How the New Right Succeeds Where Republicans Fail
To understand this ragtag coalition, you must study their symbols.
If it was Prometheus’ gift of fire that would birth man’s first real era, one that would govern the early ages as man-made tools and homes, it was Vladimir Lenin’s propaganda marketing that unlocked an era that has ruled over the Machine, Modern, and Information ages. Using new methods, Lenin branded Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto.
Marx’s message would be used with Lenin’s new methods and adapted for all future mediums. Marketing is the ember in every home that ushers our votes, dollars, and social associations.
None of this is about ideology or politics. Today, President Donald Trump is commanding the narrative — and it too has nothing to do with politics. Trump coupled his chief skill — something the American right did poorly — with something they were unwilling to embrace: a sordid reality — the game is rigged, and the medium is the message. Ideas alone cannot win, and no superior relationship with facts will be enough to turn the hearts.
When I’m asked to predict the President’s next move, I explain: “Donald Trump is the brand genius of our time, and he uniquely understands something very fundamental about Americans.”
This is Trump’s chief skill. “He’s years ahead of you and me. We don’t know what his method is.”
This isn’t about what some have dubbed “Trump’s 4D chess.” Whatever Trump’s precise method is, it’s very clear that he first developed it by using the media to market his dreams. When some of those dreams failed, he doubled down on marketing, licensing his brand to actualize what merit couldn’t.
This is the circular law which governs the Information Age. He is no less due to his accomplishments, be it that they were achieved by purely merit or willing them into existence by using marketing.
This isn’t about politics. It’s the method, stupid!
Through this context, one might be able to better understand Trump’s rallies, the tax return debate, concluding the birther controversy, and labeled his opponents “lyin’,” “crooked,” and “little.”
Can you now understand why he emphasized the apostrophe?
His genius is in his acceptance of what works and what does not. This is the science. His critics see only the art, calling him a madman. His supporters see only the result of the science, calling him a genius. He appreciates both (as does any study of great men and women throughout time).
I could spend thousands of words better describing what I’ve discovered about the President’s near-lifelong method, but this isn’t about Trump the man.
The man met the moment.
Donald Trump did not create this moment or any movement. More accurately, he organized several contingents of dissatisfied peoples under a brand, America first, that has broad appeal.
Trump knew he could beat Mitt Romney in a Republican primary, but not likeable President Barack Obama in a general election. Again, Trump understood that all historical indicators would ultimately prove ineffective in ousting Obama. Trump chose to endorse Romney, leveraging for more credibility into a new market, and bide his time.
This wasn’t entirely predictive on Trump’s part. He prepared himself, like a good marketer and businessman. Every political observer knew how deep the GOP bench was because of the success of the tea party wave that swept at all levels of American politics. No one would choose to run in 2016 if they knew they could beat the 2012 field unless they knew losing the general election would be a knockout punch.
Things declined, predictably and precipitously, during President Obama’s second term. Obamacare continued to spiral downward. The president refused to compromise with the House Republican majority that voters had re-elected and sent back to our nation’s capitol with him, and the media, emboldened by what looked like a permanent, generational Dem-held White House, stepped up the culture wars.
Demographics this—extremists that—and then it got worse. Triggering, cultural appropriation, hashtag activism, and white privilege.
Nobody puts baby in the corner.
It Wasn’t the Silent Majority, But a Loud, Forgotten-to-the-Media—Vocal Minority
Isn’t it odd that the media spent the last years of the 90s decrying the death of print, the first years of the new millennia praising the move to digital, only to tell the American people that social media was destroying society?
Citizens could smell “fake news” long before the term was coined by the media after the election of Donald Trump. A phrase the media now regrets making popular.
Trump, again, was preparing for a battle he knew was coming because it happens every single general election. Spending the actual contest period of the primary he was winning, calling it “rigged” was genius preparation for the general election. This wasn’t framing solely to be used against Hillary Clinton, who many Americans on the right and left see as a modern-day oligarch, but the media, the gatekeepers of information that had just delivered him the primary. He framed the election while branding America; and even better, it was true.
The system is absolutely rigged. Saying this out loud made Trump more in touch with reality than the media. This stark break allowed his primary voters to entirely cut the cord. The media could no longer be believed. There would be no apologies, no regrets, no compromising. Conservatives, like myself, who had spent resources against Trump, migrated over to supporting shortly before or after the convention when we saw the lengths the media would go through to destroy him — and by proxy, us. We agreed, the system was rigged. Our government and our media had been weaponized against us.
