For once, the mainstream media pays attention to an actual thought leader who is legitimately influential across the Alt-Right:
Sailer’s brief career at National Review ended in 1997, when William F. Buckley, Jr. eased out the magazine’s then-editor, the immigration hawk John O’Sullivan, in favor of Rich Lowry — part of a larger shift in the conservative world away from paleoconservatives and immigration skeptics near the turn of the millennium. Since then, he has largely been confined to smaller and less mainstream conservative outlets. But after Trump won last November by getting blue-collar, Midwestern whites to vote like a minority bloc, as Sailer had so memorably recommended in 2000, a number of Sailer’s establishment critics, such as Michael Barone, were forced to acknowledge that Sailer had been vindicated.
On foreign policy, too, Sailer has been a pervasive if subtle presence on the right. During the mid-2000s, he popularized the phrase “Invade the World, Invite the World” to parody the apparent bipartisan foreign policy consensus of the last two decades around large-scale military intervention abroad and large-scale immigration at home. It took some time, but by the summer of 2016, the mood of the country had caught up with Sailer. Breitbart began using “Invade the World, Invite the World” to describe the ideology of John McCain and Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump’s stated hostility to elites’ perceived “globalist” overreach proved to be a major asset in his campaign.
As Michael Brendan Dougherty of The Week has observed, Sailer has exerted “a kind of subliminal influence across much of the right … even in the places where his controversial writing on race was decidedly unwelcome.” Sometimes that influence has not even been subliminal — David Brooks has cited Sailer in The New York Times on the correlation between white fertility rates and voting patterns, Times columnist Ross Douthat has referenced Sailer’s analogy between Breitbart-style conservatism and punk rock, and the economist Tyler Cowen has described him as “the most significant neo-reaction thinker today.” Meanwhile, Sailer’s ideas and catchphrases — including “the coalition of the fringes,” to describe the Obama coalition, and “elect a new people,” a paraphrase of Bertolt Brecht describing an alleged liberal plot to re-engineer the country’s demographics — have spread across the right-wing Internet like wildfire.
It’s a hit piece, to be sure. But it is a hit piece with a respectful tone, and one that even admits “he’s not entirely wrong”.