The Man in the Arena

14 mins read

There is an old saying that it’s the pioneers who take the arrows. This is most certainly true of Vox Day and perhaps ironically so, considering his Native American heritage. I think many would agree that Vox has certainly taken his fair share of arrows lately. Now, this may not qualify him as the undisputed leader of the Alt-right (and Vox is quite loathe to exalt or proclaim himself as a leader of anything), but I would argue that it certainly qualifies him as one of its unsung heroes.
Vox is simply a person who is committed to the truth; always has been and always will be, period. In Jewish parlance, he is a mensch. In an age where the truth is spun, disparaged, and cast to the ground to be trampled underfoot, Vox is not content to stand by and do nothing. Vox, to put it plainly, is a man who is valiant for the truth.
We find ourselves in a time where the end justifies the means and the truth be damned, and so Vox is not only going to be misunderstood and misrepresented due to his superior intellect for which many are simply no match, but even more so on account of the truths which he tirelessly expresses, champions, and defends day in and day out.
Because of his commitment to the truth, he is inevitably going to make some enemies along the way and, consequently, he is going to be forced to endure and withstand a steady barrage of attacks from every quarter: the Left, the Right, the center, the cuckservatives, the neo-cons, the libertarians, the Alt-right, the Alt-lite, the you-fill-in-the-blank. There is no shortage of those who oppose the truth and who are unafraid and brazen enough to relentlessly attack the valiant vessels of the truth. Vox just happens to be such a vessel for such a time as this.
Now, before specifically addressing some of the attacks, let me also say this: Vox is a public figure. For many years he wrote a syndicated column for World Net Daily and he has posted daily on his blog at Vox Popoli for well over a decade, not to mention interviews, authoring, publishing and editing a number of books, both fiction and non-fiction. Why is this important and why do I highlight the obvious? Simple.
What the man believes and his positions on just about everything imaginable and unimaginable are available for public consumption, criticism, and critique. He has put himself out there like no one else. It’s all there. Read what the man has written and you will get a pretty fair idea about what he believes and you will also discover that the man is relatively consistent in his views and is not only capable of articulating them better than most, but he is also not afraid to articulate them in front of a wide audience. Neither is Vox averse to modifying his position on any number of topics if and when the truth demands it.
Sadly, there is something in human nature which loves to attack the man or his ideas without taking the time to really think them through or consider them thoughtfully. The fault does not lie with Vox, though. We live in a careless and artificial age that operates very much on the surface of things. Vox is neither careless nor artificial, neither is he flawless and he is the first to admit and even highlight his shortcomings, often publicly. These are just a few of the things that make Vox Day a hero in my book.
And so, what are some of the arrows that Vox has taken squarely in the chest over these last few weeks and months, even years? Since there simply aren’t enough books in the entire world to record every instance, so permit me to highlight just three of the more salient ones:

  1. Vox Day is a white supremacist
  2. Vox Day is a hypocrite who shoots right
  3. Vox Day is anti-Semitic

Now, Vox certainly doesn’t need me to defend him against these charges, nor am I anyone of any real import or consequence; I’m just a skinny Jew tryin’ to get to heaven. But, not unlike Vox, I harbor a deep love of the truth and I will stand with and stand up for men who bear that same love of the truth in their breast and who demonstrate that love consistently and unapologetically no matter how much it may cost them.
If you are averse to reading something in defense of a hypocritical, misogynistic, anti-Semitic white supremacist, I would strongly encourage you to, at the very least, read it as a defense of the truth for which Vox valiantly stands.
I. Vox Day is a white supremacist
This is just laughable. First, I would love for someone to tell me how many Native American white supremacists there are running around today and, second, I would like someone to explain to me how someone who is not white could be a white supremacist? Now, I have seen this arrow slung on more than one occasion in the comments section of Vox Popoli over the years, and it’s easy enough to dismiss them as the rantings and ravings of trolls and obtuse attention whores who frequent the internet.
But the latest charge, in a veiled attempt to paint Vox Day as a white supremacist and a Nazi, comes from a far more credible, though not completely unexpected source: a nationally syndicated writer and speaker by the name of Ben Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro is a well-known figure in so-called conservative politics and punditry. Mr. Shapiro is a self-styled conservative who ostensibly champions conservative values and positions, and wields some considerable influence on the national stage. Lately, he has bravely and nobly launched an arrow or two in Vox’s general direction. Eleven of them to be exact:

