This week white nationalist and “groyper” leader Nick Fuentes let out his inner fascist. In a series of tweets on April 13 and 14, Fuentes declared his allegiance to Donald Trump over the U.S. Constitution, called for Trump to be given the power to “rule by decree,” and advocated the arrest of members of the press who have been critical of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. In keeping with fascist themes, on his America First show, Fuentes also called for large scale arrests of political enemies, including some on the political right.
Fuentes longing for dictatorial rule befits an individual who has previously stated that he would join antifa if they were “waving the banner of Benito Mussolini…waving the banner of Falangism [WWII-era Spanish fascists]…and they were saying ‘Catholic fascism now’.” Likewise, Fuentes has in the past called for the murder members of the media.
This brash display of support for a seeming “leadership principle” – including devotion to a single leader over Constitutional principle – and the call for an executive “rule by decree” is reminiscent of interwar fascism, including the powers attained by Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini in 1926 and German Nazi leader Adolph Hitler under the 1933 Enabling Act. In both cases, these fascist leaders used such powers, and the pre-text of social crises, to crack down on political opponents – e.g, attempted assassinations against Mussolini and the 1933 Reichstag fire for Hitler.
Again, this is unsurprising given Fuentes’ above statements, as well as the comparison of his own “groyper” mobilization Hitler’s brownshirts.
It is, however, somewhat surprising given the “groyper” effort to mainstream white nationalism by, in part, casting themselves as the “real conservatives.” In effect, once again, Nick Fuentes has blown the “groyper” and “America First” cover completely off.
Fuentes elaborated on his dictatorial leanings in segments of his America First show posted to Twitter by Nationalist TV. Like his tweets, his video rant displayed prominent features of fascism, including a yearning for the large scale suppression and imprisonment of political enemies and the creation of a quasi-military police force that answers only to the “supreme leader.” In addition to cracking down on state governors attempting to address the coronavirus in the face of Trump administration failures, Fuentes called for measures to bring constitutionalists and libertarians “to heel.” Fuentes also advocated steps to crack down on the media and enforce, through arrests, the “morality” of his movement – measures similarly, and aggressively, pursued by the German Nazis against media and cultural institutions under the moniker of “coordination.”
While lengthy, the following excerpts from Fuentes’ show are instructive in terms of the radical assault on democracy and human and civil rights envisioned by white nationalists – the most consistently fascist segment of American politics. In the end, Fuentes declared that “The answer to our problem is to simply put more people in jail”:
“That’s what’s going on with the governors. They should be crushed. They should be brought to heel. The governors, the media, the constitutionalists, the libertarians, they must be brought to heel. The roller bladders, the joggers, the skateboarders, arrest them. I love all these people that are like, ‘I went to the park and I got arrested.’ Shoulda stayed home!…This is just a taste of what is possible. This is a taste. Imagine if we applied this to all the other unsavory activities happening in the country. You know, could you imagine, a woman walking down the street with like short shorts and her cleavage exposed. ‘I was just walking down the street looking like a whore and I got arrested.’ Good. Awesome…This is a small taste of what is possible. The answer to our problems is putting more people in jail. Don’t you understand? And, …you know, there’s definitely a funny, and you know, a humorous component to what I’m saying, but there’s also a lot of truth. The answer to our problem is to simply put more people in jail. Simply incarcerate more people. Fine more people. More rules. More regulations. And you know that that’s what they do to us. They write the rules to hurt us, in the private and the public sector. Cannot say the n-word, cannot be racist, cannot say illegal immigrant, cannot misgender, cannot do a public demonstration, cannot bear arms. Right, so don’t even get me started, ‘but that’s not constitutional, but what about liberty?’ Dude, f*** that. Put ‘em all in jail. We’ll take over the country. And then once the revolution is secured, and we’ve created a revolutionary guard corps, then we can let them out of jail. Ok, and they’ll be on probation. They’ll be under constant surveillance. But, let’s secure the country first.” [italics added]
Also in the likeness of interwar fascism, Fuentes calls for the creation of a “revolutionary guard,” akin to that of Iran, that “answers to Donald Trump, or somebody similar, and is a guarantor and protector of the revolution”:
