What Is the Alt-right and Has It Made Its Way Into the White House?

The 2016 U.S. presidential election was unprecedented in many ways. Among these was the emergence of a movement known as the alt-right. What many Americans don't understand is where it came from, who its adherents are and how it is influencing the course of our nation.

What Is the Alt-right?

The Southern Poverty Law Center, an anti-hate organization, provided the following definition of the alt-right.

The Alternative Right, commonly known as the Alt-Right, is a set of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals whose core belief is that “white identity” is under attack by multicultural forces using “political correctness” and “social justice” to undermine white people and “their” civilization. Characterized by heavy use of social media and online memes, Alt-Righters eschew “establishment” conservatism, skew young, and embrace white ethno-nationalism as a fundamental value.

The Anti-Defamation League, an international Jewish non-governmental organization, characterized alt-righters as those who "reject modern conservatism explicitly because they believe that mainstream conservatives are not advocating for the interests of white people as a group."

In an interview for the Washington Post, George Hawley, a University of Alabama professor who studied the movement, described typical alt-right followers as white millennial men, either in college or with a college degree who are secular, perhaps atheist, and are not interested in the conservative movement at all.

Where Did It Come From?

The term "alternative right" was coined in 2008 by Richard Bertrand Spencer, head of a white nationalist think tank known as the National Policy Institute. Spencer launched an online publication with the name of "Alternative Right" in 2010.

Other terms used to describe the alt-right include “New Right” and the “Dissident Right,” among many others. While their names are varied and include numerous ideological groups, white identity is a central theme of alt-righters. They also generally reject democracy, egalitarianism, multiculturalism and universalism.

Where Is the Movement Headed?

Before the 2016 presidential election, the term alt-right was relatively unknown, and many who were familiar mostly associated it with internet trolling.

The alt-right captured national attention when Donald Trump appointed Stephen Bannon as CEO of his presidential campaign. Bannon, who was a chairman of Breitbart Media, proudly told investigative reporter Sarah Posner at the Republican National Convention that “We’re the platform for the alt-right.”

In a CNN interview on August 25, 2016, anchor Anderson Cooper grilled Trump on a comment Bannon made about Breitbart being the voice for the alt-right. Trump responded, “I can only speak for myself.”

On November 13, 2016, Trump announced Bannon would serve as chief strategist and senior counselor.

A week later, alt-righter Richard Spencer gathered to celebrate Donald Trump’s victory, in a video published on YouTube by “Red Ice Radio,” Spencer is shown declaring, “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!” After which some audience members can be seen raising their right hand in what appears to be a Nazi salute.

In response, Trump told a group of reporters and columnists during a meeting at The New York Times headquarters, “I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group.” He went on to say, “It’s not a group I want to energize, and if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why.”

When asked about Bannon’s ties to the alt-right, Trump defended Bannon stating, “I’ve known him for a long time and the allegations of antisemitism and connections to the alt-right are not him.” He went on to say, “If I thought he was racist or alt-right . . . I wouldn’t even think about hiring him.”

One member of the alt-right movement who rose to prominence proliferating the ideology is Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin. In his article, “A Normie’s Guide to the Alt-Right,” he laid out the common themes of the alt-right movement, misogyny, antisemitism, racism, and white nationalism. In discussing the future of the alt-right, Anglin wrote:

To become a real and effective political force, the Alt-Right will need real leaders. Real leaders are not people that stand-up and claim to be leaders, but people that the masses naturally want to follow.

Following Trump’s victory, Anglin declared, “Our Glorious Leader has ascended to God Emperor. Make no mistake about it: we did this.”

After Bannon was appointed as chief strategist and senior counselor, Angler wrote, “I probably would have preferred Bannon as chief-of-staff and Priebus as press secretary.” While neither Trump nor Bannon admitted any direct ties to the alt-right, it's clear the alt-right was nothing but supportive of them.

The alt-right is a determined and energetic group and their popularity continues to grow. In the words of Anglin, "the mob is the movement," and they have their mob.

With Donald Trump in the White House, the mob now has a leader who they believe validates their views and in the form of Stephen Bannon, may even be sympathetic to their ideology. If misogyny, antisemitism, racism and white nationalism are the same beliefs that have historically led to violence and genocides, then the alt-right has the momentum, exposure, and ideology to repeat some of our darkest moments in history.

What Is Glenn's Point of View?

Glenn shared his thoughts on the alt-right movement on his October 28, 2016 radio program, when the movement was just beginning to gain media attention. Below are excerpts from his monologue:

Rising From Chaos

This alt-right is, burn the entire thing down. And out of the ashes of global chaos, we will rise. And the true alt-right, as it is understood in Russia and Europe and more so here in America, not by Trump or Trump supporters, but it is understood by people like Breitbart and Bannon. And I can say that because they've announced it and printed it themselves.

I'm issuing this warning. I'm telling you, this is as important as the warning that I gave before the collapse in '08 and the warning that I gave on the caliphate.

