Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Understanding the Alt-Right

 

Actually, I’m not terribly interested in understanding the alt-right as a movement; what I find fascinating is the evolution of the term itself. There are two wildly different definitions being applied, and I believe that the left is using that confusion of terms, intentionally and with malice aforethought, to denigrate a large portion of the population as racist, right-wing oppressors.

I first heard the term during the 2016 election cycle, when I started getting a large part of my news and analysis from various YouTube channels. Although I was not aware at the time, the meaning of the term had already morphed away from the original. In those days, the term alt-right was said to refer to a loose collection of people who, while generally of the right, were not happy or satisfied with the established leadership of the Republican Party and the mainstream conservative movement. Given that public polling routinely shows about twice as many people identifying as conservative as identifying as Republican, it seemed this had the potential to be a large and broad coalition.

And as far as I could tell, it included me; by that definition, I am alt-right, being of the right, though not mainstream, but rather representative of an alternative point of view.

It was only after the election that word began to filter out about an earlier, original definition for the term. We found out that the name was originally coined by a guy named Richard Spencer, the leader of a very specific, fringe group of white nationalists. Looking at their actual policy proposals, in that case alt-right seemed to refer more to being, well … leftist. It is a variant of socialism, essentially identical to several other identity-based movements in this country, populated by people who are black or Hispanic. But, while all those other movements are considered left-wing, this group, apparently for no other reason than them being white, are labeled as part of the right.

Spend any time listening to this group, and you’ll quickly come to realize that the reason it is a small, fringe group is that it is a toxic blend of white supremacy and socialism, the sort of movement that has been unable to gain any meaningful level of traction in this country since about the time I was born.

I’m more than fairly certain that I’m not one of those.

Thus far, the evolution of the term had followed a fairly typical path. A term starts with a specific meaning that applies to a small group of people with a specific set of beliefs or characteristics. Then over time, the term is generalized to refer to a much larger group, many of whom do not share those original beliefs or characteristics. This is something that happens with almost any movement that becomes a sizeable group of people. Most political movements start with a small, dedicated group of hardcore believers. If it grows to significant size, over time the original beliefs are usually watered down and tempered, to appeal to a larger audience. It is not unusual for the original beliefs to disappear almost entirely.

This is the point where the evolution of the term takes an unusual, and in my experience, unique turn. After having been generalized to a much broader meaning, it was retracted back to the original belief set, so that it no longer legitimately refers to anyone outside of Richard Spencer’s group.

I promised malicious intent on the part of the left, and here it is. They use the two definitions almost interchangeably, but with a very distinct pattern of usage. They use the broad, generalized definition when assigning membership to the alt-right, but the original, specific meaning to ascribe beliefs to the people so labeled. The practical result of this is that if you are not an elected Republican official, and are also anywhere to the right of Che Guevara, they will call you alt-right. And that membership justifies their certainty that you are a white supremacist follower of Richard Spencer’s loony white socialist utopia.

It would be as if we labeled large numbers of random Democrats as communists, and therefore in favor of killing off a substantial portion of the US population to achieve their communist paradise. Of course, for a valid comparison, we would have 90 percent of the media repeating those claims and having earnest panel discussions about their plans for genocide.

So, am I alt-right? Are you? It depends who you ask, and what they intend. And the left isn’t really interested in your opinion; they’ll be deciding for you.

There are 232 comments.

  1. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental Post author

    Perhaps a better example of this retraction of meaning would be to assume that every Democrat is in favor of slavery, because the original Democrats certainly were.

    • #1
    • July 22, 2018, at 8:22 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    Yeah, kind of like “Neocons.” Definition flexible to include the largest number and have the worst definition.


    This conversation is part of the Group Writing Series under July’s theme of Understanding. Do you have something you would like to explain? Perhaps you might like to do so tomorrow? We also still have the 25th and 29th available. If you don’t have the will for that, perhaps you would like to try August’s theme of Will? Only thirty slots left in August.

