Tag: ali alexander
The Children's Hour: Why So Many Proto-Fascists Are Also Pedophiles

The Children's Hour: Why So Many Proto-Fascists Are Also Pedophiles

Ladies and gentlemen, please follow me to a corner of the American Freakshow tent where a group of tubby white guys who got into politics as family values Republicans hang their heads in shame. Faith-based to a thinning hair, while sipping Diet Cokes at local Trump campaign strategy meetings, or representing conservatives in Congress and state legislatures, they were apparently lining up sex with teens and children or -- eek -- flicking through child porn.

If you hang out in right-wing social media silos, you have no problem believing that the Democratic Party is teeming with baby-abusing demons and witches, fanged affiliates of the George Soros global elite pedophile cabal. You have seen Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene shrieking about liberal groomers whenever a TV camera points her way. Perhaps you even belong to QAnon, the fascist movement/religion that holds Donald Trump was sent to Earth to rescue trafficked children. As of last year a majority -- 52 percent -- of Republicans believed in its central tenet, that top Democrats are involved in sex trafficking rings.

Out here, outside the silos, we find this obsession baffling. Why do our proto-fascists see pedophiles under every proverbial bed?

Quite possibly, it’s because they do see them all the time - in broad daylight, in their own ranks.

I’ve always believed that if you prick a rock-ribbed conservative, the kink oozes out. Bullwhips and dominatrices, shoe fetishes, latex, all of it, smashed back in the closet. But what I didn’t see coming was the simultaneous emergence of men whose craving for juvenile flesh is on display and sometimes leads them to prison, belonging to a political party devoted to fanning the flames of a moral panic about the other side trafficking children.

The recent news of Stop The Steal organizer Ali Alexander’s habit of grooming teenage boys for sex -- he solicited dick pics from a number of them by text — got me thinking about this crazy confluence of desire and denial among the hard right herd.

A casual search hauls up an astonishing number of rightist characters from Dixie to DC to the Dakotas who have quite recently, many within the last five years, resigned from office or political jobs, or pled guilty, or been convicted, and are in prison. I’ll flip thorough the rogue’s galley quickly and then discuss what this is. Details are lurid. If you really want more, links are in the resource list at the end.

In Washington, last April, a jury convicted anti-abortion activists and former Republican National Committee staff member, Ruben Verastigui, was caught in a federal sting of a ring of men that traded child porn, including of babies. He admitted to possession of 152 videos and 50 images of child pornography and to receiving and distributing sexual depictions of children. He is serving a 12 and a half year prison sentence.

Two months ago, in Minnesota, a jury convicted Republican political operative Anton Lazzaro of seven counts involving child sex trafficking of 15 and 16 year old girls. Lazzaro “conspired with others to recruit and solicit six people under the age of 18 to engage in commercial sex” between May and December of 2020. Some of the victims testified that he would take them to his luxury Minneapolis condo and feed them Everclear, a 190 proof booze. Each of the seven counts carries a ten year mandatory sentence.

In Oklahoma, former Republican state senator Ralph Shortey was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison in 2018, on a child sex trafficking charge. Shortey was a county campaign coordinator for Trump in 2016. He pled guilty to child sex trafficking after being accused of soliciting sex from a 17-year-old boy in March. Shortey had voted for a measure the Oklahoma legislature passed that would allow business owners to discriminate against gay people.

Clockwise from top left: Folmer, Neal, Lazzaro, Pressler, Moore, Verastigui, Shortey, Koskan. Center: Trump kissing a teen.Image from American Political Freakshow

In Pennsylvania in 2019, Republican state senator Mike Folmer resigned after being arrested and charged with possession of child porn for uploading images to a Tumblr account in 2019. He spent a year in prison and now must keep authorities apprised of his whereabouts.

In Tennessee last May, federal prosecutors charged Putnam County Commissioner Jimmy Ray Neal with possession and distribution of child pornography. He allegedly went by the handle “Tennesseemaster” on an app used to share pictures of pre-pubescent children.

Last November, Joel Koskan, running for the third time as a Republican candidate for the South Dakota legislature, was charged with felony child abuse, after a family member reported that he groomed, molested, and raped her for years, starting when she was 12.

One state closer to Canada, in North Dakota, last spring, the state’s longest serving state senator, Ray Holmberg, resigned after reports that he exchanged a stream of text messages with a man jailed on child porn charges. Holmberg exchanged 72 text messages with Nicholas James Morgan-Derosier, who prosecutors say possessed several thousand images and videos depicting sexually abused children and took two children under the age of 10 from Minnesota to his Grand Forks home, with the intent of sexually abusing them. Holmberg said he couldn’t recall, but thought the texts exchanges were about a patio.

