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This is the alt-Right

alt-rightThe term “alt-right” has been used quite a lot of late, although the level of understanding of the term is still low.  It derives from a specific movement online of white supremacist thinking within the American far right.  The name comes from the website AlternativeRight.com and one of its main intellectual fathers is Richard Spencer.

If one is unfamiliar with Specncer, here is an introduction via The Altantic:  Hail Trump!’: White Nationalists Salute the President Elect:

“Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!”

That’s how Richard B. Spencer saluted more than 200 attendees on Saturday, gathered at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., for the annual conference of the National Policy Institute, which describes itself as “an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of  people of European descent in the United States, and around the world.”

Spencer has popularized the term “alt-right” to describe the movement he leads. Spencer has said his dream is “a new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans,” and has called for “peaceful ethnic cleansing.”

To get the full flavor, however, one has to watched the video clips from the event:

At first, it all seems like a clip from a bad movie about American neo-Nazis, until one realizes that, in fact, it is a real video of actual American neo-Nazis.  Much of the rhetoric in these clips feel cribbed from Mein Kampf, and I do not say that out of hyperbole or overreach:  ”To be white is to be a striver…we build, we produce and we go upward.  And we recognize the central lie of American race relations:  we don’t exploit other groups, we don’t gain anything from their presence.  They need us and not the other way around.”  This formulation is quite similar to what Hitler wrote about the Aryans in contrast to the Jews:  that Aryans were creators and Jews were destroyers.

Spencer goes on to talk, regarding whites, about the “blood in our veins,” being “children of the sun,” and a “potential for greatness.”

And, if one needs an on-the-nose reference to Mein Kampf he frames his talk in terms of “the great struggle we are called to.” (On the off chance one is not aware, the English translation of the title of Hitler’s book is “My Struggle”).

Spencer also raises the question of whether some people aren’t just “souless golems” and he also makes reference to some of the “most despicable creatures to ever populate the planet.”  Further, he casts white supremacy as “natural and normal.” He stated that “America was, until this past generation, a white country, designed for ourselves and our posterity.  It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”

This is the alt-right.  Understand what the terms means–and understand what one is affiliating oneself with if one cozies up to its promoters.

On that point, it is important to understand the Breitbart News has been promoting the alt-right under the leadership of Stephen Bannon.  Stephen Bannon is now a chief adviser to the President-elect and will have, in that role, unfettered access to the Oval Office.  Even if we assume that Bannon is not of the same mindset as Spencer it should be disturbing that a person who has worked to mainstream and normalize the alt-right is now a key player in domestic and global politics.  The best case scenario that can be laid down for Bannon is that he is cynically using white supremacists as tools in his own political and economic machinations.  As best case scenarios go, that is not a comforting one, since it means that ideas that had been reserved for the shadowy corners of American politics are becoming part of the more general discourse.  Breitbart News has become a pretty major player in the conservative infosphere.

Indeed, here is Richard Spencer, in an interview in August, regarding the relationship between Breitbart and the alt-right (from a Daily Beast piece):

“Breitbart has elective affinities with the Alt Right, and the Alt Right has clearly influenced Breitbart,” he said. “In this way, Breitbart has acted as a ‘gateway’ to Alt Right ideas and writers. I don’t think it has done this deliberately; again, it’s a matter of elective affinities.”

Bannon has empowered the alt-right and Trump has empowered Bannon.

I am not arguing that Spencer’s brand of politics is likely to become fully mainstream, although his ilk is now more empowered than they have been since the days of Jim Crow.  At a minimum, the xenophobia and economic nationalism of the Trump campaign fuels these types of groups.  Further, a number of Trump’s appointees have views that are not exactly sympathetic to the plights of minorities (quite the opposite).  As such, there are good reasons why persons of color or members of other minority groups are highly uncomfortable with a Trump administration.

Fundamentally, any politician whose campaign and victory emboldens, let along empowers, these types of people and ideas is a danger to the republic, plain and simple.  It is one of several reasons why many have so many grave concerns about a Trump administration.  At a minimum Trump is currently functioning in the “useful idiot” role for white supremacists.  Beyond that, blatant economic nationalism, to which Trump has clearly given voice, has within it some racial and ethnic overtones as well.  I am not sure exactly where all this is headed, but it behooves us all to be aware and to be wary.  This goes double for supporters of the administration.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Mr. Bluster says:

    At a minimum Trump is currently functioning in the “useful idiot” for white supremacists.

