Posted on August 13, 2015

From the Right, a New Slur for G.O.P. Candidates

Alan Rappeport, New York Times, August 13, 2015

As Republican presidential candidates offered careful answers to questions about education, immigration and foreign policy at last week’s debate, streams of tweets panned their responses as too soft or disingenuous. Senator Marco Rubio is beholden to corporate interests, one said. Former Gov. Jeb Bush is weak on immigration, crowed another. Many of them were adorned with a cryptic hashtag bearing a new word: “cuckservative.”

The phrase has caught on among a segment of disaffected Republicans, some of whom hold white nationalist ideologies and who feel many of the party’s presidential candidates are not conservative enough. And they are frustrated by the willingness of Republicans in general to compromise on a variety of issues, like spending or the Confederate battle flag, or they accuse them of being beholden to their donors.

“It’s a very good shorthand meme to express a certain kind of frustration and a certain kind of contempt for mainstream conservatives,” said Richard B. Spencer, the president of the National Policy Institute, which promotes the preservation and cultivation of white culture in the United States.


But what does the word actually mean?

Cuckservative is an amalgamation of the word cuckold–the husband of an adulterous woman–and conservative.

The implication is that mainstream Republicans, like jilted husbands, are facing humiliation and have lost sight of their futures.


Many who use the #cuckservative hashtag on Twitter espouse the view that the United States is shifting from a white-dominated country to one that caters too much to minority groups.

The radical nature of those ideas along with the pornographic connotations associated with “cuckold” have made the word a subject of hand-wringing among some conservative commentators.

“There is a community of conservatives who think Republicans should be racists,” said Jim Harper, a scholar at the Cato Institute. “I think there is probably a relatively sizable number of people out there who see the term ‘cuckservative’ as a valid criticism of conservatives.”


Mr. Trump has largely been spared of criticism from this corner of the web. In fact, his political rise has coincided with its ascendance and many who use the word defend him and his anti-immigration stances.


[Editor’s Note: For more on “cuckservatives” see our articles “What Is a Cuckservative?” and “An Open Letter to Cuckservatives“.]