I had never heard of the “alt-right” until Hillary Clinton used the term in a speech in August, tying that fringe group to Donald Trump. I thought that it was just some pejorative buzzword describing conservatives. Kind of like “neocons.”
So, thanks to Hillary Clinton and the media, this group has been given national attention.
A video surfaced of an National Policy Institute conference in Washington, D.C., where its president Richard Spencer is seen – along with members of the audience – giving the Hitler salute and chanting, “Heil Trump! Heil our People! Heil Victory!”
It is truly bizarre. Take a look:
Either Spencer is controlled opposition – an agent provocateur whose purpose is to completely malign Trump’s character by associating himself with Trump – or these people are the real deal. I just don’t know what’s more likely. “Heil Trump?” It seems so over-the-top that it’s nearly comical. These people can’t possibly think of Trump as their leader.
Read this piece – from Breitbart – about the liberals’ ridiculous outrage over the term “Lügenpresse,” which just means “lying press.”
The National Policy Institute bills 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.” The Atlantic quoted Spencer as saying he dreams of “a new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans,” and has called for “peaceful ethnic cleansing.”
The media was quick to draw the link between Trump and this group of alt-righters when Steve Bannon – former CEO of Breitbart – was chosen to be the President-elect’s chief strategist. Bannon had “boasted” to Mother Jones in July, “We’re the platform for the alt-right,” speaking of Breitbart.
What doesn’t make sense to me is that liberals describe the alt-right, including those in the video above, as racist and anti-Semitic. I’ve been reading Breitbart regularly for the past four years, and the one theme that’s present throughout the website is how pro-Israel they are. In addition, there are observant Jews who write for the publication such as Joel Pollak. Until March of this year, Ben Shapiro was the editor-at-large of Breitbart, a position which he held since he started at the online publication in 2012. Shapiro is also an observant Jew.
Now, Shapiro left in March, not on good terms with Breitbart management and staff, after an incident in which Corey Lewandowski – Trump’s former campaign manager – had reportedly assaulted another Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. When Breitbart did not side with Fields, she and Shapiro resigned. Shapiro had already taken issue with the direction of Breitbart and its taking such a pro-Trump official position.
Shapiro does not have nice things to say about Bannon. He describes him as vindictive and intemperate, among other things. But interestingly, on the subject of anti-Semitism and racism, Shapiro stated, “I have no evidence that Bannon’s a racist or that he’s an anti-Semite; the Huffington Post’s blaring headline “WHITE NATIONALIST IN THE WHITE HOUSE” is overstated, at the very least.”
At worst, Bannon can be accused of looking at the alt-right as a business opportunity, and tapping into a niche market. He was after all the CEO and had to operate the publication as a business. That is the case with all media networks and companies.
The alt-right have their own online publications and websites that really are quite different from mainstream conservative sites. They really are anti-Semitic and hold truly racist opinions. So, why would they need a “platform” in Breitbart, which is pro-Israel and has several Jewish contributors, when they already have their own? My guess is that they look at Breitbart as a much bigger, nationally recognized platform than what they have, and this platform has some things in common with them. As Richard Spencer – the “Heil Trump” guy in the video above – explained:
“Breitbart has elective affinities with the Alt Right, and the Alt Right has clearly influenced Breitbart. 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.”
To this, Ben Shapiro noted, “That doesn’t mean Bannon will push racist or anti-Semitic policy, or that he’ll be anti-Israel himself – unless it serves his interests.”
So, what does all this mean? Liberals and the media have been calling on Donald Trump to “do something” about all the “hate speech” and “hate crimes” being committed against minority groups by his supporters. (They of course completely ignore all the crimes committed against Trump supporters.) They want Trump to “do something” about this group of alt-righters who – for whatever reason – claim they support Donald Trump. When he looked in the camera during his 60 Minutes interview with Leslie Stahl and told these people to “stop it,” that wasn’t good enough.
What is it that liberals want Trump to do? Arrest them? Execute them? Should Obama “do something” about the Black Panthers, the violence associated with Black Lives Matter, or prominent race-baiters Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson?
As bad and bizarre as these people in the “alt-right” are, they are just that. They haven’t committed any crimes in holding racist, anti-Semitic, or white nationalist views. Their supposed support of Trump is completely nonsensical, and it’s something he has no control over.
Compare all this drama to Barack Obama’s ties to lefty terrorist Bill Ayers of the Weather Underground. Predictably, CNN, the New York Times, and others concluded that Obama never had a close relationship with Ayers. Case closed.
What these same media networks and newspapers have with the alt-right is at best, a loose connection. And their reaction is to blow it way out of proportion. What they did for Obama in 2008 was to completely downplay and shrug off any direct links Obama had with Bill Ayers, who is now described as a “distinguished professor” at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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