Left and Right

Ron Unz Confronts the Far Right

A very interesting night among influential conservatives

May 24, 2023

[Last week, Ron Unz called me and asked if I’d like to go to a secret conservative meet-up. I told him I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Everything I’ve ever heard Ron say has either been brilliant or insane, with absolutely nothing in between. He picked me up in East Los Angeles, and we took the forty-five minute drive to Hollywood.

We arrived at the scene, which is the backroom of a glitzy restaurant. There, we found two dozen right-wing thinkers and celebrities, a group that included Twitter personalities, journalists, conservative donors, and a few former Trump administration officials.

As we enter the room, we catch the back end of a speech by James Felix, a former White House official.]

James: You know, just a few years ago, those of us in the darker corners of the internet were the only ones talking about these topics, and now they’re everywhere. You used to have to speak about black crime in hushed tones, now we can share the FBI crime statistics and all the WorldStarHipHop videos to our hearts’ content. The border. Remember when you had to be crazy to talk about the border? Now it’s the number one issue for Republicans in each election cycle. States are clamping down on the trans menace. And friends, just you wait. Near the end, the Big Guy finally learned how to maneuver around the bureaucracy. I’m so looking forward to the second term! But we can talk about that later. For now, let me cede the floor to Andy. Come over here!

[From the middle of the room, a kid who’s about 5’7 walks to the front. His name is Andy Romero. He’s got a short black buzzcut and is wearing a flannel shirt. I recognized him as the founder of American Fortress, a site that produces edgy right-wing content with a white nationalist bent. I had no idea that he would be at an event like this, rubbing shoulders with former administration officials and big donors. Perhaps the radicalization of the right has gone much further than I’d thought. Once again, I’m glad that I watch Rachel Maddow, and am able to benefit from her insights and deep research into American politics.

Andy goes on to give a speech about the topics he’s obsessed with. Inner city crime. The knockout game. The regular white guy who had bought a book about how to propose to his girlfriend but is now dead because four black youths decided to sucker punch him and put it online, and he hit his head on the pavement and died. Some professor of Africanax Studies had given a speech where she said “logical thought is the lifeblood of whiteness. Every time an argument holds together, it commits violence against the essence of black bodies.” The audience can hardly contain itself. Upon reading that line, Romero gives his trademark eyebrow raise and they love it. Then he goes on to tell us about the border being the number one threat to America. Nothing else matters.

After a while, I realize I’ve heard all of this before. As with all nice restaurants in West LA, there’s a wonderful selection of fake breasts to enjoy, and the fakeness never bothered me since I don’t subscribe to the naturalistic fallacy like some primitive right-winger. So I go out and decide to look around for a bit, but before long Ron finds me.]


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