Does the black American believe the system is rigged? Yes. How about the Hispanic American who watched Obama waste his political capital to pass Obamacare and Dodd-Frank instead of comprehensive immigration reform? Or the community banks that went out of business while the big banks got flushed with new cash, only to not lend it?
You can only hide a lie for so long.
“It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” Samuel Adams had it right.
White Americans have had enough.
The election of a biracial, half-African, half-white man did not make political opponents racist—though, that’s not what our media gatekeepers told us. Hillary Clinton’s campaign engaged in a racial propaganda campaign during the latter half of the 2008 Democratic primary in attempt to win voters in Pennsylvania and other white bluecollar states. The media punished her by destroying her candidacy.
Then, everyone became racist; John McCain, Sarah Palin, Joe the Plumber, and black voters who voted Republican.
Obama’s “bitter voter” comments didn’t hurt him. Because there was no correction from the media (time and time again), the Democrats would go on to repeat this same tactical mistake when Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri and Press Secretary Brian Fallon advised Clinton to slander “half of Trump’s voters,” labeling them “deplorable,” “irredeemable,” and “racist.”
It caught them off guard. Meanwhile, Romney’s “47%” comment earned him wide condemnation. Just like Congressman Joe Wilson’s “you lie” comment and countless other Republicans over the past four decades.
Americans could see, in real-time, what would happen if they found themselves on the side opposite of the Democratic party. The media would destroy opponents and impose a double standard. White America was reeling.
After years of recent name-calling, the media destroying legitimate dissenting voices, and now broad based attacks on the white, Christian, and rural communities, the moment had come.
Donald Trump couldn’t have foreseen this, but it played right into his preparation.
This wasn’t about white America as much as about witnessed attacks on everything they believed in, which, for many, was Christianity, guns, local government, the flag, the pledge, or the national anthem. During the latter part of Obama’s presidency the progressive left had retooled language and cultural concepts.
Under threat, everyday Americans were willing to form a coalition with disaffected Democrats, party-first republican establishment voters, ideological Conservatives who were made to feel included after a bruising primary, and fringe racialists in the Alternative Right. Dubbed the “Alt-Right,” these were contrarians who would later find a political label (as they were still in a process of self-discovery, which is why some labeled themselves Alt-Right without accepting the full weight of the term).
Christians didn’t trade Jesus for the boastful, sometimes vulgar Donald Trump, but instead, chose to recognize the threat of a mean-spirited Hillary Clinton and what she’d be able to accomplish with the already weaponized Internal Revenue Service and Department of Justice.
What the Alt-Right is today is probably more of what Clinton said in her media-mimicked speech. However, during the election, the Alt-Right was comprised of disaffected republicans and democrats, millennials who surfed memes and Reddit, reactionaries who often found themselves unconcerned with conservative issues such as abortion or gay marriage, and emerging white identitarians. Sure, there were a few racists, but there always has been. It’s a human condition, not a byproduct of a biracial president or Donald Trump.
Richard B. Spencer, an unpopular, fringe beta male looking to finally make his name, claims to have started the Alt-Right. Engaged in an unholy alliance with the media, they seek to codify this faux-fact into our history. If he coined the term, no one in the Alt-Right during 2016 knew it.
During the latter part of the election and before Trump’s inauguration, many prominent figures who had been labeled Alt-Right, against their protests, developed a new term, “the New Right.”
For them, the culture wars were here, but had less to do with issues of faith and more about racial equality, the regulation and censorship of speech, elitists and powerbrokers, and concerns over Islamic extremism. This is a very different definition than the one held from 1970 to 1995.
The New Right is comprised of people new to politics and others who have been waiting for a moment where the the right would develop new tactics. This could all be better described as the anti-Left. Few on the New Right are ideologically bound to anything associated on the American Right, except for pride in country.
Donald Trump gave voice to these people and they began organizing. While they may have help elect him, they’re bigger than him and look to outlast his presidency.
Less than two years later, The New Right has heroes in Milo Yiannopoulos, Mike Cernovich, Gavin McInnes, Lauren Southern and others. While this non-ideologically-cohesive coalition of misfits engages in depraved humor, we’re not above hosting thinkers including, Stefan Molyneux the philosopher, Jeff Giesea the entrepreneur and memetics warfare theorist, and myself, a seasoned conservative operative with a network both in the establishment and tea party factions of the Republican Party.
