I’ve been involved with the Alt Right, on and off, for the last seven years, before the term was anything more than a phrase used by a few obscure bloggers. Being in the Quicken Loans Arena as Trump accepted the nomination Thursday night, I couldn’t help but feel proud of the part I did, however small, of bringing about his coronation. The concerns we have been expressing about demographic displacement are now completely mainstream and have clearly influenced conservative powerhouses such as Drudge and Breitbart, without which Trump would have been unlikely to win the Republican nomination.

At this moment of triumph for our movement, there is probably no better time to take stock of where we’ve come from and where we’re going.

Back in 2009, when I first became involved with the movement, we were unknown even among the educated class most interested in politics. When Richard Spencer, formerly of The American Conservative, left Takimag that year to start the website AlternativeRight.com, only a handful of people on the mainstream right even noticed. His move was completely unremarked upon by mainstream journalists and the Left, with the only exceptions being a few organizations specifically focused on exposing “hate.”

In the last year however, it is difficult to find a major newspaper or news website that has not done a feature on Richard Spencer and the “Alt Right,” with some of them writing multiple times about the phenomenon. To name a few you may have heard of: CBS, NBC, ABC, the New York Times, and BuzzFeed. The movement has been a particular obsession of the Washington Post, which has mentioned it on its webpage over 30 times since the beginning of 2014. Googling “Alt Right” and “RNC” and limiting the results to the week of the convention gives nearly 100 results, including articles in The Nation, Salon, and, of course, the Washington Post.

Seven years ago, those of us in the movement paid a great deal of attention to how we were portrayed in the blogs and reports of the SPLC, as they were the only ones giving us regular attention. At the RNC, however, I asked a few old friends what the SPLC was doing now that the mainstream media has taken over their job. We no longer pay them the slightest attention.

More important than press coverage has been the increase in our influence over American conservatives. When Alternative Right was founded, there was something of a concrete wall between “us” and “them.” The kinds of conservatives that appeared on Fox News either did not know of us or, if they did, were horrified by our ideas. Earlier this year, however, Breitbart published a sympathetic explainer on the Alt Right. Individuals whose day jobs put them in good standing with “Conservatism, Inc.” now regularly write anonymous articles for us by night. Throughout the week of the RNC, young people from the Alt Right, mainstream conservatism, and the pick up community socialized together as fellow soldiers in the same cause. A few old-time publications such as The Weekly Standard and National Review remain hostile, but their influence has been usurped by “Alt Right Lite” sites such as The American Thinker, Brietbart, and even The Daily Caller.

Commentators noted throughout the Republican primary that Matt Drudge was tipping the scales for Donald Trump. A Business Insider article argues that Drudge was the one man who could have stopped the billionaire from becoming the Republican nominee. For someone concerned with traditional conservative causes, Trump was on most issues to the left (at as things gauged in 2016) of establishment candidates such as Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. The only reason that Drudge supported Trump is because he, like us, places more of a priority on reversing demographic trends and opposing political correctness. Perhaps this is because he actually reads websites like this. At the very least, there is second-hand influence, perhaps through his friend Ann Coulter and from websites like Breitbart. Regardless, it seems clear that the Alt Right has had an influence over the conservative movement, particularly through the Drudge-Breitbart network, without which Donald Trump would not be the Republican nominee for president today.

While Peter Brimelow and Jared Taylor run excellent websites full of articles articulating many of our positions, most of handwringing in the media about the movement has focused on the young, largely anonymous, army of Twitter users. The fact that such a large portion of our movement is anonymous makes our success all the more remarkable.

What will the next seven years bring? While it is impossible to know for sure, there are reasons to be optimistic.

When I first became involved with the movement, I saw a hopeless task in front of us. I wrote not because I thought it would change the world, but because I was sick of suffocating political correctness and the denial of biological realities and needed an outlet to express how I felt. But we planted a few seeds, and two presidential cycles later, we had an influence—however small and indirect it might be—on who became the Republican nominee for president.

The growing influence of the Alt Right is not the result of access to large budgets or important gatekeepers. Rather, we have the better arguments, both empirically and morally, and met an emotional need that Whites have after a lifetime of hearing themselves blamed for all the misfortunes of history. The fact that there are important biological differences between the two sexes and the human races is indisputable, but the implications of these findings have been suppressed by the Left and their conservative enablers. Morally, there is no answer to the question of why every group besides Whites is allowed to advocate on its own behalf, or why Whites are the only group morally required to be demographically displaced in their own countries.

Our positions are both obvious and emotionally compelling to young people feeling alienated and defeated by what politics and the larger culture have become. In an environment of demographic transformation and ever more stifling political correctness, all it took was a few obscure voices in the wilderness to help spark the Trumpian revolution.

This should make us optimistic about our ability to influence the future. If our success is the result of the logical and emotionally compelling nature of our ideas, then the exponential increase in exposure of the last few years should continue to bring people into our movement at an even faster pace. It helps that much of the media presents us as a youth movement, which will make it seem all the more appealing to the college students and professionals we need to attract.

We should have two main goals over the next few years. First, we must continue to rout what remains of the old “conservative movement.” We beat the “cucks” this election cycle, but they still have access to money and institutions and, perhaps most importantly, the favor of a mainstream media that wants them as the house opposition. Those involved in conservative institutions should continue to push as far against the envelope as they can on issues such as race, genetics, identity, feminism, immigration, and Islam. Special efforts should be made to hire and promote individuals with similar views. The recent explosion in media coverage for the movement should make it much easier to find qualified individuals sympathetic to the Alt Right in the next few generations of right-wing journalists and activists seeking to make names for themselves. In May, Ann Coulter retweeted the following from the VDare account:

Second, we must encourage more people to come out and identify with the Alt Right openly. No movement will ever succeed if people are too scared to express support for it. As a movement of Internet trolls, we already frighten the Left. Just imagine how they will feel when we are a community of college activists, attorneys, journalists, academics, and successful entrepreneurs!

To get to that point, we need to continue mainstreaming what were once unthinkable ideas and create the conditions under which those who are with us become unafraid to have their real names connected to their politics. Certain individuals who have the least to lose should be encouraged to go first: people such as the independently wealthy, academics with tenure, and individuals so prominent that they cannot be denied a public platform. These pioneers would create space for others to begin to identify as members of our cause.

Seven years ago, the thought of the Alt Right influencing Republican presidential politics was absurd, as was the idea of Donald Trump as a realistic candidate. Yet we have seen that history does not sit still. The influences that have propelled the rise of our movement—militant feminism, demographic transformation, political correctness, and Islamic terrorism—are only growing stronger, and there is no reason to believe that mainstream conservatism will begin to provide any plausible plan of resistance to these forces. While we will remain relevant regardless of what happens in November, a Trump presidency would embolden our side in ways that we can only begin to imagine. The Alt Right should be proud of how far it has come, but not forget that our battle is only beginning.