The Alt-Right and the Election of Trump: the End of the Dominant Ideology?

Tom Sunic, Ph.D.


The following is a translation of an interview given to the French daily Présent. Présent,  a magazine dealing with culture, politics and art, is popular among traditional Catholics and identitarians, and is also sympathetic to France’s National Front.           

On January 18, Libération  lashed out at the American Alt-Right, of which you are considered to be one of its leading intellectuals, along with your book Homo americanus; rejeton de l’ère postmoderne  (published in France by the publishing house  Akribeia, 2010 and soon to be reissued in the USA). Could you tell us more about this movement, launched a few years ago by Richard Spencer, who is viewed by the far left as very dangerous, and who on January 20, during a television interview, was violently assaulted, without there being any voice of outrage? 

The term “Alt-Right” is a bit vague, lending itself perfectly to various usages by various opposition movements within the Euro-American right-wing, including those that have nothing in common with Spencer’s version of the Alt-Right. The System-friendly media, in this case Libération in France, the FAZ in Germany, or The New York Times across the Atlantic, are currently in the process of forging demonological guilt-by-association memes to portray Spencer and his version of the Alt-Right.  Read more »

Europa Exsurgo Stand Up and Regain Your Strength
Philip Weiss: “Israel interferes in our politics all the time, and it’s never a scandal”

From “Israel interferes in our politics all the time, and it’s never a scandal,” by Philip Weiss.

There are two large exceptions to the Russian conspiracy. The first is that it is good policy for the United States to be talking to Russia. If Clinton were president today, there might be dogfights over Damascus. Her gang was all for regime change in Syria, and for confrontation over the Ukraine. That’s bad policy. I’m glad they’re not running the show– though they are certainly running this story. Before you get too upset about Russia winking at the sanctions, the scandal that brought down Michael Flynn, please recall that in 2012, President Obama sent secret signals to Iran to ignore congressional sanctions, we’ll be talking to you once I’m reelected. …

Which brings up the second exception. Israel tried to interfere in that 2012 election, as Chris Matthews sensibly reminded his audience recently: Benjamin Netanyahu tried to help Mitt Romney beat Obama. Sheldon Adelson held a fundraiser in Jerusalem for Romney.

Netanyahu didn’t stop there. After Romney lost, Netanyahu came to Congress to tell the Congress to reject President Obama’s nuclear deal. That was an unprecedented interference of a foreign leader in our policy-making, enabled by the Israel lobby; but there were never any investigations about that. Subsequently Chuck Schumer said he was torn between a Jewish interest and the American interest, before voting against the president, and he paid no political/reputational price for it; while President Obama said that it would be an “abrogation” of his constitutional duty if he considered Israel’s interest ahead of the U.S.; for which Obama was called an anti-semite.

Throughout those negotiations, Obama could never address the fact that Israel has nukes. This lie is honored by the press, in a way that it would never honor Trump’s lies. And the manner in which Israel got nukes, including thefts from an American company with the complicity of the White House, is only investigated by peripheral figures.

The Israeli interference in our politics is the conspiracy in plain sight that no one in the media talks about because they’re too implicated themselves. The two top executives at the largest media company, Comcast, are pro-Israel; one of them, David Cohen, raised money for the Israeli army. Netanyahu’s speeches to Congress were written by Gary Ginsberg, an executive at another media company, Time Warner, but hey, that’s not an issue. Four New York Times reporters have had children serve in the Israeli army. One of them is columnist David Brooks, who says that he gets gooey-eyed when he visits Israel. He is one of several Zionists with columns at the Times. Tom Friedman justified the Iraq War because suicide bombers were going into Tel Aviv pizza parlors. (Huh?) Yesterday Martin Indyk said on National Public Radio that Jared Kushner’s strong Jewish background was an asset for his being a Middle East mediator, a job that Aaron David Miller, who also has a strong Jewish background, defined as being Israel’s lawyer. Indyk, himself a mediator, started a pro-Israel thinktank with Haim Saban, an Israeli-American who was Clinton’s biggest funder and who lately smeared Keith Ellison at a giant gathering at Brookings, which he also helps fund, as “clearly an anti-semite” and “anti-Israel;” and Jake Tapper of CNN moved on to the next question, presumably because smearing a public official in that manner is not news. Saban is also chummy with Jeffrey Goldberg, one of whose qualifications for being the best journalist in his generation, according to the Atlantic’s publisher, is that he served in the Israeli Defense Forces, because he felt that America was unsafe for Jews. One of Goldberg’s first hires as editor at the Atlantic is Julia Ioffe, who hates Russia, and who told a synagogue audience last year after she was attacked as a Jew by Trump supporters: “Personally I was kind of glad to see the outpouring of antisemitism” because people had forgotten that Jews and Israel are the “underdog.” At another NY synagogue, believing that he was speaking off the record, Dennis Ross, the longtime White House “mediator” of the peace process, said that American Jews must be “advocates” for Israel, not for Palestinians. Again, not a scandal. But when Rashid Khalidi, who wrote a book about the U.S. being imbalanced in the peace process, warned that neoconservatives would “infest” the Trump administration, he was smeared up and down as an anti-semite.