Cernovich and Giesea are considering hosting an event for the New Right. Think less republican meetings or CPAC and more SXSW or TED Talks.
The New Right has affiliate organizations in the Proud Boys and now the Fraternal Order of the Alt-Knights. There are least two other groups forming that deal with crowdsourcing research tasks and hosting events throughout the country. There’s talks of forming a caucus within the Republican Party to run their own candidates.
Hell bent on replacing media, alternative media is on the rise. At the National Bloggers Club, the largest right-of-center advocacy organization for bloggers and journalists, we’ve watched as the increased number of paid conservative bloggers and journalists has led to the shrinking of the independent blogosphere. However, with the birth of the New Right, we’re seeing a resurgence and it’s hard to quantify. New to the political scene, Cernovich commands the largest Periscope audience whenever he broadcasts, which can be multiple times a day to interact with people at home or work. He recently broke the Susan Rice “unmasking names” story, to the shock of the media. Now alternative media has legitimate sources. He was one of the subjects of a segment on CBS’ 60 Minutes special on “fake news” that failed to diminish his brand. His followers contribute over $10,000 every month to what he calls “high-impact journalism” and he’s talking with investors about expanding Cernovich Media. Bill Mitchell is another figure that has nearly a quarter-million people following his updates. He’s building up Your Voice Radio, and is seen as the president’s cheerleader-in-chief. His following is older and looking for new outlets to subscribe to after this new movement has expressed doubts in outlets like National Review and Fox News to adequately represent them. Rebel Media just hired Jack Posobiec, an agreeable figure for the New Right, to head their Washington D.C. bureau.
Some existing media outlets have build a place for the New Right. InfoWars and Alex Jones have taken full advantage of the birth of this new movement, hosting new voices on the network and tailoring coverage to fit a broader audience, even shying away from some of its more previous unproven conspiracy-oriented rants. Jim Hoft’s The Gateway Pundit hired gay conservatarian Lucian Wintrich (and my former business partner) and moved him from New York City to Washington D.C. to be a credentialed member of the White House press corps.
Some of my friends have turned into folk heroes.
Networks chiefly used by the New Right include Twitter, Reddit, 4Chan, Patreon, Gab, and now Periscope. YouTube recently demonetized many commentators videos, including InfoWars’ Paul Joseph Watson, a libertarian turned New Right. The banning of “Pizza Party Ben” prompted me to put up $2,000 to create a tool to combat Twitter suspensions.
Events from July to this present week where Ann Coulter will be hosting a talk at Berkeley have given an offline component to this inherently online movement. America witnessed the “Wake Up party” at the Republican National Convention, where a largely gay audience denounced radical Islam and praised Trump. Deploraball, where insurgents held their own inaugural ball. Counter-protests, like in New York City, where Trump supporters legally hijacked Shia LaBeouf’s “He Will Not Divide Us” protest-livestream, and a handful of skirmishes at Berkeley, including one where Make America Great Again (MAGA) supporters literally fought back against fringe-leftist democrats Antifa and legends like Kyle Chapman, a.k.a. “Based Stick Man,” were born. In October, Wintrich and I hosted the first ever conservative art exhibit in New York City’s gallery district. Yiannopoulos bathed in animal blood for a performance piece, Martin Shkreli had a piece that featured a pill with a high price tag on it to troll the media, and Wintrich hung erotic pictures of gay young men wearing Trump MAGA hats. I certainly didn’t agree with all of the art pieces we exhibited, but still, there was a sense of community and liberation. We were hated and we loved it.
An ecosystem is forming that includes but does not rotate around Donald Trump. Sure, these people have a president, but more importantly, he’s going after the media’s bigoted attacks against whites, Christians, minority Republican voters, southerners, and those who refuse to comply with the speech police — and he’s also not siccing his government agencies on them.
Each of these events is a battle of sorts. Every figure, a general. Symbols are being formed to sew together new affiliations and inspiration for future action. They’re happening in rapid succession, faster than I’ve ever seen in politics.
About 40 of my friends and I co-founded the modern-day tea party movement. On April 15, 2009, we helped local organizers in 81 cities organize 1.8 million protestors around the nation. The media denied our organic birth and claimed that it was the Koch brothers or FreedomWorks or Americans for Prosperity — organizations that aided some of the larger protests by offsetting staging costs and went on to organize individual groups.