    • #2
    • July 22, 2018, at 8:27 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  3. ST Inactive
    ST

    Agree. There is nothing conservative, correct or right about the alt-Right. The few intelligent Progs know this (I would think) but use it as a very effective baseball bat against true liberals/conservatives.

    Speaking of which, what does liberal mean? Don’t answer, but it is another word that has been twisted by the Progs until it has lost all meaning.

    • #3
    • July 22, 2018, at 8:27 AM PST
    • 15 likes
  4. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental Post author

    Simon Templar (View Comment):

    Speaking of which, what does liberal mean? Don’t answer, but it is another word that has been twisted by the Progs until it has lost all meaning.

    This causes no end of confusion to people in other countries where the liberal party is the conservative one.

    • #4
    • July 22, 2018, at 8:30 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  5. Arahant Member

    Simon Templar (View Comment):
    Speaking of which, what does liberal mean?

    Me. (Yeah, I answered anyway.)

    • #5
    • July 22, 2018, at 8:31 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    The term Alt-Right and its connections to the far right white supremacist/identatarian movement was discussed pretty early on in the election cycle – in the primaries even. Heck, Richard Spencer held a rally in which he and his ilk demonstrated support for Donald Trump. These things were discussed on these very pages during the primaries and during the general election. We even discussed Milo Yiannopolis attempt to rehabilitate the term. 

    You seem to have your timeline mixed up. 

    • #6
    • July 22, 2018, at 8:32 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  7. The Reticulator Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Simon Templar (View Comment):

    Speaking of which, what does liberal mean? Don’t answer, but it is another word that has been twisted by the Progs until it has lost all meaning.

    This causes no end of confusion to people in other countries where the liberal party is the conservative one.

    There are U.S. historians who refer to the liberal factions in past American history, by which they mean those that are similar to the bad, repressive, reactionary, conservative ones of today. Some people might find this confusing, but I don’t. 

    • #7
    • July 22, 2018, at 8:40 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental Post author

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    You seem to have your timeline mixed up.

    It’s possible I missed posts about the subject here, but then I tend avoid conversations that are populated by certain members. As for the timeline, it moves differently for different people, because there is no coordinating authority announcing such changes.

    • #8
    • July 22, 2018, at 8:41 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  9. Western Chauvinist Member

    Judge Mental: But, while all those other movements are considered left-wing, this group, apparently for no other reason than them being white, are labeled as part of the right.

    Thank you for this, Judge! If you were here, I’d hug you until your eyes bulged!!

    What the Left has done is associate all right-wingery with racism and all racists with the right-wing. It is another of their Big Lies.

    The truth is, all these left-wing movements are totalitarian at heart — Nazism, fascism, communism, and even soft European socialism trends that direction. Witness the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels dictating to EU countries, and our media flipping out because Trump had the audacity to criticize our “democratic” allies!!

    How can an ideology (American conservatism) which puts individual liberty at the top of its hierarchy of “goods” be authoritarian? How can an ideology (leftism) which puts equality on top (which can only be enforced by Big (Brother) Government) be anything else?

    The Left poisons everything, but it starts with the language.

    • #9
    • July 22, 2018, at 8:51 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  10. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    You seem to have your timeline mixed up.

    It’s possible I missed posts about the subject here, but then I tend avoid conversations that are populated by certain members. As for the timeline, it moves differently for different people, because there is no coordinating authority announcing such changes.

    What I’m saying is that the connection the White Supremacist was well established for those interested in the subject at the time. That the left is making the connection is not out of the blue. It’s still disingenuous and malign, but the right willingly embraced these folks at the outset of the primary until the more unsavory aspects were revealed. 

    • #10
    • July 22, 2018, at 9:03 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  11. ST Inactive
    ST

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    …right willingly embraced these folks at the outset of the primary until the more unsavory aspects were revealed. 

    Then they didn’t really embrace.