“We need like they have in Iran. In Iran, they’ve got the military and then they’ve got the Revolutionary Guard core. And the military answers to, I believe, the President, and they are supposed to protect Iran. But the Revolutionary Guard corps answers to the supreme leader, and they protect the revolution. They’re supposed to protect the seeds, the values, the ideals of the 1979 Islamic revolution. We need something like that. We need a guard that answers to Donald Trump, or somebody similar, and is a guarantor and a protector of the revolution. It’s just simply necessary at this point. The Founding Fathers should have created something like this – a revolutionary guard. You could have your President and you could have your Speaker of the House. But there should have been a king, or a supreme leader, with a revolutionary guard. And.. you know, I’m meme-ing a little bit, but it’s also totally true. And they could have come in whenever there was, un-American, transnational influence, and restore the American revolution. And then we wouldn’t have to worry about this kind of stuff. But here we are. So, put ’em in jail. They’re going to put us in jail. So it’s a race to see who can put the other one in jail first. There’s no other option. You have two options. You can go to jail, or you can put your enemies in jail. There is no third option. There’s no third option of, ‘well what if nobody went to jail, what if everybody got along.'” [italics added]
Finally, in keeping with the currents of white nationalism presently at work in the United States, Fuentes argues that there either needs to be the suppression and jailing of political enemies or like-minded people need to break away to form a separate state:
“There’s no option, where it’s like, you know, these libertarians say this – ‘we’re gonna take over the government and leave everybody along’ – not gonna happen. Because some people want to kill babies, and some people don’t want to kill babies. And some people want to rape your kids. And other people don’t want their kids raped. And some people want everybody to be gay, and there’s no gender…And some people don’t want that. Some people want to laugh at God, and mock God…Mutually exclusive…It’s just we’ve gone too far, it’s too divided, into camps, set against each other, diametrically opposite, deadly serious about serious issues, completely different world views, irreconcilable. The only other alternative is breakaway. Either you break away and you separate, or somebody has to go to jail, and I don’t want to go to jail…And you know that I would be put in jail…You know, Hillary Clinton or… Pete Buttigieg would put me in jail, for being a racist, or spreading hate speech, or being a conservative, or whatever, for having a gun…You know that they would put us in jail. We have to put them in jail!…Now I’m just ranting about my desire to see people put behind bars. But, the point remains the same. These governors are out of line, the media is out of line. Where is Trump on this? Where is our God emperor of mankind? Where is our emperor? Where is our Caesar? WE need you. We need you to seize power, now. You can give it up later, but you need to seize it now. [italics added]”
These passages make it quite clear that Fuentes pines for something akin to a fascist dictatorship under Donald Trump or “somebody” similar, a government that would arrest members of the media and political opponents and operate through a police force under the direction of a “supreme leader.”
Jaden McNeil, founder of the American First Students at Kansas State University, seemed to agree with Fuentes, at least in part. The fellow traveler of white nationalists retweeted Fuentes messages, including his call for Trump to “rule by decree” and for arresting members of the media.
When Donald Trump recently declared that “When somebody’s president of the United States, the authority is total,” McNeil responded “Based” – or good, in the parlance of many younger white nationalists and far-rightists.
These are the “groypers,” including the leader of America First Students, an organization that aims to foster campus activism around the country.
 Fuentes, Nick. Twitter. April 13, 2020. https://twitter.com/NickJFuentes/status/1249838912266264577; https://twitter.com/NickJFuentes/status/1249833425244168194; Fuentes, Nick. Twitter. April 14, 2020. https://twitter.com/NickJFuentes/status/1250216636109463553
 See Payne, Stanley G. 1995. A History of Fascism, 1914-1945. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press.
 For an in-depth discussion of the use of this process, see Evans, Richard J. 2003. The Coming of the Third Reich. New York: Penguin Books.
 Fuentes, Nick. America First. At Nationalist TV. Twitter. April 14, 2020. https://twitter.com/NationalistTV/status/1250320747915956226
 Fuentes, Nick. America First. At Nationalist TV. Twitter. April 14, 2020. https://twitter.com/NationalistTV/status/1250321870856974337
 McNeil, Jaden. Twitter. April 13, 2020. https://twitter.com/McNeilJaden/status/1249939929330847744