GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump has been widely criticized for romancing the so-called “Alt Right” or ‘Alternative Right’. The Alt Right possesses no articulated national policy agenda or platform, but consists of an assemblage of groups, individuals and interests which perpetrate nativist, anti-immigrant, white supremacist, homophobic and generally misogynistic positions and views. Ranging from ranking members of the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Brotherhood to likes of Alex Jones and Pam Geller. The denizens of the Alt right look back blithely and with fondness to a time in American history when the oppression of racial minorities and discriminatory practice was the accepted order of the day.
While claiming that he is fostering a big-tent approach with room for everyone, what Trump and his minions are really doing is normalizing the most virulent strains of racism in American society and culture. He is giving Nazis and Klansmen a measure of legitimacy and there’s just no other way to put it.
Consider the Composition of Trump’s Campaign Cadre
When Trump brought Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon on board as his Campaign Director many winced. Breitbart has become the de facto haven for the most extreme members of the Alt Right. People whose virulent racial slurs mark them out as some of the most repugnant of public figures. Take, for instance, Breitbart’s technology correspondent, Milo Yiannopoulos who first came to public in the so-called “Gamergate” controversy over sexism in video gaming. Following the reproduction of the classic movie, Ghostbusters, which features an all-female cast. Yiannopoulos led a cyber charge maligning actress Leslie Jones. The assault was so ugly, so over-the-top, that it forced Jones to depart Twitter and got Yiannopoulos banned for life. Jones was called an “ape”, a “gorilla” and had every conceivable racial epithet out there slung at her. It was truly despicable.
In addition to Bannon and Yiannopoulos, we might also consider Roger Ailes, formerly of FOX News. Ailes was forced to depart from the helm of FOX following the filing of law suits alleging sexual harassment by more than 20 female employees who worked for Ailes, including such well-known women as Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly. Ailes shifted comfortably over to the Trump campaign where, apparently, misogynistic behavior and disrespect for women are welcome traits and in-keeping with the overall tenor of the campaign.
There are plenty of additional like-minded team members on Trump’s official crew, but we should also take note of those who have attached their political tenterhooks to his campaign and who have not been rebuffed, no matter how low-rent or tawdry their views and personal backgrounds.
Confederates, Neo-Nazis, Aryan Nations, the KKK, Anti-Semites, Misogynists: Welcome to Trumpf Kampf !
Every stripe of hater, long out of full fashion, is welcome this season at Trumpf Kampf . All the luminaries and forward thinkers are here! We got the leadership of the Ku Klux Klan. We got White Supremacists, Nativists and Aryan Nations. We got Jew-hating patriots and sexists. We got Neo-Nazis and the sons of Dixie who glance back, longingly, at the bygone days when hanging black guys from trees was acceptable behavior. We got the full gamut, full service basket of deplorables gravitating toward the dais of the Great Orange One who will make it great to hate again.
In the Trumpian paradise of the future rogue cops will feel safe beating people of color again–of course in the name of public safety. Regular folks and preachers can safely engage in “conversion” therapy when recalcitrant malcontents refuse to acknowledge Republican Jesus and will not set aside their gay ways. Mike Pence will oversee the sessions, of course, as only a real Christian-American can.
In the Trumpian paradise of the future, the Aryan Ideal shall be exalted once more, as it should be, and brown and black guys who get out of hand will get their comeuppance again, as it was always meant to be anyway. Women will know their place again. In this idyllic Trumpadice of the future, Liberals and Whiners won’t be allowed to stand in the way of real American values anymore and David Duke will be given the respect he so richly deserves for his long advocacy on behalf of southern values. Yesiree Bob it’ll be grand. Really, it will.
The Ascent of the Alt Right and the Last Gasps of Racism
They say it themselves, this is “our” last chance, in reference to Trump’s candidacy for the Presidency. Many Conservatives are echoing this sentiment and, among them, every recalcitrant racist of note. They see something in Trump’s run for the White House….they see a reflection of themselves. The problem with going back to a bygone, imagined America that was “good” for everyone is that it wasn’t good for everyone. We cannot go back to the set of Leave it to Beaver and for many that time in American history wasn’t a good one. There’s a path forward and it should not be the one envisioned by Trump and his supporters.
In the coming election the stakes are high. There’s no going back. The United States should not allow itself to revel in a muddy past fraught with racism and misogyny. That is no longer who we are for we have evolved–most of us, that is.
Op-Ed Columnist: Donald Trump’s Real Message on Race
He claims his “movement” is for “everybody,” but his supporters know what he’s really saying. Op-Ed Columnist: Donald Trump’s Real Message on Race