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Response to The American Conservative, Pack Your Bags: Little Nick is The Captain Now

  • Orcbrand

  • November 27, 2019

The caption leading this article on The American Conservative on Twitter said, “If this is really conservatism, we’ll pack up our bags and go home,” and below you see a screengrab of Nick Fuentes, his mouth contorted in half-shout. It’s meant to chastise and to shame, but Nick’s Teflon and they’re glue – a 21 year old Mexican boy making Youtube talk purportedly in his mother’s basement, mocks your habitual timidity and your response considers retreat and desertion to boot. 

Such morale!

If you have to be associated with Nick Fuentes’ as a result of your partisan-ideological orientation, strong is that impulse to disavow your ideology and reorient your partisanship — and that just goes to show how deep your convictions go.

About the width of a papercut.

Deeper still is the irony of The American Conservative complaining about the flourishing market of right-wing ideologies in the ungated ghettoes of the Internet, and its mocking usage of the term True Conservative™, as it denies True Conservative™ status with its True (American) Conservative™ imprimatur.

The American Conservative says “No True Conservative disparages another Conservative as No True Conservative,” and it’s not being tongue in cheek about it, the American Conservative is being deathly serious here. The article does touch on one of Nick’s key, and very legitimate, objects of interrogation: Before we can put “America First”, we have to actually know what America is. Nick has his idea. The American Conservative offers theirs:

“[ . . . ] America is both its people and its ideas, that the latter grew out of the former as a kind of philosophical encapsulation of the way we live. The problem comes when you go to the opposite extreme, when you try to jettison the classically liberal ideas entirely. This may be the exact moment that a conservative becomes a reactionary. Because if you look at American history, you find an awful lot of people animated by those ideas, working to extend liberty and the franchise to the disempowered.”

One is forced to wonder whether the contributor here is consciously spinning because he has to, or because he means to gaslight you, if he’s deluding himself, or if he’s just that ignorant. He’s not. 

Classical liberal ideas were never about extending liberty or franchise to the disempowered — “classical liberalism” is nothing more than early capitalism. The social classes of the aristocratic age were not dissolved for the sake of enfranchisement of disempowered groups, nor for the expansion of their liberties. They were dissolved for the enfranchisement of newly empowered groups who leveraged their positions to overcome a sclerotic aristocratic class in terms of legal and customary privilege. 

Who overcomes whom, merchants or princes? In our case, Merchants win.

That’s classical liberalism, and indeed, it is one of the forces which was fundamental to building America. It was one of the forces which was fundamental to the Atlantic Slave trade, and the dispossession of freeholding peasants in England, to be transmogrified into sweatshop wage-slaves in overcrowded tenement slums who sent their kids to coal mines at the age of 5 instead of kindergartens. The value of a man under the Golden Liberty of Classical Liberalism, much like it is today, was in his ability to generate revenue. That’s one core tenet of the old ideology that America has retained through the centuries, which, though often criticized, remains safe from being overturned.

After confusing liberation theology with classical liberalism, the contributor closes this paragraph identifying the American identity with a very funny comparison, and that’s the element of gaslighting I was alluding to.

“Without that national narrative—one might even call it an identity—you have to find an alternative story, one that usually ends up being fundamentally false. You might claim, for example, that the United States is actually a Catholic nation and that our real founding is wrapped up in the miracle at Guadalupe. You might also assert, far more perniciously, that America is a country meant for whites.”  

It is indeed antithetical to the American Narrative, from its inception, to its current position, that “the United States is a Catholic nation.” It’s an idea you’d expect to hear from someone named “Fuentes,” if we’re being perfectly frank. But the “more pernicious” assertion, that “America is a country meant for whites,” unfortunately for the American Conservative’s spin on the American Narrative, is entirely consistent with that Narrative. 

Even the Republican St. Lincoln, who freed the slaves and held the Union together, wrote as much when he disavowed the notion that black and white people should ever be socially and politically equal, or that they should intermarry, and so on. Even the freedom fighting abolitionists, who abhorred slavery, had no issue with sending the black population of America “back to Africa,” and in fact, did finance the African American colonial adventure known as Liberia. It was the very same forces which kept Catholicism in the margins of American politics and its history all the way to the election of John F. Kennedy, that stalwartly, and loudly, asserted that the America is a country meant for whites. We can hearken back to the late 19th century American Party, or as we like to remember them, the Know-Nothings, whose anti-immigration propaganda was virulently anti-Catholic; we can recall that along with blacks and Jews, the KKK named Papists as among their enemies. Incidentally, this was the true cause of anti-Irish and anti-Italian sentiment, not some perception of insufficient whiteness in them – rather, perceptions of excess Europeanness (but, as we joke now, perhaps it is true, Only Americans Are White). Interestingly, it was shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy that those with such narrative tendencies became politically and socially marginalized themselves, and remain so to this very day. Such is the degree of disavowal that the American Conservative cannot even bring itself to acknowledge the presence of this tendency and its influence through 500 years of history in the New World. The Great Conservative Council has been called and the beliefs of everyone in the first 200 years of United States history have been declared anathema and heretical to the very notion of Americanness. It’s like St. Paul putting an end to circumcision, something that needs to be clarified right away.

The American Conservative ends its passive aggressive, hesitant non-attack with veiled threats, to the effect: Nick, even if you recant, repent and submit, we will never forgive. You will never work in this town again. It sounds even gayer than when Anil Dash played that card on Pax Dickinson in a now ancient episode of Being Too Right To Be Correct. An achievement in its own right in the art of cringecraft.

