Why Is the Alt-Right So Threatening?
Even in today’s acrimonious political landscape, nothing seems to draw as much vitriol as the minuscule “Alt-Right” (shorthand for an alternative to mainstream Conservatism Inc.). Indeed, if America’s political class organized 1984-style two-minute hates, the Alt-Right would be the star of the show with Richard Spencer substituting for Emmanuel Goldstein.
Given this aversion across the ideological spectrum, one might surmise that the Alt-Right embraced doctrines totally antithetical to core American values. Not quite. In at least in one key regard, the Alt-Right is as American as apple pie.
This apparent oddity flows from the movement’s paramount goal: preserving United States as a white ethno state, a nation with shared heritage, a single language and common biological ancestry. Ironically given the accusations of Alt-Right anti-Semitism, Israel with its total commitment to its Jewish identity is often heralded as the model for such a state.
Central to their advocacy is the belief, putatively supported by both Darwinian evolutionary biology and everyday plain-to-see facts, that racial and ethnic groups differ by nature and these inherited traits persist across generations and go beyond physical attributes like skin color to include multiple behaviors–educational achievement, criminality, work ethic, and patterns of family life among many, many others. Humans are not blank slates.
According to the Alt-Right world view, if a hundred thousand people of sub-Sahara African ancestry and an equal number of those of European stock were supplied with identical resources in comparable environments, after a few decades the two resulting community would diverge sharply in predictable ways. Doubters might just visit Portland, OR and Detroit MI. It is biology that makes today’s Scandinavian farmers in Minnesota closely resemble their Swedish and Norwegian ancestors despite 160 years of physical separation. Transporting Third Worlders to a First World setting would not substantially transform the new arrivals though these immigrants might relish the technological gadgets of their new home.
When stated boldly, this view of deeply ingrained, enduring genetic traits not amenable to social engineering totally contravenes America’s dominant public orthodoxy. It explicitly rejects the honored “self-evident” principle that America is a propositional nation where everyone—whether from Sudan or Sweden—can become a 100% “real red blooded American” by embracing our principles and values. It then follows, at least among those of the Alt-Right persuasion, that if the white European population grows proportionally smaller, either from low fertility or via Third World immigration, America as it currently exists will vanish and conceivably be transformed into something politically and culturally closer to Brazil.
The Alt-Right thus opposes immigration from non-Western nations, resists government efforts to impose ethnic/racial mixing (e.g., school integration, scattered site housing), and rejects the alleged benefits of diversity and multiculturalism. It champions freedom of association by restoring restrictive covenants, eliminating government anti-discrimation laws in housing and restaurants (the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in particular), and otherwise permitting Americans to escape those they want to avoid. Alt-Right adherents also condemn celebrating Cinco de Mayo, “pressing “2” for Spanish” on phone menus and bilingualism, in general, as un-American.
Now, what makes the Alt-Right’s White Nationalism American as Apple Pie? As Yogi Berra said, you can see a lot by just looking around. New York City where I live is a hotbed of racial liberalism and exalts racial and ethnic diversity, but a visiting Martian would conclude that Jim Crow laws were still on the books. Overwhelmingly, both private and public schools are highly segregated and, in fact, city public school administrators recently tried to enroll white children from affluent white families in the city’s über liberal West Side into a more “diverse” and less crowded nearby school. The (predictable) response was howls of outrage identical to what occurred during the forced racial integration in the South. Moreover, you will see scarcely any African Americans attending NY Philharmonic concerts, strolling through the Metropolitan Museum of Art or otherwise partaking of the city’s “high” culture. Nearly all residential neighborhoods are mono-racial/ethnic enclaves save for a few undergoing transition or gentrification. The City’s melting pot fantasy largely exists only in busses and subways.
New York City is hardly unique. Charles Murray’s fact-laden Coming Apart is only about white America but it deserves the subtitle How Affluent Whites Have Organized themselves into Racially Homogeneous Enclaves. One of Murray’s implications is that this burgeoning homogeneity is relatively new and, in all likelihood reflects the growing expansion of America’s non-white population.
The indisputable but almost unspeakable evidence abounds. Rich Benjamin in his Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America took a nearly 27,000 mile journey across America visiting rapidly fast growing, nearly all-white small towns and exurban areas. Government has relentlessly tried to force diversity on its people but the response has been gated communities, restrictive zoning, high property taxes and similar ploys to maintain racial/ethnic homogeneity. Southern public schools have fought federal imposed racial integration to a standstill, often at considerable expense to white parents. Countless white Americans escape imposed diversity and enjoy vacations in resort towns that resemble America circa 1950, for example, Cape May, NJ or Door County, WI though few tourists may openly admit the lure of being totally surrounded by fellow whites.
Now for the awkward question: why are millions of white Americans, including nearly all political poobahs, pundits and the mass media talking heads, so averse to Alt-Right white nationalism when they themselves prefer small scale white ethno states?
Let me offer a speculative explanation. In an increasingly heterogeneous society where there is always a potential for internecine strife, prudence dictates permitting everyone (regardless of race or ethnicity) to create their own “private” ethno states, but caution also counsels the Mafia’s Omerta, the code of silence. Not even the liberal-dominated mass media will run stories of how real estate developers in cahoots with elected officials undermine residential diversity with under-the-radar “ethnic cleansing” by enticing large numbers of urban underclass blacks into suburban public housing (Ferguson, MO is one example). The only way a New Yorker might realize that whites are forcing out blacks in historically black Harlem is by reading reviews of new trendy restaurants and clubs in Harlem.
Into this Omerta comes the Alt-Right willing to speak the unspeakable: if we want America to be America, exclude low-IQ Syrian goat herders and wife beater with nine children who embrace a religion deeply incompatible with America’s core Christian principles. Alt-Right trouble-makers relish recounting grim tales of culturally indigestible immigrants or explaining how corporate America willingly destroys the country to attract cheap Third World labor all the while sending the clean-up bill—policing, welfare, medical care–to hapless, largely white taxpayers. The Alt-Righter resembles an un-socialized youngster who regularly blurts out the unspeakable, embarrassing truth.
And finally, there’s The Great Fear: this Alt-Right “virus” may escape the laboratory’s Petri dish and gain a modicum of political traction. Think Marine Le Pen and the National Front in France or, in Germany, Frauke Petry and the Alternative for Germany, two nationalist, anti-immigration parties that arrived out “of nowhere” and are now serious electoral players. After all, there is a demonstrable market for the idea of a white ethno state and an ambitious demagogue, perhaps a modern-day cleaned up George Wallace, could easily champion it. To be sure, an American National Party would be unlikely to capture any office, particularly under its current leadership, but it could peel off 5% or so of the popular vote as a protest vote in at least some states. Stranger things have happened so it is no wonder that the establishment obsesses over this tiny handful of heretics whose xenophobic views resonate with millions of deplorable Americans.