In Texas, anti-gay activist and one-time chairman of the Houston area Republican Party, Jared Woodfill, conceded in a deposition that he ignored complaints about the behavior of his law partner, the Baptist preacher Paul Pressler, with young men. A young man accused Pressler of repeatedly raping him in a church youth group. Woodfill had been informed that the preacher was a predator, who liked to tell young men lewd stories about men “naked on beaches” trying to lure them to skinny dip at his ranch.

In 2020, Trump campaign operative George Nader pled guilty to child porn and sex trafficking and was sentenced to ten years in prison. Prosecutors accused him of possessing pornographic images of children including some featuring toddler-age boys, baby goats, and other farm animals, and of arranging to transport a 14-year-old boy from the Czech Republic to his Washington home.

Trumpworld was creepy with men who had a thing for teens, starting with 45 himself. Alabama’s 2018 U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, was a notorious teen-girl harasser. Six women accused him of pursuing sex with them when they were as young as 14. Moore was so aggressive toward high school girls that a local mall actually banned him, according to the New York Times.

The revelations did not lose him Trump’s endorsement.

An Uncle Fester getting gnarled hands on a nubile is nothing new in conservative circles. The OG of Republican perviness was the late U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC), whose sex with a 15-year-old produced a child when he was in his 20s, and who went on to marry women one half and one third his age. Former Rep. Dennis Hastert, the longest serving Republican House Speaker, pled guilty to trying to pay a almost a million dollars in hush money to a teen wrestler he sexually abused while a wrestling coach in Illinois between 1965 bands 1981. At least six Republican Congressmen pleaded with the judge to give him leniency.

Is it just a coincidence that the rash of recent arrests and revelations about Republicans came in the wake of the election of a man who has bragged about walking in on half-naked Miss Teen USA’s getting dressed when they were in his pageants? Might there be something in the MAGA water?

Fascist author and pseudonymous Twitter personality Bronze Age Pervert, intellectual leader of young rightists, in his book Bronze Age Mindset, classifies humanity into three categories: superior men who "desire one thing above all, ever-flowing eternal fame among mortals," natural “bugmen,” dullards and serfs who make up the majority of men, and an intermediate class who alternate between serving the natural aristocracy and enforcing the hierarchy. In the Bronze Age Mindset, women “drain” men of their vitality and are responsible for all the world’s problems.

In the actual Bronze Age, slavery was common, girls were marriageable at 12 and probably younger, first cousins married each other, and females had little agency about who they had sex with. BAP, as he’s known, doesn’t explicitly say it, but an element of the Bronze Age Mindset’s vital male is that he be free to do what he wants with and to the bodies of “lesser” people - usually women, but also, perhaps, children, male or female.

This fantasy appeals beyond incel circles. As feminism empowered adult women, it has become more difficult to carry them off into proverbial caves. Are these self-considered superior men - -the Matt Gaetzes of the world, say -- turning to younger and younger girls?

The right studiously ignores this flaw in their project of elevating the neolithic male model. They blame liberals for a supposed epidemic of child sexualization, while in their ranks, sex criminals are going to prison.

State and federal laws apparently haven’t caught up with the Neanderthal trend.

I am not the first to point out that moral panics, like QAnon’s about children, erupt regularly in response to threatening social change. I recommend terrific discussions about how women going to work gave rise to Satanic panic hysteria in day care centers during the 1980s on the Conspirituality podcast. There are also many great essays, including one in Mother Jones, from which I excerpt:

With Pizzagate and QAnon, the molesters have changed from day-care workers to the liberal elite, and the politics behind the theories now are more explicitly spelled out. But the general context is more or less the same: conservative retrenchment after a period of progressive social gains. If women’s entry into the workplace in the latter half of the 20th century triggered deep anxieties about the decay of traditional gender roles and the family unit, in the 21st century it was same-sex marriage, growing acceptance of transgender rights, and the seeming cultural hegemony of a social justice agenda.

The twisted reality of conservative attitudes toward sex, women and children means that even as their ranks are infiltrated with pervs, they consistently use supposed dangers to women and children as a political cudgel against the other side. “I’ve noticed an alarming pattern when it comes to Judge Jackson’s treatment of sex offenders, especially those preying on children,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) tweeted before the Ketanji Brown Jackson Supreme Court confirmation hearings. “Judge Jackson has a pattern of letting child porn offenders off the hook for their appalling crimes, both as a judge and as a policymaker.”