  • The so-called alt-right is an evil movement having nothing to do with – and actively opposing – Constitutional conservatism.
  • They’ve done an excellent job, with the media’s ignorant help, of portraying themselves as large and powerful.
  • And broadening their definition to include anyone who is anti-establishment or just likes memes. That’s not what they are.
  • The alt-right has a very definite philosophy, articulated by people like Spencer, Taylor, and Vox Day.
  • And excused and popularized by people like Milo YIannopoulos. They were successful online in convincing key figures that they were.
  • An important constituency. Immoral politicians and advisors then made the conscious decision not to carve them off. Yes, that includes Trump and Bannon.
  • Three elements assure their continued growth: pandering politicians and media figures catering to or ignoring them;
  • Left-wingers labeling all right-wingers alt-right and therefore leading innocent people to believe that alt-right Judy means right;
  • And left-wing violent groups like Antifa that drive fools into the belief that anyone who fights Antifa is necessarily an ally.
  • We’re watching a tiny microcosm replay of brownshirts vs. reds in Weimar Germany. They’re even carrying the same flags.
  • And leadership in media and especially the White House must actively and thunderously condemn the evil we’re watching metastasize. (END)

Perhaps Mr. Shapiro will shorten the list by one and carve it in stone, but I digress.
Now, admittedly, nowhere does Mr. Shapiro explicitly call Vox Day a white supremacist, but it is most certainly implied by lumping him together with the likes of Richard Spencer et al. The entire screed is a clever sleight-of-hand by Mr. Shapiro who should really know better.
According to Mr. Shapiro, the Alt-right is an evil movement so, by association, Vox is also evil and should be ignored. Mr. Shapiro states that the Alt-right has a definite philosophy, which it does, but he fails to refer his Twitter followers to Vox’s Alt-right philosophy which is articulated in sixteen points and available on his blog in no less than 27 languages. Now I, for one, am willing to graciously extend Mr. Shapiro the benefit of the doubt, and assume that either his language is not listed among the 27 in which the sixteen points are written or he never learned to read, let alone Google.
Pro-tip for Mr. Shapiro: instead of firing off eleven little arrows, most of which miss the mark entirely, why not simply engage in an honest intellectual exercise and refute the sixteen points one by one with substantive argument and stop foisting half-truths upon your low-information Twitter followers who naively  assume you do your homework and disseminate the truth?
No one is asking Mr. Shapiro to sign-up or align himself with the Alt-right, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask Mr. Shapiro to exercise due diligence before launching an attack on a man by misrepresenting a philosophy replete with ideas he clearly doesn’t understand and has never thoughtfully considered, let alone refuted. Mr. Shapiro would do a great service to himself and his audience if he could be bothered to thoughtfully consider even just one of the 16 points:

15. The Alt Right does not believe in the general supremacy of any race, nation, people, or sub-species. Every race, nation, people, and human sub-species has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and possesses the sovereign right to dwell unmolested in the native culture it prefers.

See? That wasn’t so hard now was it? Regrettably, Mr. Shapiro is representative of a wide swath of conservatives who claim to understand the tenets of the Alt-right, while attempting to lump them all into one philosophical basket which they can then conveniently dismiss as evil and racist. That way, Mr. Shapiro and others of his ilk, never have to face the possibility that they might have gotten some things wrong, that they have conserved absolutely nothing of value, or that they may actually have to reconsider and reevaluate their pet dogmas and positions which they have clung to so dearly and for so long.
Even if the tacit charge of white supremacy were true, what credibility would a Native American such as Vox Day have? He would be marginalized as a kook right up there with Fauxcahontas, a.k.a. Senator Elizabeth Warren, and rightly so. What’s even more amusing is that even the white supremacists, Nazis and Alt-reich cosplayers want nothing to do with him.
II. Vox Day is a hypocrite who shoots right
No. Vox is incredibly intelligent, astute, and can smell stupid several thousand miles away. And that is exactly what the Alt-reich ala Spencer and company is. . .stupid. I’ll do some of the work others are unwilling to do and let Vox speak for himself:

It’s not “counter-signaling” or “punching right” to reject counterproductive morons who stubbornly refuse to learn anything from one failure after another. I stand by every single one of the 16 Points of the Alt-Right. But I have no more time or patience to spare for strategically-deficient cosplayers. Even Andrew Anglin appears to recognize this now.
“Publicly aligning ourselves to an old and extinct political movement is not forward thinking, and it isn’t fresh… NS was a Hitler personality cult, when it comes right down to it.”
The Reichtards are Fake Right. Their claim to be the One True Alt-Right is totally laughable, as they are pro-EU, pro-single payer health insurance socialists. Punching them is punching Left. – Vox Day