    I think his bodyguards should drop all weapons. Disarm immediately,..Take their guns away, let’s see what happens to him. Take their guns away, OK? It’ll be very dangerous…jk!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  2. CSK says:

    The reaction of Trump devotees to this has been interesting. Some of them–even the ones who hang out in the comment sections of Breitbart–simply deny that there is an alt-right, claiming that it’s an invention of the left-wing media to make Trump and his fans look like racists and xenophobes. The openly alt-right commenters are exultant that they now have a president who’s on their side.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  3. C. Clavin says:

    The bigotry of Jenos and bill and Florack is now mainstream. White victims now have their man in the White House.
    I am a white male with an income in the 96th percentile. I’ll likely survive the coming devastation of the Trump administration, relatively unscathed.
    I dread for the Muslim woman, in her hijab, who sits at the desk next to me; a woman who is an immensely talented, and incredibly hard working person — someone who contributes to our firm’s bottom line every single day.
    I dread for my gay friends who today are far freer than they were 8 years ago and will now, in all likelihood, lose much of that freedom. The record of the Republican party in general, and Pence specifically, is crystal clear on this.
    I dread for the 8 year daughter of my ex, who is of Jewish heritage. What kind of world will she grow up in when an anti-Semite is the President’s chief adviser?
    The only ones who can do anything to keep Trump and his abjectly racist cabinet in check is the Republican Congress; a body that is only interested in tax cuts for their rich white friends and slashing the safety net of the elderly and the sick and the poor.
    Dark days are upon the Republic.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 15

  4. Pch101 says:

    It isn’t just Breitbart. For decades, the Republican party has denounced “political correctness” (because referring to minorities without the use of racial slurs will simply not do), “states rights” (because we don’t need those n**ger lovers in Washington forcing us to integrate or allowing those people to vote) and “welfare queens” (because entitlement payments are bad if they are perceived to benefit minorities.

    The solutions to these perceived ills include school vouchers (because the government should finance the resegregation of our schools) and voter ID laws (the literacy test and poll tax of our generation.)

    The GOP created all of this. This is the logical extension of mainstream Republican politics.

    The GOP needs to take responsibility for fixing it, otherwise the solutions that come from the left may not be so forgiving. (Speaking for myself, I am not in a forgiving mood.)

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 15

  5. bookdragon says:

    Thank you for calling this out.

    I’ve felt sick to my stomach since Bannon was tapped for Chief Strategist. It doesn’t matter if he shares Spencer’s views (although he sure sounds like he’s not too averse to them), he’s willing to use them to gain power. And it seems Trump is too, despite the alt-right being a clear and present danger to his own daughter and grandkids.

    If that works and this becomes normalized, it won’t matter if Trump puts any of their policies in place. The next wave of elections will see a lot more David Dukes running. We’ve already got a bunch who are happy to use dog-whistles, if being openly neo-Nazi gets the base to turn out for you, there will be plenty of low-lifes willing to go that route.

    I fear for what will happen to my country.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 4

  6. JohnMcC says:

    @Pch101: Let’s see, what could be wrong with any statement that begins “The GOP needs to take responsibility….” Haven’t you been reading all those internet commentators who explain how Mr Trump’s election is Barack Obama’s fault?

    BTW, one of those thumbs-up’s is from me. You’re completely correct that this is the logical extension of the so-called ‘conservative movement’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  7. george says:

    What percentage of the GOP is in alt-right?

    If its a small percentage, like the numbers of actual communists who voted Democrat in the 60’s and 70’s, then its not an issue. If its more than say 10 percent then its a huge deal. I suspect its over 10%, but I wonder if anyone’s actually measured it?

    Reporting anecdotes isn’t particularly helpful, you can find nuts all around. Not knowing the opposing group, we tend to believe the nuts that make the news are the norm – partly out of caution, partly because its convenient to do so. But people have long since learned to ignore such anecdotes relating to their own group – if you’re in a group, you know what percentage are nuts. And endorsements by such groups doesn’t mean much either; communists did endorse liberal groups in the 60’s and 70’s, but that didn’t mean those liberal groups were communists. People know this, and so again ignore that kind of thing about their own party.

    But if there’s actual data (and as they say in engineering, the plural of anecdote is not data) showing that several million GOP members are part of the alt-right then its a different game, and could even influence the remainder of the GOP, people who ignore anecdotes because it doesn’t represent them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  8. @george: I would be inclined to be more “wait and see” if it were not for Bannon’s appointment.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2

  9. EddieInCA says:

    I’ve decided that when it comes to the Muslim Registry – if it happens – this atheist will go to a Mosque, then proudly register myself as a Muslim on whatever registry they create. I’d advise all progressives to do the same. All. Of. Us.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 5

  10. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    The alt-righters are morons.

    They think that they’ve won with Trump. They seem to think that their anti-semitism will be advanced by a president who has a Jewish daughter, a Jewish son-in-law, and Jewish grandchildren and is on great terms with the Israeli Prime Minister.

