Over the past month, several bloggers and commentators, such as Davis Aurini and Z Man, have observed that the alt-right seems to be falling apart. Perhaps the alt-right is suffering from creativity sickness.
There are several causes:
1. Trump back-peddling or softening on campaign promises, on issues such as immigration. (Since Nov. 2016, I predicted, like, 6 times this would happen, yet people are shocked when politicians, apparently, behave like…um..politicians).
2. The civil war between the-lite, alt-medium, and alt-right. The alt-lite are guys like Paul Watson, Bill Mitchel, and Milo, who tend to beat up on ‘easy’ targets like SJWs, Antifa, BLM, and feminists, while defending ‘free speech’ and such; strong elements of classical liberalism and libertarianism. Then you have the alt-medium such as Spencer. And then there is the alt-right, which is even further to the right, and may include Vox Day and Anglin. And none of these groups like each other much (and there is infighting within these groups, too). For example, the alt-right and alt-lite don’t like Spencer (nobody likes him it seems). After Trump won, the far-right (which I suppose includes all three of these groups) no longer had a cause to unify behind, so they turned on each other.
As discussed before, part of the problem is that the ‘right’ is so intellectually diverse: this is both a blessing and a curse; it’s good because it makes for intellectually enriching debate, but also such diversity creates a lot of division. The ‘left’ is divided between white feminists vs. POC-feminists and also welfare liberals vs. classical liberals, but there is more cohesion overall because they all tend to unify on some unmovable ‘anchor’ issues (and of course, they are united behind blaming males, republicans, and white people).
In the past I sorta defended the alt-lite for ‘raising awareness’ and ‘converting normies’, but their obsession with low-stakes issues–much like the republicans who launched similar culture war crusades in vain in the 90’s–is repetitious, tiresome, and a waste of energy.
3. Slow news cycle and brevity of ideas. North Korea launches another missile? Trump reshuffling his cabinet again? Congress stonewalling Trump? How about the debt ceiling again? Obamacare? Kick the can some more. Because the alt-lite and the MSM are commercialized, it doesn’t matter what happens provided there is an audience to buy books and click ads. Without an audience, these sites and networks have no reason to exist. Because ideas, not money, drive the alt-right, the alt-right needs some sort of cause or catalyst to rally behind…in 2015-2016, it was Trump, but now the momentum has slowed considerably.
Progress has been painfully slow. Since Trump ended Daca a month ago, not much has happened since. Due to a combination of a stubborn Congress and lack of focus in the Administration, there is an inability to see anything through to completion…all the President can muster is inchoate, incomplete legislation that goes nowhere. However, I am certain Trump and Congress will pass large tax cuts, which is great for stocks, but as for reducing immigration and building the wall, fuggedaboutit. Ann Coulter and others who make up the ‘base’ will be left empty handed, yet again. The rich, elites always win [Golden Rule! Whoever has the gold, makes the rules]. Deal with it.
4. Botched rallies and poor branding. Having the alt-right directly associated with Neo Nazism is not a good look. It’s not so much about optics but more to with bad branding. Although people still talk fondly about Trump’s inauguration, Unite The Right rally is a moment many would like to forget…it’s not that it was a total failure, but it was not a step forward either.
5. The alt-right losing its official Reddit sub. At its peak, /r/altright was a challenger to /r/the_donald, for those who didn’t necessarily want to rally behind Trump but still were part of the far-right and dissident-right diaspora.