I don’t write much about White Nationalism.
In my view, the term White Nationalism is associated with the first wave of the movement in the 1990s and 2000s. It is used by older generations who post on websites like Stormfront. Similarly, the Alt-Right was the second phase of the movement in the 2010s, which resonated with a younger audience and which crested when Dump was elected president in 2016 and crashed during his presidency.
“White nationalist leaders, such as Richard Spencer, wanted an even bigger audience and influence.
Spencer coined the term “alt-right” to this end, with the goal of blurring the relationship between white nationalism and white conservatism. He did this by establishing nonprofit think tanks like the National Policy Institute that provided an academic veneer for him and other white supremacists to spread their views on white supremacy.
This strategy worked.
Today, many white nationalist ideas once relegated to society’s fringes are embraced by the broader conservative movement.
Take, for instance, the Great Replacement Theory. The conspiracy theory misinterprets demographic change as an active attempt to replace white Americans with people of color.
This baseless idea observes that Black and Latino people are becoming larger percentages of the U.S. population, and paints that data as the result of an allegedly active attempt by unnamed multiculturalists to drive white Americans out of power in an increasingly diverse nation.
A recent poll showed that over 50% of Republicans now believe in this conspiracy theory. …”
We’re now in the midst of the third wave.
The key difference is that radical ideas like the Great Replacement, secession and Christian nationalism, which used to be marginal and circulated only in our circles, are now broadly accepted by millions of people. Michael Peroutka, for example, gave a standard speech in which he endorsed Christian nationalism at the League of the South conference in 2012. There is nothing new about the idea of a Christian republic with laws based on the Bible. Probably half of the content of most of the League of the South conferences I have been to over the past decade has been some type of endorsement of this.
Half of Republican voters now believe in the Great Replacement. Half of White evangelicals believe that America was created to be a European Christian society. A third of Republican voters believe that their state would be better off if it seceded from the Union. 4 out of 10 Americans believe that having a strong leader is more important than democracy. 1 out of 5 now say that it is likely that they will be “armed with a gun” at a violent political protest in the next few years. That’s a huge shift.
Some enormous number of White normies who believe in all of this have finally woken up over the past three years. These people are mostly White evangelical Protestants in the South and Midwest. They watched the George Floyd riots. They believe that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. They have watched the Biden administration. They now agree that antiracism is anti-White.
That’s who is going to carry the torch moving forward. Their sheer numbers make that inevitable. The goal of our activism when we traveled to small towns like Shelbyville or Pikeville was always to reach those people and persuade them to come around. At some point, it worked and they changed their minds on their own time and now believe a lot of the things we believe, not everything, but enough. They weren’t quite there yet in 2017, but they have lost a lot of their former illusions by 2022.
We’re long past the metapolitical forming the ideas stage. We’re past the edgy vanguard stage. This is the mass radicalization stage. Ordinary people are adopting these ideas and integrating them into their existing worldview. Normal people as opposed to the weirdos who are always attracted to fringe movements are now dominant. This is the age of the radical normie.
I sometimes wonder what some people in the Alt-Right expected to happen. 80% of people on the Right are Christians. The overwhelming majority of them are conservatives. Those people were never going to drop Christianity and embrace Nietzsche’s every word as gospel and “Become Who They Are” and join some ridiculous solar cult based on Apollo and Emmanuel Macron, but you could persuade them that they were under vicious attack by our elites for being White and that they should resent that and be angry about it.
I’m not disappointed. I never had any expectations that anything like this would ever happen. I am trying to figure out how I fit into this new phase. I am not used to so many people buying into what we were saying 20 years, 10 years ago, but mostly I feel a sense of relief that they were not completely hopeless. All the sacrifices we have made were not for nothing and to some extent we were finally heard.
“Journalists” are throwing around terms like White Nationalism, White Christian Nationalism and Christian Nationalism to describe this new political reality. It is not the same thing as White Nationalism or the Alt Right, but it exists now. It is where anywhere from a quarter to a third to a half of Republican voters are at now.