Back in 2015, I was interviewed by Evan Osnos for this article in The New Yorker. Yesterday, I noticed that I was quoted in his new book Wildland: The Making of America’s Fury, which is his attempt to make sense of why and how America came to this boiling point over the past decade.
“After years of decline, the League has recently acquired a number of younger members, including Brad Griffin, a thirty-four-year-old who writes an influential blog under the name Hunter Wallace. Short and genial, he wore Top-Siders, khaki shorts, and a polo shirt. As we talked, Griffin’s eyes wandered to his two-year-old son, who was roaming nearby. Griffin told me that he embraced white nationalism after reading Patrick Buchanan’s “Death of the West,” which argued, in Griffin’s words, that “all of the European peoples were dying out, their birthrates were low, and you had mass immigration and multiculturalism.” Griffin once had high hopes for the Tea Party. “They channelled all that rage into electing an impressive number of Republicans in the South, but then all they did was try to cut rich Republicans’ taxes and make life easier for billionaires!” he said. “It was all hijacked, and a classic example of how these right-wing movements emerge, and they’re misdirected into supporting the status quo.”
Griffin had recently told his readers that his opinion of Donald Trump was “soaring.” He sees Trump’s surge as a “hostile takeover of the Republican Party. He’s blowing up their stage-managed dog-and-pony show.” Griffin is repelled by big-money politics, so I asked why he spoke highly of Trump. “He’s a billionaire, but all of these other little candidates are owned by their own little billionaires.” He mentioned Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers. “So I think Trump is independent.”
The longer I stayed, the more I sensed that my fellow-attendees occupied a parallel universe in which white Americans face imminent demise, the South is preparing to depart the United States, and Donald Trump is going to be President. When Hill took the stage, he told his compatriots that the recent lowering of the Confederate flag was just the beginning. Soon, he warned, adopting the unspecified “they,” they will come for the “monuments, battlefields, parks, cemeteries, street names, even the dead themselves.” The crowd was on its feet, cheering him on. “This, my friends, is cultural genocide,” he said, adding, “Often, as history has shown, cultural genocide is merely a prelude to physical genocide.” I ducked out to catch a flight to Des Moines: Trump was speaking the next day in Iowa. …”
As you may have noticed, I generally despise “journalists,” but I actually enjoyed talking to Osnos. He seemed to be genuinely interested in trying to understand what was going on back in 2015. There was one other guy who interviewed me for a New York Times article on the White Lives Matter rally who was also a rare exception to the rule. Most “journalists” these days are like BuzzFeed or Daily Beast reporters.
Six years later, I had a good laugh seeing that excerpt in Wildland. The parallel universe that Osnos experienced at the League of the South conference in 2015 is now our present reality. Donald Trump became president. He currently has a 50/50 chance of being elected again in 2024. 90% of White Republicans now feel like a besieged and persecuted minority. 2/3rds of Southern Republicans would now support seceding from the United States. Just as Dr. Hill predicted, they came for all the monuments and even dug up Nathan Bedford Forrest from his grave. We are living through a cultural genocide.
Many of these views which were “extreme” five years ago are now utterly conventional. I’ve seen that 60% of Republicans now believe in the Great Replacement. Trump also sold out and MAGA was coopted like the Tea Party. MAGA is now taking the next step and evolving into something more radical. What do you think will happen if Trump runs and loses in 2024? What will happen if Trump runs and wins in 2024?
Note: In the 2020 election, I anticipated that Trump would lose and it would further radicalize his supporters. I anticipated that as far back as 2016.