    • #11
    • July 22, 2018, at 9:06 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  12. Franco Member

    Any label these days is very quickly distorted by our anointed propagandists in the media. No one can escape their smears. Even when someone clearly defines some nuanced position, media propagandist reframes, “so what you’re saying is…” back into their preferred preconceived notions and storyline.

     

    • #12
    • July 22, 2018, at 9:07 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  13. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental Post author

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    You seem to have your timeline mixed up.

    It’s possible I missed posts about the subject here, but then I tend avoid conversations that are populated by certain members. As for the timeline, it moves differently for different people, because there is no coordinating authority announcing such changes.

    What I’m saying is that the connection the White Supremacist was well established for those interested in the subject at the time. That the left is making the connection is not out of the blue. It’s still disingenuous and malign, but the right willingly embraced these folks at the outset of the primary until the more unsavory aspects were revealed.

    You say the connection to white supremacy was well established, and also that it was embraced until the more unsavory aspects were revealed. You don’t consider the white supremacy to be one of the unsavory aspects? I was under the impression that it was the main one.

    I’m saying that although it might have been known by some, large numbers of people were embracing the term without any such knowledge. And once they learned that aspect, disavowed the term.

    And the main point of the post is that anyone who ever thought of themselves as such, or who might even be seen to have done so, are now so labeled, with all of the negative baggage attached. That is unfair. Can we agree on at least that much?

    • #13
    • July 22, 2018, at 9:14 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  14. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    You seem to have your timeline mixed up.

    It’s possible I missed posts about the subject here, but then I tend avoid conversations that are populated by certain members. As for the timeline, it moves differently for different people, because there is no coordinating authority announcing such changes.

    What I’m saying is that the connection the White Supremacist was well established for those interested in the subject at the time. That the left is making the connection is not out of the blue. It’s still disingenuous and malign, but the right willingly embraced these folks at the outset of the primary until the more unsavory aspects were revealed.

    You say the connection to white supremacy was well established, and also that it was embraced until the more unsavory aspects were revealed. You don’t consider the white supremacy to be one of the unsavory aspects? I was under the impression that it was the main one.

    I’m saying that although it might have been known by some, large numbers of people were embracing the term without any such knowledge. And once they learned that aspect, disavowed the term.

    And the main point of the post is that anyone who ever thought of themselves as such, or who might even be seen to have done so, are now so labeled, with all of the negative baggage attached. That is unfair. Can we agree on at least that much?

    My point was that it was revealed to the broader public, not to those paying attention. Heck one of the reasons for the NeverTrump position was that he gave these people a national platform.

    • #14
    • July 22, 2018, at 9:17 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  15. I Walton Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    The term Alt-Right and its connections to the far right white supremacist/identatarian movement was discussed pretty early on in the election cycle – in the primaries even. Heck, Richard Spencer held a rally in which he and his ilk demonstrated support for Donald Trump. These things were discussed on these very pages during the primaries and during the general election. We even discussed Milo Yiannopolis attempt to rehabilitate the term.

    You seem to have your timeline mixed up.

    There was an article in First things this spring saying it was an anti Christian movement influenced by Spengler and Enola ( never heard of him) Milo embraced this view. I don’t know anyone who would call themselves alt right. My 91 year old sister is pretty racist, but she’s a life long Democrat so probably doesn’t count. I suspect it is a thing of the internet. There are more cell phones in the US than there are people so even even a tenth of a percent of the population could look like an alt right mob with just a tiny percent of that group tweeting and texting daily. Unlike the radical progressives who control the media and schools, who can turn into a nation wide mob at the drop of a bonnet, the alt right must be irrelevant; useful only as another fantasy of our left.

    • #15
    • July 22, 2018, at 9:17 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Simon Templar (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    …right willingly embraced these folks at the outset of the primary until the more unsavory aspects were revealed.

    Then they didn’t really embrace.

    That’s fair. 

    • #16
    • July 22, 2018, at 9:17 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  17. Franco Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    You seem to have your timeline mixed up.

    It’s possible I missed posts about the subject here, but then I tend avoid conversations that are populated by certain members. As for the timeline, it moves differently for different people, because there is no coordinating authority announcing such changes.