 

Escaping the liberal bubble: Coming out as a conservative in liberal, gay New York

An article in the New York Post by Chadwick Moore, a self-described gay man, is an excellent window into the poisoned political atmosphere resulting from (and perhaps contributing to) the election of Donald Trump (“I’m a gay New Yorker — and I’m coming out as a conservative“). The very many Trump supporters who have found that longtime friends, lovers, and family will no longer speak to them — apart from invidious name-calling — will perhaps find a bit of solace in his experience.

Moore made the tragic mistake of writing a neutral article about Milo Yiannopoulis in Out, a liberal magazine catering to gays.

After the story posted online in the early hours of October 21, I woke up to more than 100 Twitter notifications on my iPhone. Trolls were calling me a Nazi, death threats rolled in and a joke photo that I posed for in a burka served as “proof” that I am an Islamophobe.

I’m not.

Most disconcertingly, it wasn’t just strangers voicing radical discontent. Personal friends of mine — men in their 60s who had been my longtime mentors — were coming at me. They wrote on Facebook that the story was “irresponsible” and “dangerous.” A dozen or so people unfriended me. A petition was circulated online, condemning the magazine and my article. All I had done was write a balanced story on an outspoken Trump supporter for a liberal, gay magazine, and now I was being attacked. I felt alienated and frightened.

I hope New Yorkers can be as accepting of my new status as a conservative man as they’ve been about my sexual orientation.

I lay low for a week or so. Finally, I decided to go out to my local gay bar in Williamsburg, where I’ve been a regular for 11 years. I ordered a drink but nothing felt the same; half the place — people with whom I’d shared many laughs — seemed to be giving me the cold shoulder. Upon seeing me, a friend who normally greets me with a hug and kiss pivoted and turned away.

Frostiness spread far beyond the bar, too. My best friend, with whom I typically hung out multiple times per week, was suddenly perpetually unavailable. Finally, on Christmas Eve, he sent me a long text, calling me a monster, asking where my heart and soul went, and saying that all our other friends are laughing at me.

I realized that, for the first time in my adult life, I was outside of the liberal bubble and looking in. What I saw was ugly, lock step, incurious and mean-spirited. …

I began to realize that maybe my opinions just didn’t fit in with the liberal status quo, which seems to mean that you must absolutely hate Trump, his supporters and everything they believe. If you dare not to protest or boycott Trump, you are a traitor.

If you dare to question liberal stances or make an effort toward understanding why conservatives think the way they do, you are a traitor.

Note particularly the last comment: “If you dare to question liberal stances or make an effort toward understanding why conservatives think the way they do, you are a traitor.” Being a Trump supporter is not simply misguided. Such a person is malevolent. Such a person is consumed by hatred, anger and fear towards gays, women, non-Whites, and every group in the victim class pantheon. Even trying to understand such a person is itself evil.

And that’s the problem. Being cast as evil means you are outside the moral community. There’s no need to talk with you, no need to be fair, or even worry about your safety. You are like an outlaw in Old Norse society  —“a person [who] lost all of his or her civil rights and could be killed on sight without any legal repercussions” — or sucker-punched by antifas, an action that is much approved on the left.  By vilifying us as moral cretins, people automatically close off the possibility of even trying to see the world as we see it. After all, if a person is morally culpable, there is the implication that that person is blameworthy. Excuses like having different, sincerely held beliefs, no matter how well-founded, don’t have to be considered. Immorality implies malicious intentions.

When I was growing up in the Midwest, coming out to my family at the age of 15 was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Today, it’s just as nerve-wracking coming out to all of New York as a conservative. But, like when I was 15, it’s also weirdly exciting.

I’ve already told my family, and it’s brought me closer to my father. He’s a Republican and a farmer in Iowa, and for years we just didn’t have very much to talk about. But after Trump’s inauguration, we chatted for two hours, bonding over the ridiculousness of lefties. But we also got serious: He told me that he is proud of my writing, and I opened up about my personal life in a way I never had before to him.

I’ve made some new friends and also lost some who refuse to speak to me. I’ve come around on Republican pundit Ann Coulter, who I now think is smart and funny and not a totally hateful, self-righteous bigot. A year ago, this would have been unfathomable to me. …

 

And I hope that New Yorkers can be as open-minded and accepting of my new status as a conservative man as they’ve been about my sexual orientation.

Good luck with that!