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.