    What I’m saying is that the connection the White Supremacist was well established for those interested in the subject at the time. That the left is making the connection is not out of the blue. It’s still disingenuous and malign, but the right willingly embraced these folks at the outset of the primary until the more unsavory aspects were revealed.

    You say the connection to white supremacy was well established, and also that it was embraced until the more unsavory aspects were revealed. You don’t consider the white supremacy to be one of the unsavory aspects? I was under the impression that it was the main one.

    I’m saying that although it might have been known by some, large numbers of people were embracing the term without any such knowledge. And once they learned that aspect, disavowed the term.

    And the main point of the post is that anyone who ever thought of themselves as such, or who might even be seen to have done so, are now so labeled, with all of the negative baggage attached. That is unfair. Can we agree on at least that much?

    My point was that it was revealed to the broader public, not to those paying attention. Heck one of the reasons for the NeverTrump position was that he gave these people a national platform.

    Evidence?

    • #17
    • July 22, 2018, at 9:18 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  18. MarciN Member

    When I first the term “alt-right,” in the context in which I heard it, I laughed. It had to happen. It sounded like a group of white guys asserting their identity politics at the great table of people boasting about their national, religious, or ethnic identity. With the Democrats’ constantly emphasizing these characteristics of people, at some point, someone would say, correctly so, “I’m special too. I’m a white dude.” :-)

    As time went on in 2016, I began realize it was a serious movement that had attracted a group of young men who felt–and I think correctly–a bit outnumbered in the identity politics game. If we take all of the Democrats’ chosen identities and add them up, those minorities suddenly make quite a majority.

    During all that time, I did not see it as a white supremacist group.

    Now the press has taken those relaxed meanings away, and the press means only one thing in using that term: white supremacist.

    There is no doubt in my mind that there will be victims in the language switch.

    I never know with the Democrats if they are just political opportunists or are truly evil in their intentions. But I am sure they are out for blood in identifying anyone who ever said the words “alt-right.”

    This is the political purging mentality. It’s scary. It’s completely irrational. And with nearly universal use of the Internet, they can destroy someone in sixty seconds or less.

    • #18
    • July 22, 2018, at 9:39 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  19. Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… Inactive

    Simon Templar (View Comment):

    Agree. There is nothing conservative, correct or right about the alt-Right. The few intelligent Progs know this (I would think) but use it as a very effective baseball bat against true liberals/conservatives.

    Speaking of which, what does liberal mean? Don’t answer, but it is another word that has been twisted by the Progs until it has lost all meaning.

    The classic use of the term recalls Chesterton’s description of it as “the democracy of the dead”; paying attention to the wisdom of the past, learning from it… 

    • #19
    • July 22, 2018, at 9:44 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  20. MarciN Member

    I think the Democrat press was really desperate to connect Donald Trump to racism. They had absolutely nothing to work with in his past. Say what you will about Trump, he is not a racist. His father may have had some racist leanings, and I think when someone asked Trump about David Duke, it probably caused Trump to pause momentarily because it may have brought back a relatively traumatic moment in his early life with his father and his dad’s being accused of being a racist. But there was nothing more than that. And that was not enough. Even Democrat Whoopi Goldberg came out and defended her old friend and fellow New Yorker on this. It’s fine to not like him, but not for that.

    But the Democrats were losing votes to Trump–partly because he was somewhat isolationist and wanted some controls on the numbers of immigrants being let in. Those were old-time Democrat positions, and Trump had their attention. “How do we get our voters back? Hey, I see an opportunity. Look at this new alt-right group. Phew.”

    And the language games began.

    • #20
    • July 22, 2018, at 10:15 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I posted this essay on May 27, 2016, “Is Anyone Worried about the Alt-Right”?

    • #21
    • July 22, 2018, at 11:13 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  22. Ed G. Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    You seem to have your timeline mixed up.

