Even President Trump’s opponents will likely agree that he possesses the stamina of someone 10-20 years younger. But at age 74, the movement Trump started is going to need new leaders to emerge within the next few years, not decades.
On the other hand, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, at age 31, is just getting started. According to Malcolm Flex, a Twitter celebrity and political prognosticator, AOC is just biding her time in Congress. As he puts it, “when it comes to branding, nobody can hold a candle to AOC.” Who, in AOC’s age group, will step up to challenge her?
What AOC represents, to state the obvious, is the socialist wing of the Democratic party. These socialists are the ascendant future of that party, backed up by militant Antifa brigades in every city in America, along with donors large and small, ready to support her next move, and the one after that, and the one after that. Rather than attempting to count and classify angels on the head of an ideological pin, let’s merely describe as “anti-socialist” the leaders, and the coalition, that must form to oppose AOC.
Malcolm Flex, a 27 year old former football player with the University of Alabama, and self-described “athlete, scientist, and dad,” is a recent addition to a robust and growing brigade of right-leaning producers of online video commentary. Formerly libertarian, currently Republican, Flex recently posted a video that is a must-watch for any anti-socialist politician, strategist, and influencer in America.
His tweet accompanying this video reads “Don’t underestimate today’s political power players just because they aren’t playing the same game as you.”
Flex leads off by saying “The paradigm is switching right now and it is switching so fast.” As an example he is referring to the new power of the Twitch platform as a political influencer, stating “Twitch is a hive for young minds, for young, unshapen, very bored minds.” In particular, he is referring to Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s recent debut appearance as a player on Twitch, an appearance that attracted over 430,000 online participants.
In a 20 minute livestreamed monologue, Flex explains how the anti-socialist movement is not recruiting the right young talent. He surveys the young players, from Chandler Crump to Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens, and explains that while they are saying the right things, they lack the charisma to attract an army. He acknowledges the magnetism of the Hodge Twins, but reminds us that Keith and Kevin Hodge, at age 45, are a generation removed from the future voters that populate, for example, the Twitchosphere.
Displaying a knowledge of Twitch that shouldn’t, but does elude most political strategists, Flex marvels at the fact that AOC used Twitch not as a broadcaster, but as a player, to build a “simp army” (look it up – and don’t laugh, because they’ll all be voting in 2028). As Flex warns, Twitch has now realized they can make money with political content. What if they go in the same direction as the other big platforms and censor or deboost conservatives? Twitch is owned by Amazon, so if they do, it should come as no surprise.
One of Flex’s main points appears to be that live streaming is a paradigm shifting technology that the Left is adopting faster than the Right. In his own words:
“The technology of using Twitch, using streaming technology, AOC has been heavy on this, watch her Instagram, she is on streaming constantly. Think about how many people she has amassed, she is always going live.”
The power of live streaming goes well beyond its initial impact, as Flex explains: “When you go live you can create video clips, you can create endless amounts of content that you can cut up and you can secondarily distribute. That’s a lot of memes, that’s a lot of propaganda – when I say memes, I don’t mean the traditional meme as the joke or the funny picture, I mean the meme as the highly dense, encapsulated transmission as a vector for an idea. A a meme is an idea that can virally spread from one individual to another with very low barriers because it is in a very visually stimulating package. AOC has been mimetically spreading her ideology.”
Perhaps the bigger message in Flex’s video is to return to the question of leadership and influence. Returning to the AOC phenomenon, Flex says “she is reaching out to the youth, she is not playing the same game you guys are playing. People today say she’s too far Left, but do the kids think that? Do the voters of tomorrow think that?”
Elaborating, Flex explains that “young people get older and eventually they do vote, and you know what they remember? If they’ve grown up with a politician, they have those experiences of watching them ingrained upon them, they have political loyalty, just like brand loyalty. They have hard crystalline memories ingrained, blending politics and consumerism.”