In fact that was a lie.

Republicans are the strongest defenders of Lolita-loving state laws allowing child marriage. Between 2000 and 2018, 300,000 girls between age 15 and 17 were married in the U.S. A significant portion of them -- 60,000 -- were under the age of sexual consent in their states. “Run Josh Run” Hawley hails from the great state of Missouri, which just happens to be a “destination wedding spot for 15-year-old brides,” per the Kansas City Star.

Hawley’s Deliverance home state had such lax laws about girl-man marriage that between 2000 and 2014, thousands of children were legally married there, many of them impregnated teens. The state recently increased its legal marriage age to 16, against the objections of legislators who openly supported child marriage. During recent debate about anti-transgender care legislation, one of them, Sen. Mike Moon, doubled down again apropos of parents’ rights to marry off (heterosexually of course) their children, whenever they want. Moon, who had voted no on the bill to raise the marriage age from 15 to 16, asked the legislature, “Do you know any kids who have been married at age 12?” When one of his colleagues replied, “I don’t need to.,” Moon -- a Republican, of course -- replied: “I do, and guess what, they’re still married.”

Related resources

Mike Folmer

Ruben Verastigui

Ralph Shortey

Woodfill and Pressler

Joel Koskan

George Nader

Jimmy Ray Neal

Ray Holmberg

Ali Alexander

Rep. Mike Moon

Conspirituality podcast (I recommend the episodes on “Michelle Remembers” and recovered memory connections to Satanic panics.

Strom Thurmond’s Lolita

Mother Jonesessay on moral panics

Child marriage in America

Nina Burleigh is a a journalist, author, documentary producer, and publisher ofAmerican Political Freakshow, a Substack on politics. Her journalism has been published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Airmail, and New York. She is the author of seven books including most recently Virus: Vaccinations, the CDC, and the Hijacking of America's Response to the Pandemic and an adjunct professor at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.

Please consider subscribing to American Political Freakshow, from which this is reprinted with permission.

Trump Ally Alexander 'Canceled' Over Evidence He Solicited Teen Boys

Trump Ally Alexander 'Canceled' Over Evidence He Solicited Teen Boys

Ali Alexander, a pro-Trump activist and “Stop the Steal” organizer, is facing backlash after a recent cascade of allegations emerged denoting that Alexander had solicited sexual pictures from at least two teenage boys.

Pandemonium within the far-right reached a fever pitch last week when controversial right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos reportedly released screenshots of text messages that showed Alexander requesting “jack off material” from a 15-year-old.

Elaborating on the fallout further in a damning report on Monday, The Daily Beast reported that Alexander had in 2017 asked the teenager, Aidan Duncan, who is 21 years old now, for nude photos in exchange for political connections.

“You’ll have [me] sharing my entire network with you,” Alexander allegedly said in screenshots of a Snapchat conversation the Beast reviewed. The messages also reportedly showed Alexander dangle a meet-up with Yiannopoulos as a perk to Dancan — a reward Alexander said was reserved for whoever opted to be his “arm candy.”

Alexander, the Beast said, responded to a photo Duncan later sent him with an emoji of a smiling face with heart eyes and urged the teen to retain contact because “the less you deprive me of, the less I deprive you of. I’m a big sharing person unless it’s not even.”

Duncan told right-wing podcaster Richard Spencer in March 2023 that Alexander had offered to fly him to Texas to “be his intern” and asked the teen to lie to his parents about the trip to keep the affair secret.

In May 2019, Alexander allegedly took umbrage at what he said was the still underage Duncan’s inability to send him “videos” and “good jack off material,” several screenshots the Beast reviewed showed.

In a tweet last Thursday, Duncan said the interaction with Ali happened at a young age when he was “naive and desperate” and believed he had “no choice but to cooperate” with Alexander “if I wanted to make it in politics.”

In the summer of 2019, Alexander allegedly asked another teen, 17-year-old Lance Johnston, for photos of his penis in a message with the eggplant emoji, the Beast’s report also stated.

“Show me ur [eggplant emoji],” Alexander allegedly wrote to Johnston on the night of the Trump White House’s “Social Media Summit,” when then-President Donald Trump dubbed Alexander and a contingent of right-wing Twitter trolls the victims of online bias.

When Johnston asked what he meant, Alexander allegedly replied, “Omg dick,” a screenshot showed, per the Beast. Johnston told the publication that he rejected Alexander’s requests and blocked him.