    It’s possible I missed posts about the subject here, but then I tend avoid conversations that are populated by certain members. As for the timeline, it moves differently for different people, because there is no coordinating authority announcing such changes.

    There were indeed conversations on Ricochet at the time Jamie mentions, but it fits your timeline perfectly. We were having those conversations in 2016 after the term became to mean a more generalized alternative to Republicans or Conservatism Inc. Some people were uncomfortable with the term and with the then “members” because of the origin of the term more than because of the positions of people like Milo, Sargon, Gavin McInnes, etc. Then the term was reclaimed by the narrow band again. Even the above referenced “members” first became alt-lite then disavowed alt right completely. it was certainly up in the air in 2016. No mixed up timeline.

    • #22
    • July 22, 2018, at 11:30 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. Ed G. Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    You seem to have your timeline mixed up.

    It’s possible I missed posts about the subject here, but then I tend avoid conversations that are populated by certain members. As for the timeline, it moves differently for different people, because there is no coordinating authority announcing such changes.

    What I’m saying is that the connection the White Supremacist was well established for those interested in the subject at the time. That the left is making the connection is not out of the blue. It’s still disingenuous and malign, but the right willingly embraced these folks at the outset of the primary until the more unsavory aspects were revealed.

    No, the right didn’t embrace “these folks” as if that embrace ever included people like Richard Spencer. The right embraced – and still embraces – folks like Sargon and Milo and Lauren Southern. The term was changing, and that was clear for anyone interested in the subject at the time.

    • #23
    • July 22, 2018, at 11:35 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  24. WI Con Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Simon Templar (View Comment):

    Speaking of which, what does liberal mean? Don’t answer, but it is another word that has been twisted by the Progs until it has lost all meaning.

    This causes no end of confusion to people in other countries where the liberal party is the conservative one.

    The Leftists/Main Stream Media are also the one that color-coded Red States vs Blue States to erase the common perception of ‘Red’ with Communism. They got away with it, we lived with it (even thrived electorally in spite of it). 

    If they can tie/paint anything ‘Right’ with a racist connotation, they will.

    They don’t ever fight fair. They will use and twist language & words as needed to gain advantage: ‘immigrant’ or ‘undocumented’ vs. illegal immigrant, ‘choice’ or ‘health care’ vs. abortion, ‘diversity’ vs. quota, ‘marriage equality’ vs. common societal understanding of male-female committed/sanctioned relationship thousands of years old. A judge’s ‘court Ruling’ is now “Law”.

     

    • #24
    • July 22, 2018, at 11:41 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  25. Ed G. Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    You seem to have your timeline mixed up.

    It’s possible I missed posts about the subject here, but then I tend avoid conversations that are populated by certain members. As for the timeline, it moves differently for different people, because there is no coordinating authority announcing such changes.

    What I’m saying is that the connection the White Supremacist was well established for those interested in the subject at the time. That the left is making the connection is not out of the blue. It’s still disingenuous and malign, but the right willingly embraced these folks at the outset of the primary until the more unsavory aspects were revealed.

    You say the connection to white supremacy was well established, and also that it was embraced until the more unsavory aspects were revealed. You don’t consider the white supremacy to be one of the unsavory aspects? I was under the impression that it was the main one.

    I’m saying that although it might have been known by some, large numbers of people were embracing the term without any such knowledge. And once they learned that aspect, disavowed the term.

    And the main point of the post is that anyone who ever thought of themselves as such, or who might even be seen to have done so, are now so labeled, with all of the negative baggage attached. That is unfair. Can we agree on at least that much?

    My point was that it was revealed to the broader public, not to those paying attention. Heck one of the reasons for the NeverTrump position was that he gave these people a national platform.

    Which people were given a national platform by Trump? To my eyes, that NT glommed onto this as justification to be NT was one more reason for me to distrust NT as cynical or just not interested in learning the distinctions of the landscape. For whatever reason, their fire at the alt right was indiscriminate, and many good people were caught along with the ostensible targets.

    • #25
    • July 22, 2018, at 11:41 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  26. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    You seem to have your timeline mixed up.

