With Attack on Syria, Trump Alienates the Alt-Right [Updated]

Image: AP Photo/Seth Wenig, modified by Bryan Menegus

One of the few issues uniting the loose coalition of meme obsessed right-wingers, ethno-national, white supremacists, and other fringe political camps we’ve come to know as the alt-right has been the sentiment that our protracted wars in the Middle East were a grave misstep. Many Trump supporters I’ve spoken to went so far as to say they threw their effort behind the Republican ticket for fear that Clinton would certainly lead this country to war.

Earlier tonight, Donald Trump launched 60 tomahawk missiles at an air base in Syria.


Despite plummeting approval ratings (35 percent, currently) and a GOP rapidly distancing itself from his unhinged policy proposals, Trump’s most ardent supporters have remained steadfast—buoyed by anonymous imageboards, Twitter ecelebrities, a healthy dose of faked fervor from bot nets, and a dedicated subreddit which bans dissenting views. They spun positive narratives out of a cabinet which has habitually lied to the public, and a president who has followed through on none of his campaign promises. With this airstrike—which some already speculate will lead to a full-scale war—even these zealots who believe they memed the man into the world’s most powerful office can’t find a speck of good news buried under the rubble.

His ecelebrity cohorts have turned tail, including former men’s rights activist Mike Cernovich, #TrumpCup creator and ex-Buzzfeed employee Baked Alaska, The Rebel mouthpiece Jack Posobiec, white nationalist and living meme Richard Spencer, and Paul Joseph Watson of Infowars fame. All have tweeted voluminously in support of Trump for months. Earlier today, many also supported the theory that the gas attack in Syria was faked, and are now coming to grips with a very real missile strike.


Reddit’s r/the_donald, which famously bans users for posts which in any way question Trump, is beginning to crack. The top comment on a thread linking to the Associated Press report of the attack is merely the word “fuck.” Below it, other “centipedes” (as Reddit’s Trump base refer to themselves) express confusion and regret, asking “Did...did we just fuck up? I have no clue if this is just a ploy to confuse everyone or if he’s seriously going after Assad” and “This is one of the chief reasons I voted against Clinton. Fucking hell.”


Even 4chan’s “politically incorrect” imageboard (/pol/), where any anti-Trump posters were accused of being “shills”—for literally anything from Hillary, to David Brock, Zionists, Russians, or the “globalist elite,”—have run out of stamina for mental gymnastics. Almost every thread on /pol/ currently is about these missile strikes, and the majority of the site’s anonymous users appear to be disappointed, angry, or terrified of the prospect of broader warfare in the region.

Image: /pol/’s catalog of top threads currently. Most of the responses are negative.

Trump is showing his true colors, and the people who took outsized credit for electing him are now feeling the overwhelming regret of being duped. In makes you wonder, where did Trump’s troll army get the idea he was against military intervention in Syria in the first place?


Update 4/7/17 2:49pm EDT: Add to that list of former comrades the disgraced Breitbart “writer” Milo Yiannopoulos, who posted the following on his Facebook page (his Twitter account has long since been banned.)


A half-hearted apologia from Dilbert creator and popcorn enthusiast Scott Adams included the line that “this military action alarms me,” while prehistoric troll Ann Coulter took a more critical stance.


Infowars’ conspiracist-in-chief Alex Jones—a confidant of the president—opened a stream earlier today on YouTube by stating that he does not support a war in Syria and that, “Trump is really disintegrating in my eyes on many levels.”

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Bryan Menegus

Senior reporter. Tech + labor /// bryan.menegus [at] gizmodo.com Keybase: keybase.io/bryangm Securedrop: http://gmg7jl25ony5g7ws.onion/

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