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.
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.
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.