To wrap up what is arguably the most instructive 20 minutes of free, spontaneous political consulting dished out in many years for the anti-socialist right, Flex exhorts Republicans to find and support young online talent. The right kind of talent. Dismissing the bulk of GOP efforts to reach the younger generation as “catering to spoiled, hoity toity interns,” he says “they need to start recruiting some of the young minds on social media, there are a lot of good content creators that happen to lean conservative, that if you showed them some love, if you gave them a few breadcrumbs, if you gave them a platform, if you started helping them build, they would become great players for you.”
So who are these young minds? It would be helpful, very helpful, if Malcolm Flex would let us know who he’s found. There’s got to be somebody! Here are a few possibilities: Kimberly Klacik, running for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania, who produced an absolutely amazing campaign ad. Or Anna Paulina Luna, running for U.S. Congress in Florida. Or for someone with an edge, Kash Lee Kelly, a rising star on social media who, with rare credibility, expresses the virtues of conservatism in his own community.
In describing the future of the anti-socialist coalition in America, Malcolm Flex gets everything right: there is a new political marketing paradigm that uses streaming to target children and teenagers, blending politics with games and style. The long-term strategic value of this is epic. Supporting young talent with online influence today can translate into emerging politicians ten years from now with millions of loyal adherents. Finding people with the credibility and charisma to reach their various communities is also critical for the Right, especially since Democrats still command the overwhelming allegiance of the nonwhite electorate.
One may hope Flex is wrong that only the young can influence the future. After all, Trump, and Reagan years earlier, were both septuagenarians with strong appeal to young Republicans. Here is a list of online anti-socialist influencers, mostly young but not exclusively so, that do not conform to Republican stereotypes:
Derrick Blackman, Jermain Botsio, Taleed Brown, Pastor Mark Burns, Anthony Cabassa, Franklin Camargo, Horace Cooper, Chandler Crump, Stacy Dash, Patricia Dickson, Jamarcus Dove Simmons, Dinesh D’Souza, Wayne Dupree, Larry Elder, AJ Faleski, Damani Bryant Felder, Malcolm Flex, Shekina Geist, Ricky Godinez, Bryson Gray, Lynett Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, David J Harris Jr, James T Harris, Zach Hing, Keith and Kevin Hodge, Peggy Hubbard, Mind of Jamal, Emma Jimenez, Will Johnson, Kash Lee Kelly, KingFace, Kimberly Klacik, Anthony Brian Logan, Anna Paulina Luna, Jay McCaney, Jon Miller, Chadwick Moore, Andy Ngo, Mike Nificent, Antonia Okafor, Candace Owens, Star Parker, Robert Patillo, Joel Patrick, CJ Pearson, Jesse Lee Peterson, S.A. Rivera, Omar Rivero, Brandon Straka, Dr. Carol Swain, Enrique Tarrio, Brandon Tatum, Joy Villa, Allen West, Terrence K Williams, Justin Wilson.
This is an eclectic group. Some are candidates, some are commentators, some are edgy, and some are, as Flex candidly puts it, perceived as “cornballs.” Some are old, most are young, but only a few are under 30. Some are classic conservatives, some are Christian patriots, some are libertarians, and some are nationalists. They only have two things in common: none of them are white and heterosexual, and all of them are anti-socialists.
These 56 individuals, collectively, have a Twitter following of over 16 million. And of these 56, a half-dozen have been banned, and a many others don’t make Twitter their priority platform. But how many of these 56 are livestreaming to an audience of children and teenagers? Any of them? AOC is.
Nonetheless, for every person identified here, there are hundreds more out there. The anti-socialist strategists, and their donors, need to find them. They need to find and nurture emerging influencers who are in their late teens and early 20s who have young followers. They need to build a massive farm team, from which some players will become the online titans of tomorrow.
The paradigm is changing. The Left has discovered a new avenue to America’s future voters (they already had the public schools), and they’re barging forward with purpose. AOC is already a populist titan, with half her followers still too young to vote. America’s demographics are changing. But the tech-savvy leaders who will inspire future voters online with anti-socialist ideology are out there. They just need to be found, funded, and turned loose on Twitch, captivating the voters that will swing elections in the 2030s.
This article originally appeared on the website American Greatness.
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Edward Ring is a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. He is also a senior fellow with the Center for American Greatness, and a regular contributor to the California Globe. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Forbes, and other media outlets.
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