The new right is “more of a populist movement than a conservative or liberal movement,” Cernovich said. He supports policies like a universal basic income. “Conservatism is on the way out.”
I had been recognized immediately upon entering the party by a 28-year-old alt-right activist whom I’ve known for some time. (Like many in the movement, he won’t go on the record using his real name.) “Does The Atlantic have any non-Jews?” he asked, by way of greeting. “Fair question at this point.”
He was firm that he’s alt-right, because he’s “willing to talk about race.”
But he thinks both factions can get along.
“The thing about the alt-right and the alt-light is we all have the same style, in that we’re un-cucked,” he said.
“Cucked” or no, the tension between the alt- and new-right was palpable later that night at Shelly’s, a cigar bar in downtown Washington, and signs of recent infighting were everywhere. Suffused in a haze of cigar smoke were some of the leading lights of the white alt-right and “new right” (or “alt light”) movements. Mike Cernovich was holding court in a corner of the bar. At another table sat Giesea, and nearby was Hoft.
Standing close by was Spencer, an unexpected sight at the after-party for a party to which he hadn’t been invited.
Spencer introduced me to a man he identified as Mike Enoch, the nom de plume of an alt-right podcaster who was the subject of yet another recent controversy, after he was doxxed and his wife revealed to be Jewish.
“Everything’s good,” Enoch said carefully. “The future is we’re going to make America great again, that’s the future.” Spencer made a point of publicly allying himself with Enoch during the controversy.
Even Bill Mitchell couldn’t catch a break. Spencer boasted to me about having kicked him out of the bar.
“We’re not having that damn cuck in here,” Spencer said. “I told him to get the fuck out and he did. There’s no ideology to Bill Mitchell.”
Spencer’s targeting of Mitchell seemed more aimed at asserting his own supremacy over an increasingly fractured movement than anything else, but he maintained that things were cool between him and Cernovich, to whom he had given a hug.
But later, a tall bearded man calling himself Jack Murphy followed Spencer around the bar, demanding to know what kind of policies Spencer wanted to enact to bring about his wished-for ethnostate. Spencer, wearing a “Germans for Trump” pin on his corduroy blazer and holding a glass of whiskey, finally snapped, shouting at Murphy to get out of his face. Other men, including Cernovich, separated them, gesturing towards the three reporters watching the confrontation. The gathering had taken a nasty turn, the Deploraball’s triumphant tone melting into chaos and acrimony.
Shelly’s kicked everyone out at two. The party spilled outside, everyone asking each other for lighters. Infowars was broadcasting from the sidewalk. Murphy, Spencer’s antagonist, wasn’t done, approaching reporters to tell them that Spencer and his friends are “babbling idiots” and Spencer is a “glommer-onner.”
Slowly, people peeled off in cabs. The inauguration of Donald Trump was a few short hours away.