Nick Fuentes, the Dissident Right, and the Lowest Common Denominator
What is the Dissident Right? Until a couple of weeks ago, I had never come in to contact with the phrase. Well, because I fear ignorance, I looked into it and came across the persona of Nick Fuentes. Fuentes is what you get when you combine below average wit and below-average intelligence with low-level production quality. The type that would go to a straight pride parade. In short, the perfect standard-bearer for bigoted, racist, and underwhelmingly ineffectual trolls who believe they represent the “true right” of American Conservatism. They believe in the purity of the white race, “true Christianity,” and trolling is akin to intellectual debate. In short, they are fools, but dangerous fools because their arguments are perfect for the conspiracy heavy, short attention span news cycles of 2019.
Their arguments and perspectives are laughable; easily debunkable, idiotic viewpoints that hold as much water as a canoe after suffering multiple direct hits from cannon fire. Ben Shapiro recently took to Stanford University to eviscerate Nick Fuentes and the tenets of the Dissident Right. It was a showcase in how easily poorly thought out stances can be gutted and left on the killing room floor. This is Ben Shapiro at his best:
For all the grief Ben Shapiro gets for being a traditional conservative who leans libertarian in some social issues (gay rights and drugs being at the forefront of his libertarian values), Liberals and Conservatives alike should rejoice when Shapiro brings his talents to a takedown of the Far Right. Watch that speech and see how easily he cuts through the fat of the Dissident Right. If your arguments are so weak somebody can slice them up and serve them on a chopping block in a little more than 10 minutes, you probably did not have much meat to your argument in the first place.
And that is where the danger of the Dissident Right lies. Not in the strength of the arguments themselves, but in their weakness. In today’s day and age, memes and trolling have taken the place of intellectual thought and substantive debate. Go to the Twitter page of any prominent Conservative and take a look at the comments. You will find plenty of people with Pepe the Frog avatars firing off comments like, “Ok, Boomer” and slinging out the phrase “Groypers.” These are not arguments, nor are they supposed to be. They are the brainchild of weak-minded meme makers who revel in trying to get a rise out of people.
As if getting somebody to react to something you say is winning an argument. These trollerific comments and memes are perfect for those without the intellectual capacity to go beyond the most base level of arguments. They aren’t even arguments, that is their point. And their simplicity is their danger. For the simple-minded, these takes are kerosene on a campfire; just another way to spread something dangerous in hopes it catches on and causes more harm.
They think they are followers of Christianity and are defending the purity of the “White European history of America.” A hilarious viewpoint if there ever was one considering Jesus Christ–whether you believe him to be a messiah or merely a Rabbi–was in no way a white guy. But there is nothing pure about their ideologies. Rather, their way of thinking is an amalgamation of ignorance, stupidity, and hate. They think it is funny to go to a question and answer presentation and ask, “how does Anal Sex help America?” The question and others like it are supposed to be edgy queries whose sole purpose is to compel a reaction. But the question has as much edge to it as a freshly sanded sphere.
Holocaust denial, attacks on gays, and anti-immigration policy in order to defend the purity of “White America.” There is nothing new to the Dissident Right. It is the same bigoted crap, full of weak arguments and feeble-minded “thought” leaders. The only thing new about what they are doing is how they are spreading their message. Instead of having to subscribe to newsletters like the Daily Stormer and going around wearing white hoods, they are creating memes and rocking MAGA hats as cover for their racist and archaic viewpoints.
The Dissident Right believes they are engaging in a high-level intellectual debate when the only reason they are gaining any traction whatsoever is specifically because their arguments boil down to the lowest common denominator; all they see is skin color, religion, or sexual preference. It literally takes no thought to create develop their viewpoint; they think with their eyes and not their brains. No wonder followers of the Dissident Right think it epic when their thought leaders go off hack-cocked on YouTube swinging around a knife. When you have nothing smart to say, you will invariably end up flailing around like a lunatic or a fool, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”