White Extremists Have Found Their Guy for the Senate: Blake Masters
In Blake Masters, white extremists feel that they may soon have an ally in the Senate. The 36-year-old venture capitalist, who is the Republican nominee in Arizona’s key Senate race, has earned support from far-right figures by refusing to shy away from controversy throughout his campaign. He has claimed that “Black people” are to blame for America’s “gun violence problem”; praised the writings of Ted Kaczynski, a domestic terrorist who has become a cult hero among the young and very online portion of the far right; and embraced the rhetoric of “the great replacement,” a theory championed by white nationalists who accuse Democrats of replacing white Americans via an “invasion” of immigrants from non-white countries. (Though Masters did condemn the bombings carried out by Kaczynski, he noted that he supports the Unabomber’s writings on the negative social effects of modern technology.)
Among the influential white-extremist figures who have taken a liking to Masters is Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer blog. Anglin endorsed Masters in a June post, writing, “I cannot give a more forceful endorsement, and I demand that anyone in Arizona (who is not some kind of known neo-Nazi or whatever) get in contact with his campaign and see what kind of help he needs.” He added that the candidate was only “getting better and better.”
On the morning of the August 2 primary, Nick Fuentes, a well-known white nationalist livestreamer who attended the deadly Unite the Right rally in 2017, issued the following reminder to his Telegram followers: “Today is the big day—Vote for…Blake Masters in AZ!” Fuentes previously endorsed Masters while encouraging his fans to “turn out in large numbers for America First, Christian Nationalist candidates.” Likewise, Scott Greer, a former Daily Caller editor who has written for a white supremacist website, signaled his support for Masters during the primary, tweeting, “blaKEYED masters”—“KEYED” being a synonym for “based,” the far right’s favorite term of endearment—in response to an attack ad portraying Masters as anti-Semitic.
Jack Posobiec, a proponent of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory who has a track record of making anti-Semitic remarks, posted a photo last year from a fundraiser held by Masters and Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago. His support of Masters has carried into the general election, as Masters’s official press account on Twitter retweeted a Posobiec post on Sunday promoting the candidate’s rally with Ron DeSantis. (The Masters campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
Masters, for his part, has attempted to distance himself from one of the more unsavory far-right characters who latched on to his campaign during the contentious primary. Several days after Masters was endorsed by Andrew Torba, the CEO of the far-right social media site Gab, he stated that he was previously unaware of Torba, calling him a “nobody” whom “nobody cares about.” But Torba, who once declared that he’d prefer to see Masters in the White House over Trump, failed to appreciate Masters’s tactical retreat, insisting that the two had communicated in the past. “Blake Masters knows exactly who I am. We had a long conversation on Twitter Spaces live a few months ago. Mega cringe cucking here, but whatever, I still want him to win for the great people of Arizona and for the right to control the Senate,” he wrote in a since-deleted Gab post earlier this month. Torba’s claim was confirmed last week after Jewish Insider published a clip of the two conversing in a Twitter audio chat. In the recording, Masters can be heard telling Torba that he will “check out” Gab, adding, “I mean, I’ve never used [Gab]. I’m definitely not anti—I think I’m on Gettr.” (A Masters campaign adviser reiterated to Jewish Insider that Masters “doesn’t know Torba and rejects his support.”)
Among the most unorthodox Senate candidates running this cycle, Masters lacks the political experience, celebrity name ID, and personal wealth that are typically needed to run a successful Senate campaign. But he spent much of his adult life working for tech billionaire Peter Thiel, who has spent at least $15 million to boost a pro-Masters super PAC. Masters’s other allies include members of the so-called New Right, a loose movement made up of nationalists who despise big tech and free trade, including Tucker Carlson, blogger Curtis Yarvin, and J.D. Vance, another Thiel-backed Senate hopeful.
With the race’s general election ramping up, Masters has attempted to temper some of the more extreme positions he took in the primary. After pushing for the privatization of Social Security in June, he told The Arizona Republic this month that he does “not want to privatize Social Security,” adding, “I will never ever support cutting Social Security. If anything, we actually should probably increase payments because they don’t go as far these days with Mark Kelly and Joe Biden’s crazy inflation.” His appetite for a hardline national abortion ban has also diminished—a stance he took prior to Roe v. Wade being overturned almost two months ago. “The federal government should prohibit late-term abortion, third-trimester abortion, and partial-birth abortion,” he told The Arizona Republic. “Below that, states are going to make different decisions that are going to reflect the will of the people in those states, and I think that’s reasonable. I think that’s what most people, certainly in this state and nationwide, are looking for.”
Still, Masters has continued to market himself as an insurgent conservative who plans to use the state to topple America’s liberal social order. “If you’re not using any political power to shore up a good society that follows the rule of law, you’ll get rolled,” he stated recently.