Far-right activists have a brilliant new strategy: don’t vote!

Ali Alexander, one of the main organizers of the “Stop the Steal” protests that led to the January 6 insurgency, said during a live appearance this week that he is unlikely to vote in the mid-term elections. mandate this year. As Right wing surveillance First reported, Alexander said the Republicans had failed to adequately “court” his supporters’ vote and that the conservatives might be better served by “losing strategically” rather than “a victory that cannot be won.” be maintained”.

As strange as it may seem, he is not alone. With the statement, Alexander joins a handful of far-right activists, including white nationalist leader Nick Fuentes and failed Florida congressional candidate Laura Loomer, who discourage their fans and supporters from voting as a rebuke to the GOP.

The trend began in August with Loomer, a “proud Islamophobe” and self-proclaimed white nationalist who, after losing the Republican primary in Florida’s 11th congressional district, gave a bizarre speech in which she refused to concede (“because that I am a winner”). The next day, she urged her supporters not to vote for the Republican who defeated her, six-term incumbent Rep. Daniel Webster, in the November general election. In a post on the right-wing social media site GETTR, Loomer wrote: “I encourage all of my supporters and constituents NOT to support Daniel Webster and the RNC and Big Tech voter fraud machine that supports his weak and depriving my constituents of the representation they deserve and need.”

She continued, “I’m not crying for myself, but for our country and the voters of Florida’s 11th District who don’t have a representative in Congress due to voter fraud, illegal election interference by Big Tech and of RNC corruption. The Republican Party is broken beyond repair.” (Although the 11th District primary was fairly close, the result was pretty clear: Webster got 51.1% of the vote to Loomer’s 44.2%, winning about 6,000 votes.)

In the weeks since her loss, Loomer has doubled down on those posts, saying the GOP “disgusts me these days,” that she has “no faith in the party anymore,” and that she refuses to “blindly support the treacherous RINOS”. In a GETTR article last Sunday, Loomer wrote, “I will never support people who work to undermine our country and the integrity of our elections by giving them my vote. In fact, I will actively campaign AGAINST insane and sickly RINO Dan Webster for whom the GOP establishment rigged my election.You don’t reward cowardice and corruption in your own party with your vote.

Since losing her primary in Florida, Laura Loomer has said the GOP “disgusts” her and she won’t vote for any Republican who doesn’t “fight for the release of J6 political prisoners.”

In another post last weekend, she added that she would refuse to vote for any Republican who does not support “mass deportations”, does not “fight for the release of J6 political prisoners” and does not no “viable plan to combat electoral fraud”. Loomer also recently aired numerous complaints about the party, accusing GOP officials of “blacklisting” his campaign and orchestrating Donald Trump’s failure to endorse his candidacy, and blaming the Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of “plagiarizing” her work, since she had “brought stowaways to Nancy Pelosi” years before he created a media spectacle by flying asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard.

Also last week, young white nationalist leader Nick Fuentes, leader of the far-right America First or “groyper” movement, sworn that if DeSantis wins the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 instead of Trump, Fuentes will not vote for him and will work to “spoil” the Republican election.

“I support Trump or nothing. Either I vote for Trump in 24 or I don’t vote,” Fuentes said during a livestream. “And that has to be the message: we want Trump, we want Trump in the primary, we want Trump in the overall, we’re not going to vote for anybody else. They have to understand that.” He suggested that the far right would “only need a concerted small minority of Trump supporters to say, ‘We won’t run in the election, we’ll ruin it for the Republicans if we get DeSantis.’ in my opinion, this is the only way to save Trumpism – by sitting still.”

Fuentes added that he “was also absent from mid-terms” because he was “unimpressed” and “disappointed with what I saw of the party”. The only exception, he said, should be voters in Arizona, where the slate of far-right candidates — from gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake to U.S. Senate nominee Blake Masters to incumbents such as Rep. Paul Gosar and State Senator Wendy Rogers — is radical enough to win his approval. “Anywhere else? Forget it,” Fuentes said. “No chance.”

