Hatred is their secret sauce

Blowing kisses at bigots is what Trump does.

Nick Fuentes

Nick Fuentes is an antisemite, but he passes the Donald Trump litmus test, which is to express undying public devotion to Donald Trump.

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So it’s left to me to tell the secret?

Sigh.

OK.

If I must.

The current tizzy over this kid, Nick Fuentes, a vile antisemite — is there any other kind? — dining with two other vile antisemites, Kanye West and Donald Trump, is ...

What? Oh. Don’t slide into the ditch on me here regarding that last one. Doesn’t matter that his son-in-law is Jewish. Trump could be a Jew himself and that wouldn’t change anything. Stephen Miller is Jewish, in theory. Moving on ...

... having dinner with two other big-mouth bigots, Kanye West and Donald Trump ...

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Better? I aim to please. Though after 40 years in this business, I’m convinced that the object of bigotry hardly matters. Haters are cowards — they’re searching for anyone safe to attack and thereby feel ... I don’t know, powerful and manly, I suppose. Their victims are fungible; anyone will do, provided they are vulnerable enough. Trans kids, Muslims, Blacks, Jews, what’s the difference? Remember Trump’s escalator descent at Trump Tower, deus ex machina, to announce his candidacy? All that poison about Mexico sending us drug dealers and rapists? You elected him president anyway. To make a fuss now, over this, is just daft. Rolling around in bigotry like a dog in ordure doesn’t hurt Trump; it’s what made him. Half of America loves this.

Which brings us back to Fuentes and the secret. Have you asked yourself how, at 24, in a media landscape that is a 24/7 howling hurricane, a billion voices screaming at once, does this knucklehead get to be a national figure in the first place? What’s his secret sauce?

Right. Hate sells. Vile sells. Antisemitism sells. It cuts through the clutter. People who have nothing else to say say that, and everybody perks right up.

Look at our own homegrown hater, the Right Honorable Louis Farrakhan. Smart. Ambitious. With valid points: self-reliance; avoid drugs and alcohol; respect women; shop in the community.

But he can give a two-hour Founders Day speech and what gets reported? The three minutes he fulminates against the Jews. Which isn’t wrong. You can’t expect the papers to focus instead on his bean cake project. Farrakhan learned the lesson and the vicious circle turned for years: He condemns the Jews for plotting against him. Jewish groups issue their pro forma complaints. Which Farrakhan points to as proof of animosity against him. He just couldn’t stop.

Attention is addictive. Trust a writer to know that. You can earn it, or you can cheat. Which makes antisemitism like heroin — a quick, unearned high that is very hard to quit.

I’m not the thought police. I’ve tried that. The paper sent me to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. And I remember practically rushing up to men in yarmulkes, Republican delegates, and asking, “What are you doing here?” Almost not in a journalistic way, but in an aggrieved, personal way. Don’t you know any better? Short answer: no. They coolly explained some keyhole view of the world: Trump is going to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem. Which he did. He scratched their itch in just the right spot. The meaningless justification that only makes sense when all you consider is yourself. Once you trade your moral compassion for a cookie, you’ve been bought. Don’t bother explaining what a good cookie it is.

Why is Donald Trump having dinner with Nick Fuentes any worse than Donald Trump trying to ban all Muslim immigration or Donald Trump telling Black Chicagoans they live in hell? Or any of 10,000 moments when a shameless, heartless, soulless, amoral man expressed his true self. Some claim Trump doesn’t pay consequences for all this slander, but he does. The consequence is his success. Blaming Donald Trump for dandling haters on his knee is like faulting porn actors for taking off their clothes and having sex on camera. It’s what they do. Not a flaw but a feature. Trump is an attention addict, and he cranks up the limelight by blowing kisses to these hate groups. His base loves him for it, and the rest of us tolerate him, and so the whole charade rattles forward into the future. Our future. The man might yet be elected president in 2024, and this type of thing is exactly why. Of course, others imitate him. Hatred works.

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