Johnston also insisted to the Beast that Alexander and Nick Fuentes — a notorious far-right white supremacist, anti-Semite, and misogynist who made headlines for accompanying rapper Kanye West to break bread with Trump at Mar-a-Lago in late November — had promised him “a job in politics” if he recanted the eggplant story.

When the messages first hit the airwaves, Alexander dismissed accusations of wrongdoing, saying, “You can have whatever conversation you want with someone who is 17.”

On Friday, Alexander issued a statement on his Telegram channel in which he maintained his innocence but apologized for what he called “corny pick up lines” and said he had “repented before God.”

“I apologize for any inappropriate messages sent over the years. Forgive me,” Alexander wrote, according to the Independent.

“When I’ve flirted or others have flirted with me, I’ve flexed my credentials or dropped corny pick up lines. Other times, I’ve been careless and should’ve qualified those coming up to me’s [sic] identities during flirtatious banter at the start,” Alexander said.

He insisted that nothing “unlawful” had occurred, claimed the fast-spreading images were doctored, and accused “fake accusers or literal honey pots eager to frame me” of being behind the accusations.

Alexander’s Twitter account — which had been previously banned but reinstated by Twitter boss Elon Musk in January — was suspended on Tuesday following the accusations.

Chaos on the Unhinged Right

MAGA gadfly Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), a former ally with whom Alexander had long since fallen out, blasted Alexander in a tweet on Monday for his “predation of underage boys.”

Alexander accused Greene in a Monday tweet — shortly before his Twitter suspension — of intimidation and exacting revenge for a spat between the two weeks earlier.

Fuentes, who is facing accusations of covering up for Alexander, his longtime friend, declared “war” on Greene for her tweet in an audio published on Twitter by Right Wing Watch.

In addition to allegedly attacking Duncan and Johnston for “flirting with Ali” because “they thought it would advance their political careers,” Fuentes has claimed that “the real victim in this entire saga is me,” the Beast added in its report.

“Sounds like everybody involved got what they wanted,” Fuentes said. “Except me, the incel, who is now somehow being blamed for things I had nothing to do with.”

During a podcast over the weekend, Fuentes asserted Alexander had gone on a self-imposed exile and therefore deserved a breather, as reported by HuffPost.

Fuentes said. “I talked to Ali. He understands how strongly people feel — how strongly I feel — and he’s bowing out of public life. So nobody has to worry about that.”

Yiannopoulos, who resigned from his job as an editor for right-wing outlet Breitbart in 2017 over comments he made downplaying the gravity of pedophilia, told the Beast that he published the Alexander texts — and claimed to have unseen video evidence — because Alexander “used my name” to entice young men.

The Beast noted, however, that Alexander and Fuentes had allegedly worked to block Yiannopolous from a potentially lucrative role in West’s presidential campaign.

expose greene's crime

Insurrection Conspirator Says He Will Expose Greene's 'Crime'

Ali Alexander is one of the central figures in the planning of the January 6, 2021 “Stop the Steal” event that was used as a distraction for the more insidious attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election. Alexander is also a far-right conspiracy theorist who has already testified and lied to Congress about his participation in the events of January 6.

As evidence has mounted, Alexander has looked to prove his innocence in the nefarious activities surrounding the attempted coup d’état on that day by placing the blame on everyone else besides himself. It has amounted to a transparent plea to federal and state authorities for immunity in return for evidence against his fellow conspirators.

One of those fellow-conspirators, according to Alexander, is Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Alexander has long named Greene as one of the high-ranking government participants in the January 6 festivities. But Alexander has also remained rather mum on the details of his interactions with important Republican operators. On Thursday, Alexander decided to break his silence and went live on Telegram. He had a lot to say about Greene.

Grab your popcorn.

Warning: Alexander, like everyone involved in the “Stop the Steal” scam, is a scumbag and says scumbag things and uses scumbag language.

The audio begins with a voice-breaking Alexander exclaiming, “I will not suffer this harlot. I will not be taught vows and loyalty, commitment from a whore!” It’s the kind of eloquence we have come to expect from the right-wing conspiracy theorists in our country these days. But let us be clear: Alexander wants you to know he isn’t enjoying being the scapegoat for his whiter counterparts.

“You have got me mistaken for some damn fool.” Well, I mean, saying you are buddies with people like Paul Gosar and Mo Brooks and Greene is sort of like saying you are a fool, but please go on. “A fool, Ali Alexander has never been called.” Wait, you just said that.