Now, there’s no denying that the New Right is organized, fluid, and cannot be boxed in. Baby will not go in a corner.
When Republicans failed to bring forth compelling policies to properly contrast themselves against the democrats, conservatives organized in the 1970s and 80s. President Ronald Reagan aided in the creation, through his blessing and support, in several organizations including the Heritage Foundation and Americans for Tax Reform. Magazines from the Weekly Standard to the National Review to The American Spectator gave conservatives of various stripes a connection to what was happening in the nation’s capital. Talk radio facilitated that conversation in real-time. After wars and broken budgets, when both republicans and conservatives failed to appeal to minorities, libertarians, and disaffected democrats, the tea party gave voice to an unapologetic method of fighting and principled no votes.
The New Right seeks to be the next iteration of the anti-Left. It’s relentless, mean, accepting, unapologetic, non-ideological, and certainly bears no party allegiance.
In my talks with white millennial men, the target of unrelenting attacks from media and the academic communities, they talk about the figures of this new movement and the symbols that they now have on their Facebook walls, iPhone home screens, and stickers on their laptops more than they talk about any ideas in particular. There’s a rawness and an excitement to “save America.” In a Twitter rant, I once noted that many of these young, white men, especially in college, listen to rap music and have actual black friends, unlike many of those in the white, liberal press.
Admittedly, there’s a lot of contempt. The media loves painting this as angry, forgetting that many Americans, justifiably so, have things to be angry over.
The American Left Has Already Been Doing This
The American left has been flirting with Leninism and his methods for a long time. We’ve watched the left accept that the medium is chief, couple it with good marketing and canonize their symbols. The left is effective in not just mastering these methods in conjunction with the spread of communistic principles.
In fact, frequently, very popular conservative figures are caught saying some very bizarre things. In my 10 years working professionally in the conservative movement, I hear “We have jobs to go to, we don’t have time to protest.” This is not true. I also have heard, “We conservatives believe in the free markets, we don’t need to boycott.” My favorite is when they add, “just don’t buy their product, that’s not a boycott!” Ignoring community, assembly and market forces isn’t free market, it’s just self-righteous psychobabble. I have several prominent friends and allies in the conservative movement who say and believe this. Maybe I’m a bad friend for not having convinced them that their argument is ignorant.
Saul Alinsky’s mark to the left’s method organizing is undeniable.
Too often, conservatives resist adopting effective tactics created or coined by opponents or bad people. Maybe it’s the middle-class optimism in many conservatives that led them to believe that ideas and merit alone would win out. In our preservation of the past, we may have preserved some myths too.
The New Right has no time for dogmatic failings. They’re quick to adopt whatever works. Alinsky and Leninesque tactics are starting to be seen within the New Right’s work. I would point to examples, but why give it away if you’ve not read either? Go read!
Anita MonCrief, James O’Keefe, and Brandon Darby are three conservatives I know that revere Alinsky’s methodology. O’Keefe has a poster of Alinsky hanging in his Project Veritas office. Because they recognize effectiveness, they’re better informed of the left’s tactics and are largely successful in their own lines of work inside of the conservative movement. Each one of them is doing something someone hadn’t done in the conservative movement before. Each one is praised for their tireless work and their wins.
It’s easy to dismiss the design community as liberal, which it is, and say that that’s why Leftist branding is so much better, but it also ignores the fact that some designers are conservative-leaning or libertarian or that a good executive would go and fetch the right people for the job.
Obama’s team gave not just a facelift, but a makeover to politics. From the campaign’s logo to the creative corps that formed around him, it’s easy to not just see traces of Lenin’s propaganda methodology but Lenin himself.
Shepard Fairey, cofounder of the popular millennial clothing line, Obey, was the artist who created the widely distributed HOPE poster image of Barack Obama in 2008 in order to boost the candidate’s media presence.
This was not a new endeavor for Fairey, who has long used his talent, success and popularity in order to boost agendas on the left.
In January 2017, prior to the Leftist-organized Women’s March, Fairey and Aaron Huey collaborated on a series called “We The People,” “an effort meant to champion an appreciation for ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity.”
The Clinton campaign, too, sought to copy from Obama’s playbook in attempt to feel progressive and relevant while running against two candidates more progressive than candidate Hillary Clinton. Funny enough, her media-praised logo was dumped on by actual designers.
