my side than not—especially if they can be persuaded that religion, and not race, is the ultimate source of culture.
From what I’ve observed, the vast majority of Fuentes fans aren’t racists or ethno-nationalists. They’re just young Americans concerned about the turn their beloved country is taking, and they’re unconvinced by creaking, geriatric arguments from Conservative, Inc. about how everything would get better if we’d only open our borders a bit more. Many of them express a strong devotion to Christianity, which is certainly encouraging.
I’ve seen clips of Fuentes, who describes his America First podcast as a comedy show, telling some pretty edgy jokes. Friends of mine say they cross well over the line into anti-Semitism, although I personally can’t get comfortable with the idea of policing humor on any basis. I want to know if Fuentes is merely a nihilistic instigator, or if there’s more to him. And what, exactly, that “more” is.
Like it or not, Fuentes is at the head of the most exciting right-wing uprising since, well, me. That said, his army of fans don’t think much of Milo. And a lot of my viewers don’t think much of Fuentes! But I have a hunch we’ve got more in common than we do keeping us apart—and, that we’re probably talking to media caricatures of one another.
That’s why I’ve invited him to join me tonight for a special episode of Friday Night’s All Right. It’s his first ever in-studio interview, and it’s my hope that America will get the measure of him without the dishonest mediating layer of Establishment media—or the lies of the Establishment Right—getting in the way.
Milo Yiannopoulos is a New York Times-bestselling author and award-winning journalist. His weekly late-night extravaganza of righteous indignation and casual cruelty, Friday Night’s All Right, airs Fridays 8.30/7.30c on freespeech.tv.