I’ve heard the term “alt-right” thrown around a lot this election cycle, but never until recently decided to see what this young conservative faction is all about.
Sources credit the internet with the birth of the Alt-Right movement, so I figured: what better place to start?
Simply Googling “Alt-Right” didn’t seem like the right place to begin, however. A simple Google search turns up some mildly written descriptions of the Alt-Right, as well as a handful of liberal news sources discrediting the entire movement. If you heard of the Alt-Right in the same fashion as I did, they would have seemed like a thin margin at the very fringe of conservative politics– namely, racists.
What I didn’t realize is that we weren’t giving them enough credit.
r/AltRight self defines as “racial and sexual realism” translated into a political ideology. Thus, “fringe” they absolutely are. A brief trip through the subreddit is both insightful and terrifying if you’re a rational person, and it makes a few things exceedingly clear:
- The Alt-Right is predominantly young, white men who are legitimately concerned that the entire world is out to get them. There are several striking pieces outlining a baseless fear of their race being eradicated by the likes of feminists, socialists, liberals, and basically every ethnic minority.
- The Alt-Right is remarkably hopeful for a Trump presidency. There are a great number of posts on the subreddit exclaiming “we’ve done it!” and “one step closer!”–attitudes not echoed by basically any mainstream news source. Speaking of mainstream news:
- The Alt-Right hates it. The political movement is rooted in deep anti-establishment affections. They feel that the liberals and mainstream conservatives are silencing the voices of white men, and that the media is sympathetic to these “oppressors.”
So why should we be concerned with the Alt-Right? I have one reason why we should be concerned with the Alt-Right: because they are concerned with us.
Trump ran a hate filled campaign for the very purpose of appealing to these Alt-Right voters. The Alt-Right isn’t just anti-left; they are altogether anti-establishment. They beseeched the GOP to deliver a candidate that put them first, and the GOP begrudgingly delivered.
What this means for the rest of us is that there is a newly emboldened fringe movement feeding off of racism, sexism, and anger.
This means that the next four years could go one of two ways: Donald Trump follows through on his promise to the Alt-Right, or he doesn’t.
The latter is the more likely of the two outcomes, but that will only stoke the fire. If Donald Trump isn’t the anti-establishment middle finger that the Alt-Right had hoped, then their fears are only affirmed. To them, a Trump betrayal is testimony to their fictional plight.
The Alt-Right fringe may be thicker than we thought.
The Alt-Right fringe is absolutely something to worry about.
The election was two days ago, and I hear you: nobody wants to hear about the election anymore.
Donald Trump won the general election, and the overwhelming response is that the leftists need to stop whining and accept our new President. I hear you, I do—but no, I won’t stop talking about politics.
I can accept that Trump won the election and that, in January, he will become POTUS. I cannot, however, just roll over and forget about politics for another four years. That isn’t how this works.
Politics isn’t a switch that flips on every four years, it is a constantly moving machine.
House seats open up and local elections are held to choose people for roles that are very relevant to your everyday life.
Politics rolls on, and if you ignore the process, you will wake up one day and realize that you are no longer proud of the country you live in.
I urge you to learn about the political process. Know who your representatives are. Read up on proposed legislation. Speak out when you disagree. Stay involved.
For those of you elated at the outcome of the general election—just because your guy won doesn’t mean your job is over. The other side will stay vocal, and so should you.
For those of you disappointed by the results—don’t let go of that disappointment. We may not have the progressive government we had hoped for, but the movement isn’t over. Get involved on a local level; stay educated.
So for everyone begging me to just shut up: I’m sorry, I won’t.
I won’t stop talking about politics.