WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2022
A portrait of disorder: Yesterday, we mentioned the fact that Rachel Maddow played video clips of Nick Fuentes on her weekly show Monday night. Today, we can offer you this link to those video clips.
Watching him on videotape, Fuentes strikes us as transparently disordered. Reading about him in the New York Times last weekend, we wondered how a person can be this far gone by the age of 24:
HABERMAN AND FEUER (11/26/22): Former President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday night had dinner with Nick Fuentes, an outspoken antisemite and racist who is one of the country’s most prominent young white supremacists, at Mr. Trump’s private club in Florida, advisers to Mr. Trump conceded on Friday.
In recent years, Mr. Fuentes, 24, has developed a high profile on the far right and forged ties with such Republican lawmakers as Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona, largely through his leadership of an annual white-supremacist event called the America First Political Action Conference.
A Holocaust denier and unabashed racist, Mr. Fuentes openly uses hateful language on his podcast, in recent weeks calling for the military to be sent into Black neighborhoods and demanding that Jews leave the country.
Mr. Fuentes, who attended the bloody far-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, is best known for running a white nationalist youth organization known as America First, whose adherents call themselves groypers or the Groyper Army. In the wake of Mr. Trump’s defeat in 2020, Mr. Fuentes and the groypers were involved in a series of public events supporting the former president.
At a so-called “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington in November 2020, Mr. Fuentes urged his followers to “storm every state capitol until Jan. 20, 2021, until President Trump is inaugurated for four more years.” The following month, at a similar event, Mr. Fuentes led a crowd in chanting “Destroy the G.O.P.,” and urged people not to vote in the January 2021 Georgia Senate runoff elections.
On Jan. 6, 2021, Mr. Fuentes led a large group of groypers to the Capitol where they rallied outside in support of Mr. Trump. The next day, Mr. Fuentes wrote on Twitter that the assault on the Capitol was “awesome and I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t.”
According to the Times, Fuentes is king of the groypers!
He's also "one of the country’s most prominent young white supremacists." Personally, we'd search for language which sounds less laudatory if we were to offer a capsule account of such a clownish, inane lost soul.
On a journalistic basis, some of those descriptions and accounts of Fuentes' statements were less specific than we would like. For example, we're told that he's a "white supremacist," but we aren't given the actual statements which justify that account.
(He inanely called for the army to be sent into black neighborhoods in order to address street crime.)
Similarly, it seems to us that some of the video clips Maddow played have been over-edited. That said, Fuentes strikes us as plainly disordered as we watch those clips. And good God—he's only 24!
How should such a disordered person best be described? In our view, we tend to confer power on such people when we fail to say, in the simplest terms, how disordered—how inane—their statements and their personal demeanor make them seem.
How do people get this way when they're still in their teens? (Fuentes would have been 17 at the time of the Charlottesville lunacy.) We'd like to see (carefully selected) medical / psychiatric specialists asked to speak on such points.
Meanwhile, it seems to us that we grant such people increased power when we say how "prominent" they are, while failing to say how idiotic and disordered their behaviors make them seem.
"I pity the poor immigrant," Bob Dylan wrote long ago. (He was speaking metaphorically.) As we've said before, it seems to us that Dylan's description of this pitiable soul is a perfect portrait of Donald J. Trump.
("Who eats but is not satisfied, who hears but does not see. Who falls in love with wealth itself and turns his back on me.")
We regard Fuentes as being clownishly disordered—as someone who needs tons of help, and is therefore to be pitied, even as we search for ways to keep him from influencing others and thereby causing harm.
Go ahead and view those clips. We think we see a disordered, objectively loony lost soul. What do you think you see?