A Guide To The Alt-Right’s Nationalism (Spoiler: It’s Racist)
I was recently asked by a self-described white nationalist to explain how white nationalism was racist. It seemed to me that the term “white nationalism” explains how it is racist in its title, but I suppose bias is difficult to self-diagnose. Still, “white nationalism” is titularly exclusionist.
The Alt-Right, or the sub-Right movement of race-obsessed fundamentalists who identify as such, have realized the political convenience of calling it just “nationalism,” but the political correctness is misleading because the Alt-Right only means to be nationalist in the context of preserving America’s white majority.
It is an ideology that argues illegal Mexicans need to be deported rather than integrated into the society in which they currently live. The Alt-Right also largely wants Islam to be banned rather than assimilated into America’s (Alt-Right trigger warning!) multicultural society.
Given that Mexicans are not likely to volunteer to leave the families and lives they have established here in America, and Muslims are not likely to convert themselves for conservative expediency, the Alt-Right has developed a pseudo-paramilitary ideology on how to federally purify the US of what the Alt-Right likes to call “racial contagion.”
Donald Trump has his finger on this Alt-Right pulse when he explains how he will beef up the military and govern domestically as a law and order president with an apartheid-esque system of institutionalized bigotry that protects the privileges of white Christians over the rights of everyone else. Let’s just say Trump’s Republican Party is not your father’s Republican Party, and definitely not your grandfather’s Republican Party. Trump’s Republican Party is really not even Republican, which is why the designation “Alternative-Right” has gained so much traction from Trump critics and supporters alike.
The Alt-Right’s ascension into mainstream Republican politics via Donald Trump’s nomination-winning candidacy represents an ideological civil war in American conservatism that establishment Republicans are currently losing decisively. Trump’s bigoted appeals to conservatives’ racist tendencies successfully divided and conquered the GOP’s presidential primary, and the #NeverTrump movement of establishment Republicans who still believe that America is and should remain a democracy that values (Alt-Right trigger warning!) diversity has done little to coax Trump’s supporters back toward moderate conservative politics.
Moderate politics is key in a two-party system such as ours, and the GOP has tried to maintain electoral relevance in an increasingly liberal America by nominating relatively moderate presidential candidates in 2008 and 2012 with John McCain and Mitt Romney, respectively. This moderation strategy failed in 2016. Trump and the Alt-Right have committed themselves to proving that white-nationalism can be a winning electoral strategy, though at the moment it does not appear to be cracking through Democrats’ Obama-era, swing state firewall of electoral votes. Thankfully, the average American voter is sympathetic to human rights and (Alt-Right trigger warning!) tolerance.
Still, Trump’s consequently low favorability ratings haven’t dissuaded him from branding himself as a totalitarian hero (“I alone can fix it”) in the mold of Nazi scapegoatism, and, like any totalitarian of faux-populist worth, Trump recognizes that racist scapegoatism is the easiest—divisiveness is easiest when one can identify his or her supposed enemies just by looking at them. The Alt-Right eagerly welcomes Trump’s white-nationalism, and some of the more vehement Alt-Righters publicly revere racial hierarchies based on racist interpretations of Darwinism. It’s not surprising that the Alt-Right coalesced as a political force by sharing purposefully offensive memes around the Internet—the Holocaust in particular is a goldmine for Alt-Right humor—and by simultaneously being offended and encouraged by the widespread condemnation the memes produce.
The Alt-Right may claim their rights and freedom of expression are under attack by “libtards” (an Alt-Right favorite insult) but true freedom of expression allows for people to respond to offensive juvenility however they want. In parallel fashion, Trump gets butthurt every time he is called racist for saying racist things, though—again—most racists do not understand that they are racist.
This is why “Make America White Again” is such an effective critique of Trump’s campaign theme, and a maddening mockery of Trump voters (though some conservatives have embraced the Make America White Again slogan without irony or guilt). Most Alt-Righters claim their exclusionist policy ideas aren’t motivated by blatant racism, but they demand political correctness to try to shield themselves from accurate accusations of racism by calling their ideology just “nationalism.”