    They think that their anti-immigrant agenda (all immigrants, not just illegal ones) will be advanced by a man married to a legal immigrant.

    They think that their racist agenda will be advanced by an Attorney General who put a Klansman to death in the 1990s, helped break the power of the Klan, and sued to integrate schools that were stubbornly clinging to their segregation.

    And I hear a hell of a lot more about the KKK from the left than from the right. Even the nutjobs at the SPLC, whose fortunes are contingent on finding hate groups (even if they have to make up their criteria to match their fundraising goals) says there are less than 10,000 Klansmen in the US. That puts them just a bit ahead of their counterparts in the New Black Panther Party.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 23

  11. James Pearce says:

    @bookdragon:

    I fear for what will happen to my country.

    Me too.

    Right now, liberals are debating how to respond to the of neo-Nazis in the age of Trump, and their ideas run from non-violent protest to…non-violent protest. We’re so screwed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  12. george says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Actually I’m not advocating wait and see – it seems to me to be something that could be investigated by some non-gov’t organization right now (press, university etc). Even a ball park figure would be interesting. Right now it might be 1% or 99% for all we know.

    That Trump and his advisers at the very least tend alt-right seems pretty clear given his appointments. The question is how many of his followers are. If its like the number of true communists in the Democratic party he won’t get far. If its a plurality of his supporters we’re in for a disaster. If its somewhere in between it’ll be hard times but we’ll get through.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  13. bookdragon says:

    @EddieInCA: I will. Given history, and both Danish and German-Jewish ancestry, I could hardly do less and look myself in the mirror.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  14. grumpy realist says:

    @EddieInCA: I’ve been tempted to go find a hijab and start wearing it for the exact same reasons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  15. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:
    Trump knows some Jewish people so he’s not an anti-Semite?
    Jenos the Adorable is more like it.
    Pin-head.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

  16. Kylopod says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    The alt-righters are morons. …. They think that their anti-immigrant agenda (all immigrants, not just illegal ones) will be advanced by a man married to a legal immigrant.

    Read this interview with Jared Taylor, one of the leading white nationalists. He says basically that he doesn’t believe Trump will do many of the things he promised such as the wall, mass deportation, etc., but that he’s still performed a valuable service in helping bring these ideas into the mainstream.

    Also keep in mind that their basic policy goals do not differ appreciably from those of the mainstream right; they’re simply a tad more explicit about the motivations underlying them. Indeed, the very distinction you make between legal and illegal aliens, Taylor makes also. He says he’s got nothing against those who are here legally. Whether you choose to believe him when he says this or not, the difference between you and people like him is not as stark as you are suggesting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  17. KM says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Oh oh! Can we do the Mormon thing and register dead people for religious reasons? They won’t need ID right since terrorist and illegals won’t have that. It will then force them to question whether the list is accurate or how to tell is someone is Muslim when Washington, Lincoln, Babbage, Wilde, etc show up. Get a decent hacker and sign up the phone book. If we can get the national percentage high enough, Breitbart will implode!!! Somebody go contact Anonymous – too bad reddit and 4chan are in the bag for alt-ies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  18. Kari Q says:

    Thank you, Steven, for writing this valuable article.

    We are in a very dark place as a country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  19. Ben Wolf says:

    Nothing has been mainstreamed nor is any of this new. America is no more or less racist today than it was four years ago or will be four years from now. All that’s changed is it’s out in the open and in our faces. Apparently, driving such sentiment underground did nothing to actually reduce it and now it has erupted again into the public sphere; it’s questionable how much hand-wringing and pearl-clutching over this phenomenon is coming from genuine concern over the ethics and how much from previously comfortable white people who are no longer able to pretend such problems don’t exist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  20. @Ben Wolf: New? No. More mainstreamed? Yes.

    And speaking for myself, it is not an issue of “hand-wringing or pearl-clutching” (descriptions I find patronizing, btw), but actual concern that we understand what is going on here.

    And yes, America is not necessarily more racist today thatn four years ago, but it has been elevated in a way that we have not seen in some time.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  21. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    “…been elevated in a way that we have not seen in some time.”

    Yes. This is precisely it. When Rocky Joe Sudhaya, the chairman of the American Nazi Party, states his support for Trump on the grounds that there will be a “new day” for his beliefs, you ought to be alarmed.

    These people used to hang out at obscure crackpot websites. Now they’re boogying on into the Oval Office. Or at least they think they are, which is just as bad.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  22. JohnMcC says:

    @EddieInCA: Wonderful comment. I had already determined to ‘register’ as a Muslim if it is possible to do without giving up Pastafarianism.

