Last week, of course, Richard Spencer gave his much anticipated (or feared, depending on who you ask) speech at the University of Florida. I will have more comments on that speech in upcoming posts. Here I want to briefly draw attention to what I think are some statements made by Richard Spencer, and the significance I think they have.
The night before he was to speak, Richard tweeted this periscope video. Please, whether you hate the man or love him, just watch it:
Starting at 11:55 into this video, Richard begins to talk about the costs and the risks of being involved in this movement. “I did not get in this to risk my life. I didn’t think that we were going to explode on the scene this quickly. If you’d told me two years ago that my simple travel to the state of Florida, and speaking at a university, which I’ve done many times, would be protested by thousands of ANTIFA, and have a state of emergency issued by the governor, I wouldn’t have believed you. The fact is things are really accelerating, things are expanding, becoming more intense, really fast. I did not get in this thinking I would have to risk my life. But the fact is, I have accepted that in my heart. Also, have I paid the cost in terms of friends, in terms of family members. . .sure, I have. That has not been great. But the fact is, anyone in my position, and that doesn’t just go for leaders, that goes for even an anonymous s***poster, we have accepted the risk, we have accepted the cost, and we move forward.”
These are the words of a real leader, and a real hero. I have spoken of my admiration for Richard Spencer here before. I have been proud to have him as the spokesperson of the cause we both love so dearly, and of which I am a member, before hearing this (after his display of non-violent resistance at Charlottesville for instance). But Richard has outdone himself here. He has a courage, sincerity, and humility that befits a truly great man. Not one that the world views as great because of his power, but one who is great because of his character. One who is great of soul and spirit, not just of reputation. And its strikes me, just how little we often talk about what good leadership should look like.
It’s important, after all, this quality we call leadership. No movement can grow, and no people triumph, without a good leader. But a bad leader is worse than no leader. Better to be leaderless than ruled by a tyrant.
What does a good leader look like? Different qualities may stand out as most important at different times and in different circumstances, but there are few things that I think are constants:
A good leader must lead, he must not follow. He must be willing to blaze a path for others. He must be capable and desirous of practicing a Natural form of dominance in his interactions. And he must inspire. He should not have too much bravado, as he will put himself in danger of being taken from his followers by death, but he must be brave enough to face danger if called to. He must not be hot tempered, as he will disgrace his people and lead them into unwise battles, but he must not be so meek that he is walked all over. He must be a man of self-control.
At the same time, he must be humble enough to recognize that all members contribute, to appreciate their contributions, seek their advice, and give them the opportunity to help him make the group action work. He must not consider his station more important than theirs, although he must be willing to consider it different and act with the appropriate dominance as necessary. But he should never act in condescension, and never as a dictator. He must not be too desirous of fame or fortune, and must not have a penchant for hogging the spotlight or the glory. He is not a dictator, and must never be too heavy handed or obsessive in exercising authority. He must be willing to be an example to everyone of how a team player plays the game.
Finally, he must be committed and sincere. He must truly believe in his work, in its importance. His humility cannot be so profound that he is incapable of recognizing the importance of his station in the group’s success. Nor can his ties to his position be ones of family tradition, monetary gain, or a desire to become a prominent public figure. He must be ready and willing to lead by example into the fields of sacrifice. He must be willing to sacrifice for his commitment to his people and his ideals.
Do such people exist? As we look at the crowded field of politics today—even right wing and “Christian” politics—we are often disappointed in the quality of leadership. But such people do exist. And every now and again, someone with outstanding leadership quality winds up in a leadership role. Although I don’t have the privilege of knowing Richard Spencer personally, I follow his public appearances and statements to his followers, and what I have seen leads me to believe that he may be such a person.
Richard, as everyone knows, is no stranger to the threat of violent attack. He was violently attacked in D.C. after Trump’s inauguration, starting an almost unbelievable reaction by the left where they seemed completely unashamed to declare their support for political violence. The very video in question here, was made partially in response to a similarly unbelievable video attack released by the ever crazy Mike Cernovich, literally threatening to physically attack Richard for no reason whatsoever.
It is entirely possible that someone will, in the near future, make an attempt on his life. The hatred of any White person who dares to stand up unashamed and advocate for White interests is more than strong enough to motivate a killer. After all, we do know that the left is already fantasizing about his murder. And it appears that someone with press credentials was caught trying to bring a firearm into the Florida speech. What he planned to do with it, no one knows. Someone in attendance at the Florida speech also indicated that the police had cordoned off all the rows closest to the stage, but allowed Richard’s vetted supporters to sit there. Did they fear violence, perhaps someone trying to rush the stage? I don’t know, but I know that Richard is a man for his time, he is a man for our people’s time to rise, and from all appearances, he is simply a very good man.
His willingness to lay down his life for his people is admirable and inspiring. But he must also be careful. This movement needs a leader like him. We can’t afford to lose him.