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Opinion: The alternative right is the worst alternative

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The alt-right movement wants to create a white ethnostate where women only have the right to vote if they bear two children. That’s not satire. It’s only one of its many frankly absurd proposals. Its members are using memes to get its agenda across through social media to American teens and millennials. The alt-right movement should have people of ALL political views concerned, especially conservatives.

What is the alt-right? It began as an online movement whose participants were mostly young white men. They are best defined by what they oppose: “multiculturalism, immigration, feminism and, above all, political correctness.”

The National Policy Institute is a think tank based in Arlington, Virginia, and led by Richard Spencer, a well-known “alt-righter.” The NPI describes itself as “an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and in the world,” with a handy “donate” button just below the description on its webpage. It’s also a registered non-profit, so if you want to give some white supremacists your money, it’ll be tax-deductible.

Spencer is also the head of the NPI-founded AlternativeRight.com, where he writes blog posts and creates podcasts talking about the alt-right’s cause, along with news from the fray of their battle with traditional conservatives and liberals. One of Richard Spencer’s podcasts is titled Catching Up With David Duke.” A chummy interview with the former Imperial Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan can speak for itself.

Why should everyone be concerned? Aside from the fact that white nationalism is always unsettling, Donald Trump has the full support of the alt-right and reflects many of its ideals. His new campaign manager, Steve Bannon, is the chairman of Breitbart News Network, which publishes many articles about the alt-right and Trump. This one, “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right” provides an overview of the alt-right and its sects, along with its woes concerning traditional conservatism.  (It also mentions memes 10 times and has a few hilarious examples.) The issue with Bannon, however, is best described by Ben Shapiro, a former editor for Breitbart News, in his article for the Daily Wire:

Andrew Breitbart despised racism. Truly despised it. He used to brag regularly about helping to integrate his fraternity at Tulane University. He insisted that racial stories be treated with special care to avoid even the whiff of racism. With Bannon embracing Trump, all that changed. Now Breitbart has become the alt-right go-to website, with (Milo) Yiannopoulos pushing white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate response to political correctness, and the comment section turning into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers.”

In fairness to Trump, he himself has not claimed any personal allegiance to the alt-right. However, Trump has also been hesitant to claim ties to other controversial people and ideas.  When David Duke quasi-endorsed Trump, Trump claimed that he didn’t “know anything about him,” even though he made statements acknowledging Duke’s Klansman status upon his decision to not seek the presidential nomination of the Reform Party in 2000. Confusingly enough, Trump also refused to disavow Duke and the KKK, which once again can speak for itself. (In the end, Trump did disavow Duke, claiming he had done so numerous times.)

The reality is that through Trump and Hillary Clinton’s statements, this election cycle is drawing attention to the alt-right. The demographic that likes Trump for his unpredictability and lack of political correctness is likely already leaning on the side of the alt-right, as well as its white nationalism and racism. Thus everyone, conservative and liberal, needs to be wary of this movement that is coming out of the “dark corners of the internet.”

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