    There’s a story that when the Nazis took over Denmark they declared that Jewish Danes must wear the yellow star-of-David that German Jews wore. The next morning the King of Denmark emerged from his door wearing the yellow star-of-David that his Jewish subjects wore.

    And there’s always “I am Spartacus!” (If you like smaltzy old Kirk Douglas movies.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  23. Ben Wolf says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    And speaking for myself, it is not an issue of “hand-wringing or pearl-clutching” (descriptions I find patronizing, btw), but actual concern that we understand what is going on here.

    I’m sure. Nevertheless mainstreaming means a thing is considered a matter of conventional thought; I see no evidence of this. There is also an existing socio-political literature devoted to tracing fascist ideology in American culture and I would suggest turning there first if you seek an understanding.

    It’s rather biased a small nazi meeting gets so much attention when an anti-fascist socialist rally three times its size goes unremarked. It presents a one-sided view of what is occurring in society at the current time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  24. bandit says:

    Too bad bedwetters – nobody cares about your whining except your psychiatrists who confirm the insurance payments up front. You could always take the lead from Hillary and get hammered every day

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  25. CSK says:

    @bandit:

    Why, Mr. Trump, I didn’t know you were posting at OTB. Welcome!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  26. Paul Hooson says:

    As an American Jew I find this new name, “alt-right”, for the old national socialism very unsettling.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  27. stonetools says:

    I remember when Clinton gave a speech about the dangers of the alt right and its influence on Trump. The media shrugged. Trump was never going to win anyway, so let’s get back to the important stuff like Clinton’s email management practices. Im not sure that Clinton’s speech got even a mention here at OTB.
    Man, how times have changed. Now that Trump has won and has installed an alt right leader in the heart of his Administration, we are taking the alt right a lot more seriously.
    I have a problem with the term ” alt right”. We should be blunter, and use more descriptive terms like “racist”, “neo Nazi”, “white nationalist”, “white supremacist”, or “right wing extremist”.Let’s call things as they are, and not allow them to be mainstreamed with some slick labeling. And let’s watch and above all resist all attempts by the Trump Administration to institute white nationalist policies.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  28. Pch101 says:

    @stonetools:

    I have a problem with the term ” alt right”. We should be blunter, and use more descriptive terms like “racist”, “neo Nazi”, “white nationalist”, “white supremacist”, or “right wing extremist”.

    Ironically, “alt-right” is an example of what political correctness really looks like. We’re no longer able to refer to fascist scum as fascist scum. (The jackbooted thugs are remarkably sensitive; white power ain’t so powerful.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  29. Mr. Bluster says:

    @stonetools:..We should be blunter,..

    Stinking bigots…lame ass crackers…ofay sons of bitches…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. dxq says:

    @stonetools:

    Actually doug wrote a pretty excellent post about it. So, credit where credit’s due.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  31. Kylopod says:

    @Paul Hooson:

    As an American Jew I find this new name, “alt-right”, for the old national socialism very unsettling.

    The term “alt-right” is new, but their practice of using euphemisms to conceal who they are is not. A while back I came upon a site called “Metapedia,” which looks superficially like an imitation of Wikipedia, and on my first visit it took me several minutes before I realized it was a neo-Nazi site, with complimentary articles on Hitler, references to the Holocaust as a product of “politically correct history,” and so on. (The way I learned about this site was that someone notified me they had put me on some kind of blacklist in reaction to contributions I had made to Wikipedia. Apparently they have an entire page listing Wikipedia contributors they don’t like, mostly Jews.) I didn’t immediately catch on to what they meant with their self-description as a “pro-European” website.

    This kind of thing has been going on pretty much since these groups have existed. The leading periodical for the dissemination of Holocaust denial is called the “Journal for Historical Review.” What’s especially odd is how much they have appropriated the language of multiculturalism, as in their use of the term “European American.” And why not? If you promote something you call European American Heritage Month, it tends to garner less attention than if you called it White Heritage Month.

    It’s worth remembering that the term “anti-Semitism” began its life as a euphemism. It is credited to a 19th-century German named Wilhelm Marr who founded a group called the Anti-Semitic League. It was an attempt to make prejudice against Jews sound respectable. Of course after WWII it became an almost universally reviled term so that very few people today openly admit to being anti-Semitic, even when their anti-Semitism is utterly obvious. So, for example, when the author Roald Dahl remarked, “There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity…even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason,” and I argued for the incusion of that quote in the Wikipedia article on him, Metapedia accused me of leveling “the ‘anti-Semite’ canard” against Dahl.

