Conservatives Disavowing White Nationalists Is Not Weakness

AP Photo/Michael Conroy
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Hopefully, this will be the last article I write on the dinner between former President Donald Trump and Nick Fuentes. But I felt this SNAFU brought up an interesting point that I’ve seen discussed on the right for quite a while. It revolves around one question: Is condemning problematic figures who are ostensibly on the right a sign of weakness? If a conservative condemns words or actions taken by people on our side, is that person just “giving in to the left?”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) publicly condemned white nationalist Nick Fuentes on Twitter. She wrote:

Of course I denounce Nick Fuentes and his racists anti-Semitic ideology. I can’t comprehend why the media is obsessed with him.

Do you actually report real news or just use CNN for your political activism?

Have you questioned Democrats if they denounce Israel hating Ilhan Omar?

Greene’s tweet was a response to a tweet from CNN media activist Laura Barrón-López, who suggested the lawmaker never publicly denounced Fuentes after speaking at his conference. Greene later said she did not know about Fuentes’ bigoted views.

McCarthy was asked about House GOP members associated w/Fuentes, specifically Greene. He said “she denounced him.”

There’s no public evidence Greene denounced Fuentes. She claimed she didn’t know about his “controversial” views when she spoke at his white nationalist conference.

Her remarks come amid the ongoing fallout that arose after it was revealed that rapper Ye brought Fuentes with him to dinner at Mar-a-Lago. Trump later indicated that he also did not know about his views.

So far, Trump has not criticized or denounced Fuentes, a fact which has not been lost on the left. The former president is reportedly hesitant to condemn him because he fears alienating his base. A number of Republican leaders have called on Trump to disavow the white nationalist, but to no avail. But others on the right believe that calling out Fuentes is not the right course of action.

Conservative commentator Jesse Kelly expressed these sentiments in a thread on Twitter:

His argument makes sense. In many cases, folks on the right do give in to the left on controversial matters. But in this case, refusing to distance from Fuentes is not only wrong, it is bad strategy. There is nothing to be gained by Trump or anyone else on the right by not addressing the matter.

From where I sit, it is not only folks on the left who are the enemy. The views espoused by people like Fuentes, who is an authoritarian, are every bit as dangerous as the Marxist left. If they had their druthers, the government would be just as powerful and intrusive as it would be under someone like AOC; it would just look different. Folks like Fuentes are not conservatives. They are right-wing authoritarians, meaning they have little in common with us.

Moreover, by not distancing ourselves from these people, the left has an easier time lumping all of us in with their destructive ideologies. Fuentes is our enemy just as much as those on the hard left, so I have no problem calling all of them out.

But there is something to be said about Kelly’s frustration with remaining on the defense. I’ve railed against this tendency on the right as well. But I think there is a better way.

If it had been me, I would have acknowledged that Fuentes and his ilk are utter trash that has no place among conservatives. Then, I’d have asked if the leftists feigning outrage over this whole thing if they condemn remarks made by the likes of Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). Most high-profile leftists would not be able to answer that question because they would not dare to give the same kind of criticism to folks who are on their team.

I would go even further, asking if they believed these lawmakers should have been stripped of their committee assignments as Democrats did with Greene over her comments. As Alinksy teaches, the winning strategy is to force them to live up to their own principles. Since progressives despise having to apply their ideals consistently, they will fold when forced to confront their hypocrisy.

It is okay to disavow those who are not in line with our views, regardless of which side they are on. But this should be done because we actually loathe their ideology, not because the mob is demanding it. In this way, we retain the higher ground while not remaining on defense.


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