The far-right is arguing over who has the most 'meme magic'

Evan El-Amin/ShutterStock Muhammad Alimaki/Adobe Stock

Trump’s far-right fans hate his ‘normie’ 2024 memes

The ‘dark, fascist’ undertones are gone.

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

As the 2024 election draws near, prominent right-wing figures are squabbling over who was responsible for the “meme magic” that led to the presidency of Donald Trump and whether it still existed.

The argument blew up on Sunday when conservative political strategist R.C. Maxwell lashed out at far-right figure Nick Fuentes after he complained that the type of memes witnessed ahead of the 2016 presidential election were no longer present.

“Good morning to everyone except @elonmusk who unbanned federal asset Nick [F-word] so he could sabotage Trump’s momentum,” wrote Maxwell.

Fuentes has recently drawn criticism from his far-right brethren, threatening to keep his base from voting for Trump over the former president’s support for Israel.

But he’s also been criticizing the Trump team’s digital effort.

In a recent stream, Fuentes blasted the “normie-cons” and said the meme efforts this year stunk of “Reagan worship,” lamenting the lack of the dark, reactionary, fascist memes of 2016.

“In 2016, there was like a real dark, reactionary energy behind Trump …. and people rightly said ‘whoa, this is like fascist energy.’ Now the people shilling Trump are just regular conservatives.”

The current online support, Fuentes said, was all stale memes made by some political firm.

“There’s no meme magic here … Kek is not with us.”

Maxwell’s remarks quickly led to widespread debate over which right-wing figures were most important in spreading the memes that seemed to fuel Trump’s 2016 victory.

Specifically, far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos pushed back on the notion that Fuentes had anything to do with the meme magic of the time and instead credited himself and a slew of other right-wing figures.

“Nick wasn’t part of meme magic. That was me, @bakedalaska, PPB, Ricky, Cerno. Then, as now, he was an irrelevant spectator,” Yiannopoulos wrote. “Nick could have dictated this election if he hadn’t fucked up so much and blown all his big chances. He did sell Trump mug shot shirts though, have to give him that.”

Unsurprisingly, fans of Fuentes, known online as “Groypers,” did not take the comment well. Groypers, who regularly hold antisemitic views, wasted no time in highlighting not only Yiannopoulos’s heritage but his status as a gay man.

“You are a gay jew,” one user responded. “Opinion discarded.”

“you are gay and have a black husband,” another added.

Many also argued that Yiannopoulos had little to no influence over right-wing discourse when compared to Fuentes.

“No offense but @NickJFuentes is considerably more relevant than you have ever been at any point,” a user replied. “2016? Dude, Nick was 17 years old then. He’s lapped you infinite times since then. This is pure cope.”

Groypers also took issue with the mention of right-wing commentator and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, who many felt was far too politically milquetoast.

“LOL @ cerno,” one user simply responded.

“Lol cernovich as if!” a second user said.

Thus far, Fuentes has not responded on X to the comments made by Yiannopoulos.

Despite the back-and-forth, all the prominent figures mentioned are a shell of their former selves. Widespread social media bans, controversies, and the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot saw the most influential pro-Trump figures pushed out of the mainstream.

Although many far-right influencers, specifically Fuentes, have returned to X in the wake of Elon Musk’s acquisition, the site doesn’t seem to hold the same sway as it once did.


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