    Linguists call this phenomenon the “euphemism treadmill,” where once a euphemism becomes established it loses its ability to fool anyone so that you have to start coming up with new euphemisms. It’s the same process that led to the phrase “I have to go the bathroom” (as opposed to, say, “I gotta pee/sh!t”), and then, when that got old, “May I be excused?” The professional bigots went through a similar process, where first they were white supremacists, then they were white separatists, then they were white nationalists, and now they’re the “alt right.” The only consolation is that it probably won’t be that long before they feel the need to coin a new term yet again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  32. MBunge says:

    Yes, I’m sure screaming “fascist!” will work about as well as screaming “racist!” or “sexist!” did.

    Much like the poor, these kind of jackasses will always be with us. They only become dangerous when their supposed betters utterly discredit themselves, which they are well on their way toward doing. I’ve mentioned this before but Donald Trump is the last warning we’re going to get. He is not the problem. He is the reaction to the problem. And the problem is that the current neoliberal status quo is not working. It’s not working economically. It’s not working culturally. It’s not working spiritually.

    Destroying Donald Trump is not going to fix the problem. Chattering on about “normalizing” or the alt-right, as though America is a dance club that just needs better bouncers to keep the riff raff out, is not going to fix the problem. Playing your fiddle of self-righteousness won’t stop Rome from burning.

    If we don’t fix the problem…well, there’s no guarantee things will end with a bang. They could end with a whimper. But they will end.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

  33. Just 'nutha ig says:

    @Mr. Bluster: “lame ass crackers”

    Hey! I heard that!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  34. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Kylopod:

    The only consolation is that it probably won’t be that long before they feel the need to coin a new term yet again.

    Or it may work like passwords for in-house networks and after 5 changes, you can use the first one again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  35. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Kylopod: Read this interview with Jared Taylor, one of the leading white nationalists.

    No, thank you. I’ve had enough of their dreck for this lifetime, and a couple others.

    The left seems to think that there’s some magic in saying “the KKK/White Nationalists/White Supremacists/Alt Right/Whatever supports this, so you have to oppose it, or you’re with them.” There isn’t.

    I oppose and despise their goals and many of their tactics. That’s enough for me. I refuse to give them any sway over me.

    When someone says something like “the Klan opposes ObamaCare because it provides health insurance for black people. You have to support it, or you’re with the Klan,” I am not about to immediately support ObamaCare.

    1) I don’t automatically believe anything the left says. I’m not about to accept their word on things.

    2) I have plenty of reasons for opposing ObamaCare on my own.

    3) I give the Klan and their ilk absolutely no power over me and my opinions.

    The question is, why does the Left give the Klan and their ilk so much power and recognition?

    Here’s my theory: because the Left feels the need to be seen as heroic. As we’ve seen from time immemorial, a hero is defined by their villains. They need some great villains so they can look extra heroic.

    The Nazis? They’ve been gone for 70-odd years.

    The Communists? They’d be great villains. They’re still around, and amassed a body count that makes the Nazis look like pikers. Unfortunately, the Left has way too much baggage in supporting and cooperating and identifying with the Communists.

    So, who’s left? Why, how about the group that started out as the militant wing of the Democratic Party? Just make sure you downplay that unpleasant aspect and try to shove all that guilt off on the GOP.

    Besides, the more they yell about the “Alt-Right,” the less attention will be paid to the New Black Panther Party, International ANSWER, the still-active remnants of ACORN, and a host of other leftist groups just as despicable (and far more influential)as the Alt-Right.

    Jim Geraghty brings some perspective to the situation. The Klan’s total membership is estimated at between 5,000 and 8,000.
    A recent BronyCon drew 7,000 adult fans of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.”

    Simply stamping your feet and yelling “RACIST!” doesn’t work any more at cowing people. And it’s shameful that it ever did.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 14

  36. Mikey says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Simply stamping your feet and yelling “RACIST!” doesn’t work any more at cowing people.

    Except the people we’re talking about are actually and openly racist.

    Didn’t you say something recently about truth being an absolute defense? Or is that only true when you’re trashing liberals?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  37. Kylopod says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    No, thank you. I’ve had enough of their dreck for this lifetime, and a couple others.

    If you’re not going to learn what they’re actually saying, then how in holy hell do you expect to describe them accurately? This isn’t some abstraction: you revealed in your last message that you’re misinformed about what these groups are actually saying. And it’s a lot easier to dismiss them–and to dismiss their relationship to the GOP and the incoming president–when you just assume they’re people who don a white sheet and shout “I hate N***ers” all day.

    The point here is that Taylor made precisely the same argument you’ve been making, that he’s got nothing against immigrants as long as they’re here legally. Of course I happen think the distinction is a phony rationalization by people whose true objection is that the immigrants aren’t white. (Here’s a hint: they don’t mind Melania because she’s white.) But then, I think it’s also a phony distinction when Trump himself makes it, as evidenced by his attack on the Indiana-born judge who was simply of Mexican ancestry.