Political correctness aside, their nationalism is based on the intrinsically racist and culturally outdated hierarchy that self-interestedly places white, Teutonic peoples at the top. By attempting to federally enforce institutionalized racism via a Donald Trump presidency, the Alt-Right is trying to choose who gets to be a US citizen. The effort is a corruption of our democracy and multicultural culture, but some Alt-Righters will admit unsurprisingly that they think democracy is a weak form of government and that America needs a strongman, monarchic leader to fix its problems. But, like usual with the Alt-Right, their perception of America’s problems tend to have racial qualities, and many Alt-Righters think America desperately needs more cultural and racial homogeneity. Hence why much of the Alt-Right’s sense of humor is based on racial and religious offensive stereotypes.
The Alt-Right’s iconoclast sense of humor is both a symptom of the movement at large’s general childishness, but it also serves as a valuable crutch when criticized for its offensiveness. The response is that liberals can’t take a joke because of political correctness, but conservatives are perhaps even more likely to criticize the Alt-Right because of the movement’s successful hijacking of the GOP voter base. As a result, the Alt-Right has become a kind of politics of identity, one that excludes itself from the rest of the American Right. Alt-Righters are particularly critical of the GOP, and they love to call any Republicans concerned with Republican electability in Congressional and presidential elections the term “cuckservative,” an insult implying that Republican policies are allowing too many nonwhite people into America who will inevitably (supposedly) rape Republicans’ wives and further taint America’s racial makeup. Classy.
The nastiest faction of the Alt-Right is called the 1488’s, which is a white supremacy reference to the 14 words in “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,” or, its cousin phrase, “Because the beauty of the white Aryan woman must not perish from the Earth.” The 88 part could refer to a longer racist quote from Hitler’s Mein Kampf with 88 words, or, to keep things simple, it is often used as a reference to “Heil Hitler” with each “H” standing for the eighth letter of the alphabet.
The entire Alt-Right movement is obviously not made up of 1488-ers — and these are the people who might publicly admit that they are indeed very racist — but many of their neo-Nazi political goals of racial exclusion are shared quite broadly within the Alt-Right movement. The main ideological difference between the real Alt-Right crazies and the mere Alt-Right negative attention seekers is whether or not they think ethnic and religious minorities should be murdered or just deported/banned.
Still, don’t be fooled by relatively moderate Alt-Right sentiments when compared to crazier Alt-Right subgroups who use Twitter to role-play genocidal fascism: they’re all at least a little racist. The reality is that there is no natural hierarchy within the world’s racial diversity, and any race can reproduce with any other race because every human is of the same species — we just have different genetic traits thanks to our biologically advantageous form of procreation via sexual reproduction. The Alt-Right’s racism is just another manifestation of fake conservative science.
To really get socio-biological here, racism is not advantageous like many in the Alt-Right try to argue. Racism and bigotry may reward individuals and tribe-level subgroups of a national population in the same way that personal selfishness and generally being an entitled asshole can be rewarding, but, in terms of national populations at large, racism and societal selfishness are severely destructive. The idea that America is better able to compete against other populationally increasing countries by subtracting from its own population rather than building infrastructure, educating its citizenry, healing and curing medical ailments, etc. is straight up stupid. Spending billions of dollars to deport 11 million people who contribute to America’s economy is as mathematically doltish as it is nationally handicapping. The racial superiority-complex of the white Alt-Right is outside of reality anyway because the idea that America is a white, Christian nation in the first place is an invented social construct.
If Alt-Righters really want to act according to racial Darwinism in order to Make America Great Again, they should nominate a candidate who wants to deport the Alt-Right. America would be a much stronger nation without its racist, Alt-Right teamkillers.
But it’s not like the Alt-Right actually has a shot to Make America White Again. The Alt-Right’s resistance to multiculturalism and diversity is an inevitably losing battle because Alt-Righters cannot stop population trends that are reinforced by hundreds of millions of people. Their white nationalism is a hateful, racially partisan gesture of bigotry, and little else. Meanwhile, the Millennial generation is the most multicultural generation in America’s history.
America, whether the Alt-Right likes it or not, is a multicultural country… sorry, Alt-Righters, I ran out of trigger warnings.