”In the coming days, I am going to reveal that Marjorie Taylor Greene, in my summation and the summation of lawyers, committed a crime.” Now this is something fun! Of course, people like Alexander and Steve Bannon and Donald Trump and even Greene say a lot of untrue things in the form of exclamatory statements of secret evidence—all of the time.

”That crime is going to be handed to the state of Georgia.” Hehe. Also, MyPillow guy Mike Lindell says things like this all the time. Alexander goes on to say that while it will be up to Georgia officials to decide whether or not they will pursue this “evidence,” Alexander believes that “the House Ethics Committee, and House rules, must expel Marjorie Taylor Greene, when this evidence comes to light.”

He proceeds to use another offensive descriptor for Greene before concluding, “I am done with you. You are lukewarm and I am spitting you out of my mouth. You played me and no more.” Alexander then pauses before teasing out a classically conservative bit of possibly defamatory mudslinging: “Everyone will know about your drunken night because the consultants that have drunk with you will have to choose whether they fear me or whether they fear you. And they fear me Marge.”

What this evidence is, if there is any, remains to be seen. We know that Greene as been rather loose with her ability to tell the truth in every and all contexts, including courts of law. However, like all of the conservatives involved in lying about the results of the past elections, Alexander has zero integrity as a witness. It is a liars’ pit of lying. Like rats in a sinking cage—just less cute.

It was only two years ago that these two were having so much fun together on Twitter.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Oath Keepers Have Given January 6 Digital Data To FBI Investigators

Oath Keepers Have Given January 6 Digital Data To FBI Investigators

The Oath Keepers, a far-right militia group, has turned over reams of phone and digital files and undergone interviews with the FBI, according to a lawyer working with the extremist outfit.

Leaders of the Oath Keepers have shared with the bureau’s investigators details of the group’s efforts to aid the Trump campaign in its failed bid to subvert the 2020 presidential elections and connect with other top figures in Trump's orbit, according to recent court filings, CNN is reporting.

Kellye SoRelle, a failed Texas House candidate and Granbury, Texas attorney who in January declared herself the Oath Keepers’ acting president, saId she’d had several meetings with the FBI and turned over phones, but she didn’t detail her disclosures to the investigators.

"I've done interviews. I've done everything. I'm helping them," SoRelle said of her meetings with the FBI. Although SoRelle has not been charged in the seditious conspiracy case that has rapidly enshrouded the Oath Keepers, her ties to the group have been detailed in recent court filings.

For instance, the Oath Keepers held a virtual meeting one week after the 2020 presidential elections and planned a trip to Washington, D.C., after which SoRelle filled them in on the campaign’s legal efforts to challenge the election results.

SoRelle also joined a Trump campaign lawsuit that sought to keep the former president in power despite his loss, where she likened Trump to “a king from the Lord of the Rings’ fictional kingdom of Gondor,” according to the Daily Beast.

The FBI has discovered that the Oath Keepers used Signal, a messaging app, to text “high-profile, right-wing political organizers” in the days preceding the now-famous January 6 rally, per CNN. These figures include Alex Jones, a right-wing conspiracy theorist and talk-show host; Roger Stone, the political consultant and self-proclaimed political "dirty trickster"; and right-wing organizer Ali Alexander.

According to recent court filings, these “VIP chat” messages, which number over 100,000, were obtained from Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes’ phone and will help prosecutors prove their case against him.

Jones, whose three companies recently filed for bankruptcy, is already in legal hot water after courts ruled against him in defamation lawsuits brought by families of Sandy Hook victims.

Multiple news outlets have reported on Jones’ involvement in pro-Trump rallies held between November and December 2020, where he received protection from right-wing volunteers, including the Oath Keepers, while in town. Stone and other prominent Trump allies also enjoyed this protection, according to CNN

Jones’ lawyer, Federico Andino Reynal, told news outlets that his client demanded prosecutorial immunity before he’d agree to sing like a bird because he’s suspicious of the government's motives for seeking an interview, given the highly partisan nature of the investigation.” However, Reynal refused to comment on the Signal VIP chat uncovered by investigators.

An attorney for Alexander also denied requests for comments about the chat, and Stone took to social media to deny texting Rhodes and said that "discussion of logistics for a speech at a legally permitted event on January 5 proves nothing."

Rhodes is in jail awaiting trial on charges of seditious conspiracy, and Oath Keeper William Todd Wilson, founder of the extremist group’s North Carolina arm and once-loyal deputy of its incarcerated founder, pled guilty to seditious conspiracy charges for his role in the riot.