Fast Times With the New York Young Republicans
The official location for this party landed in our inboxes just a couple hours ago and we weren’t supposed to tell anyone but of course somebody told someone and so the sidewalk outside this restaurant in Little Italy contains about 10 intrepid protesters enduring the New York City rain to shout at the people going in. They have identical black signs that say something, I can’t remember what, I am busy not making eye contact and navigating towards the entrance.
“Go downstairs and celebrate a cop-killer!” one of them yells as I descend the steps. “You’re supporting dictators and cop killers!”
I present my ticket, which says “Martinis with Roger Stone!” and also my name. I am at a strange moment in my career where my name might be recognized but probably not; if recognized I might be barred but probably let in.
They let me in. “You’re supporting dictators and-”
The door shuts and my life smash-cuts to house music and low lights and men in suits steering me to coat check. The bar is small and oblong and dimly lit and full to bursting with more men in suits, infinite suits shouting and talking and drinking at the open bar, which is where I head as soon as I deposit my coat, because my personal code of honor is that it’s fine to pay for tickets to conservative events if you drink enough alcohol to offset the price, and anyway I am definitely going to need alcohol for this one.
I love parties, and I love conservative parties, and I certainly love adding weird selfies to my collection, but sometimes I get The Fear and I got it hard on the subway heading here. Why am I doing this, exactly, why is this my Friday night: there’s no assignment, I’m not going to cover anything, I’m just going to….what, exactly?
This is a New York Young Republicans event, and as much as that sounds like a high school club for dorks it is in fact New York’s edgiest conservative/nationalist club (though still, arguably, for dorks). A lot of the men in suits are wearing little H̶u̶n̶g̶a̶r̶i̶a̶n̶ Russian* flag pins, which I’ve written about before. Patriotism and nationalism are compatible things but not the same thing, and this is the beating nationalist heart of the thing struggling to be born.