    The Klan’s total membership is estimated at between 5,000 and 8,000.

    First, there’s no single group called “the Ku Klux Klan” anymore. It’s a bunch of unrelated groups using the same name. That’s been the case for several decades now.

    Second, did it ever occur to you that the Klan is hardly the only white supremacist hate group in existence? They were the first, but they’ve long been surpassed by other groups.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  38. @MBunge:

    First, if you can watch that video and not find that the terms “fascist” or “neo-Nazi” or “white supremacist” isn’t appropriate, then you do not understand what you are talking about.

    Second, understanding the rise in importance of these types of movements is part of trying to understand the problem.

    Third, I never said that getting rid of Donald Trump solved the problem.

    Fourth, at least you aren’t complaining about HRC in this post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  39. Mikey says:

    @MBunge:

    And the problem is that the current neoliberal status quo is not working. It’s not working economically. It’s not working culturally. It’s not working spiritually.

    I’m interested in how you define the “neoliberal status quo” and determine how it’s not working.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Kylopod: If you’re not going to learn what they’re actually saying, then how in holy hell do you expect to describe them accurately?

    I think I understand why so many people on the left are so upset about the alt-right.

    In the last year or so, we’ve had a record number of police officers shot.

    We’ve had Trump supporters attacked and threatened.

    We had at least one assassination attempt against Trump.

    We have Trump electors getting doxxed and threatened to change their votes.

    The violent extremists on the Left are afraid of competition.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  41. Kylopod says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Well, well…. once again, as soon as you realize you can no longer defend your position, you change the subject. I shouldn’t be surprised.

    I do, however, wish to respond to this:

    I think I understand why so many people on the left are so upset about the alt-right.

    They’re upset about it because the President-Elect of the United States has hired as a chief advisor a man who proudly describes his own website as the “platform for the alt-right”!

    And you’re just going to go on pretending this is a case of guilt-by-association.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  42. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: “That’s enough for me. I refuse to give them any sway over me.”

    For once, I have to agree with you. You came to your philosophy that every black person killed by a white person deserved it completely without any institutional help.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  43. DrDaveT says:

    @Mikey:

    I’m interested in how you define the “neoliberal status quo” and determine how it’s not working.

    I’m more interested to learn that someone is actually implementing neoliberal economic policies, so we can get some data on how well they work compared to Teh Voodoo. I wonder where it is…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @wr: It’s really pathetic, how you follow me from thread to thread just to make your lame personal attacks. I’ve gotten used to it, but two things that need to be said.

    1) Your contempt for me is more than reciprocated, but your blatant disrespect for our hosts by violating their rules is downright rude.

    2) One would think with all the time and energy you invest in personal attacks, you’d get better at it. But you’re actually getting lamer and lamer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  45. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Kylopod: They’re upset about it because the President-Elect of the United States has hired as a chief advisor a man who proudly describes his own website as the “platform for the alt-right”!

    I did a very casual digging into that quote, because I keep seeing it. The original source I can find for this quote appears to be this:

    “We’re the platform for the alt-right,” Bannon told me proudly when I interviewed him at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in July.

    I give Mother Jones zero credibility. Is there another source for that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  46. Jim Brown 32 says:

    The white Democrat meltdown the first few days after the elections was enjoyable….almost as enjoyable as the 8 years of meltdown by white Republicans because if Obama. Mostly because of the arrogance displayed by democrats thinking that a boring, 70yo white lady could perform as well as the Black President who is clearly a special politician. I don’t think I can take 4 years of this though. You guys (and gals) are really coming across as pathetic. Almost no black people outside of the politically inclined give a Damn about who’s racist and who isn’t. We have goals, if anyone opposes those goals–well woop-de-damn doo if the motivation behind that opposition is rascism. I lived In Mississippi for a time– people in Mississippi are prejudiced. So what? They can hate niggers like me in the comfort of their trailers. Meanwhile, 99.9% of them are in no position to impede what black people might aspire to accomplish and the ·1% that are despise them. We can work around or go through that ·1%

    I’m glad there is an opportunity for rascist to come out in the open. They are going to find out fast that my generation is not my Grandfathers generation. And frankly, there are alot of white people out here that will have NO problem helping us demonstrate that point if if comes to it. I don’t believe it will but I’m ready if it has to go down like that. What I see happening is that instead of a swing to the center during the general campaign…Trump is trying to make a swing towards the center now. This Bannon guy is a bone thrown to the “Alt Right”. Sessions looks bad on the surface, but State politics in Alabama does that to people. Even George Wallace admitted that he had to be the nigger, nigger, nigger candidate to be a politician in Alabama. Now that Sessions is free of Alabama politics…there is a chance the guy might not be that much of an a-hole.

