Control-Alt-Right.

Multi-Culti Political Correctness is on the March!  It targets whitemales!  So say the mainstream media and the liberal hate groups (whose stock-in-trade is panic) when describing the “alt-right.”[1]  Still, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.[2]

Is that the case with the “alt-right”?  The movement that called itself the “Alternative Right” sprang from disillusionment with mainstream conservatism in the 2000s.  Mainstream conservatism seemed to some people to be nothing more than compromise with liberal fascism.  Richard Spencer (1978- )[3] became the champion/lightning-rod of the movement.  In 2008, Spencer founded a magazine called Alternative Right to criticize mainstream conservatism.

Once upon a time, Jeffrey Herf wrote a fascinating book about the Nazis called Reactionary Modernism.[4]  According to Herf, German reactionaries combined a “great enthusiasm for modern technology with a rejection of the Enlightenment and the values and institutions of liberal democracy.”  Perhaps the same analysis applies to the Alternative Right: Rebranded as the “alt-right,” the movement’s members are particularly adept at using modern social media and on-line sites to propound its message.  Breitbart.com is the leader of the pack,[5] backed up by postings on Reddit and 4chan.

It appears that many conservatives are fed-up with the sacred cows created by orthodox liberalism.  Hillary Clinton’s notion that “half” of Donald Trump’s followers fall into the category of “deplorables” wildly over-states their numbers.[6]  However, some of the people who are fed-up also really are repellant: anti-Semites, white supremacists, and Islamophobes.  As a result, racist and anti-Muslim incidents occurred.  Donald Trump told one television interviewer who asked about offenses committed by his supporters, “If it helps, I will say right here to the cameras: Stop it.”[7]

Meanwhile, liberal hate speech continued to pour forth after the election just as it had before.[8]  Trump is “openly contemptuous of democratic norms”; he’s a “misogynist, xenophobic bully.”[9]  Some post-election anti-Trump demonstrations turned violent.  One poll reported that 23 percent of those who voted for Hillary Clinton did not accept Donald Trump as the president.[10]  One accused Trump supporter was beaten by some enraged citizens of the “Windy City.”  It’s worth pointing out that such extremists are only a tiny, loud, fringe of Hillary Clinton’s supporters.  (Indeed, apparently some of them didn’t even vote in the election whose results they now protested.)

[1] Why is ISIS the “so-called Islamic State,” while “alt-right” is just “alt-right”?

[2] “The rise of the alt-right,” The Week, 7 October 2016, p. 11.

[3] See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_B._Spencer

[4] Jeffrey Herf, Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich (1984).

[5] God, I’m old!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO_brEreGLw

[6] Her denunciations of Trump and those in the media (where journalists tilt overwhelmingly toward Clinton), may have fed into a nervous panic by liberals.  A story in Slate.com reported anecdotal evidence that the prospect of a Trump victory had sent many people to therapists.  See: Michelle Goldberg, “A nervous breakdown over Trump,” The Week, 7 October 2016, p. 12.

[7] “After election, protests and a spike in hate crimes,” The Week, 25 November 2016, p. 5.

[8] Trump is a “crude, shallow, sneering dissembler” and a “showboating huckster.”  “Driving away young voters for decades,” The Week, 2 September 2016, p. 12.  Media coverage of Trump’s many scandals is “not having the predicted effect” because “we’re a nation of idiots,” “The media: guilty of ‘false equivalence’?,” The Week, 30 September 2016, p. 16.

[9] “After election, protests and a spike in hate crimes,” The Week, 25 November 2016, p. 5.

[10] “Poll Watch,” The Week, 25 November 2016, p. 17.

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