Beyond Generalizations

This is going to require you to see new nuance and to see beyond generalizations. And that's what's going to make the alt-right so dangerous in the future.

Over in Europe, there are now Russian operatives that are training those in the alt-right how to fight, how to -- they're even arming them, giving them guns, and training them on how to cause chaos and terror. And you need to understand the role of Vladimir Putin.

I want to give very hasty generalizations. We'll get into this after the election with the chalkboard. I want you to know, this has nothing to do with Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. This would be happening if Ted Cruz were the nominee today. It is vital that you understand this, because this is something that we're going to be battling over the next, I don't know how many years. This is as important as the understanding of the caliphate.

But I want to give you quick generalization on how you know you're in the company of one of these people or one of these people who have been influenced, perhaps without their own knowledge.

One of the things, when you read on Facebook, if you see the word "cuckservative," run. That is an alt-right word. And it is -- it is -- it's everywhere now. And people have adopted it online. Don't adopt it. It is a word that is a tell on who is influencing the mind of these people.

There's also other things that are much less apparent, if you're just wrapped into the world of us and them.

Globalists and Cuckservatives

Globalist is now a term to describe anyone. Notice anyone who is for free trade, is now a globalist. People who were deep -- deeply respected intellectual conservatives. Krauthammer, George Will, they're now cuckservatives and globalists?

Jonah Goldberg is now a globalist. I am now a globalist. That word is being thrown around everywhere. But it's thrown around by people who are in the alt-right. For instance, what's his crazy face? Alex Jones, okay? This was the world -- everybody was, "Globalist. Globalist." But now it's spread. That's from the alt-right. And you need to be careful.

There are many words and ideas and people that are being mainstreamed, quite honestly, by Breitbart. And this is out in the open. They say it.

Platform for the Alt-right

Steve Bannon has said, "We are a platform for the alt-right." They have become a platform.

Richard Spencer. Look him up. That's who Breitbart says is the main thinker for the alt-right. And we are a platform for the alt-right. Steve Bannon, exact quote.

Spencer's wife is the English language translator for Aleksandr Dugin. This is tied directly, in America, to Dugin and Putin.

Origins of the Movement

The movement's origins are traced back to the opposition, and I think some of it justifiable of George W. Bush, especially the invasion of Iraq.

I am a noninterventionist. I don't think we need to be intervening everywhere. There are times that we do. But that's a case-by-case basis. I think many of the problems are because we went in and said, "We'll give you freedom." And so we have become interventionists. We are the world's policemen.

Now, there's a difference between that -- globalist -- and an isolationist. An isolationist is also claiming that everyone who is against them is a globalist.

Deadly Subtleties

Be careful. The subtleties here are deadly. They are suspicious of free markets. They believe that business interests are in conflict to what they view as higher ideals, those of cultural preservation. They use the word "traditionalism, identism." On Breitbart, Milo Yiannopoulos, has issued a manifesto of what sorts of groups he believes are their allies and which ones are not. It's Beltway conservatives. They say hate the alt-right more than Democrats or progressives.

Please do not laugh this off. Please do not dismiss this. I am going to -- after we get past -- hopefully we do -- this election, hopefully we can return to a place to where we can all talk again. But please inform yourself. After the election, I'm going to be doing stuff and chalkboards on this. And even if it's five people that are paying attention to this, those five, you need to strap on the armor. Because it will mean the difference between conservatives surviving or not.

I want you do inform yourself on Neo-Eurasianism. Also, the forth political theory and Aleksandr Dugin.

Deep Roots of Division and Hatred

The campaign season has allowed the alt-right and these operatives to plant deep roots among us because they thrive in division and hatred. But it doesn't matter who would have been the candidate. This is a powerful force. It is an outside force. And it is -- if we remain blind, it will be the winning force. These are not Trump supporters. Some are masquerading as Trump supporters. And they are infecting the entire conservative movement. But they were here long before Trump even thought of running. I don't believe Trump is involved or knows -- is aware of this, would take seriously the roots.

Clinton, I don't believe is aware of this. And here's what's going to happen: The left and the media will eventually lump these people with all conservatives, if we don't self-identify, know who they are, understand their philosophy, their plan, and can articulate it to our friend.

Grave Danger to Freedom

These people are a great, grave danger to the republic and to the freedom of the West. And they have already infiltrated the American right.

In some cases, as we pointed out two years ago, they have already funneled money into the American churches. That began with the gay marriage debate because this is what they do. They find the things where they can join in, but their version of the gay marriage debate is radically different than your version of the gay marriage debate. You might say, "Hey, it's none of the government's business, and I want my church to be able to stand up and say this is wrong." Their version is, "Take away the driver's license of gay people. Gay people should be destroyed."

What's happening in Europe and what is happening mainly in -- in Russia -- and you might say, "We'll never fall for that." But when anger is involved, look at what historically we have fallen for. The rounding up of the Japanese. "We would never do that." We already have.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.