    It’s possible I missed posts about the subject here, but then I tend avoid conversations that are populated by certain members. As for the timeline, it moves differently for different people, because there is no coordinating authority announcing such changes.

    There were indeed conversations on Ricochet at the time Jamie mentions, but it fits your timeline perfectly. We were having those conversations in 2016 after the term became to mean a more generalized alternative to Republicans or Conservatism Inc. Some people were uncomfortable with the term and the then “members” because of teh origin or the term more than because of the positions of people like Milo, Sargon, Gavin McInnes, etc. Then the term was reclaimed by the narrow band again. Even the above referenced “members” first becale alt-lite then disavowed alt right completely. it was certainly up in the air in 2016. No mixed up timeline.

    It goes back well into 2015.

    Here’s Ann Coulter from August 2015:

    https://twitter.com/anncoulter/status/628075565107560449

    The Alt-Right term “cuckcervative” started trending in July of 2015: 

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/josephbernstein/behind-the-racist-hashtag-some-donald-trump-fans-love#.uhZ479q7j

    So anyone paying even mild attention to politics in 2015 could, and I would say should, have been aware of this stuff. 

     

    • #26
    • July 22, 2018, at 12:44 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  27. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    You seem to have your timeline mixed up.

    It’s possible I missed posts about the subject here, but then I tend avoid conversations that are populated by certain members. As for the timeline, it moves differently for different people, because there is no coordinating authority announcing such changes.

    What I’m saying is that the connection the White Supremacist was well established for those interested in the subject at the time. That the left is making the connection is not out of the blue. It’s still disingenuous and malign, but the right willingly embraced these folks at the outset of the primary until the more unsavory aspects were revealed.

    You say the connection to white supremacy was well established, and also that it was embraced until the more unsavory aspects were revealed. You don’t consider the white supremacy to be one of the unsavory aspects? I was under the impression that it was the main one.

    I’m saying that although it might have been known by some, large numbers of people were embracing the term without any such knowledge. And once they learned that aspect, disavowed the term.

    And the main point of the post is that anyone who ever thought of themselves as such, or who might even be seen to have done so, are now so labeled, with all of the negative baggage attached. That is unfair. Can we agree on at least that much?

    My point was that it was revealed to the broader public, not to those paying attention. Heck one of the reasons for the NeverTrump position was that he gave these people a national platform.

    Which people were given a national platform by Trump? To my eyes, that NT glommed onto this as justification to be NT was one more reason for me to distrust NT as cynical or just not interested in learning the distinctions of the landscape. For whatever reason, their fire at the alt right was indiscriminate, and many good people were caught along with the ostensible targets.

    Trump became their vessel rightly or wrongly and the media covered that fact ad nauseum because they’re the media and they like being dishonest about this stuff. Couple that with Trump joining forces with the likes of Steve Bannon (seen by many inside the Alt-Right movement as one of their mainstream champions), his mishandling of the David Duke situation and you have the perfect storm for liberals to tar him with this movement. Of course, the media is at fault here, but Republicans and conservative should know by now that you shouldn’t leave yourself open to these kinds of attacks. 

    • #27
    • July 22, 2018, at 12:51 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  28. Dorrk Member

    You’re absolutely right, @judgemental, that the Left delights in misapplying the term alt-right as if it exclusively describes white supremacists rather than a broader spectrum of political interests. As I understand it, the term derives from Usenet culture in the early days of the internet, when newsgroups were broken down into hierarchical interest groups like:

    alt.politics
    alt.politics.left
    alt.politics.left.democrats
    alt.politics.left.communism
    etc.
    alt.politics.right
    alt.politics.right.republicans
    alt.politics.right.libertarianism
    alt.politics.right.white-supremacy
    etc.

    Anything after alt.politics.right.* could be considered part of the alt-right, as it’s a niche designated as belonging to that side of the spectrum. As is common with niches, there are a lot of weirdos with little in common, but they have bonded in the internet age over a shared disdain for political correctness.

