For as long as I've been alive, American conservatives have struggled to get young people involved in their movement. If American Renaissance's recent conference is any indication, the Alternative Right is on the cusp of a renaissance.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming that a political movement’s online presence will translate into real-world potency. Bernie Sanders’ supporters have been finding this out the hard way, as exit poll after exit poll shows that “Berners” can’t be bothered to put down their bongs and amble over to the voting booth. On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a fap-addled nerdling living in your dad’s basement.

Fortunately, the alt-Right doesn’t need to worry about this. After attending the American Renaissance conference in Nashville last weekend, I’m convinced that despite recent online scuffles, we’re on the up-and-up. For all of the Left’s characterization of us as ignorant, elderly rednecks, AmRen – and the Alt-Right in general – attracts urbane, smart young men who are committed to their beliefs. To put it simply, we are going to win.

I’d already seen how much progress the Alt-Right has made in the past year when I attended the National Policy Institute’s conference in Washington, D.C. last March. Despite being only four hours long and having only three speakers, NPI drew around 100-150 people and the event was standing room only. Not only that, the bulk of the crowd was young men in their twenties, more so than NPI’s October conference.

Still, NPI has the advantage of taking place in the nation’s capital. AmRen is held at the hotel in Montgomery Bell State Park, a 45-minute drive from Nashville and sufficiently rural that there’s barely any cell phone service. Would there be enough fashy goys to fill up the conference center this time around?

The answer turned out to be yes. While last year’s AmRen saw record turnout, this year’s event managed to break the record again, with Jared Taylor musing during his opening remarks that the conference would have to find a new home soon. Even more strikingly, a significant number of the attendees were recent converts to the Alternative Right. When Taylor asked how many people were attending AmRen for the first time, more than half of the audience raised their hands. And like NPI, most of the new attendees were 30 and younger. There were also significantly more women, though the conference was still overwhelmingly male.

What also stood out about AmRen compared to previous identitarian conferences I’ve been to was the energy. In contrast to last year’s conference, which had the atmosphere of a cocktail party among old friends, this year’s AmRen had the mood of a burgeoning political movement. While there was no overt theme (in contrast to NPI’s March conference being themed around “Identity Politics”), it’s clear that Donald Trump’s success in the presidential race has injected vitality into the movement. As I joked to a few attendees, it won’t be long before we’re running our own campaigns for public office.

Conversely, the antifa turnout for this year’s AmRen was the saddest I’ve seen yet. From 2014’s horde of angry neckbeards warning us “Nazis” to “remember Stalingrad” to 2015’s anemic crowd waving “Racists Are Buttheads” signs, AmRen 2016 drew a grand total of three protesters, all of whom didn’t even look like they were sure what they were protesting:


Daryle Jenkins, Fat Albert lookalike and usual protest ringleader, was also nowhere to be seen. Word at the conference was that he and his gang of professional agitators were too busy protesting a Trump event to spare anyone for AmRen. Or maybe they couldn’t spange enough gas to make the drive.

Even AmRen’s lineup of speakers seemed to reflect the increasingly youth-driven nature of the Alternative Right. Jared Taylor set the mood for us almost immediately by playing a video by Walt Bismarck/Uncuck the Right, known for his satirical remixes of popular songs, paying homage to the trolling that has propelled the Alt-Right to the center of Western political discourse. Ruuben Kaalep, youth leader of the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia, delivered a searing speech incorporating Estonian history, contemporary European nationalist politics, and Pepe the Frog memes.

Finally, no report on this year’s AmRen can ignore the massive media presence. While both Red Ice Radio and The Political Cesspool broadcast live from the conference (the latter’s host, James Edwards, was also a speaker), the hotel was swarming with flacks from Buzzfeed, Vice, Talking Points Memo, and more. Two separate journalists asked to photograph me because I was wearing a Donald Trump button, while during one of the coffee breaks, I and a number of other guys helped to get a Filipino reporter up to speed on why we hate cuckservatives.

As someone who’s been laboring in the trenches for nearly seven years – before the terms “Alternative Right” or “manosphere” were even coined – the sheer electricity of AmRen 2016 was overwhelming at times. I never thought that this movement would not only become popular, but become so powerful that it could influence presidential races and alter the course of world politics. Going to after-parties with guys (and girls) my age, cracking un-PC jokes, and meeting countless fans of mine – many of whom told me that it was my writing who got them involved in the Alt-Right – was a humbling experience.

While I’d caution the Alt-Right about becoming too self-congratulatory – it’s easy to get overconfident when you’ve had a few successes – AmRen 2016 shows that our movement has legs. Anyone who is on the fence about attending AmRen, NPI, or any other identitarian conference needs to go: as arrogant as this may seem, you’re meeting the potential future leaders of the West.

About The Author

Profile photo of Matt Forney

Matt Forney is a Chicago-based author and journalist. He blogs at and is the author of several books, including Confessions of an Online Hustler. Matt's work has also been featured at Return of Kings, Taki's Magazine, Alternative Right and many other sites, and he also served as the editor of Reaxxion, a gaming website for men.

  • Pingback: I have a new article up at Right...()

  • This was my first AmRen conference and it was a good time. Usually, the stereotype is that AmRen is usually a much older crowd but this year was full of young people. The movement is getting younger and younger. The Right Stuff is playing a huge role in drawing young people into the movement.

    • Byzantio

      Very exciting!!! Im only about 900 miles away from Montgomery Bell State Park and I am definitely making plans to visit the conference.

  • Vincent Law

    Wasn’t there a big meeting in St. Petersburg of far-right types a year ago? Need to branch out and make friends world-wide.

    • A. Alexander Minsky

      There were speakers at the meeting from Belgium, Estonia, South Africa, and ,surprisingly, Mexico. The Mexican speaker said he was going to tell a joke about a Mexican national speaking at an AmRen conference, but that the joke pretty much told itself.

  • Cookie Rus

    I was really struck by the difference just one year can make. When we gathered for Amren 2015 there was no such thing as a cuckservative and we had no Glorious Leader. Fast forward one year and our movement is visible on the very edges of the highest levels of power. wow, just wow.

  • TK

    What’s with lard-ass Forney always calling other people fat?

  • John Steele

    It is nice to see the Alt-Right growing, especially among the under 30 crowd.
    Great article.

  • Wilburn Sprayberry

    While I agree with and endorse what Matt says here, having attended the conference myself, I would not say that the Alt-Right is “on the cusp of a renaissance.” The Alt-Right IS the renaissance. It’s no less true that the young guns of the Alt-Right stand on the shoulders of the brave pioneers of race-realism, paleo-conservatism, and white nationalism – David Duke, Jared Taylor, and Sam Dickson, among others – as Richard Spencer has pointed out, but it is also true that the Alt-Right is now a fire rising on its own. Critical mass is very close.

    See you at NPI in November.

  • Laguna Beach Fogey

    Need to hold some West Coast events, goys.

  • jz95

    So Forney, since you’re pretty much a WN now, does that mean you’re going to cut ties with Roosh and stop chasing after Filipinas?

  • Pingback: Outliers (#7)()