In the northern half of the state, there’s Victor Davis Hanson, the celebrated Hoover Institution classicist who has favorably described Trump as a “D-11 bulldozer blade” against a bankrupt Acela establishment, and Ron Unz, an idiosyncratic Bay Area political activist and entrepreneur who publishes the Unz Review, a Trump-friendly, highbrow online journal with a devoted following.
Curtis Yarvin, the software developer and founding blogger of “neoreactionary” thought—an anti-democratic ideology popular among a slice of Silicon Valley engineers—also lives in the Bay Area. Though Yarvin’s writings are more philosophical than political and he has never explicitly given Trump his stamp of approval, he is widely cited on the pro-Trump alt-right. In particular, he has been associated with Peter Thiel, the billionaire San Francisco author, entrepreneur, and lapsed libertarian granted a prime-time speaking slot at the GOP convention in Cleveland.
Venturing hundreds of miles down the Pacific Coast, past the Monterey Bay and across the San Gabriel Mountains, there’s Steve Sailer, a controversial, widely read right-wing blogger based in Los Angeles known for pioneering the concept of “human biodiversity”—another pillar of the alt-right—and Mickey Kaus, the former New Republic writer and author-turned-anti-immigration wonk who started boosting the eventual nominee on his data-heavy blog early in the primaries.
Finally, the Claremont Institute—a conservative think tank also headquartered in Los Angeles County—brings the most brainpower and organizational heft to the pro-Trump intellectual project. “Publius Decius Mus,” a pseudonymous writer for the Claremont Review of Books, made waves last month with a scorched-earth screed (“The Flight 93 Election”) in defense of the candidate and against the alleged impotence of New York-Washington conservative thought leaders in the face of the country’s relentless leftward march. The California publication followed up on this lengthy treatise with another piece, “After the Republic,” in which international relations scholar Angelo Codevilla pronounces the American democratic experiment dead and identifies the selection of a post-republican emperor as the sole remaining task for principled conservatives in 2016. A recently published list of pro-Trump intellectuals disproportionately consisted of signatories who were either Claremont scholars or alumni of Claremont Graduate University.