Aren’t the groypers great? Isn’t it so envelope-pushingly exciting of their ‘leader’ Nick Fuentes to say that Jim Crow was ‘better for them…better for us’, so free-speechingly naughty to say that only ‘200,000 or 3,000 Jews’ were murdered in the Holocaust, so vigorously uncucked to say that immigration into the United States, rather than being uncontrolled because the people who run the country can barely control their own bowels, is being driven by a conspiracy to ‘replace’ white Christians?

Those distracted by real-world relationships, jobs, parenting, gardening, stamp-collecting and generally not spending your time in front of a computer frotting yourself cross-eyed with ironic fascism may not know who Fuentes and the groypers are. If you don’t know who the groypers are, you’re a normie, as groypers refer to the adults. Because tomorrow belongs to them. Or rather, the Patreon donations will all belong to Nick Fuentes, and so will the inevitable endorsement from David Duke, and then the surprising but somehow inevitable invitation to visit Iran. Meanwhile his idiot followers, a pimply digital rabble who call themselves an ‘army’, will either be discharged into adult life from their parents’ basements, or drift further into racial affinity groups and dressing up as Quantrill’s Raiders at the weekend.

The groypers are disappointed that Donald Trump isn’t the white-power president they hoped he would be. We shall leave aside the question of whether a person would have to delusional or stupid to invest those hopes in Trump, who has Jewish grandchildren and is, at least up to right now, the most pro-Israel president in American history. Instead, we shall pay the groypers the courtesy of taking them at their word — always a good idea when it comes to Jew-haters, homophobes and race cranks.

The groypers are usually described as ‘far-right’, and in some ways they are, though their economic protectionism and racial collectivizing are indistinguishable from the far left’s. My colleague Ben Sixsmith, The Spectator’s millennial correspondent, recently described them as ‘Catholic conservatives’. Fuentes has spoken approvingly of ‘Catholic fascism’, but there’s nothing to suggest that his understanding of that goes deeper than the Evita soundtrack. He’s also fond in that white nationalist way of fortune-cookie quotations from Nietzsche, he of the ‘war to the knife’ against Christianity. As for the Jew-baiting, last week the Pope said that anti-Semitism is ‘neither human nor Christian’. The Pope must be a Zionist shill.

So much for the ‘Catholicism’. The conservatism here is mostly ‘social’ virulent opposition to the rights of women and gays. The issue on which the groypers’ celibate obsessions intersect with the concerns of their functioning peers is where social morality and economic policy meet a dysfunctional government: immigration.

This is why Michelle Malkin, who knows a bandwagon when she sees one, defended the groypers. She thinks their hearts are in the right place; the far-right place, in fact. This is not why Andy Ngo defended Michelle Malkin. He supported her because she had supported him when he was beaten up by Antifa. If this is politics, we’re doomed.

The groypers have yet to attain the public’s attention with this or any other issue. They’ll do that when one of their number shoots some Jews at prayer, at which point his internet history and the culpability of Donald Trump will become matters of urgent public concern. So far, the groypers are noted in two fantasy lands where sick delusions flourish like toadstools, the Twitterverse and the university campus. Using the traditional left-wing tactic of interrupting campus speakers, the groypers have attacked Ben Shapiro and Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA, including an event at which Kirk was promoting that profound politico-philosophical tract, Donald Trump, Jr’s Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us.

The most that can be said for the groypers — and it’s about as little as can be possibly be said — is that they have confirmed the obvious when it was already visible in plain sight. The prize for which they’re ‘fighting’ is who gets to inherit Trumpism. But anyone who has read the news in the last three years, as opposed to lolling about played video games and LOL-ing about cartoon frogs, knows that there is no such thing as Trumpism. The ‘Groyper War’ against Shapiro, Kirk and the tragic collateral victim Don Jr is, as Jorge Luis Borges said of the Falklands War, like ‘two bald men fighting over a comb’.

There may be no such thing as Trumpism, but there is, just about, such a thing as conservatism and there is, apparently, still such a thing as the Republican party. There will be neither, however, if conservatives and Republicans fail at the elementary test of integrity posed by the incredibly online and completely shallow groypers, or the even simpler test of electoral strategy they pose in a country which is, as the groypers correctly observe, getting less white by the day. There’s something almost quaint in their fulfillment of the prediction attributed to Sinclair Lewis, ‘When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.’

There is more than one swamp in this country, and anyone who drains this one into mainstream politics is damaging American democracy. The groypers claim to be fighting their war against elite decadence, something that exists and has caused terrible damage to American society and democracy. But the groypers, in their malice, their ignorance and their puddle-deep grasp of history, are a chronic symptom of that decline.