Thursday, April 07, 2016
Robert Tracinski of The Federalist argues
that Donald Trump's core of support is white supremacist and I, who
Trump's similarity to George Wallace before, have to agree. In
particular, I found the following point about the self-proclaimed
The alt-right originated by looking at the left's caricature of the right as racists and pro-white tribalists and saying, in effect: sure, we'll be that.I well understand the temptation to "just play the part" when confronted with bigotry, but this always risks playing into the hands of the bigot. As far as leftists attempting to bully everyone into submission by screaming, "Racist!" goes, the following course of action is ordinarily appropriate: (1) Offer a rational, well-motivated defense of one's position; (2) accept that certain disingenuous people will pretend it's racism no matter what one said; and (3) let it go. First, you will have reached any rational mind that heard you and second, you will not be helping your accuser pretend he said anything worth considering. Tracinski is right to counsel giving Trump and his supporters a wide moral and political berth.
For example, a recent apologia for the alt-right makes a big deal of quoting liberal social psychologist Jonathan Haidt's condescending description of Republican voters as authoritarians motivated by "in-group loyalty," who are therefore suspicious of the people in other groups. This is an old smear. Democrats desperately need Republicans to be small-minded racists, because that's how the party of slavery and segregation has managed to slough off its own disreputable history and push the stigma of it onto their political opponents.
The alt-right is enabling this fraud. They accept the left's intellectual framework and eagerly take on the role of the villain that the left assigned to us. Then they have the effrontery to present themselves as big rebels against the left. What a joke.
The alt-right isn't part of the intellectual traditions of the American right, nor is it an alternative to anything. It's just the same old white-sheet set, repackaged with red "Make America Great Again" golf caps. They're serving as ignorant tools of the left, and they should be exposed as such.