This is easy to summarize: the Alt-reich is a Leftist organization which subscribes to an agenda that aligns with globalism, an agenda which the Alt-right vehemently opposes (cf. point #6 of the 16 points at Vox Popoli). The Alt-reich is a deranged and  misguided one-trick pony with nothing substantive to offer. No one takes them seriously, not even the media. If that weren’t the case, ask yourself why the mainstream media is working so hard to color the Alt-right in Spencerian hues every chance they get? There’s a method to the media’s madness: simply re-frame and re-brand the Alt-right movement as something people instinctively reject.
The Alt-right is a movement that’s evolving and taking on a life of its own and its adherents don’t need to dress up, they only need to show up and take a hard stand for principles that are grounded firmly in the truth, principles which will hopefully preserve what’s left of our nation which is currently being ripped to shreds. Conservatives have failed to conserve anything because they were more concerned with appearances and the thing they feared most was a chest full of arrows. So, now it’s up to the Alt-right to preserve what’s left and begin rebuilding some semblance of what made the West so great in the first place.
Vox is no hypocrite. Vox is not shooting right. Vox is not a liar. Read what he wrote. Vox has nothing to gain personally by putting himself out there day in and day out. He is simply doing what heroes do. Heroes show up. Heroes serve. Heroes are faithful. Heroes take the arrows so that others don’t have to
III. Vox Day is anti-Semitic
I have to confess, this one is a personal favorite. I am a Jew and I have been reading Vox Day’s blog since he left World Net Daily. Before that, I was reading his column at WND which, if I remember correctly, was featured on Mondays. His column was the one I looked forward to reading the most each week. If Vox Day is an anti-Semite, then I am the Pope.
Again, all you have to do is read what the man has written. Is Vox Day critical of the Jews? Yes. Has Vox Day criticized the politicization of the Holocaust? Certainly. Has Vox Day written on countless occasions how imperative it is for Jews all over the world to go home? Absolutely. Do any of these things make him an anti-Semite?
Well, before we answer that, maybe we should ask ourselves if any anti-Semite worth his salt would publish Jewish authors? Would an anti-Semite dare associate with the likes of a Mike Cernovich or a Milo Yianopolous or any other number of acquaintances who happen to be Jewish? Would an anti-Semite who believed in the annihilation of the Jewish people warn them time and time again to make aliyah, something which is in the absolute best interest of the Jewish people everywhere? In fact, for what it’s worth, you will find no mention of the Jews anywhere in the 16 points. (And yet it would not surprise me in the least little bit if I were to discover that there are some who have somehow managed to construe this omission as somehow anti-Semitic as well).
There is a Proverb which states that the wounds of a friend are faithful and that the kisses of an enemy are deadly, most especially when that enemy is kissing your ass (OK, I may have embellished that last part). But, let me be clear: the Proverbs also speak of a friend who sticks closer than a brother and Vox Day is a loyal friend of the Jews. He is not afraid to speak the truth to his friends even though he may be rejected, branded a racist or an anti-Semite, vilified or disavowed, while being dismissed and ridiculed.
It doesn’t matter, because Vox speaks the truth to his friends and the truth is, more often than not, quite painful and few are capable of absorbing the truth, let alone of being transformed by it. Needless to say, the truth is the only thing in this world which will set us free, and I suspect that Vox knows and understands this better than most. When we reject the truth because we find it to be too painful or too uncomfortable for our taste and instead choose to remain in Egypt, we are telegraphing to the world just how much we love our servitude and just how content we really are to live and die as slaves rather than as free men.
Pharaoh was an anti-Semite, not Vox Day. Haman was an anti-Semite, not Vox Day. Antiochus Epiphanes was an anti-Semite, not Vox Day. If Vox is an anti-Semite, he’s doing it wrong. In my limited experience, I know that anti-Semites preach destruction of the Jewish people, not their preservation. I know what an anti-Semite looks like, and Vox Day does not fit the bill. How can I be so sure, you ask?
Because Vox Day has not remained silent. Because Vox Day is not lying to me. Because Vox Day is not afraid nor ashamed to tell me the truth, no matter how it makes me feel. All you have to do is read what he wrote. He has nothing to hide and even less to gain by hiding.
IV. The Man in the Arena
I’ve been doing a bit of thinking lately, trying to figure out why people like Vox are so misunderstood and vilified in this world. Admittedly, I don’t have it all figured out, but I think one reason may be due to the fact that, his formidable intellect notwithstanding, Vox Day exemplifies the man in the arena that Theodore Roosevelt so poignantly described in a speech he delivered to a group of young men at the Sorbonne in Paris, France just over a century ago. In my small mind, it serves as an accurate portrayal of the character and actions of Vox Day to date:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. (“Citizenship In A Republic”, April 23rd, 1910)

