Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Interview from the Archive: Paul 'RamZPaul' Ramsey explains the rise, crash, and burn of the Alt-Right

Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 23, 2017.

This is the second part of a three-article series on the views of Paul Ramsey; better known as RamZPaul. If you did not read it, the first entry can be found here. The block-quoted material below appeared in Friday's article, offering background on the subject matter. 
Story by Joseph Ford Cotto

Nowadays, a video camera and Web streaming can get you farther than most once thought possible. Paul Ramsey, though, has taken the basics to a new level. The nationalistic humorist does not have graphics, soundtracks, or split-screens, but only himself, his stream-of-consciousness style, and no small amount to say about the political and cultural happenings of our time.

To say that he marches to the beat of his own drum is an understatement.

Reviled by neo-Nazis – none of whom will get even passing mention here – as a race traitor par excellence and castigated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “[a] scathing critic of ‘cultural Marxism’ …. who posts Internet videos of himself talking to the camera …. he has uploaded hundreds of liberal-loathing, feminist-bashing, and racial separatist-supporting videos”, Ramsey can hardly catch a break.

Already well known to millions through his RamZPaul account on YouTube, he attained Internet infamy after parting ways with anything and everything Alt-Right – which followed Richard Spencer hailing Trump and receiving an enthusiastic not-at-all-Roman salute.

“Most normal people can support the Alt Right ideas of self-determination, protection of borders, good trade deals, America First, etc,” Ramsey wrote on his website late last month. “But normal people can't support anything that is associated with Nazism …. The Alt Right was a phenomenon that helped launch Trump into the White House. Now that he has been elected, there is no need for the ‘alternative’ label. We are now the Trump Right.”

At the dawn of the Donald’s presidential administration, Ramsey shares his views on some timely topics. 

Joseph Ford Cotto: A band of disparate rightists banded together in support of Donald Trump's candidacy. These individuals, opposed to contemporary American conservative orthodoxy, came to be known as the 'alt-right'. Since Donald Trump's election, 'alt-rightism' has splintered prolifically. Beyond anything else, why is this?

Cotto: Richard Spencer's now-infamous speech -- in which he hailed Trump and some audience members responded with a Nazi-like salute -- is said to have been the driving force behind the alt-right's disintegration. While this is undeniably true to some extent, could it be said that the alt-right was destined to fracture as it was a loosely-bound coalition to begin with?

Paul Ramsey: These two questions are similar so I will answer them together.

The original Alt Right had its roots in paleo-conservatism. You can think of people such as Sam Francis, Joe Sobran and Pat Buchannan as the spiritual Founding Fathers of the Alt Right.

In the late 2000s, many young, primarily White, people became dissatisfied with the status quo. This was the first generation of Americans that was taught from birth that they had original sin for being White. And, if they were male, they suffered from “toxic masculinity.” As is common with the youth, many rebelled against the establishment and found likeminded people on the Internet.

The [social justice warriors] hated them for being White. And the Republicans were not much better. As such, many drifted into Libertarianism and other non-mainstream options. Sadly, Libertarianism turned hard Left and also ended up hating these kids for their race and sex.

In its place, there was a hodgepodge of anti-establishment, anti-feminist and generally politically incorrect sites and personalities on the internet. This coalition loosely was known as the “Alternative Right.” Alternative, as in meaning not your typical George Bush conservative.

This was all pretty much under the mainstream radar until the Trump candidacy. And, at that moment, soon all the mainstream media were wondering who were all these crazy kids that trolled for Trump using silly frog images.

BuzzFeed was probably the first mainstream media to pick up on the “Alt Right”.  While they did the usual “white supremacist” spiel, I recorded the interview for YouTube. This created a stir as normal people could see that the Alt Right was something different than the usual neo-Nazi nonsense.

I was then asked to write an article for Return of Kings explaining the Alt Right to a young and mostly male audience.

This publicity caught the attention of Brietbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos. He used much of my material (he included many of my Twitter comments) to write a non-adversarial article about the Alt Right. He told me at the time that all Hell would break loose after he published this article. And he was right.

It was at this point that many powerful people (mostly behind the scenes) supported the energy and excitement of the Alt Right.

The danger to the Alt Right (which [was] predicted in my article) was that the Alt Right would be co-opted by the Neo-Nazi crowd. Initially, Nazi and over the top anti-Semitic web sites such as the Daily Stormer were opposed to the Alt Right. But once they saw that the momentum could not be stopped, they changed gears and decided to proclaim that THEY were the real Alt Right.

This all came to a head when the Nazi salute thing happened at Richard Spencer’s event. While I believe Richard is genuine and not a Nazi, he refused to disavow the Nazi behavior. As such, the media finally made the “Nazi” label stick to the Alt Right. This Nazi association was further confirmed when Spencer did a podcast with Andrew Anglin who is the front man for the Daily Stormer.

While the Alt Right never had an official leader, Richard Spencer was associated as the de facto leader since he long ago created a web site called “Alternative Right”.  So, in the public’s mind, the leader of the Alt Right had confirmed that the Alt Right was just a new name for Neo-Nazism.

At that point, pretty much everyone even somewhat mainstream fled the label “Alt Right.”

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