Like Nick gives a shit! 

He’s 21 and has a national audience from his mom’s basement on a budget of $5 and a box of Bagel-Bites, while the establishment is threatening to blacklist him from slaving in unpaid internships ghost-writing click-bait in rage-click harvester-plants for a lottery-shot at a drop of clout.  

But if you can raise an army of toad-soldier fanatics with what amounts to a dub-step remix of Pat Buchanan’s greatest hits, why bother trying to impress the True Conservatives or the Conservative Inc. bigwigs who run the factory in which True Conservatives are made? If Charlie Kirk’s astroturfed trust-fund baby apologia tours get 1337 pwn3d by posse of a small Mexican boy with 2006 Youtube production values claiming to love America more than him, maybe the fundamental issue lies within the Conservatism being attacked by this child-terrorist than with the child’s impulse to terrorize by, let’s face it, punching up. 

Maybe that Mexican child DOES love America more than you, Charlie! 

The American Conservative’s cowardly defense mechanisms timely activate to acknowledge this in closing.

In a way, then, this is our fault, my fellow conservatives. Too many of us prized willpower over consideration, purity over dialectic, and before us now stands a total caricature of our philosophy, a white nationalist child soldier who’s gaining followers because he promises to fight. Then again, who knows? Maybe the standards will change again and another True Conservative will arise. Maybe the next Democratic president will come out against the worship of toucans and conservatives will trip over themselves pledging their fealty to tropical birds. Maybe Fuentes will be found lacking on the toucan question and another 400 YouTubers will whiz past him into the maw screeching about their ornithological purity. The conservative personality market, like a couple others I can think of, is lurching towards absurdity. It would be a good thing if we could find a way to slow its roll.”

It is not “in a way” the fault of the American Conservative’s fellow conservatives. It  simply is their fault – but not for the reasons the contributor offers.

If Conservatives valued willpower over consideration, why are the past 20 years of Conservative achievement characteristic of so much compromise?

And if Conservatives valued Purity so much over dialectic, why have they spent the past 20 years massaging perceptions, softening their images, apologizing for offending, disavowing everyone to the right of them, and dancing to the tune of the TV camera orchestra?

No, Nick isn’t a caricature of your True Conservative philosophy. You do not share a philosophy and never did because The American Conservative has no philosophy at all that one may be a caricature of.

The rest of the paragraph about Toucans is pure non-sequitur. Nick’s iteration of Conservatism, more appropriately called Paleoconservatism, or, as he would prefer, America First Conservatism, terms which may as well have been synonymous as far back as 1938, when the majority of Americans had no interest in fighting Fascism, and Kennedies were camping on soap-boxes to remind everyone how close the German people are to American hearts, is not a reaction to a Democrat President’s position on some arbitrary matter. Democratic politicians are irrelevant to the tendency of Nick And The Groypers. Liberals and the broadly defined left are not the driving force here. It is precisely what American Conservative certified True Conservatives distributed by Conservative Inc. come out for or against that instigate Groyper Anticuck Aktion Death Squad operations. Like true school-yard bullies, Groypers attack when they smell weakness, and the True Conservatives which have been blessed by Conservative Inc. keep wetting their pants at recess. Groypers must keep stuffing them into lockers until they Stop Being Weird.

 Yes, you’re the weird one, not the mean xenophobic frogs.

 If liberals are the enemy of the Groyper legions, conservative are traitors to them. Stuck in a room with a traitor, an enemy with a gun with two bullets, traditional (conservative [reactionary {lindy}]) honor demands shooting the traitor twice. 

It’s not like the tendency by grass-roots conservatives to perceive establishment conservatives as traitors is anything new. The term RINO is ancient. The fake introspection of the American Conservative never goes deep enough to consider the why of this. The contributor wants to characterize it as a desire for Purity — but it is much more primal than ideological purity. Joe Boomer conservative talk-radio listener, and his Groyper Jr. son in the Fuentes Youth, have a natural discomfort, as all simple, honest people do, around the disingenuity of brown-nosers, go-getters, yes-men and opportunists who make up the “right” of the American political class. The crime isn’t in being impure – Trump, after all, is hardly without ideological blemish.


The Nick Fuentes strain of Conservative thought is more in line with historical American attitudes than The American Conservative’s. If it’s white supremacist, white nationalist in your opinion, that’s fair enough. But now you have to stand with your supposed adversaries on the left and condemn your American heritage as a product and source of today’s white supremacy, white nationalism, and racism, too.

And at that point, really, what separates those flag-burning cop-hating libs from you? Tax policy? Whether one stands or kneels for the flag?

Less St. Paul abolishing circumcision among Christians, the Great Conservative Council is the Council of Hieria ordering the destruction of icons after 700 years of acquiescence. That iconclasm didn’t last, was disavowed vehemently, condemned and anathematized in time. Will Conservatism Inc. be the same, as it trembles under its PAC-money blankey for fear of the damage a virtual adolescent with a webcam and a StreamLabs link can do to their hard work? 

Well, who overcomes whom? 

200 years of American thought, uncomfortable as it is on topics too sensitive to talk about today, or 50 years of Conservative Inc. and its awkward ambivalence at the border of white-washing and self-flagellation?

Forget who is the True Conservative.

Who will be the True American in the textbooks of the 22nd century?

My money’s on Team Fuentes.

But I am an optimist.

And I’m broke.



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