Meet the white nationalist trying to ride the Trump train to lasting power - 2016-10-27
Editor's note: Several weeks after this story published in October, Spencer gave a triumphant speech at a conference in Washington describing America as a "white country" and proclaiming, "Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!" He was met with cheers and Nazi salutes. Read more in our investigation of how the white nationalist movement capitalized on the Trump campaign.
Richard Spencer uses chopsticks to deftly pluck slivers of togarashi-crusted ahi from a rectangular plate. He is sitting in the Continental-style lounge of the Firebrand Hotel, near his home in the upscale resort town of Whitefish, Montana, discussing a subject not typically broached in polite company. "Race is something between a breed and an actual species," he says, likening the differences between whites and people of color to those between golden retrievers and basset hounds. "It's that powerful."
We are well into our third round of Arrogant Frog, a merlot that Spencer chose because its name reminds him of Pepe, the cartoon frog commandeered as a mascot by the "alt-right" movement that has been thrust from the shadows by Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Spencer says Pepe could also be seen as the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian frog deity, Kek: "He is basically using the alt-right to unleash chaos and change the world," he says, looking slightly annoyed when I crack a smile. "You might say, 'Wow,' but this is literally how religions arise."