    I don’t see why many of you are underestimating this guy. Every move he’s made, right/wrong/ indifferent has paid off. He can’t be dumb! He’s an a-hole and his politics may be questionable. But that’s separate from being stupid. White people love to characterize people that they disagree with as dumb. See: 8 years of Obama. That makes it MORE likely that a person stays one step ahead of you.

    Sheesh…this pity party has gone on long enough…especially since if the worse of your fears DID come true…many of you wouldn’t be effected. I’m sure you’d post many mean things on this forum about the Trump administration though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Please release my comment

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. grumpy realist says:

    Um, did anyone notice this article in the WashPost? (I’ve used up my freebies so can’t link directly).

    Man accused of tax evasion says Indiana’s religious freedom law exempts him from paying

    Yeah, as if no one saw THAT coming….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  49. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    1) Your contempt for me is more than reciprocated, but your blatant disrespect for our hosts by violating their rules is downright rude.

    This from the guy who pioneered “sod off ya worthless git?”

    Click

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  50. Kylopod says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    I give Mother Jones zero credibility.

    Pardon me, but why should anyone care what you consider credible? You’re the guy who uncritically quotes from a Breitbart piece, then when confronted with undeniable proof that the piece lied about one of its sources, promptly am-scrays from the discussion and never brings up the matter again.

    Let’s also keep in mind that the Mother Jones article appeared over three months ago and has been cited extensively in the media ever since. If the quote is somehow bogus, then why, may I ask, has Stephen Bannon said absolutely nothing publicly to dispute it?

    In fact just last Friday in a WSJ article he re-asserted that Breitbart.com is a platform for the alt-right, though as in the Mother Jones article he denied the alt-right is inherently racist or anti-Semitic.

    So, in sum, in your world a Breitbart.com piece that tells boldfaced lies is “credible,” but a Mother Jones article whose claims can be corroborated with a simple Google search is not. Did you travel through the looking glass or something?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  51. Jim Brown 32 says:

    The white Democrat meltdown the first few days after the elections was enjoyable….almost as enjoyable as the 8 years of meltdown by white Republicans because if Obama. Mostly because of the arrogance displayed by democrats thinking that a boring, 70yo white lady could perform as well as the Black President who is clearly a special politician. I don’t think I can take 4 years of this though. You guys (and gals) are really coming across as pathetic. Almost no black people outside of the politically inclined give a Damn about who’s racist and who isn’t. We have goals, if anyone opposes those goals–well woop-de-damn doo if the motivation behind that opposition is rascism. I lived In Mississippi for a time– people in Mississippi are prejudiced. So what? They can hate ni@@ers like me in the comfort of their trailers. Meanwhile, 99.9% of them are in no position to impede what black people might aspire to accomplish and the ·1% that are despise them. We can work around or go through that ·1%

    I’m glad there is an opportunity for rascist to come out in the open. They are going to find out fast that my generation is not my Grandfathers generation. And frankly, there are alot of white people out here that will have NO problem helping us demonstrate that point if if comes to it. I don’t believe it will but I’m ready if it has to go down like that. What I see happening is that instead of a swing to the center during the general campaign…Trump is trying to make a swing towards the center now. This Bannon guy is a bone thrown to the “Alt Right”. Sessions looks bad on the surface, but State politics in Alabama does that to people. Even George Wallace admitted that he had to be the ni@@er, ni@@er, ni@@er candidate to be a politician in Alabama. Now that Sessions is free of Alabama politics…there is a chance the guy might not be that much of an a-hole.

    I don’t see why many of you are underestimating this guy. Every move he’s made, right/wrong/ indifferent has paid off. He can’t be dumb! He’s an a-hole and his politics may be questionable. But that’s separate from being stupid. White people love to characterize people that they disagree with as dumb. See: 8 years of Obama. That makes it MORE likely that a person stays one step ahead of you.

    Sheesh…this pity party has gone on long enough…especially since if the worse of your fears DID come true…many of you wouldn’t be effected. I’m sure you’d post many mean things on this forum about the Trump administration though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  52. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Kylopod: I read that WSJ article. Did you?

    He acknowledges that the site is “edgy” but insists it is “vibrant.” He offers his own definition of the alt-right movement and explains how he sees it fitting into Breitbart. “Our definition of the alt-right is younger people who are anti-globalists, very nationalist, terribly anti-establishment.”

