I defended Richard Spencer a few days ago and now I will defend, gasp, Ben Shapiro and Erick Erickson, who are often targets. Ben and Erik agree with the alt-right on about 80-90% of issues (SJWs, BLM, political correctness, second amendment, feminism, etc.), with the exception of being somewhat soft on immigration, yet they are called ‘cucks’ and other names. That makes no sense.
That’s why I have always found the split in the right between the ‘alts’ vs. the ‘establishment/mainstream’ to be kinda frivolous. They agree one everything except for immigration and Trump. It’s not like the mainstream right is for open borders. Rather they support ‘some’ immigration under controlled conditions. I’ve never heard a mainstream conservative like Hannity or Limbaugh come out and endorse open borders. Sometimes arguments are so heated because the differences are so small. The ‘anti-cucks’ believe that the ‘cucks’ are too moderate on some issues, and there is perhaps some truth to this, but we’re talking about tiny differences when they otherwise agree on 95% of stuff. Ben Shapiro, for example, is a frequent target by the ‘anti-cucks’ on Twitter, but here are a list of his books:
But such differences and animosity are cultural more so than issue-based, with the ‘mainstream’ representing an ‘elite’ who are out of touch with the reality and concerns of the majority. Specifically, Ben and Erick are not ‘identitarians’. Things like ‘white identity’ or ‘working-class identity’ mean nothing to them.
From an article in the New York Times, An Alt-Right Makeover Shrouds the Swastikas, this passage stood out in explaining how the alt-right eschews economics for identity:
Mr. Spencer said in an interview that as he saw it, the principles of American conservatism throughout most of the 20th century had been wrongly defined within the context of capitalism and its ideological battle with communism. The matter of European identity, he said, was assumed, but never stated outright.
To say it was ‘assumed’ is even being generous.
However, Ben and Erick, with their mainstream appeal, are useful for converting moderates and other fence-sitters to the ‘right’. Initiates can decide whether to to go further to the right, by reading Ann Coulter, for example. And then ever further yet, there is Red Pill, alt-right, NRx, Dark Enlightenment, and so on, although far fewer get that far.
Despite the left’s control of multi-billion dollar media properties, they still couldn’t prevent Trump from winning. Look at the primaries…voters could have chosen Cruz or Rubio but they picked Trump. The right is winning, thanks not only to the at-right but also moderates, who help to a certain extent, too, by at least presenting an alternative, however watered down that may be, to leftist orthodoxy.
The question is whether ‘the right’ benefits more from having a mix of varying levels of ‘extremeness’, or only extreme choices. In the former, moderate voices can act as a ‘gateway’ to more extreme views. In the latter, it’s possible that extreme views will be an automatic turnoff, resulting in less overall support, but, on the other hand, there is no risk of dilution in having moderates gain support that would otherwise go to more extreme views.
Pundits and bloggers have families to feed, not and everyone has the luxury of being uninhibited.