Students for a Conservative Voice has been around for a while (12 years, in fact). Along with our conservative friends at CFACT, we have hosted dozens of conservative speakers ranging from personalities like Ann Coulter to more principled speakers like Governor Bobby Jindal. Some of our speakers have impressive backgrounds in the Oval Office, like President George W. Bush’s speechwriter Marc Theissen. Some of our speakers made themselves famous by calling out feminists for their overblown cries of inequality and apparent skyrocketing obesity, like Milo Yiannopolous. Our speakers cover broad, controversial topics including immigration, Islam, the Second Amendment, and climate change with varying ratios of professionalism and entertainment. These are topics with stark differences from right to left. Topics that could draw a heated argument, maybe even a protest.
None of these speakers or topics produced a protest to the scope of Lauren Southern talking about capitalism. And that is thanks to you, Antifa.
Lauren Southern is a 22-year-old libertarian from Canada. She made her start on YouTube and now works for Rebel Media. While she found success with a few viral videos, she still has a limited reach. How did Lauren Southern pull more protesters than Milo Yiannopolous or Ann Coulter? The Antifa and the confused “journalists” at City Pages called Southern an “Alt-Right darling” and the term Alt-Right is all you need for a good protest.
To give City Pages credit, Southern has a loose identification with the Alt-Right. She stated in her speech, “If Ben Shapiro is Alt-Right. I’m Alt-Right. If President Trump is Alt-Right, I’m Alt-Right. If Richard Spencer and Hitler are Alt-Right, then I’m not Alt-Right.”
Southern claims that this confusion about what is Alt-Right and what isn’t Alt-Right stems from leftists not understanding nationalism. Many leftists conflate nationalism with white supremacy. Richard Spencer is to blame for this.
Spencer believes in white nationalism because he believes socialism can only work in an ethnostate. He points to the Nordic countries as examples. And, to be fair, the Nordic countries are the golden children of socialism.
What scumbag Spencer calls nationalism isn’t nationalism. Nationalism is an “America First” political movement. It involves securing the borders, limiting international trade, and ending foreign involvement in wars and international organizations such as NATO.
These policies are what tied candidate Donald Trump closer to Bernie Sanders than to Jeb! Bush. Sanders also wanted limited interaction in foreign wars and trade restrictions. No one is calling Bernie Alt-Right, though.
Because the Antifa cannot define the Alt-Right, anyone who supports Trump or finds themselves right of Stalin is Alt-Right. The Alt-Right isn’t a conservative movement, though. It was made to form an alternative to the conservative right. They hate Ben Shapiro, the National Review staff, and the Bush family. The Antifa doesn’t understand this.
They have a different recipe for what makes an individual Alt-Right. Did you vote for Trump? Alt-Right. Do you think Trump is a legitimate President? Alt-Right. Have you ever made a joke about feminists’ waistlines? Alt-Right. Are you reading the Minnesota Republic? Alt-Right.
Because of their liberal use of the term Alt-Right, the Antifa drew a crowd of 250 protesters to protests a small YouTuber. Southern doesn’t have a large fan base which is probably why there was so much confusion in the protest. We heard people there to protest Ann Coulter. Some were there to protests Tomi Lahren. Others just saw a protest and thought, why not?
And did it really matter? I believe that there were people there to protest Lauren Southern, but they were far from the majority. What the Antifa does is give a group of basement dwellers a night on the town. It’s entertainment.
Southern’s protest drew 250 or more protesters but most of them (including the one arrest) were not even students. In what began as a protest of Student Services Fees going toward an event that most students didn’t support turned into a massive protest against white supremacy.
What the Antifa doesn’t understand about their little tantrums is that it makes conservatives stronger. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to Google Lauren Southern and watch her interview on the Rubin Report to find out she is not a white supremacist, she is not Alt-Right, and she is not even a nationalist.
Individuals watch this protest and see “Punch a Nazi? Gopher it” and starts to think this protest might be blown out of proportion. When you pair that to bridge panels being vandalized, College Republicans chairs being threatened, and conservative speakers being shut down around the country, it only makes the Right the new Left.
The Left used to be the counter-culture. Now it’s the Right. Membership in conservative groups continues to rise, Generation Z is the most conservative generation in decades, and there is a Republicans in the White House.
To that, I say, thanks, Antifa. We couldn’t have done it without you.