If I was the conspiratorial sort, I might be convinced that the alt-right trolls crashing conservative speeches were actually paid Democrat operatives. They are doing such an enormous favor for the Left — confirming every negative stereotype of the Right while distracting from the important message conservatives are bringing to campuses across the country — that you’d almost think they were on the DNC’s payroll. But the DNC isn’t that smart, and neither are the trolls.
As the Daily Wire reported on Wednesday, a group of alt-right white nationalists have been involved in a coordinated effort to hijack Q&As with conservative speakers on college campuses. This effort is being spearheaded by one particular white nationalist, Nick Fuentes, who took special exception to me a few months ago after I insulted the El Paso mass shooter. In response to this blasphemy against a murderer, Fuentes called me a “race traitor” who “works for Jews.” I responded to his attack with the seriousness that such an attack warrants (so, not very much), and that assured that my talk at CSULA on Tuesday night would be targeted.
The questions were frustrating because they were repetitive, posed in bad faith, and completely unrelated to the topic I’d flown three thousand miles to discuss. But, though tedious, they were not difficult to answer. One guy asked why I work for Ben Shapiro, after Ben (according to this guy) said in an interview that Jesus was a Jewish rebel. I tried to calmly explain that literally every non-Christian on Earth thinks that, or something similar, about Jesus. It is obviously not “blasphemy” (as the questioner characterized it) for a non-Christian to hold such a view, unless we are going the Islamic fundamentalist route of labeling everyone outside of our religion a blasphemer. But the questioner, who appeared to be relatively intelligent and coherent, must have already understood this. The point was to lay a trap, not to have a discussion.
Someone else delivered a mini-speech about his belief that America should retain its European (read: white) character. After I countered that our unifying principle in America is not race or ethnicity but the doctrine of human rights as outlined in the Declaration of Independence, the questioner pressed me repeatedly to call him a bigot. He wanted me to call him a bigot so that he could take the clip of me saying those words and accuse me of cowardly shouting him down rather than engaging. I didn’t take the bait, but that didn’t stop him from following me out of the room as I left, shouting about how I’d called him a bigot. These guys are going to get the response they want — and if they don’t, they’ll just lie and pretend they did.
And that’s how most of the exchanges went, though some of the “gotcha” attempts were downright bizarre. For example, one of them tried to hold my feet to the fire over the phenomenon of drag kids and trans kids, apparently under the impression that I would be too shy or afraid to address the issue. He was unaware that I have repeatedly called for the parents of drag kids to be arrested and for laws to be passed banning the “gender transition” of children. In fact, I helped lead a successful campaign to prevent just that from happening to a kid in Texas two weeks ago.
The alt-right has decided that every conservative who isn’t alt-right is therefore a mainstream squish. But I’m not mainstream and I’d sooner stab myself in the eye with a rusty corkscrew than lend my endorsement to the sexual abuse of children. Indeed, the topic of my talk at CSULA was the Left’s crusade to redefine life, marriage, and gender. I doubt that a public university in Los Angeles has very often played host to a lecture on that subject. It was a major opportunity to spread an important message that many of the people on that campus have probably never heard. Fortunately for the Left, the message was overshadowed by conspiracy theories about “Zionism,” thanks to the alt-right brigade.
So, why is the alt-right running interference for the very people they pretend to oppose? There probably isn’t one simple answer to that. Some of it is garden variety stupidity. Some of it is straightforward racism and anti-Semitism. But I think there’s also a very heavy element of nihilism and moral relativism at work here. The one defining feature of the alt-right, and the most striking thing about it, has always been its amoral, ends-justify-the-means, mentality. They don’t care that they’re undermining important work and vindicating the Left. They don’t really care about anything. They’re bored, and looking for purpose and identity wherever they can find it. They found both, as it happens, in their own version of identity politics. And in that way they aren’t so different from the Left at all. Same motivation, similar ideology, nearly identical tactics.