The original Trump-Pence logo lasted less than 24 hours, it was so relentlessly mocked. Romney’s logo was cast as looking like “toothpaste” and even had it’s own Tumblr. In both cases, for the Republican nominee, the logo was a negative meme meant to chase millennials away. However, the right gave the left the bullets to fire with by not taking symbolism seriously. It was neither organic nor met the professional standards of the design industry.
For the post-2016 left, it’s all hands on deck as they mobilize their “resistance.”
While it appears purely ideological to many of its followers, the result has been to double down on the maligning of media-forgotten people, which has fueled the New Right and formed a far-left Antifa group that violently attacks Trump supporters at rallies.
Theodore Robert Beale, an Alt-Right blogger known as “Vox Day,” wrote the 16 points to what the Alt-Right is observed, “For 50 years the left has been able to accomplish its objectives through the use of emotional manipulation and rhetoric. That no longer works. The rhetoric is now empty. It’s no longer effective. The rise of the alt-right, the new-right, and the rejection of defeatist conservatism means that they are no longer able accomplish their goals simply through words and threats and shaming and guilt. And so because they have no ability to engage in intellectual disputation, they have no ability to engage in dialectic. That means that their resort to violence is obvious. Their only option at this point is either surrender or doubling down. And so we’re obviously seeing the latter.”
Some liberal outlets, like Mic, are now trying to discourage violence on the part of the left after more than a year of organized violence by democrats against Trump supporters.
For democrats and the mainstream media, who hide this violence, it’s all about defending conservative-leaning U.S. Senate seats in 2018. It’s so dishonest, it’s fueling for the New Right.
What Does the Future Hold?
We could have dedicated this entire space to memes, Pepe the Frog, and Kek, but instead it’s important to focus on the contrast between the successful method of the New Right when compared to conservatives and the Republican party, in particular. This is the viability of a movement. This is what many people in my field fail to understand. This is its longevity. In fact, the Alt-Right will continue to dwindle as people exit and label themselves New Right. As with this migration, so too will the bulk of organic memes and newly established organizations migrate in order to fill this space.
Yiannopoulos is planning on spending at least a week at Berkeley. I’m calling it the “New Right’s woodstock.” He says they’ll form a tent city. I intend to go and so does Antifa. The question will be two-fold: How will the media cover the event? How will the government protect people peacefully assembling?
Look for symbols and heroes that might emerge from there.
I’ve been told by a reliable source that Yiannopoulos has also lined up at least $8 million for his new media startup that he’ll launch on May 5th.
Simply put, we’re just at the beginning of a movement that’s largely built on free association. These symbols and leaders will act as links between fluid factions of people.
There’s other emerging trends to follow too. For black Americans, Hotep has popped up. These are decidedly pro-black, self empowerment, and anti-victimhood individuals. So far it appears to be mostly male. They’re doing their own memes, have their own terms and charting forward with their own community.
For the New Right, Yiannopoulos is their favorite knight, Cernovich is their favorite media bully, Wintrich is their gay, swanky cultured friend, and Lauren Southern is their dream girl crush. Based Stickman encouraged them to be brave and hold to their convictions, regardless of arrest or blood. “Baked Alaska” encourages them to organize and the jester that keeps morale high. “Pizza Party Ben” is everyone’s witty, boy crush and meme mage. Molyneux lets some of them aspire to being rhetorical, thinking men. Giesea signals that it’s okay to be successful and associated with these rabble rousers. The countless black Trump supporters proved that white America would not have to stand alone in its persecution. Latinos and Hispanics who support building the wall prove that nationalism is more about America and less about the pigment of your skin. Reasonable, honest, liberal journalists Dave Rubin and Tim Pool show hope for a better tomorrow, where there’s actual discourse and disagreement.
These symbols fuel a growing community movement.
This loose affiliation of individuals shouldn’t be feared or mocked. These new communities will use symbols for their struggle and inspire others. It should come as no surprise when the left has told people, only to be broadcasted by the media, that the U.S. Constitution, pledge, flag, and anthem aren’t symbols that unify us. Institutions, no matter how old, which refuse to adapt, will die.
Now that the media has opponents for the first time, the narrative is free.
Special thanks to our MAGA MVMT group who assisted with media collection and editing, Wyatt Torosian who attempted to prevent me from boring you with his nearly 80 edits, my Periscope audience, and Jeff Giesea, for encouraging me to write my observations about this new movement. This may turn into a series, as I believe it’s important to fairly cover all political movements.