The Masters Campaign declined to comment for this article. Mr. Masters’ adviser, Katie Miller, grew impatient when I told her I hoped to trace her intellectual journey from libertarianism to Trumpism, telling me she didn’t want another blockbuster job trying to tie Mr. Masters to the “alternative right”. “There is no doubt that Ms. Miller and Mr. Masters will also dismiss the above analysis as guilt by association. Of course, Mr. Thiel and Mr. Yarvin are Mr. Masters’ friends and donors; this does not mean that he shares all their beliefs.
Mr Masters, for his part, insisted that if elected he would not be Mr Thiel’s puppet. “I’m going to listen to him because he’s smart,” he said. Told Policy. “And I’ll take votes that piss him off.” (It is unclear which votes these are. But Mr. Masters has saiddespite having filled with tears when Mr. Thiel and his husband married in 2017, that he thinks the Supreme Court erred in its Obergefell decision and that marriage should be “between a man and a woman”.)
Either way, it doesn’t matter if Mr. Masters has any crazy ideas; a senator with monarchist sympathies does not make a counter-revolution.
Just as socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were elected on transformative platforms only to find themselves mired in the day-to-day mire of legislation, surrounded by adherents to status quo politics and norms, so this new generation of right can also resign itself to symbolic dissenting voices, provocation on Twitter and media spectacle. (I, for one, would love to watch Blake Masters read from the Unabomber manifests by preparing a casserole on Instagram Live.)
Again, unlike the Democrats, who hastily dismissed Ms. Ocasio-Cortez as soon as she entered Congress, the Republican Party – belligerent, on the march, but deprived of an undisputed standard bearer – could be more inclined to take inspiration from the leadership of young ideologues like Mr. Masters, who will come into office with a vision for government that is more cohesive and radical than anything Mr. Trump has espoused.
Already, Mr. Masters’ campaign is more integrated and on better terms with his party’s elite than the leftist insurgents were with the Democrats. His campaign manager, Amalia Halikias, was press secretary for Jeb Bush in 2016. Despite the populist noises he sometimes makes on the trail, Mr Masters is backed by the anti-tax billionaires Club for Growth PAC. Ms. Miller was Mike Pence’s press secretary and later director of communications; she is married to senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller.