Tuesday, June 23, 2020


When you think of conservative Twitter trolls, what do you envision? Confederate flags, poor spelling and punctuation, tendentious arguments? Yes, I've seen all that, but this guy I met today kind of gave me a new perspective.

You may recognize the similarity of his avatar to an image that is very popular among anti-Semites:

I asked the guy, "Why say 'Estonian conservative' when 'neo-Nazi' is so much shorter?" and he said, ha, isn't that just like a liberal!

When I showed him that I had his avatar figured out, he wondered aloud why I was making a big deal out of it and insisted that I had no grounds to call him a neo-Nazi.

("Happy merchant," btw, is a well-known name for the anti-Semitic thing. Oh, and apparently the "littlepony" thing now has some Nazi provenance as well.)

You can imagine how it went after that -- he slid from professions that he'd been slandered as a neo-Nazi to identifying the outfit in which he dressed his anti-Semitic caricature as that of the Estonian Waffen-SS in World War II, of whom he was very proud ("You have no idea what these men did for their people, families and country. More than you ever will"). Long story short, the guy approves of the SS because they fought for Hitler against the Russians, who he really hates -- though whether he hates them more than Jews, or thinks of them as the same thing, I didn't catch.

I tagged out early but watched in fascination as he kept this routine up with other people, and was struck by the Trumpian approach -- first, the denial of his obvious self-association with repulsive bigotry; then, when discovered, asking what the big deal is and why I was triggered; then, lengthy justifications of his Nazi cosplay. Oh, and "You're the real Nazi [laughing emojis]."

I wouldn't go so far as to say that guys like this and the other Trump fans believe exactly the same things all down the line, but it's something to consider that very, very far right people -- including peek-a-boo Nazis from Eastern Europe -- seem to be picking up the same lingo and style of argument.

UPDATE. @ControlCentral1 reminds me of the Sartre quote on how anti-Semitic arguments work ("Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies..."). Now it all makes sense!

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