Tuesday, August 02, 2022
Charlie Kirk's Turning Point USA (TPUSA) outfit has a white nationalist problem. Like the proverbial traveler who regularly lies down with dogs, he keeps finding he has a nasty flea infestation everywhere he turns. Like the neo-Nazis who turned up recently outside a TPUSA event in Florida and made an ugly scene. Kirk's solution to the problem: Pretend to be a Nazi hunter! And to transform the absurdity of it all into an unregenerate travesty, anoint as one of your chief fellow Nazi hunters one of the most obstreperous white nationalist trolls in the right-wing media! Yeah, that'll work.
Kirk has had a white nationalist problem for a while. First, he found his college-friendly gatherings for eager young conservatives invaded by an endless stream of cynical white nationalists from Nicholas Fuentes' "Groyper Army" who would badger him with questions pointed at the incoherence of his appeal: Namely, if you're going to court young Trumpists, why not skip the plausible deniability and just embrace the racism and antisemitism inherent to white nationalism?
After more than a year of what became known as the "Groyper Wars," Kirk finally raised the white flag earlier this year by making his associations with white nationalists explicit, including "Groyper" figures as speakers at TPUSA events.
Kirk has struggled to elude being associated with the extremism his brand of politics produces. At an October 2021 event in Idaho, one audience member asked him: "When do we get to use the guns? ... How many elections are they gonna steal before we kill these people?" Kirk's response amounted to a chagrined agreement, saying that the query was just "overly blunt" and agreeing that "we are living under fascism."
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