    But he says Breitbart is also a platform for “libertarians,” Zionists, “the conservative gay community,” “proponents of restrictions on gay marriage,” “economic nationalism” and “populism” and “the anti-establishment.” In other words, the site hosts many views. “We provide an outlet for 10 or 12 or 15 lines of thought—we set it up that way” and the alt-right is “a tiny part of that.” Yes, he concedes, the alt-right has “some racial and anti-Semitic overtones.” He makes clear he has zero tolerance for such views.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  53. Mikey says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Yes, he concedes, the alt-right has “some racial and anti-Semitic overtones.” He makes clear he has zero tolerance for such views.

    It’s a funny sort of “zero tolerance” that allows those views the wide dissemination his website allows. Inigo Montoya comes to mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  54. Matt says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    In the last year or so, we’ve had a record number of police officers shot.

    No there hasn’t been.

    http://www.nleomf.org/facts/officer-fatalities-data/year.html

    As you can clearly see officer fatalities were much higher in 1919 when the police force was a tiny fraction of what we have today. Hell even in the last 10 years there’s been many years with higher numbers of officer deaths.

    Regardless last year fewer police officers died than roofers and about 8 other jobs. Being a police officer sometimes barely makes it into the top 10 dangerous jobs in the USA (usually it’s lower in the top 20).

    We’ve had Trump supporters attacked and threatened.

    Possible certainly we’ve seen Trump supporters attacking and threatening people on TV while Trump encouraged them.

    We had at least one assassination attempt against Trump.

    No just no. Not even in your wildest fantasies is a Republican holding a never trump sign an assassination attempt. This statement shows how disconnected from reality you have become.

    We have Trump electors getting doxxed and threatened to change their votes.

    Where the hell did you come up with that one? Considering how disconnected from reality the rest of your list is I’m going to have to call bullshit on this too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  55. anjin-san says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Jenos apparently does not have enough life experience to understand that people who are not bigots don’t have to explain that they are not bigots. It is something that simply does not come up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  56. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    In the last year or so, we’ve had a record number of police officers shot.

    Question, are you lying or are you simply ignorant?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  57. Kylopod says:

    @Matt: @anjin-san: Jenos’ post about supposed leftist crimes is a classic example of the “Gish Gallop,” an immensely useful term that I confess I had never heard of until about a year ago. Named for the creationist Duane Gish, the basic idea is that the person trots out a string of “facts” that may be totally bogus, but whose sheer volume is used to overwhelm the time and effort needed to debunk each one of them. Or as the site that popularized the term puts it:

    Although it takes a trivial amount of effort on the galloper’s part to make each individual point before skipping on to the next (especially if they cite from a pre-concocted list of gallop arguments), a refutation of the same gallop may likely take much longer and require significantly more effort (per the basic principle that it’s always easier to make a mess than to clean it back up again).

    Not incidentally, one of the alternate names that has been used to describe this strategy is the “Trump tirade.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  58. Mikey says:

    @anjin-san: Something that really struck me this election cycle is the amount of stuff my conservative friends believe that is just flatly, utterly, and demonstrably false. Jenos’ bit about the police officer shootings is just one example. Pretty much everything the right put out regarding crime was completely inflated and wrong.

    This was a Trump doing, of course, to stoke fear and uncertainty among his supporters. He had to paint America as a hellish doomscape, barely holding back the hordes of brown people both foreign and domestic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  59. Pch101 says:

    @Mikey:

    The right-wing insists on having its own media because the mainstream media won’t satisfy its appetite for lies.

    Goebbels would be impressed. Not only is it is easy to peddle propaganda, but the propaganda is in demand and self-inflicted. These people want to be lied to, and are offended if you don’t tell them the lies that they want to hear.

    The hard right is not really a political philosophy, but a cultural movement for mean spirited idiots. Wishful thinking trumps facts every time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  60. anjin-san says:

    @Mikey:

    I’ve had the same unhappy experience. A friend I’ve know since the 8th grade recently posted assuredly on Facebook that “Social Security was fine until Obama drained it & gave the money to illegals” – this experience has been repeated countless times in the last year.

    I did not have a lot of FB friends who were Trump supporters, but aside from perhaps three or four, they have all unfriended me for serial debunking of the absolute nonsense they post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  61. Matt says:

    @anjin-san: I used to be the guy that would debunk the serial lies on my facebook feed. During the last election the lies exploded in variety and size to the point where I just gave up.

    I did get unfriended by a person that swears she’s a Democrat and all her friends are despite all of them living in red areas where trump won +80% of the vote and their insistence that Hillary cheated/stole the primary from Bernie. I finally got tired of the Bernie stuff so I wrote a massive response to one of her posts where I laid down point by point the facts behind Bernies loss including citations. She unfriended me not long after. All because I had the gall to point out that Bernie’s campaign staff made a ton of newbie mistakes that cost him dearly (especially in Nevada)….

    So it’s not just the hard right that is falling for fake news and bogus “facts”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0