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Fuentes continued in that vein this week on Telegram, complaining that the campaign war chest DeSantis amassed demonstrates an infamous conspiracy: “Once again, the establishment is working together on both sides to dethrone Trump.” In another post, he wrote, “Honestly, I hope the Democrats maintain their majority in the House and take control of the Senate” even though it might hurt him personally, because “the GOP has done nothing to win the support of the people since he stabbed Trump in 2020.”

And now there is Alexander, the explosive self-proclaimed political strategist who is widely credited with orchestrating the protest movement leading up to January 6. “” Alexander said: “I’m becoming more and more convinced that I personally won’t vote in this midterm election. I’m doing a lot of soul-searching about it, and it’s a decision I’ve made, but it is more and more a decision that some of my friends and colleagues have told me [they share].”

Like Fuentes, Alexander urged voters in Arizona, and possibly Pennsylvania (where far-right Christian nationalist Doug Mastriano is the GOP gubernatorial candidate), to keep running. But, he continued, “the reason I can’t is that my vote was undeserved… on a personal level. On the move [sic] level, our vote really wasn’t courted as a demographic.”

Predicting that the Republicans would likely lose the Senate and adding that “we are already reducing our presumed majority in the House,” Alexander suggested that a narrow Republican victory in November could be worse than an outright defeat.

“It’s counter-intuitive, but a short-term win can mean a long-term loss,” he said. “We have to take both rooms [of Congress] or none,” he continued, as a narrow House victory would likely elevate Rep. Kevin McCarthy — who has become a despised far-right figure — to the Speaker’s chair. of his “group of friends are public figures” were beginning to say the same thing.

Ali Alexander proclaimed on social media that he and Loomer had warned that “the GOP and even parts of ‘MAGA Inc.’ sold out the Patriots and gave the Democrats a chance to retain BOTH houses of Congress.”

“In an ideal world, I say, ‘Vote Republican, vote straight on the ticket. But a lot of my friends don’t feel that, I don’t feel that,” Alexander said. “A loss is going to sting. But as people know, in sports or other disciplines, sometimes a strategic loss and mitigating and preparing for that loss is better than a win that cannot be sustained.” This notion of “losing strategically” was something few wanted to talk out loud, Alexander acknowledged, because it sounded “too much like sabotage”. But he called on listeners to “share this podcast with some of our allies who are always on the platform,” like far-right media personalities Jack Posobiec or Mike Cernovich, in case they too want to join the no-vote wave.

On GETTR, Alexander promoted the livestream with a message proclaiming that he and Loomer had warned people that “GOP and even parts of ‘MAGA Inc.’ sold out the Patriots and gave the Democrats a chance to keep BOTH houses of Congress,” adding a hashtag he is apparently trying to fashion, #GOPrevolt.

On the one hand, the prospect that some of the most vocal and destructive far-right activists will work to demobilize their supporters ahead of the 2022 and 24 elections has been greeted as good news by many Democrats. On Twitter, users reacted to news of Alexander’s announcement with variations on “That’s the spirit” and “Spread the word.” Other progressive commentators have pointed out that Republicans’ insistence that the 2020 election was stolen likely depressed turnout in the January 2021 US Senate election in Georgia – possibly leading to victories for Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff – and that these persistent claims could have the same effect in the future.

“You’ll never hear me say stuff on this show to try to get Republicans not to vote,” progressive podcast host David Pakman said in July, after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene thought the conservatives still angry at Trump’s loss in 2020 might not turn out that. year. “But I’m definitely not going to tell Republicans not to do it themselves.”

On the other hand, notes Political Research Associates research analyst Ben Lorber, there is a complicated irony at work when it comes to those far-right activists threatening to withdraw support: that their influence has already become widespread within Republican politics, and that they themselves may no longer matter.

Earlier this year, Lorber recalled, Nick Fuentes boasted that his America First movement would begin endorsing and fielding its own candidates, “to deepen their impact” on the mainstream GOP. That didn’t happen on the whole, and instead Fuentes and his movement were increasingly sidelined in the larger universe of conservatism.

“In the face of this disappointment,” Lorber said, “Fuentes redoubles the insurgent and anti-establishment energy” that drove events like the Million MAGA march in December 2020. Now, Lorber continued, “the white nationalist politics that Fuentes has long championed have gone mainstream,” while the Republican Party has “little patience for the Groyper leader himself.”

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