    We’ve discussed the subject that “Right” is a misclassification when it comes to U.S. conservativism, but since the Left has assumed control of language, anything that’s not approved by them has become lumped into one big sewer on the other side, which is how Libertarians and White Supremacists end up looking like bedfellows.

    However, there is a natural kinship between these groups on the Right. Often used synonyms for “Left” and “Right” are “Revolutionary” and “Reactionary,” respectively, and it’s not hard to see how “Reactionary” applies broadly to the Right today. The Left holds immense cultural power and the disparate factions of the Alt-Right are united in opposing that.

    Just like the KKK, I, mostly libertarian, support free speech and better immigration enforcement — as do many racists. I suspect that that’s where our common cause ends, but it does put us on the “same side.” (I suspect that my fidelity to those principles is stronger.) This can be a tough association to weather, and makes a convenient target for political opponents to denigrate a broad movement as a racist hate group. It happens to be both unfair and not completely incorrect, which is what makes it so effective.

    Trump’s campaign did, I believe, make a concealed effort to appeal to less savory fringe groups on this basis, groups who did not typically vote Republican. He kind of flirted with David Duke before he had to deny it, and he appeared on unconventional radio shows which target disaffected audiences, like Alex Jones. It seems like some non-racists on the Right have taken the same approach of convenience, saying that we should not have to disavow anyone who votes along with our own interests, as that handicaps our chances of winning. There’s a logic to this. From my perspective, however, the best way to deal with this kind of association is to fight it directly, by highlighting our essential differences from the fringes and make distinctions that can’t be so easily muddied as used as a weapon against us.

    • #28
    • July 22, 2018, at 12:53 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  29. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    MarciN (View Comment):
    I think the Democrat press was really desperate to connect Donald Trump to racism. They had absolutely nothing to work with in his past.

    Other than being sued multiple times for racial discrimination and settling out of court. 

    • #29
    • July 22, 2018, at 12:53 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Ed G. Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    You seem to have your timeline mixed up.

    It’s possible I missed posts about the subject here, but then I tend avoid conversations that are populated by certain members. As for the timeline, it moves differently for different people, because there is no coordinating authority announcing such changes.

    There were indeed conversations on Ricochet at the time Jamie mentions, but it fits your timeline perfectly. We were having those conversations in 2016 after the term became to mean a more generalized alternative to Republicans or Conservatism Inc. Some people were uncomfortable with the term and the then “members” because of teh origin or the term more than because of the positions of people like Milo, Sargon, Gavin McInnes, etc. Then the term was reclaimed by the narrow band again. Even the above referenced “members” first becale alt-lite then disavowed alt right completely. it was certainly up in the air in 2016. No mixed up timeline.

    It goes back well into 2015.

    Here’s Ann Coulter from August 2015:

    https://twitter.com/anncoulter/status/628075565107560449

    The Alt-Right term “cuckcervative” started trending in July of 2015:

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/josephbernstein/behind-the-racist-hashtag-some-donald-trump-fans-love#.uhZ479q7j

    So anyone paying even mild attention to politics in 2015 could, and I would say should, have been aware of this stuff.

     

    Aware of which stuff? As it happens many people on Ricochet had no idea what alt-right was as late as 2016 (and some still don’t). You’re not actually countering anything I said (even if we take Buzzfeed seriously and not knowing what Ann Coulter was talking about since the link in the tweet you linked to is defunct). The term alt-right, for various reasons, was uncertain in 2016 partly because the left lumps anyone to the right of Joe Biden into the same bucket of racists and nazis. Just by including people like Milo and Sargon etc the term was shifting precisely because those people are not Richard Spencer or nazis and so there was confusion and different applications of the term.

    By the way, I was already familiar with the concept of cuckoldry, but it wasn’t until 2015/2016 that I heard people claim it primarily had racial implications instead of simply being about sexual and masculine humiliation.

    • #30
    • July 22, 2018, at 12:59 PM PST
    • 5 likes