There is no doubt that Vox is and has been the man in the arena. Vox is surrounded and attacked by people who, on a daily basis and at every turn, love to point out where he stumbles; how he could do what he is doing much better than he is right now; or how he could have done things better than he did, not to mention all of the countless venomous accusations and misrepresentations to which he is also subjected ad infinitum. (Spend any time at all on any post on any given day in the comments section at Vox Popoli and you will understand just how true this is).
And yet, not a single one of these brave souls are remotely interested in standing alongside him in the arena where Vox is striving to do the deeds and spending himself in a worthy cause, yea, the worthiest of causes if you are at all privy to and understand his world-view. These cold and timid souls only know how to pontificate and criticize, something of which any mid-wit is more than capable.
I have often seen and heard Vox say that he doesn’t care, and I believe him. He truly doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about himself and what people are going to think of him or what they say about him. But, paradoxically, I think he is one of the few human beings who cares more deeply about humanity and the people around him than anyone could possibly fathom. If not, why endure the abuse day in and day out? Why tirelessly expend all the time and energy? Surely, there are a hundred other things he could be doing.
While Vox may not fully agree with my assessment and analysis, I am convinced that he is a man who is committed to the truth and not one to fashion the truth in his own image, as many are wont to do. The truth fashions him. The truth shapes his worldview. Vox Day has purchased the truth and he will never sell it.
I can’t speak for everyone who might stumble across this article, but I can speak for myself and say that I very much want to be in the arena with men like Vox, men who I know are striving valiantly while expending themselves in a worthy cause; men who are daring greatly, men who really count and to whom, after all the dust has settled, the credit is truly due. No one remembers a self-absorbed critic at the end of the day, but they will remember a hero who valiantly made a stand for all that is true, all that is noble, and and all that is right. People do and should remember heroes.

Let him who is convinced that his views are true and right express them . . . at every opportunity . . . without considering how much support or how much opposition he will encounter. Only falsehood is in need of many supporters in order to win the day; falsehood must have the authority of numbers to make up for what it lacks in justification.
Truth, by contrast, will always prevail, even if it takes time. Noble, courageous and pure, expressed with all the fiery zeal and conviction and with all clarity of sure awareness, stated again and again at every opportunity, truth will ultimately gain respect and admiration even of those who do not accept it.
The only truth that can be lost beyond recall is that truth whose adherents no longer have the courage to speak up candidly on its behalf. Truth has never gone down in defeat as the result of opposition, it has done so only when its friends are too weak to defend it. (R’ S.R. Hirsch)


  1. Damn straight Rabbi B. The shalom of Hashem be with you, and may you be granted the opportunity of aliyah to continue the fight in your homeland.

  2. Thank you, Rabbi B. I’ve been enjoying your posts on Vox Popili and Vox’s posts as well for a few years now. Good to see such a clear assessment of why a warrior of the light is under attack.
    I appreciate both of you exposing yourself to share your wisdom so that simpler folk like myself can learn and fight back better.
    Thank you.

  3. […] There is a Proverb which states that the wounds of a friend are faithful and that the kisses of an enemy are deadly, most especially when that enemy is kissing your ass (OK, I may have embellished that last part). But, let me be clear: the Proverbs also speak of a friend who sticks closer than a brother and Vox Day is a loyal friend of the Jews. He is not afraid to speak the truth to his friends even though he may be rejected, branded a racist or an anti-Semite, vilified or disavowed, while being dismissed and ridiculed. […]

  4. TL:DR but, no doubt that’s because you were re-capping what most of us already know. Nonetheless, I honor any man who stands up to slanderers and calumnists. Well said, sir.

    • …and cut myself short by mistake. I commented mainly because I wanted to share this with you:
      You have no enemies you say?
      Alas my friend, your boast is poor.
      He who has mingled in the fray
      of duty which the brave endure
      must have foes. If you have none,
      scant is the work that you have done.
      You’ve shot no traitor from the hip.
      You’ve dashed no cup from perjured lip.
      You’ve never put the wrong to right.
      You’ve been a coward in the fight

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